Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Wanara Wana Monkey Forest

The Ubud Wanara Wana Monkey Forest is a site for Balinese Hindu worship and every aspect of the grounds has sacred meaning, from its trees and temples, to its long-tail macaques. This site is also a research centre where you can learn more about the monkeys and some 115 species of trees. The site is also known as the Padangtegal Monkey Forest because it is owned by the village of Padangtegal, one of Ubud’s communities.

Enter the tropical Monkey Forest to explore the temple complex. The original pagodas, pavilions and shrines are thought to date back to the mid-14th century, but many have eroded over time and some of the current structures are replicas. The biggest structure, the Dalem Agung Temple, is the main temple and used for everyday rituals. The Prajapati Temple is used for cremation ceremonies and the Holy Bathing Temple, almost hidden from view near the stream, is used for cleansing rituals. Meet some of the macaques who call this jungle home. There are more than 600 of them, living in four troops. In Balinese Hinduism, which incorporates elements of animism, Buddhism and ancestor worship, the monkeys are considered as sacred as the buildings.

The sacred sanctuary of Monkey Forest is located on the southern border of Ubud town around 3 kms south of central town with a leading road also with the name ofMonkey Forest. The site can be reached by many sides besides from central town of Ubud, from eastern corner of Ubud and from southern area of Ubud. The distance from Kuta is around 55 kms, from Sanur around 40 kms, and from Nusa Dua area around 65 kms.

Wanara Wana is the name of Ubud monkey forest in Sanskrit language, as the language ever influenced the layers of religious and ruling class of Indonesian archipelago before the fall into islam, and only Bali that strongly maintains the tradition. It is important to treat the monkeys with respect as this forest is heir home and you are a guest in it. Please remain on the paved paths. The monkeys may become aggressive if you invade their private areas ( wanara Wana staff and researcher may occasionally be seen in this areas please do not follow them.

It can often seen how the Balinese Macaques are cracking open coconuts. If available they like to eat bananas and papayas, too. Once taken please leave the fruit with the monkeys. If you with to feed the macaques please do so carefully, and if they take food from you, please do not attempt to retrieve it back. It is also of great importance that you treat the trees, the plants and other animals and structures within the Sacred Monkey Forest with great respect.

This is holy area and an important ecological preservation. please enjoy the beauty and magic of this place. while at the same time respecting what lives in it. If you have any question or if you should need assistance, please asked the Wenara wana personnel ( identified by their green uniforms ) or a member of the research project.

Besides watching playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways or feeding on bananas, the site offers cool walks along paved pathways through a leafy nutmeg forest. Beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss also feature throughout the forest. Those staying outside of Ubud and coming for a day tour usually have the Ubud Monkey Forest as a must-visit, combined with Bali sightseeing tour highlights at the Ubud Royal Palace and shopping sprees through the expansive Ubud Art Market, all only a 10-minute drive away.

Balinese Macaques at Ubud Wanara Wana Monkey Forest

The monkeys that live in this sanctuary are called Balinese macaques, also known as long tail macaques. Their scientific name is macaca fascicularis and aside from humans, macaques are the most widespread and successful of all primates.

About 300 macaques currently reside in the monkey forest. There are approximately 35 adults males, 95 adult females and 170 young. These macaques live primarily in three clusters of females and males. Each of these groups tends to use different areas of the forest at different ties of the day. All macaques use all of the forest. Conflicts sometimes arises when two groups are in same area. Adult males weight up to 8 to 10 kgs and have large canines teeth, broad shoulders and facial hair that resembles a mustache. The adult females are smaller then the males ( 4-8 kgs ) and have long facial hair resembling beads. Balinese macaques group is centered around groups of related females called "matriline" Male macaques usually migrate in from other area and attempt to associate themselves with the female matriline Both males and females, have st of dominance relationship, but they are not always clear or consistent.

Mating can take place all year round but most infants are born during the months of May - August. Macaques mothers range from very protective to very permissive with their infants. Many females who are not the mother spend time holding and caring for infants. Sometimes you will even see an adult male "mothering" as well.

Research and Conservation Ubud Monkey Forest

The Ubud Wanara Wana Monkey Forest Sanctuary serves not only as an important component in the spiritual and daily life of the villagers, but is the site of several research and conservation programs. The maintenance and management of special place like this attract the attention of researchers from all over the world, especially the interaction between human beings and the monkeys of this sacred place are subject to surveys and research studies.

Public Facilities

  • Parking Area
  • Public Toilet
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Restaurant
  • Drink Stall
  • Bar
  • Hotels
  • ATM Machine
  • Public Transportation