The Thieving Monkeys of Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio diebische Affen

Heavy raindrops continue to drizzle through the dense treetops from the tropical shower that has just ended. Our guide, Frank, leaves. For the past two hours, he has been introducing us to some of the inhabitants and protégés of Manuel Antonio National Park. His trained eyes have spotted animals even in the densest thicket, which we could hardly recognize even through the telescope.

Now we are on our own, and I turn to my husband and ask a rather rhetorical question: will we even catch sight of any wildlife without him?

Under the tree tops right next to the beach, Frank has left us to our own devices, and we decide to explore the small peninsula, which is also part of the national park. To get there, we stroll leisurely along the sandy path and become aware of the little Capuchin Monkeys sitting on the branches all around. Some sit there alone and watch us. Others sit together in pairs and one monkey delouses the other. The faces the delousing monkey makes are hilarious and we can’t help but laugh when we spot them. But what follows immediately afterwards is beyond comparison:

Some of the little monkeys jump skillfully over the densely overgrown branches. Their eyes are stiffly focused on something in the sand. In no time at all they are out of the trees and down on the beach. They start rummaging through the bags of a few tourists. These don’t even notice the little raid, although they are only a few metres away enjoying the ocean. The monkeys are not exactly careful with their belongings – here a piece of clothing flies through the air, there a flip-flop. The little monos only want one thing: food!

Info: For this reason, no food of any kind is allowed to be taken into Manuel Antonio National Park. At the entrance, the rangers check the tourists’ backpacks, but this information has probably not reached the monkeys yet.

Grüß dich, I'm Viki!

At Chronic Wanderlust, I write about my two great passions: travelling and diving – and have been doing so since 2013.

I usually spend a solid majority of the year travelling to experience extraordinary underwater adventures, taking road trips through countries I don’t know (yet) or exploring my home country of Austria.

As a certified divemaster, passionate underwater & travel photographer, road trip enthusiast and individual traveller, I collect unique moments all over the world.

I don’t believe that severe cases of wanderlust – aka chronic wanderlust – can be cured, only treated. On this blog, I want to show you how this can best be realised.

Curious to get to know me better?