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Monkey Island

Howler monkey in a guarumo tree

In 4 days on Isla Ometepe I saw dozens of monkeys.  My two lovely friends Meera and Betsy visited me for a week of adventures, and the monkeys were often our companions.  They hung from the flexible branches of the guarumo trees around our hotel, snacking on the leaves.  They howled through the forest at night.  They were alternately indifferent, curious, and shy.

On our hike up Volcan Maderas a small group of white-faced monkeys glided through the canopy parallel to the trail, eyeing us nervously before melting back into the forest.  Then we got to swing on a thick vine across the trail, sweeping up into the air “como Tarzan!” our guide Saul said.

After climbing the steep slope we stopped for lunch with a view of cloud-crowned Volcan Concepcion across the isthmus.  A band of howler monkeys (monos congos here) snacked in the branches at eye level with us, the baby hiding behind his mother when we got too close.

When we pulled ashore in our kayaks the next day, we looked up to see a lone male in a tree above, hanging by his tail to reach the tip of the branches.  And on our last day on the island we caught the call of the howlers echoing across the water…

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