Mexico is a country that has so much to offer. So many tourist attractions, huge metropolises like the capital Mexico City, gorgeous beaches and resorts, so much historical heritage from different periods, world famous food specialities, but that is not all you must see when visiting this country.
Considering its diverse climate and relief, which vary from the wasteland of deserts in the North, over barren mountain ranges, to the humid jungle in the South, it is no wonder Mexico is home to a variety of the coolest and strangest animals, many of which you actually can’t find in other places. Unfortunately, many of those species are endangered as well. So if you’re planning a trip to Mexico, make sure you put these guys on your “must see” list.
Keep in mind, however, that in order to drive in Mexico, you will need a special car insurance, so buy it before you leave home.
Let’s start with those which you are most likely to see, even without much effort. The Mexican hairless dog is one of the symbols of the country and can be found all over it. This is actually a domestic dog breed so that’s why it’s so widespread. However, it is highly prized nowadays, so it is quite expensive, unlike at the age of the Aztecs when it used to be food. It is usually black with patches of white skin, and mostly hairless, sometimes with tufts of hair on their heads.
Jaguar is not the only wild cat Mexico is famous for. Ocelot is actually often confused for a small jaguar when first spotted. Even though it does share many traits with its significantly larger cousin, this spotted feral feline is unique in its own way. Ocelot is a predominantly nocturnal animal which spends most of the day sleeping. It is quite elusive, so you might have to make some purposeful effort in order to actually see it.
They live in South America and the Caribbean as well, but when it comes to Mexico, they can be found in Veracruz, Yucatan, Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Chiapas, so if you want to see them, be ready for a fairly long drive through Mexico.
This little guy is unfortunately on the list of endangered species and can be found in Central Mexico, nowadays more precisely only in Xochimilco. The axolotl is actually just an underdeveloped salamander which reaches adulthood without going through a metamorphosis. That’s why it is also known as Mexican salamander. People often call it walking fish, but axolotl is actually amphibian, just like the salamander. It’s one of a kind and can be found only in Mexico.
If you see a creature very much resembling a raccoon, only with a longer nose, that would be coati. These cute mammals have something in common with axolotl, and that’s being endangered. In their case, this is due to the destruction of their natural habitat and unregulated hunting. These little fellows have double joints, long noses, they love digging and are extraordinarily smart. If you’d like to meet them, the places to go are the forests of Oaxaca, Yucatan, Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo.
This small, adorable sea cow, as it known in Spanish – vaquita marina, is unfortunately yet another endangered species. So endangered that it is virtually impossible to spot one in the wild, with the data pointing out there are only 30 of them left in their natural habitat. They are the smallest of all cetaceans, and definitely the most endangered ones. If you wish to see these poor dear creatures, head towards the Gulf of California and enjoy that unique and remarkable experience.
These animals are just the tip of the iceberg of animal and plant diversity Mexico has to offer. So, if you are an animal lover, Mexico should definitely be on your bucket list.