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Amazon Rainforest Monkeys Seen On A River Cruise

  |   Wildlife & Flora

Many people travel to the Amazon Rainforest to view monkeys in their natural habitat. Maybe it’s the close relation to our own species that make us fascinated by these furry creatures, whatever the reason may be, the Amazon rainforest is home to various species of primates. The most common being the Howler, Spider, Squirrel, Capuchin, Tamarin and Marmoset. We’ve put together a few facts about each monkey species that you will most likely see on your Amazon River tour


Howler Monkey

1. Howler Monkey

Even though Howler Monkeys are the largest primates in the Amazon Rainforest, you will most likely hear them before you see them. Due to their enlarged hyoid bone, Howlers have a very distinctive territorial call that can be heard up to three miles away! They are also thought to be the loudest land animal in the world. There are 15 species of Howler monkeys that are native to Central and South American rainforests, primarily the Amazon jungle. The species live in groups of six to 15 animals, with an approximate 1 male to 4 female ratio. They rarely fight physically amongst each other and when they do, it doesn’t last very long. 

Fun Fact: Howler monkeys can smell out their food (fruits and nuts) up to 2 km away! 


Spider Monkey

2. Spider Monkey

Spider monkeys spend most of their time up high in the jungle canopy where they can find fruits, plants and seeds to eat. They get their name from their long arms and legs. They are easy to identify because of their even longer tail! Spider monkeys are fairly large in size, weighing up to 11 kilos (24 pounds). There are actually dozens of spider monkey species that live in the rainforests of Central and South America, three of them however, are threatened. The brown-headed spider monkey (Aleles fusciceps), the brown spider monkey (Aleles hybridus) and the northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) are critically endangered, with habitat loss as the cause in all three cases.

Fun Fact: Spider Monkeys have a bigger brain than Howlers (Howler Monkeys are the largest in size in the Amazon), making them one of the most intelligent primates in the Amazon region! 

Squirrel Monkey

3. Squirrel Monkey

The Squirrel Monkey is the most frequently seen primate in the Amazon jungle. They are very small, weighing 3 pounds, and live in huge groups (sometimes up to 500 monkeys). Squirrel Monkeys are omnivores and primarily feed on fruit and small insects. In the late afternoon, they are frequently spotted migrating through the jungle canopy, they are hard to miss since they make quite the noise jumping rapidly from branch to branch. Two squirrel monkey species are threatened, the Central American squirrel monkey and the black squirrel monkey.

Fun Fact: Unlike other primates, their tail is not used for climbing, instead, it is used as a balancing pole. 


capuchin monkey

4. Capuchin Monkey

There are dozens of capuchin monkey species that inhabit rainforests throughout Central and South America. They are primary seen in the Amazon rainforest, however, some species also live in northern Argentina. Capuchin monkeys are small, weighing up to 9 pounds (4.5 kilos), however they are very clever. Along with spider monkeys, they are considered to be very intelligent primates. Capuchin monkeys live in groups of 10-35 and are always lead by a dominant male.

Fun Fact: Female Capuchin Monkeys bear young every two years. Baby Capuchin monkeys are very dependent on the mother since male capuchins rarely take part in caring for the young. The babies cling to their mother’s chest and once they are too big, the move to her back. 


Tamarin Monkey

5. Tamarin Monkey

Tamarin monkeys are very strange in appearance. Although there are dozens of species, their moustache like facial hairs are typical for almost all. Tamarins are very small in size, making them very quick movers from tree to tree in the rainforest canopy. When young are born, the entire group assists in caring, this includes the males and other young monkeys. They assist in bringing the young to their mothers when they need to nurse. They often also assist in bringing food for a nursing mother. 

Fun Fact: Tamarin births are almost always twins! 

marmoset monkeys

6. Marmoset Monkey

The Marmoset monkeys are very small in size, growing up to 20 cm (8 inches). These monkeys are considered to be more primitive than other monkeys in the Amazon region. They have claws instead of nails, their brain layout is underdeveloped, their body temperature is unusually varied and they lack wisdom teeth. Marmoset monkeys are very active in the jungle canopy. They live in groups of 15, with 2 breeding females. 

Fun Fact: Due to their small size, many Marmoset monkeys can truly go to the very top of the rainforest canopy. They hunt for many insects that are abundant in the jungle’s treetop. 


If you have anymore questions regarding monkeys in the Amazon jungle, or wonder in what regions of the Amazon you will most likely spot Howler, Spider, Squirrel, Capuchin, Tamarin and Marmoset monkeys, contact us! We are also happy to help with planning your Amazon River tour in Peru, Brazil or Ecuador. 

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Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


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