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“Great Monkey Action”

La Isla De Los Monos
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A cage-free rescue center in the Peruvian Amazon dedicated to the protection and conservation of abandoned and orphaned monkeys. And the aim of the proyect is the save the life of these creatures and then send them back to their original habitad.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great Monkey Action”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Whilst when we went, it was partially flooded, the monkeys came from everywhere for the food, it is great that such a place exists for these monkey to reintegrate, adapt and learn to be monkeys again, but beware don't leave anything on the boat as the monkeys do explore it and will take off with anything in it, like our sunscreen lol we got it back.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank kerrien19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaIslaDeLosMonos, Guest Relations Manager at La Isla De Los Monos, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Hola Kerrien!
We wanted to thank you for your review! We appreciate your visit especially during the flooding. Yes, the monkeys are very curious and we find ourselves chasing them quite a bit in order to retrieve the items they sneak off with!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Diego, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“a MUST SEE in a world wonder :]”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

La Isla de Los Monos is one of the most AMAZING places I have ever visited. I had a beautiful and educational experience while visiting. I had the pleasure of seeing this island and was absolutely blown away. Despite what locals tell tourists, this island is the REAL Monkey Island. It is the recognized rescue/rehabilitation center where the monkeys are free. There is another "Monkey Island" closer to Padre Cocha that keeps animals in cages and is NOT a rescue center. La Isla de Los Monos is the real deal and worth the 45 minute speed boat ride (13 soles in price) up the Amazon to see it.

Gilberto Guerra is the owner of this wonderful center and has been dedicating his time, money, effort, and resources to these amazing animals for over 15 years. Upon arrival to the island (20 soles to visit), Gilberto shows you what life is like for the monkeys who have been brought there, introduces you to all the animals (they'll most likely want play with new visitors), and brings the tour group into a small meeting hall to teach you more about the species of monkeys he is contracted to have on the island, the area of land the monkeys are free to roam in, and the dangers these monkeys face every day in the wild. I learned so much about the reality of life for the monkeys there. The island is the perfect place for them to continue growing and thriving.

Most of the monkeys were rescued or donated to Gilberto to help better their lives. Although the monkeys are extremely friendly, they should in no way be treated like house pets. The monkeys are still wild there and need special treatment and attention. Not all can be held or fed by humans. As a visitor, I came equipped with plenty of bug spray to cover my skin and clothes, but come to find out, bug spray (especially DEET chemicals) is extremely harmful to these magnificent animals - they can become sick or even die if exposed to too much of it from humans. The monkeys love to play and meet new people - but if you visit the island, please be aware and mindful of what you put on your skin or clothes. Help preserve their health and lives by keeping your distance from the monkeys if you know if you have bug spray on.

Bug spray doesn't have to be avoided altogether because there are A LOT of mosquitoes. But if you lose the bug spray, come dressed as if you were taking a walk in the Amazonian rainforest. Wear tall rubber boots, long pants, long shirts, and long socks. This type of clothing not only helps block the sun, but tight knit/thick, long clothing will help shield mosquitoes from biting you through your clothing. I learned that the hard way.

Gilberto is known to rescue baby monkeys and they are a wonderful sight to see. If they are on the island when you visit, be very careful of the babies. They are all delicate and weaker than the older monkeys. It is best to let Gilberto handle them so they don't become scared or nervous from being around new people all the time.

As visitors, be aware of your surroundings, your purchases, and the advice you get from the locals in the city. Endangered animals are still being poached every single day - souvenirs and gifts made from animal feathers, bones, teeth, and fur should not be supported. There is plenty to see without supporting the death or injury of the wonderful Amazonian animals. Do your research before visiting. Be mindful.

This island really is a must see for anyone traveling to this location. You can spend less than half a day visiting the island and be so glad you did. Gilberto has an amazing rescue center that deserves the attention and positivity. Donations to his work and to the island are another great way to help support the monkeys. Monkeys are just like humans. They all deserve a good life. The project is worth supporting. If you spend your time and money in one place in the Amazon, La Isla de Los Monos won't disappoint you. Visit, play, observe, learn, and educate yourself with a quick trip to the island. You won't regret it.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“This is the REAL rehabilitation monkey rescue center!”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

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.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank Shannon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“AMAZING! There are 2 monkey Islands in Iquitos. This is the real one.”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

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.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Lindsey233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Aussie
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I came from Australia to see this place”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Now I have read the reviews about Monkey Island I am even more disappointed.
I was at Ceiba Tops in Sept 2012 and asked to visit Monkey Island, a priority on my trip to South America. A friend in Australia had visited in October 2011. My request was ignored and the group encouraged to viit the Animal Rescue Station. I was not even offered another way of visiting. I offered to pay whatever.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Worldtosee46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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