La Isla De Los Monos
La Isla De Los Monos
4.5
About
A cage-free rescue center 30km from Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon, dedicated to the protection and conservation of abandoned and orphaned monkeys. We rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild monkeys orphaned through the illegal animal trade. Visit us by yourself using local transport or get in touch with us to book one of our full day or overnight tours and see behind the scenes at our rescue centre.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles506 reviews
Excellent
369
Very good
98
Average
28
Poor
8
Terrible
3

vipefi
Helsinki, Finland38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
A wonderful place. It seemed completely legit, compared to some other rescue centers I've seen in the past. The staff was professional and friendly, and the guidance was of great quality. We had some chats with the volunteers as well, and they all were positive about the way this place is run.

But be prepared, it's quite heartbreaking to spend time with these lovely & cuddly rescued monkeys — and imagine what they've been through.

A warm recommendation to donate/visit/volunteer.
Written November 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mischlchen
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
It was really hard to get there. The office was closed and they are renovating the port. It was hard to find but luckily somebody helped me. At the boat I was waiting for two hours as they just leave when they are full. But it was worth every second!

The isla is beautiful. It’s an amazing place and how they treat the monkeys and help them is just really nice to see.

The monkeys come really close and love to interact with you. Which was a lot of fun. I love that the monkeys are all free and that they all care so much about them!

Our guide was pretty amazing and told us so many interesting things. Also the other people working there were extremly friendly.

I really recommend you to go to this place. They do a great job and it’s an amazing experience!
When I’ll ever be back in Iquitos. I definitely go there again.

Only downside was the boat back. They told us that they organised the boot but that we have to wait for another couple. It would be like 10 minutes. It ended up being more than half an hour as they started way after us. But we got to spend the wait with the monkeys which was really nice!
Written December 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annika
Frankfurt, Germany4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
Vistiting this place was wonderful! I really loved meeting the monkeys and interacting with them. They are really lovely animals that enjoy being near you. Also the staff was very nice and they showed and explained us everything. I really recommend visiting this wonderful place!!:)
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

danadane0610
Los Angeles, CA1,061 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
This was one of the highlights of my trip! This place was amazing. I’m an animal lover so I’m always very concerned about the treatment of the animals. They treated the monkeys so well! During the whole time I had a monkey asleep on my back! We all did as we walked through the amazon. I didn’t want to leave this place. What an AMAZING EXPERIENCE! This is MUST DO when visiting Peru!!!
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DudesAdrift
Dallas, TX328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Refuge is well maintained, animals are cared for well. Lets you get up close and personal to a number of native monkey species. The volunteer staff are all great. They give you plenty of photo opportunities and you can really tell they love the animals.
Written March 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon N
Honolulu, HI39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Friends
I just volunteered at La Isla de los Monos Rescue Center for 25 days and it was an amazing experience.
Going to the Amazon, you want to see animals i am sure.... BUT YOU HAVE TO BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHERE YOU GO TO SEE THEM.
The area is extremely fragile and the animals are endangered. If you pay to hold a monkey or take a picture with an anaconda, you could be supporting the illegal animal trade and killing a species.
PLEASE BE AWARE WITH WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES!

This island is a government recognized monkey rescue center. The monkeys on this island are rescued and wild and even though they are used to humans and some are extremely friendly, it is a Rescue center first and not a pet zoo or tourist attraction.
Tourists are welcome to come and interact with the monkeys and chances are you will end up with 1 or 2 monkeys on your head :)

When you are in Iquitos, and want to get to the island, make sure you are going to the real Monkey Island and not the one that is close to town, near Padre Cocha, and calling itself "monkey island" to get tourist's money.
The real island is a 45 minute Speed boat ride (13 soles or$5US) from the Puerto de Productores and another 10 minute boat ride (5soles or$2US). . The speed boat drivers will know the island if you ask them!

Some things you need to know before going:

~The Monkeys are wild! They can bite and they are not tamed or domestic. BUT some are very friendly and if they come up to you and accept to interact with you, it is the best experience ever!

~There are mosquitos! and depending on the season they can be bad, BUT please, if you are wearing DEET or bug repellent, be aware of your contact with the monkeys! It is poisonous and they can get very sick, and even die if they come into contact with it.

~Gilberto Guerra is the owner of the center and is FULL of information on these monkeys. He will show you the ins and outs if you ask him and will sit you down and teach you about the area and the people, animals and culture.

~It is 20soles to visit ($8US) and the money goes directly to the care of the facilities and mainly the feeding and medical attention the monkeys. There is also a donation box that you can leave anything extra you might have. Being there for almost a month, I realized the donations are all they have to support this place and you could really save a life.

~There are probably babies on the island! Gilberto loves to show the babies and their stories but please be careful, they are fragile and it is probably best not to hold them while they are still young and getting used to their new home. Most have been truamatized and injured.

~Get Gilbertos number from the website and have your hostel or hotel call before you go so he can have the boat ready for you!

~If you want to volunteer, they need all the help they can get and it is very affordable and an amazing experience.

~If you love the amazing Flora of the Amazon, this Island is an amazing place to explore! Bring your rubber boots!

I hope you visit and I hope you fall in love, the Amazon is an amazing place and I am sure thats why you want to visit, but it is also up to us, the people who think it is so incredible, to respect it and TRAVEL SMART. Be aware of what you are buying: No animals skin or bones. Be aware of where you visit: No "zoos" or "serpentarios". What is happening to these animalsis 100% ILLEGAL, the bone necklaces arent coming from naturally deceased animals, they are killed. The sloths in the ecolodges arent choosing to be there, they are captured. The rescued animals go to rescue centers! Please be smart with where your money goes I cant say it enough!!

PLEASE BE AWARE.

Also I stopped by the police station in town to complain about the amount of endangered spieces i saw killed and for sale in the markets. I wrote a complaint and gave it to the police chief. If you are as concerned as me when you are there, take the 10 minutes and do the same. It only takes one person to make a change. Be that person.
Written February 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lindsey233
Los Angeles, CA154 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Friends
My friends and I just spent a month volunteering on La Isla De Los Monos and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Gilberto, the owner, is a shining light in the jungle who has dedicated 15 years of his life to rescuing monkeys in the Amazon. His island is recognized by the government as a legitimate rescue center. He is allowed to have 8 species on the island (spider monkey, woolly, howler, tamarin, saki, titi, red uakari, and marmoset).

It's very important to know that THERE ARE TWO MONKEY ISLANDS in Iquitos. One is a serpentario that uses the name "La Isla De Los Monos" (it's real name is Las Boas) to attract tourists. Their monkeys are in cages and are not treated well at all. Boat drivers receive a commission to take tourists to this "monkey island" which is close to Padre Cocha. They spread rumors that the monkeys here are sick and unhealthy which, if you visit, you will see that nothing could be farther from the truth. Gilberto's island is about protecting the monkeys and they always come first. The real La Isla De Los Monos is a 45min speed boat (2hrs by slow boat) ride up the river (30km). He does not have a giant anaconda, that is the other one. This is a known scam in Iquitos that unfortunately tricks the majority of tourists.

The animals on La Isla De Los Monos are not kept in cages and they all are free to leave and disperse into the jungle if they want to. The majority of the monkeys that you will see are woollys since they are lazy and greedy and stick around because they know they will get fed. The Red Uakari's are the only monkeys in an enclosure because they are aggressive with other species. They are let out for exercise though and are treated very well.

The monkeys are extremely friendly and have no problem jumping on you, especially if you have food. Antony, the spider monkey, loves visitors and attention and will probably grab your hand and show you around the island. There are currently several babies that you can see, but it's best not to hold them. We saved a 4 month old Woolly monkey named Neeko while we were there. He had ammunition wounds on his tail (from the bullets that killed his mother) and a broken toe. We nursed him back to health and he is in the process of recovery. If you see him, tell him I said hi :)

After you walk around the island and play with the monkeys, Gilberto teaches you about them in his learning room and explains how he keeps the place running. It's very interesting and informative and you leave with an understanding of how important his work is.

It is a very rare experience to interact with monkeys in the way that you are able to on La Isla De Los Monos. I highly recommend the visit. But please, if you are wearing deet, be aware of your contact with the monkeys! It is poisonous and they can get very sick, and even die if they come into contact with it. There are mosquitoes though! If you are visiting in the rainy season, wear long sleeves and pants. Also know that they are wild animals, not pets. Do not grab them and if the guides tell you that one bites (Sueca the howler monkey is known for this) don't be surprised if they do. It's best to sit down and let them come to you. Many have been around humans since they were babies so they will have no problem sitting on you. Bring bananas or apples if you want to be popular!

You don't need a guide to visit. Contact Gilberto by phone or email before you want to come. His contact info is on the website. Then, you can catch a speed boat from the Producers Port (NOT Port Bella Vista Nanay) and get off at Mazan. From there, Gilberto will have a small boat waiting for you to take you across the river to the island. The speed boat is 13 soles ($5) and the small boat is 5soles ($2). It costs 20 soles ($8) admission to Monkey Island and the proceeds go directly to the care and handling of the monkeys. Trust me, we spent many day trips buying banana's with the money :)

If you want to see wildlife in Iquitos please do so responsibly by supporting the rescue centers, and not the tourist attractions/serpentarios! The animals at these places are acquired illegally and the mothers ALWAYS have to be killed in order to take a baby. Please consider the future ramifications of supporting illegal businesses!! Tourists are a huge income generator and we do have a say for what we want to see.
Written February 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sharissa j
Edmonton, Canada54 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
This was our first outing while in Iquitos, and it was an amazing day! The monkeys are all very curious and playful, and will climb all over you looking for piggy backs and cuddles! We couldn't stop smiling the whole time while we were there. Unfortunately I don't remember our guide's name, but he was super friendly and all smiles, you could tell he loved being there. He mostly only spoke Spanish which was too bad because we're only learning so it was tough when we had questions, but other than that he did a great job of showing us around!

Since it was a bit tough for us to find directions there, I'm posting them here to help out others because this place is definitely a must-see!

1. Head to Puerto Productores (take a Mototaxi for a few soles or walk, it's in town)

2. Take a rapido (public speedboat) to Mazan/Indiana, which is about a 45 minute boat ride. Make sure to leave a lot of time for this, because the boats don't leave until theyre full. The boat ride is 15 soles one way.

3. From Mazan/Indiana, you need to call ahead to the reserve for the second boat to pick you up. The store owner to the left hand side has a phone and the number, so if you aren't able to get a hold of the reserve ahead of time, ask there, most locals are happy to help.

4. It should be a 20 minute wait for a second smaller boat to show up, which will take you to Isla de Los monos! You pay this driver one the way back to Mazan after your tour, so it should be 10 soles total for both ways.

Enjoy Isla de Los monos! It costs 10 soles to enjoy the reserve.

To get back you just head back the way you came, the whole day should cost 60 - 70 soles per person.
Written May 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caitlyn Rubio
La Plata, MD67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
While planning our trip to Iquitos, visiting the real La Isla de Los Monos was my main goal! I wanted to be able to hold and learn about all the monkeys that the rescue center has. I was sooo happy that we came here! I got to hold so many monkeys!!

My husband and I had no idea how we’d get there and I knew we’d figure it out upon landing in Iquitos because I’d already had an idea based off of trip advisor reviews.

First, EVERY mototaxi we had tried to get us to do a tour with them or with their company. We speak Spanish, so that could be why. But it was crazy! They know who’s a tourist and they know what to say to try to get you to spend TRIPLE the price for tours.

My husband told a couple different mototaxi drivers that we wanted to go to la isla de Los Monos and two told us that it was WAY too far (they each exaggerated saying it would take 2-3 hours) and that it would cost us each 250 soles to get there. One guy offered to take us both for 250 soles on his personal boat. My husband almost wanted to do it until I talked him out of it! Not only is this expensive, but it’s super dangerous! Who knows where he’d take us. I told my husband we were going directly to the local office in Iquitos (the address here trip advisor)

When we got there, they weren’t open yet but they had a sign taped to the door in English and Spanish explaining EXACTLY how to get there with a phone number for an employee, Hugo, who has a boat and will pick you up.

We took a mototaxi to Puerto de Productores, went through the market and down the left stairwell all the way to the boats. We let them know we were going to La Isla de Los Monos and the guy driving the boat called the owner to let him know we were going. We also called Hugo with the name of the boat we were on. We paid 17 soles for the speedboat which took us to puerto Varadero (?). It took about 40 min to get there. When we got there a boat with the name La Isla de Los Monos was waiting for us. We paid 10 soles to get to the island. And we got back the same way.

It took us about an hour to get there and about 50 soles each. The locals will try to scam you and trick you into going to a different place. Not only is it more expensive but it’s also dangerous because you’re going with a random person rather than a public boat. I highly recommend going to the real la Isla de Los Monos !!
Written March 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YancyCaruthers
Lima, Peru2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Family
The sun was up, but still below the trees as the short, squarely built man cut the throttle on the small boat. He bore no expression, his features looked much like the old totems that pre-dated the Incas by a century or two.

The morning light revealed movement on the shore, as small brown humanoids gathered, adding to their numbers two or three at a time. Some of the group stood still and watched us, while others were rapidly in motion, darting from side to side. The tiny craft slid up onto the bank with the whoosh of aluminum on soft mud, and we stepped out.

I had never seen so many monkeys outside of legislative session. Monkey Island, a primate refuge on the Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru, contains about 75 monkeys of various species, roaming freely, and ready for interaction with humans.

I soon met Felipe, a common wooly monkey, after he held out his hand to me as if to shake it. Once he had my hand, he immediately vaulted up my body and landed on my shoulders. I then began exhibiting symptoms of an interesting speech defect that only occurs when one tries to hold a monkey: I began repeating the words, “Monkey, stop it, monkey, no, monkey, quit” in some variation over and over. Since Felipe effectively had four hands and could hang on with his tail, within the first five seconds he had grabbed by sunglasses, my hat, untied one of my shoes, and explored every one of my pockets. I managed to keep everything, but had I sneezed at the wrong moment, Felipe might have robbed me blind. Once Felipe decided I didn’t have anything he wanted, he settled down and let me hold him like a child, even though he tried to bite me a couple more times when I stopped paying him constant attention.

As we walked along though the gaggle of hilarity, I got the bright idea that I could hold a second monkey, a spider, in my other arm. Apparently this violates some law of quantum monkey physics - two monkeys cannot occupy the same space at the same time. The two decided to engage in a full-blown monkey fight, without actually dismounting the human (me). A third monkey cheered this on, and he looked a lot like Don King.

My youngest daughter, 11, was having fun of her own. Too small to hold a monkey, she was being led around after a spider monkey discovered it could use its tail to hold on to her arm.

After a brief tour and some free time in the exercise yard, we were brought inside a small structure, where a tiny, diapered baby monkey was passed around and snuggled.

While I could have stayed here for a week, it was soon time to stop monkeying around and move back to the boat. I looked around for Felipe, but he had already moved on, so we headed out to the next chapter of our Amazon Adventure.
Written June 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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La Isla De Los Monos - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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