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Monkey Forest Sanctuary – the home of Bali’s Grey macaques
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The highlands of Bali are world famous as the heart and soul of the island’s deep cultural and artistic roots. The cool, mountainous region of Ubud in particular, has attracted many a traveller to its lush green valleys, cultural villages, markets and dense forests. Accommodation wise, like most of the accommodation in Bali, Ubud has its share of scenic retreats, like the COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, for example.

While there are plenty of captivating things to see and do in the region, one of Ubud’s biggest attractions for visitors, is the celebrated Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest, the six hectares of fertile forestland, shrouded by giant nutmeg trees, is home to Bali’s mischievous looking, long-tailed grey macaque.

Around 600 macaques are said to live in the sanctuary, with 5 main groups located in different areas. While they generally live in peace, conflicts are known to arise between the monkey groups due to territory crossings. Once notorious for stealing from visitors, over the years, their behaviour toward humans has improved, thanks to a management program run by the surrounding community. However, while they look cute and seem friendly, all visitors are advised to remain on guard and treat them as wild animals. Aside from the macaques, the forest is also home to 22 varieties of birds, 5 species of mammals, various reptiles and several other creatures.

Besides watching the monkeys lazing around trails or swinging through the canopies; located further in the thick forest, ancient temples, surrounded by stone statues covered in moss, can be found in several places. The most famous of which is the 17th century Bukit Sari Temple. A full day is needed to really explore the forest trails and take in the beauty of the tall trees, mystical stone temples and of course, watch the monkey families.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travelers.

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