weddings guide sandos caracol
Destination Wedding Information

The Complete Guide to Sandos Caracol Weddings

This complete guide to Sandos Caracol Weddings will help you determine if this is the right hotel for your destination wedding in Mexico.

The Sandos Caracol offers affordable destination weddings set in a sprawling, family-friendly all-inclusive resort.

Where is the Sandos Caracol Resort?

Sandos Caracol is located 40 minutes from Cancun airport and only 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen town.

This resort is set in a jungle setting, surrounded by mangroves, tropical foliage, a variety of endemic animals (yes, they have monkeys on the grounds) as well as a cenote.

The resort is huge, set over a large area and holds close to 1000 rooms, so be prepared to walk!

Our experience with Sandos Caracol Weddings

This started way back in 2007! Back in the day, I (Lisa) was actually the on-site rep there for my Canadian groups and spent hours in the hotel every day.

Everyone on our team has stayed at Sandos Caracol multiple times as well as having planned countless weddings and attended several of our groups there for their events. We know the team and hotel inside out. It is a quick 15-minute drive from our office, so if you need us to check anything out, let us know!

All of the images and videos are our own, minus a couple that our friends in the weddings department shared with us (credit where credit is due!).

If you are still in the very beginning stages of planning, you may want to start reading our Complete Guide to Destination Weddings blog.

Sandos Caracol Resort Overview

Rooms: 955 rooms over 78 buildings
Adults Only Areas: yes, if you book Select Club
Exchange Privileges: with Sandos Playacar
Room Service: with every room category, except Standard rooms
Wi-Fi: free in the lobby and available in the rooms, except with Standard rooms
Restaurants:
8 restaurants, plus 24-hour snacks
Bars: 10 bars
Kid’s Club: yes, for kids 4-12
Nightclub: yes
Spa: yes
Beauty Salon: yes
Fitness Center: yes
Pools: 3 pools
Water Sports: non-motorized are included as well as a waterslide park

main reception area sandos caracol
Front desk area

Pros of the Caracol Resort

  • Great value for the price
  • Affordable wedding packages
  • Adults only areas
  • Fabulous waterpark and lots of kids activities
  • Rooms that accommodate families of 5

Cons of the Sandos Caracol Resort

  • The resort is very big and at first, seems too large
  • Some rooms can feel dated
  • Common complaints are that rooms smell humid
  • Beach water access can be rocky
  • Mangrove area can smell musty during rainy seasons
mangrove area at sandos caracol
Mangrove area

Rooms & Sections

The resort is separated into a few different sections, outlined here on the resort map.

Sandos Caracol resort map with room areas

Royal Elite

The Royal Elite area is the buildings located closest to the beach. On the map, you can see this area outlined in pink. These rooms have upgraded amenities, a VIP bracelet allowing access to extra services, and upgraded bars. All adults 18+ in the Royal Elite area, also have access to the Select Club areas.

Select Club

Select Club is the adults-only area. All guests 18+ can stay in this area, which has its own pool, one restaurant and an exclusive beach club with waiter service. The rooms are the furthest from the beach. See the yellow color on the map.

select club building exterior
Exterior of the Select Club buildings

Family Area

The family area is all the other rooms. These can be at the far back of the property and run down the length around the water park and to the beach. There is no way to guarantee one area over another. These are separated into various categories ranging from the standard rooms to the Eco Family Suites.

The standard rooms are the most basic but also the least expensive. With many Canadian companies, they may also be called the SuperSaver rooms. They do not include room service, or Wi-Fi in the room, and tend to be the ones in the far back of the property.

The Eco-Family rooms are more modern, have rooms service, Wi-Fi and all come with a king bed and bunk beds.

Families of 5 will wanting to share only one room will want to choose either the Eco Family Suite or the Eco Family Penthouse.

Choosing your room

The reason I bring up rooms first is that not only will the location affect your stay, but they all also offer varying services.

The Sandos is a budget resort and all-inclusive rates can be found for about $100US per person during the low season. This is insane value for the number of services, dining and drinking options, and inclusions.

24-hour snack bar

That said, you cannot expect a 5-star service at that price. If you are accustomed to swankier hotels, definitely pay the extra and get the Royal Elite.

If you prefer the adults-only environment and want a beach club for 18+, then get the Select Club. If you really just want a hotel with a lot of options for not too much money, the other rooms will get the job done and help you stick to a budget.

select club pool and restaurant at sandos caracol
Select Club Adults Only Pool

The Beach at Sandos Caracol

The beach is wide and the sand is soft. You can walk in either direction for miles and although I have not done it, some clients told me that they have made it to Playa del Carmen (it takes about an hour).

The water does have a few rocks on entry, so water shoes are recommended.

beach area with palm trees and loungers
Beach area at Sandos Caracol

Food & Drink

The Sandos offers access to 8 restaurants. Included in these choices are 3 buffets, an international buffet, and an Italian buffet and a Mexican buffet. There are several a la carte options including Asian, a steakhouse, Mediterranean, Brazilian, and Vegan as well as a 24-hour snack bar.

For those opting for adults only Select, that area does offer an exclusive restaurant for breakfast and lunch and then the a la carte restaurants rotate as 18+ in the evenings for those preferring childless dining options.

interior of rthe mexican buffet sandos caracol
Mexican buffet restaurant

Activities, Sports and Kids Club

There are a wide variety of activities including non-motorized water sports, tennis courts, a sports bar with pool tables and ping-pong as well as non-stop daily activities and nightly entertainment.

The kids club is available for little ones ages 4-12 where they can play in a supervised area while the grown-ups get some me time.

water park area at sandos caracol
one area of the waterpark

Exchange Privileges with Sandos Playacar

As an extra added bonus, any guests staying at Sandos Caracol have access to sister resort Sandos Playacar. You need to advise concierge, and access is available every day from 11am through until 11pm. Transport is not included, however, a taxi that fits up to 4 people costs roughly $15 (300 pesos).

The Sandos Playacar has one of the best beaches in the area, an oceanfront splash park, and a pool, as well as several restaurants you can try out.

What makes Sandos Caracol different from other resorts

The jungle vibe, the focus on nature and inclusion of the Mayan culture. Wherever you go on site, you will see wildlife, birds and the tropical surroundings have been left intact.

The grounds include a real cenote (yes, you can swim), a mangrove area filled with fish and turtles as well as a few small Mayan ruins.

Check out the Xcalacoco show which portrays the history of the Mayan culture through an impressive and entertaining show.

aerial view of the wedding cenote
Courtesy of Sandos Weddings Department – YES, you can swim in the cenote!

Weddings at Sandos Caracol

The wedding packages at Sandos are built based on 30 guests, so in the case that you will be a much smaller group, or you want something like just a simple ceremony, then you can build your own.

Starting at $3150 for 30 guests, the value is impressive. The basic 30-person package includes a private wedding ceremony, and a private 3-hour wedding reception with basic decor. With the upgraded package at $4750, you also get a one-hour cocktail party, and a DJ for the duration of your reception and a few other key inclusions.

mayan drummers at the sandos caracol
Mayan drummers during a wedding ceremony, extra add on to your package

Here is the sample package that has the most inclusions and is the most expensive:

Seaside Bliss Wedding Package

Cost: $4750US // 30 guests // Additional adults coshttps://holaweddings.com/mexico-destination-wedding-cost/t $79US per person

Need an average destination wedding cost based on more guests or different inclusions? We can help.

Ceremony inclusions: Symbolic ceremony • Ceremony setup as per resort location • Government beach permit (Mountaintop terrace at Sandos Finisterra) • 3 medium-sized flower medallions • Rose petals for the aisle during the ceremony (1 bag) • Sound system and microphone during the ceremony • 1 bouquet and 1 boutonnière, or 2 bouquets, or 2 boutonnières

Private Reception Inclusions: Private cocktail with open bar and appetizers (duration: 1 hour) • Private dinner reception with open bar (duration: 3 hours) • Basic setup and ambient lighting • Sparkling wine for the wedding toast • 3 tier custom made wedding cake • 3 centerpieces • DJ, light, and sound during dinner (duration: 3 hours)

Additional Perks: Wedding organization and personalized service from the wedding coordinators • Steaming service for the wedding outfit (arrival 3 days prior is required) • 1 make-up and hairstyle session (excludes trial) at the Sandos Spa • Commemorative certificate in the form of the “Sandos Wedding Tree” • Couple’s massage at the Sandos Spa (duration: 50 minutes) • Upgrade to next available room category (subject to availability) • Complimentary honeymoon amenities*

Extra Wedding Costs to consider

  • Photography and Videography
  • Dance floor
  • Lighting
  • Decor tweaks
  • Floral Tweaks
  • Outside Vendor Fees
  • Wedding Favors
shot glass wedding favor

Looking to save on your destination wedding? Check out this blog…

Same Sex Weddings at Sandos Caracol

YES. YES. YES. Not only are they permitted, but you can also get legally married here in the state of Quintana Roo. See more about that here…

Plus, the Sandos is one of the only hotels that actually tweaks the wedding packages to allow for two bouquets, or two boutonnieres and makes an effort to refer to the wedding couple rather than the bride and groom.

courtesy of Sandos Weddings Department

Sandos Caracol Wedding Promotions

In addition to the concessions you can earn on the room block, Sandos offers a cash back bonus based on the number of room nights your group books. With 90 room nights, they will discount $1000 off of your package, and with 180 room nights, you can get $2000 off!

Sandos Caracol Wedding Venues

There are several wedding venues available at Sandos Caracol depending on the vibe you want for your wedding and the size of your group. You can also mix and match venues if you want to have the ceremony in one location and reception in another.

sandos caracol wedding venue map
1. Tortuga Cenote // 2. Main Cenote // 3. Kapok Tree // 4. Mapache Deck // 5. Rooftop Terrace (and indoor backup // 6. Beach Wedding Gazebo // 7. Beach Area // 7. Select Club Beach Club

Need to check wedding date or venue availability? Get in touch

Cenote Wedding Venue

This cenote wedding venue is quite unique and available only at the Sandos Caracol. The wooden platform is set over the clear waters and the cenote is surrounded by vegetation.

CAPACITY: 80 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony and Cocktail Hour

basic white decor set up at the cenote for weddings at sandos caracol
Cenote wedding venue with included white set up

Cenote Wedding Venue Tips:

  • It is located next to the lobby area, so it is not completely private. However, the wedding team does cordon off the area so no one can walk by.
  • If you have a larger wedding party, you may have to consider alternate seating as 80 guests cannot be seated comfortably on the platform.
  • You need to descend steps to get to the cenote platform.
  • The platform is wooden slats, so wedge or heels will be fine but stilettos may get stuck.

Beach Wedding Gazebo

The structure for the beach wedding gazebo is not your typical gazebo. A beautiful setting for a beachside wedding.

CAPACITY: 80 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony

Unique Beach Gazebo for weddings

Beach Gazebo Wedding Venue Tips

  • Due to the shape of the domes, views of the ceremony could be partially obstructed. 45 guests can see comfortably.
  • The sand is soft, so no heels are recommended.

Beach Wedding Venue

If you prefer to get married on the sand and out in the open, there is a beach wedding venue available.

CAPACITY: 100 guests // AVAILABLE: Ceremony, Cocktail, Reception

Beach Wedding Venue Tips:

  • Entertainment Curfew: winter 11 pm, summer 9 pm
  • There is turtle nesting on the beach in this area. Therefore, during the nesting months (May through October), the curfew is modified in order to allow this process to occur naturally as artificial light disturbs the process.
  • There is a government fee to have events on the beach. This may or may not be included depending on the wedding package you choose.
  • Consider extra lighting for a nighttime reception.
  • Consider a hard surface dance floor at extra cost.
  • Sand is soft, so no heels are recommended.

Rooftop Wedding Venue

The rooftop is a spacious and very private location close to the beach. You get a nice ocean breeze and partial ocean views.

CAPACITY: 100 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony, Cocktail, Reception

Rooftop Wedding Venue Tips:

  • Entertainment Curfew: 11pm
  • Hard Surface area, so you don’t have to get a dancefloor
  • There is access with an elevator for guests that cannot manage stairs.
  • It can get quite breezy, so keep that in mind for decor plans and centerpieces, if bringing your own.
wedding reception on the rooftop terrace at sandos caracol
Rooftop by night. Anna & Adam, March 16th, 2020

Mapache Deck Wedding Venue

The mapache deck is as tropical of a location as you can get. On a wooden platform, surrounded by mangroves, you really get a jungle vibe.

CAPACITY: 60 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Cocktail hour, Reception

mapache deck used for cocktail hours and wedding receptions

Mapache Wedding Venue Tips

  • Entertainment Curfew: 11pm
  • Many guests worry about mosquitoes and insects since it is surrounded by mangroves. During rainy season (August through October is peak) there can be more mosquitoes but comments from previous brides have said that it was not an issue.
  • Consider string lights as an extra. It makes the ambiance even more magical.

Kapok Tree Wedding Venue

The Kapok Tree is a considered a sacred tree for the Mayan people. It is also known as a Ceiba Tree. This location in the very far back property of the Sandos resort and other than the rooftop, is by far the most private venue available.

CAPACITY: 100 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony, cocktail hour and reception

Kapok Tree Wedding Venue Tips

  • Entertainment Curfew: 11pm
  • This venue is far removed and there is a lot of walking involved. Please keep in mind for elderly guests or anyone with walking limitations.
  • If you are changing venues and moving your cocktail hour or reception to another venue, we recommend allowing an hour for your guests to be able to move between venues without rushing.
  • Since the venue is in the jungle, there may be mosquitoes or other insects.
  • Consider that you will have to add extra lighting for the wedding reception and this will incur an extra cost

Cenote Tortuga Wedding Venue

This is the smallest wedding ceremony venue at the Sandos Caracol. Located in a quiet area of the resort, it is a good option if you want a peaceful, tropical vibe.

CAPACITY: 30 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony

basic white wedding ceremony at the tortuga cenote, Sandos Caracol weddings
Courtesy of Sandos Weddings Department

Cenote Tortuga wedding venue tips:

  • It is in the jungle, so you may have mosquitoes or insects
  • Although the walkway is stone, it is uneven, so shoes you can easily walk in are best.

Back Up Wedding Venues

No one wants a rainy wedding day, but it is good to know what you are in for in the case that happens. The Sandos Caracol has a few different back up wedding locations and in all honesty, they are quite lovely.

INDOOR ROOFTOP AREA

This area is right behind the rooftop terrace. It is completely enclosed, has a full wall of windows and has air conditioning. It is the larger backup venue.

CAPACITY: 100 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony, cocktail hour and reception

Indoor Rooftop Area wedding venue tips:

  • This area is carpeted, so you may want to get a dancefloor as an extra

Select Club Beach House

This area is on the second floor of the beach house and can accommodate smaller groups. It has a palapa roof and ocean views, so you still get the tropical vibe of a Sandos Wedding.

CAPACITY: 100 guests // AVAILABLE FOR: Ceremony, cocktail hour, reception

select club beach club top floor

Indoor Rooftop Area wedding venue tips:

  • This is a hard surface, so no dance floor required

See a complete video playlist of the venues available for Sandos Weddings

CONCLUSION

We hope that our complete guide to Sandos Caracol Weddings was helpful. If we missed anything, let us know!

Our team is here and happy to assist. (You can get to know our team here…)

With helpful service in English, French, and Spanish, we can help groups coming from both the US and Canada find the best rates and options for your Sandos Wedding.

Still, wondering if this Sandos is the right Sandos for your destination wedding?

Have questions or doubts? Get in touch?

1-888-472-7077

[email protected]

Lisa Wright

Soccer-mom, newlywed-wife, dog-lover, yoga-doer, tequila-drinker and master-wedding-specialist-extraordinaire! At your service…

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