Monkeys in the Cuyabeno Reserve

21 November, 2016
Luis Hernandez

Sitting in the canoe, I let me eyes wander, from the treetops to the water surface of the Cuyabeno River. Always surrounded by a breeze of warm air, we are slowly making our way towards the Lodge.
But how does the expression go? “The path is the aim”. And this is more than true, especially in the rainforest. Looking for wildlife is most rewarding whilst in a canoe on the river or on foot in the forest.

To spot some animals like river dolphins or anacondas, you need a lot of luck. But you will most surely see different types of monkeys jumping around the trees, looking for food. So which types of monkeys call the Cuyabeno Reserve their home?

One of my favorites is the Squirrel monkey. Their faces with the black mouths and the white fur around the eyes give them also the name “death’s head monkeys”. Both males and females have a long, hairy tail, which is not used for climbing, but for keeping their balance. In the afternoon you can spot them jumping from tree to tree around the Lodge.

Squirrel monkey

Squirrel monkey

Another squirrel monkey, clinging to a tree

Another type of monkey, which is often seen in the Cuyabeno National Park, is the Black-mantled tamarin monkey. Its body size ranges from 13 to 30 cm (plus the tail). In Spanish, they are also called “bebeleche” which means “drink milk”. They owe their name to their white mouth – it looks like they were drinking milk and forgot to clean their faces.

A curious Black Tamarin Monkey

One of the little bit bigger species is the Woolly monkey. This big, hairy being usually lives and travels in large groups. Its tail is very strong and acts like a fifth limb.

Woolly monkey

Another Woolly monkey on his way through the trees

Hard to see, but definitely worth looking for, is the so-called Pocket monkey (in Spanish “mono de bolsillo”). As you already might have guessed, its name comes from its size: it’s the smallest monkey of its type, with a body size from 14 to 18 cm. The Cuyabeno Reserve is the perfect habitat for pocket monkeys because they prefer to live in flooded woods. They have been hunted by local people and illegal hunters to keep them as pets. Usually they are quite hard to spot, but as you know: nothing is impossible!

These are just a few examples, you can find lots of other species as well. Are you already curious? Come looking for the different monkeys for yourself! Enjoy a few days in the Cuyabeno Reserve and get overwhelmed by the variety of flora and fauna!