Monkey Island Iquitos
Deep in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest is the town of Iquitos. Home to indigenous tribes who understand the secrets of jungle medicine and a huge wealth of flora and fauna, the town is often high on travelers’ to-do list. Jungle tours take you through the dense swathes of vegetation allowing you to see, feel and breathe the Amazon Rainforest. During your Amazon River cruise out of Iquitos, you may get to venture to Monkey Island, another prominent attraction in this region.
Located just 30km from Iquitos, Monkey Island is a family run sanctuary for New World monkeys. The center rescues monkeys, rehabilitates them and then releases them back into the wild. The project is doing amazing things for these primates and we think you should go and witness it.
During your visit to Monkey Island you will see monkeys in their natural habitat, running freely, as well as animals in the process of being rehabilitated. To date the project has rescued and released over 200 monkeys and it shows no signs of slowing down.
What Does Monkey Island Do?
The monkey pet trade is a widespread tragedy that affects monkeys all over the world. Babies are taken away from their mothers and sold as pets, performers or food. When the monkeys are brought to the center, the first step is making sure they are healthy. The monkeys are often in bad condition from malnutrition and poor living conditions. They are fed the essential nutrients they need and nursed back to full health.
Once the monkeys have recovered, it is time to rehabilitate them. The new monkeys are introduced to those already on the island and live a cage free life as they build up their strength. They are closely monitored by the workers at Monkey Island. When they are satisfied that the monkey in question is fit enough then it is released into the wild.
Monkey Island Tours
The best way to experience Monkey Island is by Amazon River cruise. This will enable you to make the most of your time there and to engage in a number of different activities. A tour will allow you to watch, feed and play with the monkeys, swim in the Amazon River and enjoy a fresh, delicious lunch. You will also get a tour of the jungle and the chance to admire some of the local plant life.
Apart from an Amazon cruise, you also have the option to visit the island independently. Some people choose to spend the night at Monkey Island. This allows them to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings and to wake up in the morning to the cries of monkeys swinging from the trees around them. As sun sets, you will be able to embark on night excursions in the jungle to see what goes on beneath the canopy under the cover of darkness.
How to Get to Monkey Island
If you are on an Amazon riverboat, your cruise will take you to the island. If you are going to the island independently, then first you will need to head to Puerto de Productores where you will find a large produce market next to a harbor filled with small boats. Ask for a boat to Varadero/Mazan and hop in. The journey will take around 45 minutes and when you arrive the staff from the rescue center will pick you up in a Peque Peque (a traditional boat made of wood) and take you to the center. Entry to the centre costs 20 soles (approximately $7)
Spending time playing with monkeys in their natural habitat is a dream experience but proceed with caution. There are some fake Monkey Islands that charge much higher prices and are not genuine sanctuaries. Be sure that you are going to the real Monkey Island and that your money is being used to protect vulnerable monkeys who need our help. For more information about Monkey Island or Amazon River cruises, please contact us or call 1-888-215-3555.