We all know a theme park that’s home to an oversized mouse and his furry friends. But, how about one dedicated to a friendly bunch of Dominican monkeys?
Monkeyland in Punta Cana is one of the best excursions for visitors to this area of the Dominican Republic. And, as Punta Cana is a top destination for US tourists, attracting 17.2 percent of American travelers each year, Monkeyland is a popular family-friendly day out.
And, the best part is that a visit to this incredible nature sanctuary is part of a half-day safari tour, where you’ll be shown a range of Punta Cana highlights by your knowledgeable local guide. All you have to do is wait for them to pick you up at your resort!
If you’re headed to the Dominican Republic soon, here’s everything you need to know about planning your day at Monkeyland Punta Cana.
What to Expect at Monkeyland
Monkeyland isn’t your average nature sanctuary. It’s located deep in the jungle region of the Dominican Republic. As such, it offers a natural habitat for the 20 or so squirrel monkeys who live there.
Spanning five acres of lush countryside, Monkeyland is managed by a Canadian couple with over 35 years of experience working with animals, including 12 years at the Toronto Zoo. But, don’t expect to see the monkeys behind bars or in cages as you would at a zoo. The whole site is home to these Dominican Republic monkeys, who bound about freely, just as they would in any jungle.
Since these cute and curious creatures are used to humans, you shouldn’t be surprised if they swing down and want to make friends. And, they’re also a lot better behaved than the monkeys terrorizing the city of Lop Buri in Thailand!
Of course, the visit to Monkeyland is only one of the highlights on the 5-hour tour. Read on to find out more about your itinerary.
Your Monkeyland Day Planned Out
The Dominican Republic is home to some of the most popular beaches in the world, including those on stunning Saona Island. But, if you’re traveling with kids, or you want to incorporate some monkey adventure into your Punta Cana trip, then the Monkeyland tour is a must.
Here’s a full rundown of how the trip is organized:
A new, brightly painted safari bus will pick you up at your Punta Cana resort. On the way to the first stop, you’ll get to know the local guide who’ll be showing you around.
Be prepared for an early start – the departure time is between 7 am and 8 am, depending on which resort you’re staying in.
As it’s a 5-hour trip, this early departure ensures you’ll be back at your hotel by lunchtime. And then, you’re free to while away the rest of the day on the beach or by the pool. After all, you are on holiday!
Dominican Country House and Plantation
The 5-hour tour begins with a visit to a typical country house and plantation where you’ll be able to mingle with the Dominicans.
Here you can meet the local farmers and learn all about the organic farming methods they use to cultivate the finest cinnamon, cacao, coffee and vanilla. As well as tasting some of these local delights, you’ll also get to try fresh tropical fruit plucked straight from the tree.
And, since no trip is complete without a souvenir, you can also purchase some of these products to take home with you.
Monkeyland Dominican Republic
After the first stop, the tour then proceeds down a mountain road deep into the Dominican jungle as we make our way to Monkeyland.
You’re then sure to ‘go ape’ when you see the entrance to Monkeyland, our final stop. And remember, the tour includes entrance fees for Monkeyland so you don’t need to worry about paying when you get there.
Your knowledgeable local guide will then lead you on a 45-minute tour of the monkey sanctuary. During the tour you’ll have the chance to watch and even feed the monkeys. These curious and charming creatures love coming down to welcome their visitors and will happily sit on your shoulder and eat from your hands. And, the monkeys here also love to pose for the camera, especially for selfies.
As well as interacting with the monkeys, you’ll get to walk around the beautiful surroundings they get to live in. The tour will take you through the colorful botanical garden where you’ll see the native fruit trees, medicinal plants and flowers of the Dominican Republic. Plus, Monkeyland boasts some pretty impressive mountain views.
Then, once you’re finished monkeying around, the tour ends with transport back to your hotel.
Packing and Preparation
Any good tropical vacation packing list includes some loose and comfortable clothes, so make sure you wear these on your trip to Monkeyland. Comfortable shoes are a must too, but sneakers are a better choice than flip flops for an excursion like this.
Obviously, you’ll want to take your camera for some great monkey shots. But, we’d recommend one with a wrist strap so you can keep hold of it easily.
Bottled water is included in the excursion, as is the foods you’ll try at the plantation, but you might want to take a snack too. Although the entrance fee to Monkeyland is included, bring some extra money for tips and souvenirs.
And, last but not least, DO NOT put on any sunscreen or insect repellent. If you’re worried about getting burnt or bitten, just make sure to cover up in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
Book Your Trip to Monkeyland Punta Cana
There aren’t many places in the world where you can cozy up to cute monkeys who are used to human contact. But, at Monkeyland Punta Cana you can be sure of a friendly welcome from these Dominican monkeys. Not to mention some great photo opportunities!
And, now you know what to expect from your monkey adventure, all that’s left for you to do is book your Monkeyland tour!