An important spiritual and conservation centre

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is not just a tourist attraction!   The villagers regard the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational and conservation centre for the village.

The Ubud Monkey Forest lies within the village of Padangtegal.  A nature reserve and temple complex, this sanctuary is home to around 700 monkeys and over 186 species of trees.

The Monkey Forest is under 27 acres of forest in Central Ubud and easy walking distance from most hotels and resorts.

The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

The Sacred monkey Forest is a popular tourist attraction in Ubud and is visited by over 10,000 tourists a month.

The forest is lush, green and tropical containing at least 186 different species of trees with an abundance of native trees, ferns and shrubs.

Hundreds of Balinese long-tail monkeys roam freely amongst the tourists.  They are very family oriented but can get very protective especially when their offspring are nearby.

The Monkeys

The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

The Ubud Monkey Forest is home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys (Macaca Fasicularis).  Commonly known as macaque.

Within the Monkey Forest, they are separated into 7 groups of about 100 – 150 monkeys each.  Generally the monkeys stay within their own groups, however conflicts sometimes occur between groups.

The monkeys are active during the day and rest at night. The long tailed monkeys are omnivores. In the Monkey Forest at Ubud, the main food of the monkeys is sweet potato, banana, papaya leaf, corn, cucumber, coconut and other local fruit.

Mating takes place year round however there is more frequency in May to August. The pregnancies of female monkey are about 6 months duration and generally only 1 infant is born. It is very rare that twins are born. Babies stay with their mother for about 10 months before being weaned to live independently.  Monkeys mothers are quite maternal.

The lifespan of male monkey up to 15 years while female monkey up to 20 years.

The monkeys are constantly on the prowl for food. If you have something that looks like it might be edible, be careful.  They have been known to steal handbags, sunglasses, hats and other loose items.

Signs are everywhere with instructions ‘Do Not feed the monkeys’, despite the park attendants with ‘monkey food for sale’ carts.  General advice through is don’t touch the monkeys, don’t look them in the eye, don’t move quickly and don’t scream if, or when they jump on you.

Fast moving, unpredictable, alert and very curious

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

Without warning a rather aggressive monkey pounces on Trevor’s shoulders, bared it’s teeth and attempted to peel his head like an apple.

A quick reaction sent the monkey very quickly back into the bushes!  That was our cue to exit the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest!

It was interesting to watch the hierarchy and ranking of importance in their tribes.

When there is a potential threat, the ‘leader’ of the pack puffs himself up and hisses and snarls to demonstrate his importance.

Move away when one of them starts demonstrating this behaviour as it’s likely he will jump on your shoulders or launch an attack in an attempt to affirm his status.

The Temples

The temples in The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary area were built around the middle of the 14th century.  It was a time when the kingdoms in Bali were ruled by Dynasty of Pejeng about the beginning of Gelgel Dynasty.

There are three temples in the area of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.  Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji and Pura Prajapati.

Where to stay in Ubud

We usually stay at Alaya Resort whenever we go to Ubud.  It’s a great place to stay, friendly service and exceptional restaurant facilities. It’s close to the Monkey Forest and not far from downtown Ubud.  Mid to high end budget but great for a special occasion.

There are plenty of other choices available if you care to look around.


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Monkey Forest Ubud Bali

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It’s a fascinating walk through the forest.

Watch the monkeys in their natural habitat and check out just how human-like they are.  Have you been to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud yet?  How was your experience?

Reference: Ubud Monkey Forest