Yes, there are monkeys in the jungle near Tulum. Although endangered, both Yucatan Spider monkey and Black Howler monkey could still be spotted in the wild. The monkeys suffer heavily from loss of territories as the touristic development and the construction of new roads destroy more and more their habitats.
For the Spider monkey lovers, there are two available options to enjoy a close meeting with their jungle friends.
Akumal Monkey Sanctuary
Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is very entertaining and convenient for families with small kids. There you can safely observe and interact with a variety of exotic wildlife. The sanctuary hosts few different species of monkeys (including Spider Monkey) and also a number of other animals, snakes, and birds. Most of the animals are rescued or donated. Guided visits to the sanctuary can be booked directly through their webpage. Best is to book in advance, before arriving there.
Distance: 30 kms from Tulum and less than 1 km from the village of Akumal.
Entrance fees: $65 for adults and $40 for kids (up to 12 years old)
Getting to Akumal Monkey Sanctuary:
- By car: Follow HWY307 North till you get to Akumal and turn left to Akumal pueblo. Follow the signs leading to the Sanctuary.
- By Taxi: A taxi from Tulum to Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is 400 pesos
- By collectivo: Any collectivo going to Playa Del Carmen can drop you off at Akumal. You would need to walk for around 1 km to get to the sanctuary.
Punta Laguna Spider Monkey Reserve
Punta Laguna is a small Maya community that runs successful eco-touristic activity. The guided tour at Punta Laguna is a true jungle adventure. It includes a hike to search for Spider monkeys in the jungle, canoeing in the large lagoon, zip-lines, and a visit to an underground cave cenote. The reserve is home to an estimated number of few hundred monkeys including both Spider monkey and Howler monkey. To spot wild monkeys during the jungle hike with your local guide is almost 100% guaranteed. The adventure at Punta Laguna is very well combined with a visit to the Ruins of Coba completing a full day. There are several tour operators that offer similar day excursions from Tulum.
Distance: Punta Laguna is just 62 kms from Tulum and 15 kms from Coba
Entrance fee: 600 pesos for a standard all-inclusive guided tour
Getting to Punta Laguna:
- By car: On the roundabout before the Coba Ruins turn right and continue North towards Nuevo Durango. After about 15kms you will reach the Punta Laguna community.
- By Taxi: A taxi from Tulum to Punta Laguna is 1700 pesos for a round trip including 2 hrs wait. If you decide to visit Coba ruins as well you will have to pay for a full day taxi service.
- In a tour: Get one of the full day tours to Coba that include an afternoon visit to Punta Laguna. Mexico Kaan Tours, Yucatan Outdoors and others run such tours.