The Jungle Place - Tours
The Jungle Place - Tours
5
About
The Jungle Place is a licensed sanctuary for the endangered Spider Monkey. They rescue and rehabilitate orphaned monkeys who were victims of the illegal pet trade, poaching, habitat destruction and exploitation. All too often these beautiful, highly intelligent primates become victims when humans and nature collide in a natural paradise like The Riviera Maya. The in-person tours they offer to help support the sanctuary are the very definition of sustainable and ecologically responsible tourism.The owners, Heidi and Joel, are a wonderful couple who originally moved to the area to retire but instead devoted their lives to care for these rescued monkeys. They provide them with an incredible amount of love, individual attention, medical care and specialized diets, all within a beautiful and meticulously well-kept habitat right in their native jungle.Visit in-person to meet the owners and the monkeys, view the facilities and habitat, and see first-hand the level of care that your donation helps provide. Be sure to reserve your tour well in advance, as they allow only a very limited number of visits per week.
Chemuyil, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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(279 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,071 reviews
Excellent
990
Very good
40
Average
20
Poor
8
Terrible
13

Francine F
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
The Jungle Place...This was the highlight of our trip. I recommend making a reservation as they only allow two days a week for visitors with limited space. You get to interact with at around 8-10 Spider Monkeys. They climb on you, some give you hugs..,t’s absolutely amazing and Heidi & her husband with a few employees take such good care of these monkeys. All the money goes to take care of these sweet monkeys. This is a non-profit Sanctuary for these monkey. They have built the most amazing place for them to live safely with tons of space. It’s about an hour and a half to get there from Cancun.
Written February 5, 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.

product-of-canada
Toronto, Canada2,457 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This was the only activity I pre-paid for before our trip, given its infrequent availability coupled with popularity.

This was an amazing experience! It was even better than I had imagined based on photos. It is well worth the $80/USD per person cost.

This is out of the way. We got their by collective from Tulum, but had to walk briskly for about 20 minutes on a dirt road. This place is not well labelled at all with signs, and the map they give you by e-mail is poor. We had to ask a few locals if we were on the right track, and a few of them did not even know what we were talking about.

I did not expect to be at the facility for so long. I think we were there for close to 3 hours. So budget your time accordingly. The amount of time inside the cage with the monkeys was up to an hour, if I recall correctly. It was a surprisingly long period of time.

There were 8 or so monkeys in the cage with us, and 10 people.

You may be getting a lot more monkey interaction than you realize. A few of us would, at one time or another, have 3 or 4 monkeys on you all at once, including on the face. This comes with the smells too! One monkey rested its chest on my ear, and I could hear every heartbeat.

There can be monkey squabbles while inside the cage, as they compete for the food. They give you instruction on how to handle the situation. At one point two monkeys got into a squabble while standing perched on my wife and I....we had to close and cover our eyes until it was over. There is also the potential of a monkey relieving itself on you, when perched overhead. There were a couple of close calls.

My favourite moment was when a younger spider monkey came up to me, laid down on my lap, and attempted to lift my arm to cuddle it. I end my review on that note!
Written March 26, 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.

rachaelk937
Leeds, United Kingdom8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We visited the jungle place on the 8th Jan and what an experience it was!! Heidi and her husband are absolutely wonderful people. It is clear how much they genuinely care about the monkeys and the relationship they have with them is adorable and beyond measure.

The best thing about my visit was being selected as Maya’s favourite human. This meant I got all of the cuddles. Occasionally she would go to cuddle someone else but always came running back for a snuggle!
Similarly a sweet girl latched onto my partner so it is safe to say we left feeling pretty smug and content.
Before I went, I had read about Luna on here and I must say she really isn’t as bad as some of the reviews make her out to me. She does not ruin the experience at all! She is just a little bit more sensitive than the others but we need to remember this is a sanctuary and most monkey came to the sanctuary having had an bad start to life. Joel did a great job on telling us which monkey was Luna so we didn’t accidentally stroke her (and therefore upset her). You can still very much interact with her which I think is important.. she is very willing to take goodies out of your hand!!

Without a doubt I would highly recommend visiting the jungle place. It is a truly unique and wonderful experience.
Written January 19, 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.

Tonya H
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
An amazing, well cared for sanctuary run by two people, Joel and Heidi, who genuinely care for the monkeys and make their safety and well being a priority. I thought Luna was very sweet too, as long as you knew her boundaries. Joel was very good about letting us know which one she was. I was amazed at the kindness and sweetness of the monkeys. So trusting, it warmed my heart. A cuddle from a spider monkey is like a tiny miracle. An unforgettable experience that I will carry with me forever.
Written January 20, 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.

Seaside646768
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
I can’t say enough good things about this experience. Heidi and Joel, the couple who run this sanctuary are an absolute delight. They love their monkey family and have names for every single one of the 100 monkeys who live there. There is nothing flashy or touristy about this place and it exists solely to give these monkeys a happy and healthy life. My teenage daughter and I sat and cuddled with monkeys for about 2 hours, fed them treats, and learned about how this place came to be. Visit this sanctuary, you will have an unforgettable experience and your money will be going to helping Heidi and Joel take care of these amazing creatures.
Written March 14, 2024
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.

Alinstlouis
Saint Louis, MO29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
First, we have been vacationing together as a couple now for about 11 years (mostly to caribbean destinations) going on 3 or 4 excursions/attractions at least per year and this was our favorite of them ALL!! Honestly! But, we are animal lovers. This was a unique experience for us to learn about and interact personally with these fascinating sweet creatures!! If you love animals and are in Playa Del Carmen, Tulum or even Cancun, try to find time for a visit.

We want you to enjoy this as much as we did so know a few things in advance: They are lots of fun and what you are wearing is likely to be very interesting to them - jewelry, watches, flip flops, glasses, hats and stuff like that will need to be removed before going in with them. We just took our usual beach bag that we carry to the beach/pool and put our stuff in there and then put it right back on afterwards). And, apparently lotions, perfumes, repellents etc. can make these little wonders ill so maybe wait until afterwards for those too.

We made our reservations online (info@thejungleplace.com) and donations through PayPal. Both were very simple. At the time of our visit, however, the number of monkeys Heidi and Joel had taken in and were caring for had reached 116. You will see 116 keeps them busy and they work very hard, so if you don't get a response immediately please be patient. if you are lucky enough to get a reservation it will be worth it!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and if you have a few extra pesos for a tip they are immensely grateful!!
Written February 28, 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.

Andrea C
Madison, WI16 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
I hate to leave such a negative review because I have no doubt it would’ve been a fabulous experience. However, I reached out last September and received a response after a few days. David explained the process for paying and I took care of it pretty quickly. In his first email he promised to follow up via email to confirm our reservation upon receipt of payment but never did. I emailed many more times and upon arrival in Mexico, started calling every hour. I left voice mails, sent more emails, never got a response but we really wanted this experience so we took a taxi there at the agreed upon time, knowing it was a huge risk and sure enough, the gate was closed and still no answer by phone. We are so disappointed (especially by 8 year old who adores primates). We are in Mexico a few more days and desperately hope they will follow up to invite us to visit or at least refund our money. And it was an expensive taxi ride on top of it, but that’s how badly we wanted it to work out. Feeling really bummed in Akumal :(
Written January 16, 2024
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.
Hi Andrea C, we are again so sorry for the mixup. Your visit was booked in 2023 and with the change of calendar to 2024 it wasn't moved to the new calendar. Compounding the problem, the construction of the "Tren Maya" knocked out our electricity, internet and cellular service for days right at the time of your visit. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that isn't likely to occur again. We already refunded your donation last month and again we sincerely apologize for missing you. Hope you will return as soon as you can. Best regards.
Written February 23, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

huw_appleby
Cwmbran, UK73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
The whole experience was amazing from start to finish. Joel & Heidi were super welcoming from
The beginning as me and my partner were nearly an hour hour early aha.

The whole facility was beautiful, the monkeys were treated so happy and treated with the upmost in care.

The beautiful thing for me was the fact they only small numbers of people in weekly. We were incredibly fortunate as we were the only ones there for the entire week. They don’t allow anymore than 12 people for the entire week.

I loved this as they care about the welfare of the animals and not for profit etc.

I really can’t describe how brilliant it was, I’ll let you all check the photos out to see what a fantastic time we had.

I would recommend 100% you won’t regret it.
Written September 6, 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 L
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This was by far the best tour we have ever done! Heidi and Joel welcomed us into their sanctuary which is also their home. They spoke to us about how they got started and where the mi keys all come from. You can genuinely see the love and adoration they have for each and every one of their monkeys. They made a safe home for all of their animals and it was such a great feeling to know that these animals are lived for and cared for and are not just there to make money off of . We were able to go into a part of the monkeys enclosure and had 5-6 monkey come right over to us, they were so playful and sweet and they loved to cuddle and give hugs as well as sit on your head. I loved hearing the story about how Heidi and Joel got each monkey and it was fun to listen to them tell you about each and every one and their personality and likes and dislikes. We could not stop talking about our experience at The Jungle Place the entire week we were in Mexico. We are already looking forward to coming back again. This is an amazing experience and you will leave feeling so much appreciation for what Heidi and Joel have built with their monkey family. Thank you for welcoming us into your home and sharing your beautiful family with us. We look forward to our return visit!
Written May 4, 2024
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.

LTips
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Joel, Heidi, we loved you guys, the experience you provided was breath taking and indescribable. We will be back every time we come to Mexico. Folks not including this on their trip itinerary are missing out. Give (ishabelle?) Aka big mama a hug for me, she is everything sweet in the animal kingdom.

Folks going from resorts, use the collectivos, cabs will eat ya up because of "road conditions."
Written April 9, 2024
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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The Jungle Place - Tours - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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