Monkey Island is home to nine species of primates totaling over 40 individuals. One of them speaks English, two speak Spanish, and all of them are very expressive.
Gilberto Guerra is the owner of Monkey Island. He has been operating this haven for orphaned monkeys two hours down stream from Iquitos Peru for seven years. Gilberto and his right hand man Libert Garcia raise bananas, star fruit, caimito, papaya, mamey, cacao, and other tropical fruits to feed the monkeys and the humans.
Monkey Island would be nearly self sustaining except the inhabitants have developed a special fondness for grapes which do not produce well in the Amazon Rainforest. A funny scene is watching several Woolley Monkeys separate the grape pulp from the skin. They are picky about their grapes. They don’t like skin, but they do not waste one speck of the fruit.
The species we played with on our last visit to Monkey Island were:
• Red Uacari Monkey
• Woolley Monkey
• Saddleback Tamarin
• Saki Monkey
• Dusky Titi Monkey
• Spider Monkey
• Yellow-tailed Spider Monkey
• Red Howler Monkey
You can learn a lot about monkeys at Monkey Island
I learn something new about monkeys nearly every time we visit Monkey Island. I remember the first time I took a hike across the island. The oldest Woolley was my guide. He held my hand with one of his and caught and ate spiders with his other hand the whole way. I was surprised how many spiders a Woolley eats. Of course that was several years ago before they discovered the joy of grapes.
If you choose an Amazon cruise to Monkey Island, I recommend you ask Libert to be your guide instead of the Woolley Monkey. Be sure to give him a tip. He does not eat spiders.
Bill Grimes, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises
Read a great guest post first hand account of volunteering at; A Haven for Eco-Tourism, Monkey Island, La Isla de Los Monos, by Anna Lund, and Our Visit to Monkey Island by Helen Hazelman.