Exploring the Monkeys of Bali: Where to See and How to Interact with Them

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Bali, often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” is not only known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its unique wildlife. Among the most fascinating and widely recognized animals on the island are the Balinese monkeys. These playful and intelligent creatures are a significant part of Bali’s natural heritage and can be found in several prominent locations across the island. In this guide, we’ll explore the types of monkeys found in Bali, the best places to see them, and tips for interacting with them safely and respectfully.

Section 1: Types of Monkeys in Bali

Long-Tailed Macaque

The most common species of monkey found in Bali is the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). These monkeys are characterized by their long tails, which are often longer than their bodies, and their expressive faces. They are highly social animals, living in groups and displaying a wide range of behaviors that are fascinating to observe.


Long-tailed macaques are adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, temples, and urban areas. They are particularly prevalent in sacred sites and tourist attractions, where they have become accustomed to human presence.

Section 2: Best Places to See Monkeys in Bali

Ubud Monkey Forest

Location: Ubud
Description: The Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, is one of the most popular places to see monkeys in Bali. This lush forest is home to over 700 long-tailed macaques and is a significant spiritual and cultural site, housing three ancient temples.


  • Observe monkeys in their natural habitat
  • Explore the beautiful forest trails and ancient temples
  • Enjoy the serene and spiritual atmosphere

Tips for Visiting

  • Keep your belongings secure, as monkeys are known to snatch bags, sunglasses, and other items
  • Avoid feeding the monkeys, as it can encourage aggressive behavior
  • Follow the guidelines provided by the sanctuary staff to ensure a safe and respectful visit

Uluwatu Temple

Location: Uluwatu
Description: Uluwatu Temple, perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, is another popular spot to see long-tailed macaques. The temple is not only a significant cultural and religious site but also a great place to watch the monkeys and enjoy stunning sunset views.


  • Watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean with monkeys in the foreground
  • Explore the historic temple and its beautiful surroundings
  • Enjoy traditional Kecak dance performances held at the temple

Tips for Visiting

  • Be cautious of your belongings, as the monkeys here can be quite cheeky
  • Respect the temple rules and dress modestly
  • Stay on the designated paths to avoid disturbing the wildlife

Sangeh Monkey Forest

Location: Sangeh, Badung
Description: Sangeh Monkey Forest is a lesser-known but equally enchanting place to see monkeys in Bali. This serene forest is home to a large population of long-tailed macaques and features towering nutmeg trees and ancient temples.


  • Experience a quieter and less crowded monkey forest
  • Walk among the giant nutmeg trees and lush greenery
  • Visit the 17th-century Pura Bukit Sari temple within the forest

Tips for Visiting

  • Bring a camera to capture the natural beauty and playful monkeys
  • Visit early in the morning to enjoy the tranquility and avoid crowds
  • Respect the natural habitat and avoid feeding the monkeys

Section 3: Interacting with Monkeys Safely

Respect Their Space

While monkeys in Bali are accustomed to human presence, it’s important to respect their space and avoid getting too close. Sudden movements or attempts to touch them can provoke aggressive behavior.

Do Not Feed the Monkeys

Feeding monkeys can lead to health problems for the animals and encourage aggressive behavior towards humans. Stick to observing them from a distance and refrain from offering food.

Keep Your Belongings Secure

Monkeys are curious and may try to grab loose items such as bags, hats, or sunglasses. Keep your belongings secure and avoid carrying food or drinks in open containers.

Follow Local Guidelines

Each monkey forest or temple has its own set of guidelines for visitors. Follow these rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the monkeys.


Monkeys are an integral part of Bali’s natural landscape and offer a unique opportunity for visitors to observe and learn about these fascinating creatures. By visiting popular spots like the Ubud Monkey Forest, Uluwatu Temple, and Sangeh Monkey Forest, you can enjoy the playful antics of the long-tailed macaques in beautiful and culturally significant settings. Remember to interact with them respectfully and follow local guidelines to ensure a safe and enriching experience. Enjoy your time with Bali’s charming monkey population and make lasting memories on this beautiful island.

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