The diverse fauna includes cedar and mahogany trees, curative trees, kapok trees and the holy tree of the Mayas - the "Chaka" and the "Chechen," better known as "the tree of good and evil." The property also features three species of endangered palm trees including the "Guano," "Chit" and "Nacax."

Unique animals found on-site include donkeys, peacocks, scarlet macaws, blue-golden macaws, agouti, coatimundi, raccoons, squirrels, iguanas, fresh-water turtles, cormorants, crabs, among others. The resort has hired an on-site veterinarian who works full-time to take care for the animals that live in secluded areas at the property.

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa is one of the first eco-resorts on the Riviera Maya, featuring self-sufficient structures, designated wildlife areas, as well as gardens and streams. Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa aims to be an Eco-Versity in which guests will view, learn and engage in ecological techniques and practices. Transformations began in the fall of 2008 and are projected to be complete in 2010.

The Caracol complex is situated five minutes from the quaint village of Playa del Carmen. Located directly off the beach of the resort is the world's second largest living coral reef, the Meso-American Barrier Reef, a fascinating underwater environment ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Our take: It's always great to see initative of hotel chain to introduce nature to their guests. We just hope that these tours will help more people to love and care about the nature rather than spoil the area arounf the hotels as the result of free tours. We have witnessed the bad conditions of coral reefs near Cancun (particularly, on Isla Mujeres) with our own eyes, and it's sad to know that this is mostly the consequence of irresponsible tourism.