Like so many of the best people in this world, Sandos Caracol in Playa del Carmen may not look like much by way of outward appearances but, once you go beyond its understated exterior, step inside and begin to explore, a whole new world opens up to you!
This eco-friendly resort stands by its motto that “the only thing we should not be recycling is negative energy!”. The creators of this resort did a fantastic job of preserving so much of the original rainforest/jungle on this large, oceanfront property. The people who work here are not only friendly and helpful, but also some of the hardest working men and women that I have ever seen – tirelessly and meticulously cleaning and scrubbing, day in and day out, so as to keep things sanitary, amdist all of the free roaming wildlife, as well as, to prevent the jungle foliage itself from quickly overtaking this place.
They believe in protecting the environment and proactively becoming as self-sustaining as possible, with solar panels on most of the buildings in order to generate electricity and organic/inorganic recycling waste bins set up every few feet along all walking paths. They have their own free range chickens to supply their eggs, as well as, their own gardens for fresh, organic vegetables and herbs.
They invite local vendors on site most evenings, offering a variety of authentic foods, desserts, hair braiding and handmade clothing, jewelry, toys and crafts. They also prevent the “usual level” of hasseling of guests along their beachfront areas, which we greatly appreciated.
They cater to and welcome families, with multiple pools, beach areas, an indoor and outdoor play area, scheduled activities and a water park – but also provide a much appreciated reprieve from this energy and noise by sectioning off multiple pool and beach areas for adults only.
The beaches are more natural than groomed, but they do an incredible job of raking the sand of natural debris and clearing the seaweed from the water and shore. Much of the ocean is on a coral reef, which is excellent for snorkeling and discovering beautiful conch shells and sea urchins, but can be pretty painful on your feet if you choose to swim bare. They do their best to keep a few pathways clear for people to wade into the water and float on small, soft, sandy bottom sections in the sea.
We were lucky enough to view beautiful sunrises over the Carribean Sea, but sunsets were obstructed by the thick rainforest. It rained heavily late at night a few times but was beautiful, bright and sunny all day, every day, during our stay.
The restrooms at this resort are clean, the food is fantastic, and the Mai Tais are phenomenal!🍹
There is much to do here, with miles and miles of walking paths and trails – a runner is 💯 safe, day or night.
They have bikes and segways available for use and SEVEN cenotes that beckon you to come and explore, with Cenote Christalino being the largest and most popular.
There are protected mayan ruins, a sacred tree and sacred cenote – all of which you may admire and explore, but with zero tolerance for disrespect or damage.
There are multiple water sports and boats available for use, as well as jet skis for rent, if you so choose. They have scheduled entertainment in the main theatre every night and please pay attention to everything, everywhere you walk – because the wildlife, themselves, are pretty entertaining!
There are monkeys, raccoons, rabbits and coati. Cats and dogs, fish and turtles, parrots and peacock. Albatross and pelicans, lizards and iguanas. Donkey, deer, ducks, guinea hens, chickens, sheep, and some pretty spunky looking squirrels!
If you choose to visit, please take my advice, you will need water shoes, a snorkel mask with breathing tube, and a lot of bug spray – all of which can be purchased at the gift shop right on site!
The only downside we found was that the check in/check out process is lengthy and, at times, confusing. Even as vacation club members, with just one staff member working inside the Royal Elite office, it took quite some time. If you choose to book a trip here, you will need to factor this detail into your plans upon arrival and, more importantly, when planning your departure.
All in all, we give Sandos Caracol 4/5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️