We didn’t plan many trips during our holiday but Monkeyland Dominican Republic was a trip that we really enjoyed. If you have read my blog posts before you’ll know I only visit animal attractions where the animals are well looked after. I need to make sure they are not exploited and in detriment to their happiness and health. It is safe to say I did my research and then decided that Monkeyland was somewhere I was happy to visit and take my daughter to too.
So, we booked the trip for the three of us with the hotel, Dreams Palm Beach. Getting to the attraction was a little confusing, to be honest. We were picked up from our hotel as planned but then taken to a petrol station where we were moved from one bus to the next. In hindsight, it made sense to pick up from local hotels meet at a central point then go on. However, at no point at the time were we told about what was going on. Anyway, we finally got on our bus and our tour guide joined us. After a few hours in total, we arrived at the village and Monkeyland.
Monkeyland Dominican Republic – Don’t let the title mislead you
So, when you hear Monkeyland you may think of a theme park. This place is nothing of the sort. We arrived and piled into the partly covered outdoor waiting area and asked to put away our valuables. We could take our cameras and phones into the area. However, we left food or bags outside, for yours and the monkey’s safety.
Then we divided into groups and taken into the monkey area. First, we decontaminated our shoes walked through a small area and then moved to the forested path where the monkeys live. Our group lined up as instructed whilst the guide explained what would happen. Stay still, do not move around and be careful where you step. You don’t want to hurt the monkeys.
Meeting the monkeys
A call from the guide, the prospect of food and a rustling of trees. The squirrel monkeys had arrived and were happy to see their new visitors and get their lunch. We watched them climb down onto or guide and take fruit from the bowl he was holding out. Everyone had a bowl and fruit to fill it one by one. So each couple or family have individual attention by the guide and the monkeys. One thing I remember is that they are so light, lighter than a cat jumping on you to get some affection. This made me feel at ease as they were jumping around our two-year-old who was surprisingly happy about it!
We held a small metal bowl each which was filled with fruit at first. The monkeys came bounding down around us, climbing over our heads, shoulders and arms eating their fill and having fun. It was amazing and our daughter loved feeding the monkeys. She wasn,t even two at the time but still enjoyed it and talks about it now!
Further into the forest
We then moved down the path further into the forest and looking out onto the vast expanse that the monkeys called home. This time we had seeds to feed the monkeys and they were very pleased about this. There were the usual posed photos with the host, which were actually quite good, and there was plenty of time to really enjoy the company of the monkeys. They were very friendly and so relaxed which is a testimony to the Canadian owners who helped teach the monkeys to trust and enjoy the company of humans. This with 12 years experience working in Toronto zoo. The squirrel monkeys are so much fun and gorgeous to watch.
Following our visit
After the monkey sanctuary, we visited a typical Dominican house. We found out about how coffee, chocolate, and spices here are made and produced. It was an interesting little-guided walk and we got to try some local produce but it felt like a bit of a hard sell at the end of the tour.
More Photos of Monkeyland Dominican Republic
As you can see we had a fantastic time visiting these cheeky primates at Monkeyland Dominican Republic as part of our main trip of a family wedding in Punta Cana. Here are some more pictures of our lovely experience. The squirrel monkeys are amazing. Would you like to meet monkeys in this beautiful surroundings?