The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud is a bucket list spot for many people travelling to Bali. Here’s what you need to know when planning your trip.
Fancy stepping into a magical (yet extremely terrifying) world where monkeys run wild? We thought so. You need to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud in Bali. This lush green forest is home to over 600 long-tailed macaques, and you can watch these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.
The monkeys are known for being playful and mischievous, and they often steal food from unsuspecting tourists. However, they are also very intelligent and social animals, and they can be a lot of fun to observe (even if, like us, you decide to watch from a distance.)
Get ready for a deep dive into Bali’s monkey forest – here’s what you need to know before you visit.
What to Know Before You Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
The entrance fee to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is 80,000 IDR (around $5.50 USD). You can buy tickets at the entrance to the forest, or you can purchase them in advance online.
If you’re planning on visiting during peak season (June-August), it’s a good idea to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the lines.
How to Get There
The forest is situated in central Ubud on Jalan Monkey Forest road. The easiest way to get there is via motorbike taxi (we used Grab – it’s frowned upon in Ubud but it’s how 90% of people get around.)
Alternatively, you can drive yourself if you’re renting a scooter. There are parking spaces available at the monkey forest.
If you’re not comfortable driving or taking a motorbike taxi, you can also take a public bus. The bus stop is located just a few minutes walk from the entrance to the monkey forest.
Best Time to Visit the Monkey Forest Ubud
The best time to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is in the morning, when the park opens at 9am. The monkeys are a lot more chilled out at this point, and there are fewer crowds.
If you’re visiting during the afternoon, be prepared for the monkeys to be more active and aggressive. They may also be more likely to steal your food or belongings.
About the Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest is a sacred site for the Balinese people, and it is believed that the monkeys are the guardians of the forest. Speaking of which, the forest is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including over 186 species of plants, 3 temples, and a number of sacred springs.
The Sacred Monkey Forest is a great place to learn about Balinese culture and religion, and it is also a lot of fun to watch the monkeys play and interact with each other. Here’s what to expect when you visit…
Bali Monkey Forest: Our Experience
We finally got to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest after it rained for 5 days straight in Ubud (we aren’t kidding, check out our experience here).
We visited first thing in the morning, as soon as it opened. The sun was just starting to rise, and the forest was still shrouded in mist. The monkeys were just starting to wake up, and they were a lot more placid at this time. We were able to walk around the forest and observe the monkeys without feeling too threatened.
The rain had made the forest lush and green, and the monkeys were everywhere. We saw monkeys swinging from the trees, playing in the water, and even sunbathing on the walkways. We saw monkeys of all ages, from babies to adults. The babies were the most playful, and they were always running around and climbing on things.
As the morning went on, the forest got busier. More and more tourists started to arrive, and the monkeys started to become more active and aggressive. We saw one monkey steal a man’s sunglasses, and another monkey try to grab a child’s hat.
The walkways in the forest were super pretty. They were made of stone and wood, and they wound their way through the trees. The walkways were a great way to see the monkeys up close, and they were also a lot of fun to walk on.
It was an amazing experience to see the monkeys in their natural habitat. We learned a lot about these fascinating creatures, and we had a lot of fun watching them play and interact with each other.
Safety Tips for Exploring the Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
Sure, the Ubud monkey forest is a popular tourist destination, but it’s important to be aware of the monkeys that live there. These monkeys are wild animals and can be unpredictable, so it’s imperative that you follow some safety tips to avoid any problems.
Food and Belongings
- Don’t bring food into the monkey forest. The Bali monkeys will sniff it out and steal it from you, and they can be very aggressive if they think you have food.
- Ideally bring a very small bag and keep your belongings hidden. We saw monkeys stealing sunglasses and throwing food around, so it’s best to keep your belongings close to your body and out of sight.
- Keep sunglasses in your bag and not on your head. Try not to wear anything that could dangle or attract the monkeys (like necklaces).
- Leave plastic or paper bags outside with the reception staff as the monkeys are well aware that these bags usually contain food.
What Not to Do
- Don’t smile at them. The Bali monkeys see showing teeth as a sign of aggression and may attack.
- Leave the baby monkeys alone. Yes, they are VERY cute, but the parents will be overprotective.
- Don’t touch the monkeys. They are very temperamental. We saw people antagonising the monkeys, which did not end well.
- There are food stations around the park, do not try to feed the monkeys as they will get aggressive if you touch their food.
- If a monkey does get aggressive, don’t run. This will only make them more aggressive. Instead, try to stay calm and back away slowly.