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10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest

10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest

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Sacred Hindu temples, wild monkeys, and a forest that houses guardian spirits. While that might sound like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, the Ubud Monkey Forest is a real place you can visit right in Bali!

During our time living in Bali, we visited Monkey Forest at least 10 times. It’s one of our favorite things to do in Ubud – it’s just so cool!

Easily one of the best and most unique experiences in the country, we wanted to take our knowledge of this incredible sanctuary and list everything you need to know before you visit. We will cover the cost, safety, our favorite tours, and more. So, let’s jump right in!

1. About the Ubud Monkey Forest  

Two monkeys sitting on a branch in Ubud monkey foreest bali
Two macaque monkeys looking out over the jungle in Ubud Monkey Forest, Bali

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, commonly known as Ubud Monkey Forest, is located in the village of Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali. This natural sanctuary is approximately the size of 31 football fields – so it’s huge! There are over 1,200 Balinese long-tailed macaques that live in separate groups, each with their own territories in the forest. What I found incredible about these monkeys is that their tails are longer than their head-to-body length! Those long tails help them balance while they literally “monkey around” all day. 

So what makes this location sacred? As far back as the 14th century, the forest has been considered a home to guardian spirits and spiritual forces. Monkeys, too, are considered sacred animals in Balinese culture.

Monkey Forest is actively used as a place of spiritual practice by locals. There are three temples on the premises, and while visitors are not permitted to go inside, you can walk around these beautiful structures and learn about each one. Also, there are some fantastic dances and ceremonies that take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so we definitely recommend visiting on the weekend if you can. But either way, as long as you make it here, you’re in for a great time!

Ubud Monkey Forest is also a major research and conservation site. There are over 115 different tree species in the forest, including a banyan tree that is over 100 years old! Researchers come from around the world to observe the unique interaction of the local monkeys with their environment – how cool is that?!

2. Where is the Ubud Monkey Forest  

People walk through the jungle of Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali
All this beauty so close to the city!

Located on the edge of Ubud, the Sacred Monkey Forest is still fairly close to hotels in the area and roughly an hour’s drive from Bali’s capital, Denpasar. Even though it’s a small town, Ubud can become congested and hard to navigate. That’s why we like to take a tour (see our favorites under #5 below!) because then transportation and logistics are taken care of.

Related Read: For more photo-worthy spots (and your own personal photographer), check out our review of the Bali Instagram Tour!

3. How much does it cost to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest?  

Bailey waits in line for tickets at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Let’s see some monkeys!

Entrance into the Ubud Monkey Forest is actually quite reasonable, even for foreigners! During the week, tickets are just over $5 USD, and on the weekends it goes up to $6.50 USD. The cost is less for locals, but we think it’s a great deal even at full price!

4. When is the Ubud Monkey Forest Open?  

A sign that says welcome at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Welcome to the jungle!

Ubud Monkey Forest is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily, and the last time they let people in is at 5 pm. They are strict about enforcing the closing time since the monkeys need some rest and undisturbed time to be, well, monkeys! Of course, there are some holiday closures throughout the year such as New Year’s Day. If you have any doubts you can always check their website.

5. What are the best tours to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest? 

Best of Ubud – All-Inclusive Tour

A monkey eats food at Monkey Forest Ubud, Bali
So cute!
Bailey poses for a photo at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali
Tegallalang Rice Terrace!

While the Sacred Monkey Forest is one of Ubud’s top attractions, there is so much more to see. This All-inclusive Ubud Tour stops at some of the most beautiful sites in Ubud for an unforgettable experience.

The start times are between 7:30-9 am for hotel pickup and we recommend going with the earliest start time you can to avoid the crowds. The first stop is at the Ubud Monkey Forest! The benefit of having a local guide is they told us all about the spiritual practices, history, and stories of the area that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Plus, the guides interact with the monkeys regularly and know the rules to keep you safe, so that’s a huge benefit.

Other stops during the day include swinging over the Tegallalang Rice Terrace, the water rituals at Tirta Empul Hindu Temple, and the stunning 50-foot tall (15-meter) Tegenungan Waterfall. By the time we got dropped off at our hotel, we were spent, and definitely saw some of the best Ubud has to offer. There’s no wonder this experience made our list of the best tours in Ubud!

Not only are all of the entrance fees covered, but this tour includes an incredible lunch as well. Considering it’s only $90 USD per person for a full-day tour, I’d say this is one of those 10/10 experiences to tell all your friends about.

Best of Ubud: Monkey Forest, Temple, Waterfall, Rice Terrace and Art Villages  

Bailey walks down a path in the jungle of Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Exploring the Sacred Monkey Forest
Bailey at Ubud Art Market in Bali
At the Ubud Art Market!

For another epic full-day experience, this Ubud Combo Tour includes stops at popular highlights and local art villages as well. This is also a great option for people staying outside of Ubud in places farther south like Denpasar and Canggu who want to experience the magic of Ubud.

The first stop is Celuk Village, which is known for its long history of producing beautiful handmade jewelry. We recommend carrying small bills as there are so many unique pieces that make great gifts! Also, don’t forget to haggle a bit to get some amazing deals.

This tour has a nice balance of places to buy local goods, temples, nature, and of course, the Sacred Monkey Forest. It’s about an hour at each location and if there is time at the end of the day you can visit the sacred Elephant Cave, often used by locals for meditation. We love that this tour visits so many areas and the guide is great at giving a local perspective on each place.

While there is no lunch included, there are plenty of opportunities to buy a meal at one of the stops, and all entrance fees are covered. This tour lasts all day and only costs $51 USD.

Ubud: Monkey Forest – Jungle Swing – Rice Terrace – Water Temple and Waterfall 

Daniel splashes himself with water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple in Ubud, Bali
Daniel splashing himself with water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple
Bailey enjoys a swing over the rice fields in Ubud Bali on a tour
Up, up, and away!

This private full-day Ubud tour has a little bit of everything. Waterfalls, the Sacred Monkey Forest, beautiful rice terraces, and even a ride on a jungle swing!

This tour has two options, an all-inclusive day that covers entrance fees, and a standard option that has the same stops but does not cover entrance fees. Either way, both include round-trip transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. Personally, we suggest the all-inclusive experience.

This tour includes stops at some beautiful natural areas like the Tegenungan Waterfall and Tegallalang Rice Terrace where you can soak up the incredible Balinese jungle scenery. There are also stops at the Tirta Empul Water Temple and Sacred Monkey Forest and our guide was awesome about telling us stories about each place.

Two monkeys on a branch at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Just a couple of monkeys hanging out

If you have a fear of heights, taking a ride on a jungle swing might not be on your list of things to do, but we can confirm you’ll be safely strapped in the whole time. For those who want more of a thrill, there’s a swing that’s 60 meters (197 feet) high. It honestly felt like I was flying!

The tour price varies by group size, but for two people the all-inclusive tour is $59 USD per person.

Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing  

Daniel puts his head under the water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple in Ubud, Bali
Just don’t drink the water!
Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Market is great!

What I love about this Best of Ubud private tour is the flexibility it offers. Want to spend more time at the Sacred Monkey Temple and a little less at a waterfall? No problem! Our guide made sure that our day was exactly what we wanted.

This tour offers 3 separate options, but we recommend the all-inclusive one (no surprise there) because it includes lunch and all entrance fees. Plus, not having to worry about extra fees and meals helped make our entire day stress-free.

There are options to be picked up between 7 and 9 am from the hotel, and we went bright and early at 7 am. I like that the day starts at the Sacred Monkey Forest because we got there before it was too hot and crowded. The same goes for the second stop, Tegallalang Rice Terrace, where we were able to walk among the lush green fields for a good long while before too many people were there.

A monkey sitting in a tree in ubud monkey forest bali
Looking out over the jungle

The restaurant we went to for lunch, d’Alas Warung, has amazing outdoor seating with views of the jungle and authentic Balinese cuisine. They have incredible juices and smoothies made with fresh fruit, which was so nice to enjoy outside. The scenery is stunning and there’s even a pool if you feel like going for a swim! After a quick lunch break, we were off to see more of Ubud! This tour visits some of the other sites we’ve mentioned like Tirta Empul Temple and the jungle swing, and we even requested a stop at the Ubud Art Market!

Prices differ depending on the tour option and group size, but the all-inclusive for 2 people is only $69 USD each! This is a super popular tour with over 5,000 5-star reviews, so we recommend taking advantage of this great deal.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Related Read: For another truly beautiful place to walk around, check out the Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Fiji.

6. Is it safe to visit the Ubud Monkey Forest? 

A man and woman pose with a monkey for a picture at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Brave!

Even though we have visited Ubud Monkey Forest tons of times, we still get a little nervous around the monkeys. It’s not uncommon for them to try and grab your sunglasses, phone, hat, or bag and not give it back until they’re given food. However, please do not feed or touch the monkeys! Staff members are trained to deal with their behavior and feed the monkeys throughout the day, so don’t let their cute faces fool you!

It’s important to respect the wildlife, and that includes not enticing the monkeys with food or prodding them to make them react. There are guidelines you’ll need to know before visiting Ubud Monkey Forest, and while it’s definitely safe to visit, I still like being a part of an organized tour because the guides have a lot of experience with these monkeys.

7. Do the monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest have rabies?

A man takes a picture of a monkey on thee ground at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Monkeys everywhere!

This is a valid question and one many people have. There have never been any cases of rabies from the monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest. On top of that, the officials check the monkeys’ health regularly and vaccinate them to ensure the safety of not just guests, but the monkeys also. 

So while I can tell you, no, the monkeys do not have rabies, I still always recommend not letting monkeys climb on or touch you when you visit. Some guides will tell you it’s okay and safe for a picture, but do this at your discretion!

Related Read: If you’re traveling to Bali for the first time, check out our tips on long-haul and international flights.

8. How long do you need to explore the Ubud Monkey forest? 

Bailey walks through the jungle of Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
So much to see!

We recommend setting aside at least an hour, but you could easily spend 2 or more hours here seeing the temples, exhibits, monkeys, and jungle pathways. Most tours spend at least an hour at the Sacred Monkey Forest but on a private tour, you can choose to stay longer if you want to explore more.

9. What facilities/features will you find at the Ubud Monkey Forest? 

A kiosk that says luggage at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Care for a cool poster to take home?

The Ubud Monkey Forest has several conveniently placed toilets, temples, exhibition rooms, cafes, and even a stage where performances take place. While we walked through the forest, we noticed many places were set up to stop and take pictures of the monkeys. These are great for getting those fun and unique selfies to share with family and friends. Oh, and don’t forget to make a stop at the gift shop!

10. Is visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest worth it? 

Bailey poses by some stone carvings on a walkway at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali
Yes!

Yes, this is something we highly recommend doing! It even makes our list of the best things to do in all of Bali! I guarantee you haven’t ever been to a place like Ubud Monkey Forest.

It’s one of the best places to see macaque monkeys in their natural habitat surrounded by breathtaking temples, beautiful jungles, and a history rooted in Balinese culture. The uniqueness of this place is unlike anything else in Bali!

Where to Stay in Ubud

Abipraya hotel in Bali with views of the pool and the rice fields
Abipraya Hotel

Ubud is a great place to stay in Bali because of its stellar views. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels, it’s not hard to find a nice vacation spot. But it can be hard to choose! We’ve narrowed it down to our top picks for every budget, including the hotel we stayed at and loved (hint – it’s the Abipraya Hotel!).

TheWakanda Resort – A Prama Experience – $$$

If you’re looking for out-and-out luxury, TheWakanda Resort has luxe suites and standalone villas with rice field views that seem to stretch for miles, until they meet the jungle. We think that this would be perfect for a romantic stay in Ubud! There’s also an on-site spa and a yoga studio that hosts classes every other day, and the staff here are really willing to go the extra mile for you. 

Suites are typically around $300 USD, but we’ve seen closer to $200 USD outside of peak season. We’ve found the best deals booking in advance online.

Gynandha Ubud Cottage – $$

In Bali, staying at a mid-range place usually means you get a lot of bang for your buck, and Gynandha Ubud Cottage is a prime example of this. The rooms are big and beautifully decorated, the bathrooms will make you feel like you’re in a spa, and there’s a pretty, split-level waterfall pool for guests to use.

This property is just a few minutes’ walk from the town center, but is still super peaceful and offers beautiful rice field views for around $150-$200 USD per night. Reserve a room in advance with Booking.com.

Abipraya – $

We stayed at Abipraya, which was super quiet and nestled into a tropical garden, about 10 minutes’ walk from the main town. The location was ideal for us and we loved the big swimming pool overlooking the rice fields, as well as the open and airy feel that the rooms had.

Prices start at around $50 USD per night, which includes breakfast, so it was a really good budget option. Book Abipraya here!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali
Thanks for reading!

We hope this guide has helped answer your questions about Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest. This is such a fun place to visit, and it’ll definitely make a lasting memory! A trip to Bali just isn’t complete without a stop to see the monkeys in Ubud.

Traveling is our life, and we love finding new things to do around the world. Daniel is from Australia, and we’ve made our way across Australasia and Asia over the years. We’ve listed a few articles that you might find interesting below:

4 Types of Tours in Bali that Every Tourist Should Consider

How to Spend One Day in Sydney: An Ideal 1-Day Itinerary

10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Shark Dive in Fiji