Monkey Island
Monkey Island
4.5
About
Located in the middle of Lake Gatun, this island is a unique and fun-filled destination that lets you get up close and personal with monkeys. These curious creatures will come right up to your boat and even jump on board in hopes of a bite of fruit. Monkey Island can only be accessed through a tour (usually from Panama City), which can be combined with a visit to the sloth sanctuary or a rainforest walk. The best time to visit is during the dry season (December to April) when the weather is clear and the monkeys are the most active. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 2-3 hours
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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The area
Best nearby
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Attractions
4 within 10 kms
See what travellers are saying
  • Mary V
    Woodstock, Canada80 contributions
    Being on Panama Canal amazing
    It was just so amazing. Being on the canal while big freight ships are moving past you. It was entertaining to have the boat driver do his monkey call and have the monkeys come out to see us. Driving by the station where the big cranes are that they use to repair any boats. To see how they moved the dirt in order to build the canal. Amazing
    Visited January 2023
    Written 3 April 2023
  • John L
    Grand Bend, Canada2,043 contributions
    Here monkey, monkey, monkey!
    I thought I had my fill of 'monkey interactions' in Gibraltar, and wasn't initially planning to visit Monkey Island ... which is actually several islands. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The boat ride in the Canal was interesting in itself, and the monkeys were waiting to ambush us as we approached the shore. They are as tame as cats, and clearly know that the arrival of the boats equals treats, so they clamoured aboard and took .. ie., grabbed/snatched ... the treats from our hands. Cashews, grapes and bananas (of course) were particularly well received. One of the high points of the day was seeing a baby alligator sunning itself on a rock. Despite my reservations, it was actually a fun and interesting day.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 8 April 2023
  • LoudWritr
    56 contributions
    Early Bird gets the Worm (or monkey)!
    We headed out early and saw not only monkeys, but crocodiles, turtles, bats, and birds. After a short boat ride along the canal, we pulled up close to various island spots where different kinds of monkeys resided. Several of them ate bananas and grapes right out of our hands! I highly recommend this excursion. NOTE: It is important to go early in the day. After the monkeys come down and get fed, they tend to hide out in the trees later in the day, so one's experience would vary greatly depending on what time they arrive.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 August 2023
  • Jill
    New Jersey742 contributions
    Enjoyable morning!
    We hired a boat from the dock after arriving in our Uber. There are tons of guys waiting to take you out, so be prepared to bargain. Our guide didn't speak English, but with my little bit of Spanish and his hand gestures, we were able to communicate just fine. He took us through the Canal, where we saw crocodiles and passed by massive ships. We approached monkey island and it took us a bit to find the monkeys. We finally saw some howlers in the trees and then got to feed a white faced capuchin by hand. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to hand feed a wild monkey but they were very gentle. Thankfully everyone was only feeding them fruit but I do understand that this isn't a good idea anyway. We truly enjoyed our boat ride and the peace and quiet outside of the city. It took about 45 mins to get there from Panama City and it was very easy to take an Uber and get a boat upon arrival. We had the whole boat to ourselves which was really nice.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 December 2023
  • lucycan
    San Diego, California3,505 contributions
    If you like Monkeys
    We took a boat cruise on the Lake Gatun as part of a half day tour. It goes to this Monkey Island which seems to be more of an area than one specific place. We did see Monkeys. Some boats were feeding them and they would jump in the boat and on to people! We stayed a bit back and did not feed. Still good views.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 4 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
674 reviews
Excellent
425
Very good
137
Average
68
Poor
32
Terrible
13

Noah J
Amsterdam, The Netherlands5 contributions
Feb 2024
I signed up for this tour after reading a recommendation here in Trip Advisor. While the setting, lush jungle, and plenty of wildlife made me feel like I was in a special place, the attitude of the boat captain and their complete disregard for what is right and wrong ruined the day. Feeding monkeys grapes? Potato chips? I was horrified to see the captain pull stuff and give it to another client with an infant to feed to the monkeys. It's sad that Trip Advisor will allow tours that are so irresponsible to be promoted here. The destination is fantastic, but I just felt horrible to be giving money to someone who clearly doesn't care about the wildlife they take people to see. And it's not just one boat, all four boats around us did the same. It's absolutely repulsive.
Written 24 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lucycan
San Diego, CA3,505 contributions
Feb 2024 • Friends
We took a boat cruise on the Lake Gatun as part of a half day tour. It goes to this Monkey Island which seems to be more of an area than one specific place. We did see Monkeys. Some boats were feeding them and they would jump in the boat and on to people! We stayed a bit back and did not feed. Still good views.
Written 4 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tina C
11 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
it was ok, a boat ride, and saw ONE monkey after two hours of searching, wouldn't recommend... but ? I guess its hit or miss
Written 26 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teir P
Hampton, VA4 contributions
Jan 2024 • Friends
The views from the boat ride alone was amazing. However, experiencing the monkeys eating out of my hand was on describable. My only tip: be patient because the monkeys receive visitors all day every day.
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mathew J
2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
My visit to Monkey Island was amazing. The lush vegetation and diversity of monkeys created a unique experience. Interacting with them responsibly and learning about conservation was amazing. Well-maintained trails and visitor amenities make it an unforgettable experience for nature lovers. Highly recommend!
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jill
New Jersey742 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We hired a boat from the dock after arriving in our Uber. There are tons of guys waiting to take you out, so be prepared to bargain. Our guide didn't speak English, but with my little bit of Spanish and his hand gestures, we were able to communicate just fine. He took us through the Canal, where we saw crocodiles and passed by massive ships. We approached monkey island and it took us a bit to find the monkeys. We finally saw some howlers in the trees and then got to feed a white faced capuchin by hand. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to hand feed a wild monkey but they were very gentle. Thankfully everyone was only feeding them fruit but I do understand that this isn't a good idea anyway. We truly enjoyed our boat ride and the peace and quiet outside of the city. It took about 45 mins to get there from Panama City and it was very easy to take an Uber and get a boat upon arrival. We had the whole boat to ourselves which was really nice.
Written 15 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lili m
2 contributions
Feb 2023 • Family
Monkey island was a big disappointment. The tour sales rep told us the monkeys world come up to the boat and eat out of your hands, the bus tour guide told us that too. But when we got there, the actual monkey boat tour guide told up to NOT feed the monkeys and to put all food away. We were told there would be a rainforest hike to a waterfall. When we got there we were told there is no water in the waterfall at this time of year so we had a 15 min walk in the forest. We saw 1 monkey about 10 ft away and 3 monkeys 30-50 ft away.... if you were lucky enough to be on the right side of the boat when they appeared. The boat tour guide have lots of interesting facts but only the first 3 roles in the boat could hear him over the noise. Overpriced for what you got. Disappointing for my nephew and the rest of our group.
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LoudWritr
Wanaque, New Jersey56 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
We headed out early and saw not only monkeys, but crocodiles, turtles, bats, and birds. After a short boat ride along the canal, we pulled up close to various island spots where different kinds of monkeys resided. Several of them ate bananas and grapes right out of our hands! I highly recommend this excursion. NOTE: It is important to go early in the day. After the monkeys come down and get fed, they tend to hide out in the trees later in the day, so one's experience would vary greatly depending on what time they arrive.
Written 10 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AuntieAnne22
Tallahassee, FL178 contributions
May 2023 • Business
Took a group of students on a quick tour. It was very fun. Interacting with the monkeys was entertaining. Take grapes and mango chunks!!
Written 6 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer D
9 contributions
Jun 2023
We had a short expedition to Monkey island, they gave us pieces of fruit to give to the monkeys and it was a fun and short adventure. We didn't organize anything, just got to the dock and there were several vessels (pangas) ready to take you. The Gamboa hotel activities are also recommended if you are in the area.
Written 27 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Monkey Island (Panama City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Monkey Island