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Monkey Island Tours

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Monkey Island
Panama’s Monkey Island on Lake Gatun is home to four monkey species—mantled howler, white-faced capuchin, Geoffroy’s tamarin, and lemurine owl monkeys)—as well as crocodiles, toucans, sloths, iguanas, and numerous exotic birds. Riverboat tours to the island offer visitors the chance to observe the monkeys and other wildlife.
 
The Basics
A trip to Monkey Island represents one of the most popular excursions from Panama City. Many guided boat tours also include a chance to see transiting ships from water level in the Panama Canal, as well as visits to the Rainforest Discovery Center and Embera Village, depending on the option chosen.
 
It’s also possible to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a single day trip via the Panama Canal, with a stop at Monkey Island and San Lorenzo National Park along the way.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Monkey Island is a must-see for animal lovers and families traveling with kids.
  • Don’t forget to bring rain gear; showers are frequent even during the dry season.
  • Bring along sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent to protect yourself from the tropical conditions.
  • Remember to refrain from feeding or harassing the monkeys and other animals.
How to Get There
Monkey Island is accessible via boat, typically departing from the Gamboa Marina 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of Panama City. The boat ride along the Chagres River takes about 30 minutes each way. The easiest way to get there is to join a guided day trip from the Panama capital.
 
When to Get There
Thanks to a year-round tropical climate due to its location near the equator, there’s not really a bad time to visit Panama City and its outdoor attractions, such as Monkey Island. If possible, visit from mid-December to mid-April, the area’s dry season, for the least chance of rain.
 
History of Monkey Island
Monkey Island is, in fact, a series of small islands. When the expansion of the Panama Canal necessitated the relocation of monkey populations to a large island, some of the animals weren’t coexisting well. They were ultimately separated into smaller populations, each on their own island. Habitat encroachment continues to be a problem for these monkey populations, as well as other indigenous species.


Address: Lake Gatún, in Chagres River Valley between Panama and Colon, Panama
Admission: Free; prices for tours vary widely
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22 Tours and Activities to Experience Monkey Island

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Monkey Island Tour from Panama CityNature & Wildlife

Monkey Island Tour from Panama City

star-4.5
Observe the monkeys on Monkey Island during this tour from Panama City. Round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels included. Morning or afternoon tour times available.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$70.52 
From  
$70.52 
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Monkey IslandHalf-day Tours

Monkey Island

star-4.5
In this tour you will have direct contact with the nature watching different species of monkeys and other wildlife such as crocodiles, herons, toucans etc. You will have the unique opportunity of sailing in a boat between enormous ships in the Panama Canal.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$111.80 
From  
$111.80 
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Combo: Monkey Island and Sloth SanctuaryDay Trips

Combo: Monkey Island and Sloth Sanctuary

star-5
This tour offers the unique experience to have contact with 2 of the most fascinanting animals in the rainforest: Monkeys and Sloths. Additionally you will have boat trip in Gatun Lake where you will admire other animals like crocodiles, toucans, hawks, tourtles, butterflies, etc.
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  • 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$142.57 
From  
$142.57 
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  • 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

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Private Monkey Island Boat Tour at the Panama Canal Half-day Tours

Private Monkey Island Boat Tour at the Panama Canal

star-5
This private tour from Panama City gets you close to ships traveling through the Panama Canal and even closer to monkeys on Monkey Island. Relax during a boat ride on Lake Gatun, which forms part of the Panama Canal, as ships pass by on their way through the canal. As your boat circles around Monkey Island, look for three species of monkey on the water's edge before a short rain forest hike to a natural swimming hole.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$235.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$235.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours

Soberania National Park, Monkey Island and Indian Village from Panama CityDay Trips

Soberania National Park, Monkey Island and Indian Village from Panama City

star-4.5
Tick off three of Panama’s top natural and cultural attractions without having to worry about car hire or advance planning on a day trip to Soberania National Park, Monkey Island, and Indian Village. Plus, all admission tickets are included so there’ll be no hidden costs on the day.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$140.00 
From  
$140.00 
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Day Tour Panama Canal, Railway and Monkey IslandFull-day Tours

Day Tour Panama Canal, Railway and Monkey Island

star-4.5
Experience the Panama Canal and the beauty of the rain forest on this guided excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, embark on a boat tour over the narrow causeways of Gatun Lake and get an up-close view of the canal’s lock systems. Explore Monkey Island and watch for sloths, monkeys, and other wildlife before returning to Panama City by train.
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  • 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$164.50 
Price varies by group size
From  
$164.50 
Price varies by group size
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  • 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle TourDay Trips

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

star-5
Travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during this full-day tour of the Panama Canal. With your local guide, explore the canal by sea and on foot, viewing the ships passing through the locks and the variety of plant and animal life on the canal's shores. Explore Gatun Lake and Monkey Island, home to howlers, capuchins, and tamarins. Stop at the Agua Clara Locks Visitor Center to get an overview of the canal's history through informative displays and exhibits. Explore San Lorenzo National Park and Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a picnic lunch. All activities, entrance fees, lunch, and round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels are included.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$135.00 
From  
$135.00 
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  • 7 to 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Tour Monkey Island and Indian VillageDay Trips

Tour Monkey Island and Indian Village

star-5
Experience Gatun Lake’s spectacular wildlife and rich culture on this half-day excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, travel by boat to an island chain in the middle of the Panama Canal that Howlers and other monkey species call home. Learn about these fascinating primates from an informative guide before continuing to an Embera indigenous village where you’ll enjoy a delicious traditional lunch and watch a live music and dance performance.
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  • 7 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$169.95 
Price varies by group size
From  
$169.95 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Monkey Island and Indigenous CommunityDay Trips

Monkey Island and Indigenous Community

star-5
Born and raised in Panama, I am part of the last generation of "zonians", or people that lived in the Canal Zone when the Americans were here. We will drive through the Canal Zone and I will give you first hand accounts of how life used to be before the turnover. I have a degree in Anthropology, my tours explore the culture and history of Panama. I am passionate about Monkey Island, and can teach you the best monkey calls! My parents were anthropologists in the 70's, living deep in the Darien rainforest for 11 years. I maintain a very close relationship with their extended family in the Wounaan community, and hope you will see and appreciate the beauty in their culture that I see.
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$138.47 
From  
$138.47 
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Monkey Island Tour in the Panama Canal WatershedHalf-day Tours

Monkey Island Tour in the Panama Canal Watershed

star-5
We start this lovely tour early in the morning, at 7:00 am or 2:00 pm so we can avoid the traffic and get to see more species of animals. Our guide will provide the information and tips for the encounter with the monkeys. We will arrive at the ramp around 7:45 am or 2:45 pm where you will hop aboard a high-speed motorboat and marvel at the breathtaking flora and fauna surrounding Gatun Lake. Enjoy stops at Monkey Island and Sounds of Silence Island. You may come close to some of the large ships that transit the canal daily. Monkey Island boasts an incredible amount of wildlife. Stay on the lookout for capuchin monkeys, Geoffroy's tamarin & howler monkeys and other species. This small-group tour runs with a maximum of 10 people, ensuring personalized attention from your guide. We are fully authorized company for the Panama Tourism Authority.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$75.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$75.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco CruiseBus Tours

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

star-4.5
Cruise the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake on a nature tour from Panama City that includes round-trip transport from central Panama City and time to explore Gatun’s wildlife-rich shoreline by boat. Visit jungle islands that were cut off from mainland Panama by the construction of the canal, which protect a thriving population of monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and mammals.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$71.80 
From  
$71.80 
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Panama Canal Eco-Cruise and Rainforest Discovery CenterDay Trips

Panama Canal Eco-Cruise and Rainforest Discovery Center

star-5
Cruise through the Panama Canal by boat for an up-close experience this important waterway. Look for wildlife on the shores of Gatun Lake, and see ships transiting through the canal. Then head to Gamboa and the Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park, and visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$128.21 
From  
$128.21 
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  • 6 to 7 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Combo TourDay Cruises

Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Combo Tour

star-5
Take an in-depth look at the famous Panama Canal and the indigenous cultures of the Chagres River during this boat-based, eco-adventure. Cruise amidst some of the waterways, lakes, and islands that make up the Panama Canal stopping to observe local birdlife and primates. Then meet up with residents of the Embera tribe in Parara Puru village for cultural presentations and an included lunch.
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  • 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$125.00 
From  
$125.00 
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  • 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Eco- Canal & Exhibitions (Sloth Sanctuary)Day Trips

Eco- Canal & Exhibitions (Sloth Sanctuary)

This is the most complete Eco-friendly Experience Ever in the Panama Canal. A great ride in the Panama Canal lake alongside of other ships cruising the canal,including Cruise Ships and that alone is gold.Visit the different monkey’s islands,take pictures of them in the natural habitat. from an Ordinary experience to an Extra-Ordinary ecological experience.We visit the exhibitions center where many species can be observed and of course the Sloth Sanctuary visit. You learn highly important ecological knowledge that are imparted by the local guides on the site. Mixed with hiking in the Soberania National Park, the same location as the former US pipeline location, sometimes birds, monkeys and other species can also be observed in that area. Including in this experience is a VIP Lunch (Buffet) in one of the restaurants of the Hotel, one of the restaurants is located by the lake where Caiman are often seen and the other one attached to the Hotel with the lake view.
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$195.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$195.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour from AirportBus Tours

Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour from Airport

star-5
Visit the Panama Canal during a private layover tour from Panama City’s international airport. Travel with a private driver to see one of the world’s engineering marvels. During this convenient outing, learn about Panama’s fascinating history and watch ships navigate the canal’s locks. Stop at the visitor center and enjoy a sightseeing tour through Panama City before returning to the airport.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$140.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$140.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 5 to 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Miraflores Locks and Monkey Island.Nature & Wildlife

Miraflores Locks and Monkey Island.

You will visit the Miraflores Locks Reception Center and Museum on the Panama Canal. One of the 3 locks of the Panama Canal. Where you will live a unique experience of the Panama Canal. You will find various activities where you will learn and take full advantage of the Panama Canal, such as a theater, exhibition halls, 4 floors of observation decks, terraces, a restaurant and a gift shop. Then you will cross the Gamboa rainforest in a private minibus, to reach the quays where your boat is waiting to take you to Monkey Island. You will sail directly on the famous Panama Canal and meet large container ships. On Monkey Island, you can see monkeys up close like the white-faced Capusin or the Tamarin Geoffreys (titi).
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$150.00 
From  
$150.00 
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera VillageNature & Wildlife

Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera Village

Your guide points out native flora and fauna of the Panama Rainforest, known for its biodiversity. You’ll get an up-close encounter with the wildlife on a visit to Monkey Island. Disembark the boat at this protected refuge and be on the lookout for primates such as capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths and howler monkeys as well as various types of bright-beaked toucans and other birdlife. Navigates the waterways of the Panama Canal, and marvel at the container ships that transit the canal daily. After your captain turns off the boat engine, enjoy a leisurely cruise that meanders along the forested banks of Gatun Lake. Itinerary may change due to weather conditions.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$130.00 
per group
From  
$130.00 
per group
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

 5N / 6D Nature package in Panama and CanalMulti-day Tours

 5N / 6D Nature package in Panama and Canal

Live the experience of visiting a country with many tourist attractions, a cosmopolitan city currently considered the city with more skyscrapers in Latin America and at the same time surrounded by nature, we have the Panama Canal, one of the most important engineering works in the world . Ecological Panama is the perfect option for those interested in knowing a little of all the contrasts in the Isthmus of Panama, this Tour covers from the most important engineering work in the region to the customs of our indigenous people, through the daily activities of the most advanced city in Central America.
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  • 6 days
From  
$1,000.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$1,000.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 days

Special Panama and Costa Rica Mega TripMulti-day Tours

Special Panama and Costa Rica Mega Trip

Is a blasting 9 days 8 nights journey trough Panama and Costa Rica. Not only its turistic places, but its culture and beautiful landscape.
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  • 9 days
From  
$2,769.24 
Price varies by group size
From  
$2,769.24 
Price varies by group size
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  • 9 days

Recorrido por el canal y la jungla de océano a océanoDay Trips

Recorrido por el canal y la jungla de océano a océano

Viaje entre los océanos Atlántico y Pacífico durante este recorrido de un día completo por el Canal de Panamá. Con su guía local, explore el canal por mar y a pie, y vea los barcos que pasan por las esclusas,la variedad de plantas y animales en las orillas del canal. Explore el lago Gatún y la isla de los monos, hogar de aulladores, capuchinos y tamarinos. Deténgase en el Centro de Visitantes de Agua Clara Locks para obtener una visión general de la historia del canal a través de exhibiciones informativas y exhibiciones. Explore el Parque Nacional San Lorenzo y el Fuerte San Lorenzo, declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO, y disfrute de un almuerzo tipo picnic. Se incluyen todas las actividades, entradas, almuerzo y transporte de ida y vuelta desde los hoteles de la ciudad de Panamá. Comer un picnic en el Parque Nacional San Lorenzo Explore el Canal de Panamá desde el Atlántico hasta el Pacífico Vea la vida animal y vegetal nativa que rodea el canal y el lago Gatún .
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  • 7 to 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$125.00 
From  
$125.00 
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Between two Oceans - 8 days - City and NatureMulti-day Tours

Between two Oceans - 8 days - City and Nature

- The beautiful island of Taboga, with its beaches of crystal clear waters. - Monkey Island, where you will see monkeys up close, including: the white face or the Tamarin monkeys. - Discover the construction of the Panama Canal at the Miraflores Locks and discover how ships cross the canal from coast to coast. The 8th man has done wonders of the world. - You will visit an Embera village, where you will learn their ancestral way of life and taste their food. - Visit a typical mountain village, El Valle de Anton, which is nestled in a volcano crater. - There, you will ride the India Dormida if you feel fit.
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$2,065.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$2,065.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation

Private Jungle Boat Full-Day Tour from Panama CityDay Trips

Private Jungle Boat Full-Day Tour from Panama City

From the lakeside, you will board a fast motor boat for a voyage of discovery. Navigate over ancient routes that crossed the isthmus long before the lake's creation. Huge ocean ships can be seen transiting across this water bridge that links the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
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  • 7 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$101.25 
From  
$101.25 
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  • 7 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Monkey Island?

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