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I wrote recently about my attempt at bridge jumping in Banos and how it scared me half to death. Today I am going to talk about a less adrenalin filled day trip I did from Banos, a visit to a monkey sanctuary in Puyo.

Over  my four and a half month’s backpacking through Latin America I was only luckily robbed once.

No it wasn’t on the countless local chicken bus’s throughout central and south America or the few times I stupidly stumbled my way back to the hostel at 4 am alone from a club.  It happened in Puyo Ecuador and the assailant was a lot smaller,hairier and more devious than I was expecting.

One handed monkey

Look into his THIEVING eyes

So how did this tale of thievery and betrayal begin? Well it all started on another one of the lazy days I spent In Banos. (I spent 2 weeks in Banos)

The three completely awesome Canadian girls who I mentioned in my Bridge jumping post invited me to go on a day trip with them to the monkey sanctuary Paseo Los Monos in Puyo. The weather was a little overcast but we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best and boarded a 1 hr and 30 minute bus to Puyo.

Rainy Sadness

Me sad about the rain

Upon arriving in Puyo it was starting to spit with rain, However we had already come this far so we weren’t going to stop now.We hailed a cab and were on our way to the monkey sanctuary, The moment we arrived it started hammering down with rain (Typical haha). Donned with my jungle adventurer hat  that I picked up in Octavalo markets we paid the few dollar donation and braved the muddy path’s to go check out the monkeys and some of the forest.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see that many monkeys as they also unsurprisingly weren’t to fond of the rain and were huddled up seeking shelter.

Monkeys in the rain

Monkeys no like the rain

The whole trip was turning out to be pretty lack-luster, We went back to the main building a little dissapointed and waited under the cover hoping that the rain would let up

So we sat there debating on whether we should just call a cab and leave when suddenly 3-4 squirrel monkeys popped out from the top of the building and started swinging their way down curiously towards us.

They were super cute,very playful and were not shy at all. I even managed to get this really awesome photo with a monkey on my shoulder, which is pretty badass.

Me and Monkey

Me and my new animal companion +1 bonus to thievery and inevitable betrayal

So after 30 miutes of playing with the monkeys they revealed their nefarious scheme. What happened next was something similar to the scene in Wizard of Oz when the flying monkey’s were tearing apart the scarecrow.

Well not really but imagine if it was haha

But anyway there was this one cute little monkey that only had one hand (Poor monkey 🙁 ) and he was climbing all over me and checking in my plastic bag which just had my DSLR camera in it, He wasn’t interested in that, so in the span of about 5 seconds he jumped onto my back unzipped my backpack and stole a bag of candy I had been saving for the bus ride home,” (noooooooo)

Before I could react he was climbing away to what I assume was his monkey lair. (Do Monkey’s have lair’s?) with his spoils.

Monkey Robbery2

Im all up in your stuff stealin your treasures

In the end I was really impressed that the monkey was so fast especially one that only had one hand. However the joke was on him seeing as that candy I had in my bag was pop rock candy so when he did finally get it open I’m sure he FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.


And that was the day I learnt to NEVER trust monkey’s 😛

If your in the neighborhood you should definitely check out the monkey sanctuary Paseo Los Monos, You can even volunteer to work there which I think would be a pretty cool experience.

What types of strange encounters have you had with monkeys? Have you too fell victim to their thieving ways?

2017-08-29T01:43:10+00:00 5 Comments


  1. Steph | A Nerd At Large July 22, 2013 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Oh man, a video of monkeys eating Pop Rocks would have been YouTube gold! It’s still a hilarious mental image for my overactive imagination. 😉 Great story!
    Steph | A Nerd At Large recently posted..My Plans…And I Do Have SomeMy Profile

  2. April June 15, 2014 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Are there 2 different animal reserves in Puyo, one where monkeys roam more freely and one with more different kinds of animals but in cages? I heard that somewhere and I can’t figure out if it’s true. Anyhow, we leave Thursday! I’m enjoying your blog. 🙂
    April recently posted..HOMESCHOOL: The education of travel. Ecuador post #2My Profile

  3. Luke June 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    I was trying to find some information online on this rescue since I visited it last year and wanted to recommend it to some friends, but couldn’t remember what it was called. I did a search for “monkey rescue near banos ecuador”, not really thinking I’d be able to find it since there were a few rescues in the area. When I saw the headline “Getting robbed by a one handed monkey in puyo”, though, I knew this was exactly the place. We got robbed by the same monkey! Fortunately for him it wasn’t pop rocks, just a receipt though. Amazing place. When we were there, the squirrel monkeys were riding on the dogs like horses like a mini planet of the apes.

  4. Tara July 5, 2015 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Love this post! Cheeky monkeys but somewhere I would like to visit 🙂
    Tara recently posted..Sedlec Ossuary Kutna HoraMy Profile

  5. Sarah July 5, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Just imagining him eating the popping candy: that’ll teach him!

    We once had our lunch stolen by a monkey in Erawan national park in Thailand. We’d bought some bread and some pre sliced cheese to make sandwiches, which was in my backpack. I was startled when a monkey came towards us and jumped up and away from my open bag. The monkey went into my backpack, grabbed the cheese and ran up a tree! Sneaky – you do have to watch out for those monkeys…
    Sarah recently posted..Being vegetarian in IndiaMy Profile

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