Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud : A Magical Place

by Mike Still
Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud : A Magical Place

The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud is a magical place where conservation and ecotourism mesh in the heart of a beautiful city.  The forest is literally in the center of Ubud which is the best reason to visit Bali, Indonesia.  Monkeys happen to be one of my favorite animals and I’ve been lucky with other monkey encounters.  In the dozen or so times I’ve seen them in Asia this forest had the most peaceful and friendly monkeys.


Often you hear horror stories about how monkeys attacked or stole something from tourists but the conservation led by the park rangers at the Sacred Monkey Forest allows for a safe and enjoyable monkey experience for anyone.    I highly recommend visiting in the morning; we went twice and the monkeys were more active before noon and there were less visitors too.



How to Get to Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest

First you have to get to Ubud.  The cheapest and best way is scheduling a shared van (60-70,000IDR)
The monkey forest is in the center of the city.  ~5 min walk from most guest houses/hotels.
Admission – 40,000IDR (30,000 for kids)

After the monkey forest be sure to check out Beji Ayu, they are the best spa in Ubud!

The conservation at this forest is truly spectacular.  With over 600 monkeys living there as of 2016 you are guaranteed to see monkeys of all ages.  I saw dozens of families nursing little babies.  They will let you get close enough for a photo and the older ones might climb on you. Everyone can feel the magic of The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud.

Looking for other great backpacking ideas for Indonesia?_DSC4687-001

Park rangers sell bananas so that you can feed the monkeys.  A large bunch is 50,000IDR or you can buy smaller ones for as low as 10,000IDR.  We bought a large bunch and the park ranger helped us feed a group of monkeys.  They should tell you to use an open hand and don’t try to keep the food away from the monkeys.  This is the only way that we saw them become aggressive towards people but we didn’t see any serious injuries.  If you happen to get hurt there is a first aid ranger station nearby. The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud can bring adventurous experience to you.


What to do on Bali, Indonesia _DSC4654-001

The forest is also home to a few temples, a cemetery, an amphitheater and a couple other buildings.  The monkeys rule all of these ancient structures and climb throughout freely.

Do you know of another great animal encounter?  Share it with me below because I’d love to check it out!


Places to see in Bali Indonesia

Looking gor more to do in Bali?  Check out my friend Cynthia ‘s awesome guide to the island!


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Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

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Ryan Biddulph September 10, 2016 - 4:49 am

Hi Michael,

Love it!

We’ve been here a few times. Always love buying the bushel of bananas to see the troop male rip them out of your hands LOL.


Majesta Zea September 10, 2016 - 2:04 pm

It’s amazing that the monkeys can roam freely throughout the structures! I would definitely like to see this firsthand.

Reply September 10, 2016 - 2:07 pm

Well worth the trip! The monkeys rule the whole forest and all the buildings. its awesome 🙂

Victoria September 10, 2016 - 5:34 pm

They are so cute. Lucky you, to see this beauty: ))

Samantha September 10, 2016 - 8:19 pm

Aw this is so cute! I would love to go the Sacred Monkey Forest. I’m thinking about Bali in January and will add this experience to my list! 🙂

Rebecca September 11, 2016 - 12:29 am

What an amazing experience. I love monkeys, too. You have some beautiful photos there. I guess my best animal experience was staying at homestead outside Canberra Australia and seeing the wildlife there.

Nancy September 11, 2016 - 1:06 am

I just love those mischievous little monkeys! I’ve heard how they can steal your wallets, snacks and whatever else you may be carrying, but they are so cute! Also those are awesome photo’s!

danik the explorer September 11, 2016 - 4:52 am

So want to go to this place and see the monkeys road freely. LOoks like there is an amazing experience to be had.

Lisa September 11, 2016 - 8:36 pm

So precious…I love that they can roam freely and not confined. Would love to visit and watch them in a more natural habitat.

Reply September 12, 2016 - 4:15 pm

Its a truly magical experience watching them in the forest.

Angela September 11, 2016 - 11:21 pm

Adding this one to my ever growing list! Love seeing animals throughout our travels and these little guys are too adorable not visit. We saw many different kinds of wildlife on our recent road trip through 13 different national parks and it was amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Reply September 12, 2016 - 4:14 pm

Wow 13 National Parks? And a road trip? That had to be in America! Which was your favorite park?

Emily September 12, 2016 - 1:55 am

They are so gorgeous, and great that you can get close enough to feed them. Stunning photos, especially of the babies. This is now on my bucket list!

Reply September 12, 2016 - 4:13 pm

I absolutely loved watching the babies. SOOOO adorable. One of them was trying to crawl away and its mom grabbed it by the tail. I couldn’t help but laugh

Nic September 12, 2016 - 2:57 am

Oh my god, these guys are so cute. We should be going to Bali this year so we will have to go and see them, thank you for sharing such an amazing place.

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[…] 1. Sacred Monkey Forest […]

anna November 19, 2016 - 4:45 pm

Ohhh I’ve been here- the monkeys are super cheeky! Great photos!

Reply November 20, 2016 - 10:56 pm

Cheeky monkeys indeed! These were friendlier than many others I’ve encountered though.

Gokul Raj November 19, 2016 - 6:20 pm

Nice clicks. This is something you get to see in India as well.

Reply November 20, 2016 - 10:55 pm

I am visiting India in March-April next year. Any advice for a monkey forest like Ubud’s there?

Kaaya November 19, 2016 - 6:41 pm


You have no idea what I would do to roam around these precious monkies. Especially since I would have the opportunity to feed them. Amazing pictures btw!

Reply November 20, 2016 - 10:54 pm

I hope you get to roam with these creatures soon!

Christina November 20, 2016 - 12:51 pm

Those baby monkeys are so cute. The monkeys in Bali are pretty brazen though. You have to look out for your camera and other belongings or you’re likely to lose them!

Reply November 20, 2016 - 10:51 pm

Absolutely! I only brought things that were attached to me when I visited.

Mags November 21, 2016 - 8:22 am

AW! Those baby monkeys are too cute! I saw a few in Malaysia and I just love them. This is the place for me!

Reply November 21, 2016 - 2:17 pm

The babies are the cutest!

Fiona Maclean November 21, 2016 - 6:43 pm

Lovely monkeys! You’ll find much the same in Sri Lanka – there are temples where the monkeys seem to have taken up residence.

Reply November 22, 2016 - 2:02 pm

It sounds like I need to add Sri Lanka to my bucketlist!

Mama Munchkin November 21, 2016 - 9:57 pm

My trip into the Monkey Forest was a little different. We foolishly purchased the bananas from the stand right outside the forest. The monkeys came from every direction and stole them right our hands and then fought each other. It was crazy and pretty frightening.

Reply November 22, 2016 - 2:05 pm

oh my! That sounds pretty intense. There are warning signs about bringing food in and I guess that’s why

Vishal Vashisht November 22, 2016 - 11:49 pm

We have something similar in India too. These monkeys are around sacred shrines and they accept devotees offerings. Unless you play goofy with them, they are really friendly. We just buy 100’s of banana’s and they accept them very happily and just leave. Happy to read about similarities between Ubud & some of the places in India.

Reply November 23, 2016 - 12:15 pm

Vishal, where in India? I’m on my way there next March/April and would love to stop by.

Shane November 23, 2016 - 10:03 am

My favorite part of travel is getting up close and personal with the locals (animals) They are too adorable I’d have trouble not getting too close!

Reply November 23, 2016 - 12:15 pm

Shane, you and I are one in the same when it comes to animals!

Carla Abanes November 23, 2016 - 11:32 am

Would love to try this! I am planning to visit Bali in December and this post’s timing is perfect. Thanks for sharing this.

Reply November 23, 2016 - 12:17 pm

Have fun in Bali! Be sure to check out this post on 10 ways to get the most out of Ubud

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