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“Monkey Close Ups”
Review of Monkey Island

Monkey Island
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Soberania National Park, Monkey Island and Indian Village from Panama City
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Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise
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Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
Ranked #17 of 174 things to do in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located in Lake Gatun, this island gets its name for the white-faced monkeys that inhabit it.
Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Monkey Close Ups”
Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

Definitely the more interesting way to "be in the canal". The boats that take you out there play a neat trick with the monkeys where they put peanuts on the prow of the boat and the monkeys jump in and eat them. Never seen anything like it, but definitely worth your time.

3 Thank netia1128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 6 Contributor
580 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

A long bus ride with great commentary from our guide. We arrived at the dock and were split into two groups. Access to the boat was not easy as the river was bumpy. A high speed ride along the canal was fun but any commentary was drowned out by the engines at the back.
The monkey watch was fun and we drifted around small islands and we saw some very active monkeys of various types.
Another high speed ride back to the dock followed by a drive back to Colon to meet the ship.
Worthwhile trip.

Visited November 2013
Thank brian_uk12000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Bring binoculars!”
Reviewed October 3, 2013

We went with the Gamboa Rainforest Resort's tour which is listed as "Gatun Lake Tour". Prior to going, I read a lot of reviews saying the monkeys jump in your boat so I was really excited to get up close and personal with the monkeys but unfortunately, this no longer happens. On the official monkey island, there is only one white-faced monkey living there. I asked the guide what happened and he said about two years ago, a family of white-faced monkeys lived on the island but since the construction of the new canal started, the sediments have created the island into a peninsula connecting it to the mainland and the monkey family left. The guide said it was more fun back in the days when the monkeys jumped into the boats. I can only imagine as I wish I got to experience that. Despite that, the tour is still fun, you still go to other parts to look for howler monkeys which we saw a lot of but they like to hang out up in the trees so having binoculars are really helpful. There's a third species of monkey that is the smallest in the region that you can also see but unfortunately, they didn't come out during our tour.

Just set proper expectations for what you will see and how close you will get to see them. There's a lot of animals that you'll see during this trip but it may not be as close as you want.

Visited October 2013
4 Thank mhhime20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fun, But Not as Many Monkeys.”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We took a tour of monkey island through a tour company based out of Panama City. We had a great time on our tour, and we did see monkeys, there just wasn't as many as we had hoped for. Though we seem to have seen more than some people have said. But as many other reviewers have mentioned, or tour guide explained that the original monkey island no longer exists due to the construction on the canal. We did however see lots of other animals and birds, as our guide seemed really good at spotting the wildlife. We especially enjoyed seeing all the baby animals.

Visited September 2013
Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

This was a wonderful experience. You go on a small boat on the Chagres River and Gatun Lake to 4-5 islands and view the wildlife. We saw capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, crocodiles, and many birds. It was so very interesting to see these animals, reptiles, and birds in their own habitat. Great picture taking opportunities. Guides were knowledgeable and very nice.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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