Iguanas and Sun Monkeys

A friend from back home asked about recommending a resort for a future vacation. I'd surmise that she was likely asking, in a very polite way, if I would recommend this one: Sandos Playacar. Let me preface the answer to that question with a statement of fact: it takes several days to get into the rhythm of a place like this, to feel comfortable in its welcoming embrace. I'm not sure I would have answered in the affirmative after the first several days. But as we approach the end of our fourth full day, I can comfortably jump on the bandwagon and proclaim the resort Thomas-approved and endorsed.

Another friend from back home has been here a number of times and particularly loves the beach. She is absolutely right; it's fantastic. Blue lounge chairs dot the swath of white sand, hundreds row on row, with the odd hammock thrown in for good measure, along with requisite lifeguard towers and beach volleyball net.

We walked down to the water after dinner tonight, the only souls on the beach, save for a few cabana boys sweeping off the sand from the beach chairs and cleaning up for another steaming hot day tomorrow. Under a bright blanket of stars with the lights of Cozumel off on the distant horizon, we stretched out on our backs to look at the sky.

"That Orion's belt," said Heather.

"Where?" asked Ben.

"You see those three stars in a line? Right there."

I can't recall us looking at the stars together as a family before.

"You know, outside of a couple days of the year when they have some rain, it's like this all the time down here," I said. There's something magical about being able to sit together as a family in the dark, listening to the soothing waves, watching the greatest outdoor light show on earth, and feeling absolutely as comfortable as is possible-not hot, not cool, just right.

We spent the morning on the beach today, avoiding the super heat of the afternoon, opting for a well-timed siesta instead. But, this morning was lovely, with a little bit of cloud cover to afford us a bit more time in the water.

There are people here from around the world. You can tell by looking at them and by listening to their conversations. They come from Holland, Germany, France, India, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Spain, Greece and everywhere in between including USA and Canada. I am most intrigued by what I call the Iguana People, the sun-worshippers, tanned from head to toe, diligently and with careful precision. Mr. Iguana, a semi-rotund gentlemen from some European country (completely guessing on this one), wearing a skimpy Speedo, rises from his towel every 15 minutes, stands tall, raises his chin to the sun, and strikes a statuesque pose.

The Iguana People are easy to spot and great in number, largely in the 40+ category and inclusive of both sexes and often exclusive of any covering, outside of a patch of fabric to cover the most private spots. Yes, this is a topless-friendly environment, though that choice is the road less traveled on this particular beach.

The faces start to become familiar after four days, similar to the feeling you get when you see the same people all the time in the neighborhood grocery store. In that sense, the place feels more comfortable as the days go along.

By the way, the Iguana People are in good company at Sandos Playacar. The real deal iguanas are everywhere you turn during the heat of the day. They scamper under foot, sit on the hot stones of the roads and pathways, and sun themselves diligently and with careful precision, raising their chins to the sun, striking a statuesque pose.


  1. I bet the Iguana's speak either Dutch or Russian! Totally ignorant about their environment and totally relaxed and confident with their being. And why not! We live only once!


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