Abstract We report a case of schwannoma of the parapharyngeal space that could be mistaken for carotid body tumors. Our case report described a 14 year-old boy referred for evaluation of a voluminous cervical mass with dysphagia, dysphonia and dyspnea. Physical examination showed a voluminous, pulsating, latero-cervical mass on the right side of the neck with oropharyngeal compression and displacement of the right tonsil. CT scan of the neck was performed and revealed a mass measuring 7 cm × 4 cm which was solid, heterogeneous and extensive located in the right of the oropharynx without separating the internal carotid artery and the internal jugular vein. Exploratory cervicotomy was performed with excision of a rounded mass which was retrovascular, pushing the larynx to the left and reaching the base of the skull. Venous hemorrhaging during the procedure was treated by suture. Postoperatively Horner syndrome and glossopharyngeal nerve paralysis were found. The histological diagnosis was a schwannoma. No recurrence was found after 3 years of follow-up.