Foto Friday – The Monkeys of Puyo, Ecuador

One afternoon in Puyo, Ecuador, turned out to be one of the highlights of our South American adventure.  It was the first time that either of us had been up close to monkeys.  The Paseo de los Monos is a refuge for discarded pets, and is home to 50 plus monkeys and 6 different species.  The monkeys are not kept in cages and are free to roam the forest and if you dare walk inside they will instantly befriend you (and likely try to steal from you).

Dalene and I were only supposed to spend an hour here, but ended up staying practically the whole afternoon.  They played with us, cuddled with us, and fell asleep in our arms.

We were in love.

(Even when one pooped on my pants and another peed on Dalene’s hat!)

Puyo Monkeys 001


This little fella was searching in my pockets as soon I walked in.  He stole $2 but later threw it at another monkey so I was able to get it back.

Puyo Monkeys 002


Dalene was trying to figure out a way to take Sandra home with her.

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Puyo Monkeys 004


These guys loved posing for the camera.

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Puyo Monkeys 006


And here is a little video of how crazy it can be when there are 50 some monkeys free to jump all over you.

25 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • May 27 2011

    The monkeys look really cute. I could easily spend a whole day there just watching them play around as well.

    • May 27 2011

      It was a really awesome afternoon. We came away pretty smelly and dirty from the whole experience, but it was totally worth it! 🙂

  • May 28 2011

    Such lovely little ones. Reminds me of the Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. I like the b/w shots, looks timeless.
    Sophie recently posted..The best little book shop in Girona

    • Pete
      May 29 2011

      Thanks Sophie. Ooooh, monkey forest sanctuary in Ubud? I know we’ll be hitting that up for sure when we make it over to that part of the world.

  • May 28 2011

    Gotta love the pickpocket monkey! What a great way to spend the afternoon….
    Raymond recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Try Peruvian Cuisine

    • Pete
      May 29 2011

      Yeah, he got my money fast. We were told that they have been trained to do this when they are in cities to steal from people. He did it quite well. It was just funny when he threw it at the other monkey.

  • May 28 2011


    Great photos guys, that looks like fun 🙂
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..Foto Friday – May 27- 2011

    • Pete
      May 29 2011

      Thanks Justin, it was an excellent way to spend a day.

  • May 29 2011

    Loved this place, its amazing what they are doing for these animals.
    Ayngelina recently posted..The Tower of Babel…in books

    • Pete
      May 29 2011

      Agreed. It was nice to see animals that can just roam free in the forest and not locked up in big (or small) cages. They are certainly providing a better life for them. If I remember correctly, you could even volunteer there for a while to them out with the care of the monkeys

  • May 29 2011

    Seems like a great refuge. And you both looked like you had lots of fun. I hope Pete survived the monkey attack – he appeared to have been overpowered 🙂

    • Pete
      May 29 2011

      I survived, but barely 😉 We saw another lady come into the refuge and she was swarmed by the monkeys, screamed, and then instantly left. Dalene and I had a good laugh about that.

  • Steph
    May 29 2011

    Too cute. Love the black and white pics. I don’t know if I’d like them jumping all over me though!!

    • May 30 2011

      There was one point where I turned around a monkey was literally flying through the air at me to land on my shoulder! Scared me a wee bit, but overall they were just really gentle and sweet. It was fun!

  • Haha… that video is quite funny. Great pics!
    Cam @ Traveling Canucks recently posted..Time Lapse Video – Sunrise over Ambergris Caye- Belize

    • May 31 2011

      Thanks!! I loved the video, the way the one monkey kept swinging randomly in and out of the shot!

  • Abby
    May 30 2011

    Oh, I’m such a sucker for monkey photos!!

    • May 31 2011

      Haha, so am I! We had to restrain ourselves, we have many, MANY photos from that afternoon!

  • Theodora
    May 31 2011

    Oh dear. Great cute pictures. But I still feel monkeys are evil. The defecation only confirms my suspicions…

    • May 31 2011

      Haha, thanks Theodora. I think I might believe you, that they are evil. That day, we didn’t care so much (we were having too much fun), but they did also steal money from Pete’s pockets, one ripped the earrings out of my ear, and another one named Samba kept flying at us out of nowhere (was a bit of a bully). But, us stupid tourists, kept laughing and playing along! 🙂

  • June 1 2011

    What an amazing experience! They are too cute =)
    Andrea recently posted..Road Tripping in Southwest Bolivia

  • June 1 2011

    What a cool experience. I was so excited the first time I saw monkeys in the wild in southern Mexico. It must be amazing to get so close. Great photos!

  • June 2 2011

    I love monkeys!! Great shot 🙂 Did I tell you that I looked like monkey when I was small (well, who didn’t), so my sister’s nickname to me is monkey (in Indonesian language)
    Dina recently posted..Best of Australia by Travelers Around the World

  • t-holmes
    November 17 2012

    I’m actually volunteering here for 3 months! Extremely excited and these photos/video made me even more ecstatic!

    • November 18 2012

      We were volunteering in Banos at the time – you’re going to love Ecuador! And those monkeys are so much fun. 🙂

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