On the 26th January 2010 I wrote in my diary that “today was one of the most amazing days we´ve had so far!!” We had already conquered the Inca Trail and explored the amazon forest so what constitued writing such a big statement? We had just visited monkey island.
It was the first morning of our stay in the charming port town of Iquitos, which we had arrived to by cargo boat along the Peruvian Amazon the day before, and we were having breakfast at the Lonely Planet recommended Yellow Rose of Texas. Whilst enjoying a cup of no doubt the best coffee we’d drunk all trip, we got talking to a tour guide who was going to take us to his shop and talk to us about what we could do in the area. But just as we were getting up to go with him, a guy sitting at the table next to us piped up with “Hey, do you girls fancy seeing some monkeys?”.
Uh yes! Our new friend told us that a little way down the river there was a monkey sanctuary on an island and him and his friends were looking to get as many people together as possible to hire a boat to get there. We were sold. So we got in a mototaxi and went straight to the port!
We hired one of the motorised canoes and set off back onto the river, listening to one of the guys IPods on huge speakers. There were 9 of us in total- an odd mix but meeting friends in a cafe before 10am will do that! It took a couple of hours to get there but as we docked a monkey came straight out to greet us!
It was so cute just sitting there watching us all and welcoming us into his home. So far monkey island was living up to it’s name. And as we walked up the steps onto the island there were monkeys literally everywhere- running around your feet, swinging in the trees above you and climbing up your leg! They were very friendly, obviously accustomed to being around people, so we could just hold them and play with them, it was seriously amazing!
There were two that me and Becky absolutely loved, a big black one called Luis and a little baby one who was so adorable, although he kept trying to steal my jewelery! Just to hold their hands is amazing as they are so human like, just a tad hairier!
After playing around for ages we took a little walk into the jungle, with two of the bigger monkeys, including Luis, hitching rides on peoples heads culminating in my all time favourite picture of myself:
The guide showed us the local plants and picked up different fruits for us to try. I love impromptu education and tasting lessons! Overall the day was perfect, even more so for having been unplanned! The only thing being that now I cannot give you much information on the ‘how to’s of the day as we were not organising it ourselves. I suggest that if you do find yourself in Iquitos, head to the port and ask around about ‘monkey island’.
Tell me about any exciting impromptu trips you’ve taken in the spur of the moment in the comments below, I love to hear from you!