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“Amazing place- well worth a visit”

The Jungle Place - Tours
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Chemuyil
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Amazing place- well worth a visit”
Reviewed June 15, 2014

We visited the Jungle Place whilst staying at the Grand Bahia Principe last October. I cannot rate this place highly enough. Both myself and my husband are huge animal lovers so this was perfect for us.

Booking- book really early. There are only a few sessions a week and the numbers are really limited. I booked by email a couple of months before our trip and Heidi came back to me within a couple of days each time. Paid using paypal in advance and whole process was really easy. A couple of people mentioned when the tried to book Heidi was a bit abrupt on the phone/ email. Don't be put off- she is lovely, perhaps more of an animal person than a people person but when you meet her she really is wonderful.


Getting there- get a taxi! We have been to Mexico several times and regularly use the collectivos (little white minibuses that run up and down the main road) but this place is quite literally in the middle of the jungle so is up several miles of very rough dirt tracks. It was a little alarming when our taxi driver told us to stay in the back of the car until he told us it was safe to get out but it turns out there are number of wild dogs in the area so it was good advice. The taxi driver waited for us for the 2 hours we were there for no extra charge.

Its really important that you don't wear any sunscreen or mosquito repellent when you go. Both of there contain chemicals that are really harmful to the monkeys. Heidi will ask you when you get there and will shove you in the shower if you have them on. Also, don't wear any jewellery/ hairclips/ watches etc. you will need to take these off before you go in with the monkeys. Flip flops are not great as the monkeys might try to take. Also, don't wear anything really nice (you are going in with moneys after all!). But make sure you take your camera- a point a click one is best ie not a super duper one or a camera phone (will explain more later).

After you do a brief induction you will go in into the enclosure and sit on the floor. Its a bit snug but as long as everyone bunches up its fine. The monkeys that want to then come up to you and sit on you/ lie on you/ some even fell asleep on us. Just watch out for Luna who has a real attitude and doesn't like to be touched- Heidi and Joel will keep you right. You also take in some treats for them and they soon come up to you to get the goodies. You will see that the monkeys naturally go to some people more than others but just be patient- they didn't come straight up to me at first but by the end they were lying down and falling asleep on us.

Just before you go in Heidi and Joel take a camera from each couple/ group and just take loads of pictures of everyone. They each hold several cameras so it much easier if you have an easy point and click with a wrist strap. At the end you swap email addresses so that people can share the photos. We got some amazing photos and didn't have to pay a penny, unlike lots of other commercial ventures.

Heidi and Joel are obviously very passionate about what they do and this shines through when you meet them. We had an amazing time at the Jungle Place and hope to return when we are next in Mexico.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Louise P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“If you do one thing in Mexico....”
Reviewed June 10, 2014

If you do on thing while you're in Mexico- do this! We made the 90 min drive from Cancun, and it was more than worth it.

First of all, the owners Heidi and Joel are two wonderful, passionate people running this sanctuary. You are happy that any money you spend visiting them will go straight to the monkeys who they raise as their children.

The monkey's themselves are wonderful. All with different personalities. Some want to cuddle up to you, some want you to play with them, some just want to play with your hair. Each one is adorable, and we've never experienced wild animals up close like this. I doubt you could get such an experience anywhere else in the world.

I would recommend this place to anyone who comes to Mexico. It will be the best you do... Guaranteed!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Amazing Hidden Gem”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

My husband and I visited on 25th May after researching things to do near Playa Del Carmen. We stayed at the Grand Bahia hotel and it was about a 15 minute taxi ride so the location of Chemuyil could confuse you.
Heidi and Joel were so passionate it was infectious, they were really helpful and friendly. We are so grateful to have experienced this place I would highly recommend it to anyone. I am currently sorting through photos to share with the rest of our group. My husband had the experience of a monkey snuggling into him for a nap and I was groomed! Wonderful animals and a refreshing change from people on the street trying to charge you for a photo with a mistreated animal. I also liked the idea that the monkeys were totally put first , sometimes in tourism welfare gets put to the back ground but not here.
One thing to remember you cannot wear sun screen or insect repellent you will be asked to wash it off but don't worry as you are in shade and we didn't have any bites .
Thanks again guys
And anyone considering visiting here - DO IT!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Lucy_Dolan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boylston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“We love this place!”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We have visited the Jungle Place several times in the past few years but this time we traveled with our two granddaughters (ages 9 and 12), our daughter and her 16 year old son and a very good friend from our resort. Everyone was amazed at how well it is run. Even though the number of monkeys has increased dramatically since our first visit (from 22 monkeys to 66) the place is so clean. Baby Aurora has been on round the clock feedings and I'm surprised to see how well Heidi and Joel function on so little sleep. They are truly amazing! They make everyone feel so welcome and are so accommodating. Even when guests showed up who they weren't expecting (small glitch with Paypal) they were able to let them join the rest of the group. To us, Heidi and Joel aren't just friends, they're family and we love them!!!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank dolphin_lady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
491 reviews
236 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Make your reservations months ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Make your reservation months in advance to be sure you don't miss out on this very rare experience. They keep the group small ..10 max and only a couple tours a week to no overwhelm the monkeys. I have always loved animals and it was a dream come true for me. In the end you will be so glad you did this and it's so worth the price and hassle finding it. Our first visit we were a bit concerned about getting in the cage with the monkeys but after just minutes we felt very comfortable. The owners are right there to guide you through what do and not do.
Getting to this place is the problem since none of the resorts offer it as an excursion. Google maps isn't as helpful but email them for directions or email us. Either way your going down a pretty rough dirt road and it looks isolated ... but hey thats part of the adventure. You have to find your own way either by renting a car or going by taxi. Both times we rented a car which we had heard all sorts of horror stories from corrupt police to drug dealers with guns. But Thrifty car company is who we had trouble with Double billed us and identity theft charges of 1900 US... before going google thrifty and Mexico and you will see it's not a isolated issue.
Another couple thought to bring fruit to donate ... I wish we had thought of that. Our resort had given us a fruit basket that just went to waste. So bring fruit if you can and have a wonderful time.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank chattygirl7491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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