A Balinese Hindu site, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is populated by some 700 long-tailed Balinese macaques that live in and around the forest. The monkeys are believed to protect the area and the three Hindu temples within—Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji, and Pura Prajapati—from evil spirits.
The sanctuary’s primate residents are its most popular attraction, along with ancient temples, dense forest, and over 186 tree species. Stroll through the sacred site to observe the monkeys in action and snap photos with them from a safe distance, then explore the ancient 14th-century temples, which are used as places of worship for the Hindu community. Most Ubud sightseeing tours include a stop at the forest sanctuary, along with other popular attractions such as the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Goa Gajah Temple, and Ubud Palace. For a personalized experience, opt for a private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The forest is a must-see for families and animal lovers.
- The macaques are wild animals and can be aggressive, particularly in their pursuit of food. As such, feeding, touching, or playing with them is discouraged. The monkeys do sometimes climb on people if encouraged.
- The monkeys are notorious for stealing personal belongings. Don’t bring items you don’t want to lose, such as jewelry, sunglasses, wallets, and keys.
- Dress conservatively if you plan to visit the temple complex inside the forest.
How to Get There
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is located within walking distance of downtown Ubud, roughly one mile (1.6 kilometers) away. To get there from Raya Ubud, the town’s main street, turn south onto Monkey Forest Road and continue downhill to the sanctuary.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Ubud’s monkey forest is during the dry, warm months of June, July, and August. The forest makes a pleasant escape from the afternoon heat, but expect crowds during this time of year.
Don’t Buy the Bananas
As you approach the forest, some Balinese vendors try to sell travelers bananas to feed to the monkeys. However, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe and photograph the animals without resorting to luring them with food, which can be dangerous.