Tambopata National Reserve is part of the world’s largest area of continuous protected tropical forest. Located in southern Peru and accessed from the dusty town of Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata contains a high diversity of animals and plants. Part of the Amazon Rainforest, Tambopata is a great place to see monkeys from one of the several excellent Amazon tour lodges.
The types of monkeys in Tambopata National Reserve include many different species, such as capuchins, titi monkeys, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarins and others. Here we will go over some of the different types of monkeys in Tambopata and provide links to our recommended Tambopata tour lodges to see these fantastic primates in their natural habitat.
Squirrel monkeys are usually one of the first monkeys visitors to the Amazon see on their tour. These curious primates can move through the trees in large groups and are often curious enough to throw down small twigs onto people walking below showing their inquisitive nature. Ranging from Central America down to the lowest reaches of the Amazon, squirrel monkeys are a smallish monkey at around 35 cm long and feed mainly on fruits and insects.
Titi monkeys often have a brick-red fur, which makes them look like a smaller version of a howler monkey. They can often be seen feeding on fruit, flowers and leaves early in mornings and have a preference for forest near water, which makes them a frequent visitor to Amazon lakes, such as from Sandoval Lake Lodge or the lakes near both Refugio Amazonas and Posada Amazonas. Titis have a furry and non-prehensile tails and jump between branches. Usually, titis live in family groups of two monogamous parents and offspring.
Ranging from Central America to Argentina, capuchins are very adaptable and considered the most intelligent New World primate. An omnivorous monkey, they feed on a wide range of foods, which includes small mammals, including at times other monkeys, a range of plant material, and insects. There are many records of capuchins using tools to crack open nuts or other purposes. One of the first encounters of Brazil nuts by European explorers was by Alexander von Humboldt who saw capuchin monkeys cracking the nuts with stones.
Ranging from Central America to the lower Amazon reaches, howler monkeys are one of the largest New World monkeys are one of the most famous. They are also one of the favorite monkey sightings and sounds in the Amazon as their calls can reach 3 miles through the air. Hearing these monkeys is a fantastic experience in itself. A large monkey at around 90 cm in length, howler monkeys are folivores feeding on leaves, flowers and shoots.
Tamarins are another much loved monkey to see in Tambopata. Ranging again from Central America to South America, tamarins are around 30 cm long and feed of fruits and different insects. Tamarins range a lot in appearance and have some fascinating facial ornaments, such as the moustache of the moustached and emperor tamarins.
One of the largest monkeys in the New World, spider monkeys have very long arms and legs and a very useful long prehensile tail. From Central America to the Amazon, spider monkeys live in groups of around 20 individuals moving with incredible agility through the forest. They mainly feed on fruits and nuts, but occasionally feed on insects, honey and other foods.
Lodges to See Monkeys in Tambopata
There are some fantastic lodges in the Amazon Rainforest of Tambopata to head out on guided expeditions on lakes, rainforest walks, and boat trips to find the many monkeys in Tambopata and a range of other species.
The lodges can be broken up into lodges closer in to Puerto Maldonado, which are often a little more budget friendly, where you can still see fantastic wildlife and deep Amazon lodges where some of the rarer and larger animals are found.
First, let’s go over some of the best tours a little closer in to Puerto Maldonado, which because of their distance from the base town are the preferred Amazon lodge for short or budget conscious trips.
Posada Amazonas Lodge
A community owned Amazon Lodge, the Posada Amazonas Lodge provides great tours to see a range of Amazon Rainforest animals and plants, including different monkeys. Enjoy visiting lakes to find giant otters and water birds, visit the canopy tower to see toucans and different parrots, the lodge spa, and a range of additional Tambopata rainforest activities. Monkeys seen from the Posada Amazonas Lodge include saddle backed tamarins, squirrel monkeys, brown capuchin monkeys, red howler monkeys, and dusky titi monkeys.
Refugio Amazonas Lodge
Offering a very similar experience to the Posada Amazonas Lodge, at Refugio you can enjoy lake tours to find different monkeys and lake life, enjoy the canopy tower to see parrots and toucans, see parrots and parakeets at the clay lick, enjoy cultural tours, and choose from a range of extra activities, such as mountain biking, kayaking, canopy exploration, and spa treatments. Monkeys at Refugio Amazonas Lodge include saddle backed tamarins, squirrel monkeys, brown capuchin monkeys, red howler monkeys, and dusky titi monkeys.
Sandoval Lake Lodge
A fantastic lodge for a short tour, Sandoval Lake Lodge provides incredible lake tours as the glistening sparkling lake is located right on your doorstep. You can therefore be on lake tours circling the lake’s forest to find many different monkeys, lake birds, giant otters, and other wildlife early in the morning, which is the best time for wildlife viewing. The monkeys seen around Sandoval Lake Lodge include titi monkeys, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, saki monkeys and night monkeys.
Deeper Tambopata Amazon Rainforest Lodges
Now we’ll go over some of the deeper Amazon Rainforest lodge, which is where the rainforest is a lot more pristine, the wildlife is at full capacity, and rarer and larger wildlife are more often encountered. These are the lodges we recommend if you want the most incredible experience of the Amazon to see large and colorful macaw parrots, chances of seeing larger wildlife like tapir or even jaguar, and a higher variety of Amazon animals.
Tambopata Research Center
The Tambopata Research Center is a great deep Amazon lodge in Tambopata to find many different Amazon animals and Tambopata monkeys. Enjoy being close to one of the largest macaw clay licks in Tambopata and one of the largest in the entire Amazon Rainforest. In addition to wildlife, enjoy various Amazon activities, such as mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, canopy tours, and talking to macaw researchers to learn more about these fascinating birds. Monkeys to see from the Tambopata Research Center include dusky titi monkeys, squirrel monkeys, brown capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys and spider monkeys.
Heath River Wildlife Center
Heath River Wildlife Center is another deep Amazon lodge and the only lodge on the Heath River, which runs between the Peruvian Tambopata National Reserve and the Bolivian Madidi National Park. Enjoy exploring the rainforest and savannah ecosystem to see many different animals, such as macaws at the large macaw clay lick and other parrots, toucans, have a chance to see tapir at the tapir lick, and a variety of different monkeys. Monkeys at Heath River Wildlife Center, include saddleback tamarins, howler monkeys, night monkeys, spider monkeys, and tufted capuchins.