Seeking Monkeys In An Ecuadorian Rainforest

I wish I could properly put into words what it’s like to hear wild howler monkeys for the first time in a rainforest in Ecuador. It’s the type of sound that goes straight in your ears and immediately reappears on your mouth as a huge smile.

We visited Pacoche Marine and Coastal Wildlife Refuge, about 20 miles southwest of the bustling port of Manta, with Mauro and Fernando from Manta SOS Guide. Bypassing the path chosen by the big tour buses, they instead took us a little deeper into the reserve, to the much quieter Pasaje del Mono Trail.

IMG_3021And practically the first thing we experienced was the sound of howler monkeys nearby.

The path started out deceivingly manicured

The path started out deceivingly manicured

But soon began getting more rustic

But soon began getting more rustic

Looks like jungle to me

Looks like jungle to me

Bromeliads on a branch

Bromeliads on a branch

A quick view across the treetops

A quick view across the treetops

Heading down into the valley

Heading down into the valley

Bamboo bridge at the end of the tended path

Bamboo bridge at the end of the tended path

For the next hour and a half we hiked down a virtually dry valley through the forest, heading for the coast. Along the way, local guide Javier kept up a fascinating commentary (translated by Fernando) on the refuge’s plants and animals.

Spot the path!

Spot the path!

The stream bed was all but dry

The stream bed was all but dry

Not the sharpest photo, but it gives a sense of scale

Not the sharpest photo, but it gives a sense of scale

Speaking of scale...

Speaking of scale…

Tree being slowly killed by a strangler fig

Tree being slowly killed by a strangler fig

A rare splash of colour among all the green

A rare splash of colour among all the green

Sadly, there are never any guarantees on wildlife tours, and we didn’t got a close-up encounter with any monkeys. Yet looking on the bright side, early on we did get a brief glimpse of one running off down the path ahead of us. And a bit later we saw a group taking a siesta high in a tree, away from the path. So at least we saw something!

A sliver of sky from the bottom of the valley

A sliver of sky from the bottom of the valley

Monkeys!

Monkeys!

And to be honest, just the howls of tantalisingly close monkeys made our visit to Pacoche one of the highlights of our time in Ecuador.

A little more colour

A little more colour

A tumbled-down building made of local materials at the end of our hike

A tumbled-down building made of local materials at the end of our hike

This post was inspired by Cee’s Which Way Challenge and Jo’s Monday walk.

If you’re the sort of person who’d enjoy wandering through the hot and humid jungle in search of monkeys, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, the first three Jaspa’s Journey novels will soon be available to enjoy, both as ebooks and in paperback! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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16 Responses to Seeking Monkeys In An Ecuadorian Rainforest

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    How fun was this post. Thanks 🙂

  2. Reminds me of Costa Rica. We heard howler monkeys there as well. Definitely an experience.

    janet

  3. I remember the first time I saw wild monkeys – I am guessing it was a far different experience! I will have to write about it sometime. Coca-Cola stealing was involved.

    Are those flowers wild impatiens?

  4. restlessjo says:

    Many thanks for the link up, Jaspa! Looks like you’ve been having a fabulous time. 🙂 Life’s been a little hectic for me lately but I have a ‘settled’ period coming up when I hope to do a little catching up.

  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Barbakan and the City Walls | restlessjo

  6. lovetotrav says:

    Our family is obsessed with howler monkeys. They made our trip to Tikal in Guatemala an absolute highlight and one to remember. Nothing quite like that sound, unless a bunch of lions decided to roar at once. Great pics along the way too!

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