After several days of rain, eight of us headed out in a panga on a gorgeous day to the Monkey Island Refuge located on the private island of Urraca. Built by Canadian Francine, Urraca is a mangrove island containing an eco-lodge of five bungalows connected by wooden paths over the water.
The lodge itself is beautiful but the main attraction is the monkeys that Francine has provided a refuge for. These are monkeys that were taken in as ‘pets’ and then abandoned when the owners realized what they got themselves into. No longer able to survive in the wild, Francine has created a safe haven for them.
As soon as we stepped off the panga we were met by a group of Geoffrey’s Tamarin Monkey’s also known as the Panamanian Red-Crested Tamarin. Only found in Panama and Colombia, these tiny friendly monkey’s ran up our legs and climbed on our shoulders for attention.
In addition to the Tamarin monkey, Francine takes in two other breeds. The White Faced Capuchin monkey has a high intellect and as with many wild animals they are too dangerous to let out of their enclosure. We were able to interact with them up close and watch their antics. The momma of the group was the most social and she liked to dance for us.
The beautiful Squirrel Monkey was the last group we played with. Gentle and playful they bounced from person to person chasing each other all around.
Thanks to Karen on s/v Amokura for organizing such a great adventure. For more information on the wonderful things Francine has planned go to: https://monkeyislandtours.wordpress.com