The Monkey River Tour is a popular and exciting activity in Placencia, Belize, suitable for families and especially enjoyable for eighth-grade students. This tour offers a delightful combination of a relaxed boat ride, an adventurous jungle hike, and the opportunity to observe manatees in southern Belize. It is an eco-friendly tour that allows you to interact with some of the fascinating creatures that inhabit the jungle. However, please note that while the tour highlights the Howler monkeys, after whom the river and town are named, sightings of these monkeys are not guaranteed.

Throughout the tour, you can expect to encounter a wide variety of plants and animals, providing an enriching experience. From the comfort of your boat, you may spot ospreys, crocodiles, egrets, baboons, lizards, green iguanas, and turtles. What sets the Monkey River Tour apart is the passion and knowledge of the local guide, who eagerly shares information about the surrounding nature. If you choose this tour or any other, we will be happy to make the arrangements to fit your schedule.

monkey river side

Included in your monkey river tour

  • Price include: A delicious Belizean Rice and Beans Lunch Special, along with water, sodas, or juice to keep you refreshed. Your passionate local guide will accompany you throughout the journey.
  • Departure Time: 8 a.m
  • What to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and binoculars if you have them (a towel is optional).
  • What to wear: Sunglasses, hiking shoes, long pants, and a long or short sleeve shirt for your comfort and protection.
  • The Monkey River Tour offers an enjoyable boat cruise upstream and an exciting jungle hike. It is a fun, educational, and adventurous experience. There is a high possibility of encountering dolphins, manatees, tarantulas, Howler monkeys, iguanas, turtles, and various bird species.

Wildlife seen on tour Photo Gallery

Jungle Hike, Wildlife Sightseeing with Manatee Spotting

During the jungle hike, you will have the opportunity to observe numerous bird species, bats, sunbathing iguanas, turtles, and sometimes even crocodiles. Your tour guide will choose a nature trail and guide you through the tropical rainforest. Along the way, the guide will point out interesting features while searching for the elusive Howler monkeys. These small but loud creatures can be heard from miles away, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a few of them. If the river conditions permit, you will also have the chance to take a swim before heading back to the village for a delicious local Belizean lunch.

After lunch, take the opportunity to engage with the friendly villagers and learn about their culture. On the return journey, keep an eye out for the shy West Indian Manatees. Although these creatures are quite timid, they often emerge to take a look around.

Finally, you will return to Placencia, where you can relax for the remainder of the day. This tour is highly recommended and has been featured in many travel guidebooks. It is an extraordinary adventure in Belize that you won’t find on Ambergris Caye.

Monkey River Village

Monkey River Village, located approximately 40 minutes south of Placencia Peninsula in the Stann Creek District, is the departure point for the tour. It is the northernmost village in the Toledo District and sits at the mouth of Monkey River along the coastline. Once a bustling town centered around the banana trade, it is now home to a small population of Creole Belizeans. The tour is led by an experienced guide from the village.

Monkey River Village was heavily impacted by Hurricane Iris, a powerful category 4 storm that passed just a few miles north of the village. It serves as a testament to how both nature and human resilience can overcome and thrive after a major storm. Visiting this village during your Belize vacation will provide you with a profound appreciation for the strength and resilience of the local community.

Enjoy a short cruise through the enchanting mangrove tunnels to reach the mouth of Monkey River. As the boat gently navigates up and down the river, your guide will point out various fascinating wildlife and insects for your observation and learning pleasure.

Is the Monkey River Tour recommended?

Yes, the Monkey River Tour is highly recommended and has been featured in many travel guidebooks. It offers an unforgettable adventure and a chance to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of southern Belize.

Is it guaranteed to see Howler monkeys during the tour?

While the Monkey River Tour highlights the Howler monkeys, sightings of these creatures are not guaranteed. However, there is a high possibility of encountering them during the tour.

What wildlife can be seen during the tour?

During the tour, you can spot a variety of wildlife, such as ospreys, crocodiles, egrets, baboons, lizards, green iguanas, turtles, and if you’re lucky, the famous Howler monkeys.

Can I swim during the tour?

If the river conditions permit, you may have the opportunity to take a swim. However, it depends on the suitability of the river level.

What is the significance of Monkey River Village?

Monkey River Village was once a thriving town focused on the logging and banana industries. Despite facing challenges, including the destructive Hurricane Iris, the village has displayed resilience and serves as a testament to human adaptability and the power of nature.

Are there any cultural interactions during the tour?

After the jungle hike, you will have the chance to interact with the friendly villagers of Monkey River Village and learn about their culture. It provides a unique cultural experience during the tour.