I have a bit of a, not-so-secret, obsession with monkeys. Not the kind that throw their crap at you at the zoo, but the small cuddly ones that you could slap a diaper on and tote around like a hairy child. I was on an uncontrollable high when I found out that my dream of holding a monkey was going to come true at Gumbalimba Park in Roatan, Honduras. Seriously…it was as if someone had just told me that I won a brand new car…and gas for a year…and free maintenance. This was going to be way better than the twelve sea monkey farms that I tended to as a child. Yes, this obsession runs deep.
We arrived at Gumbalimba via bus and were stunned by the beautiful grounds filled with tempting banana trees, perfect wild flowers and statuesque iguanas. We were taken on a brief tour which led us through the cheesy man-made caves, over a suspension bridge and through the parrot sanctuary before we were at our destination…MONKEYS! I had visions of monkeys in abundance, jumping onto my head and trying to steal my sunglasses. For that is the story I had heard and the experience I had wanted. Unfortunately, as we all know, sometimes things don't go exactly as planned and the fantasy turns out to be way better than the reality.
In total, we saw three monkeys, though there were supposedly over a dozen on the grounds. The tour guide had told us that because it was cashew season the primates had no need to bombard tourists to be nourished. Can I have a discount for all the monkeys gone AWOL? It's alright, I only needed one willing chimp to complete this bucket list goal anyway. The trainer held the monkey, kept it behaved with food and gave us each a turn with our new furry friend. We had about one minute to revel in the experience, while the photographer snapped numerous photos.
My advice? Don't go during cashew season.