If you visit the tropical rainforests of Nicaragua, you will probably hear them before you see them. The howler monkeys, among the largest monkeys of Latin America, are characterized by their loud howl, that can be heard from several miles away. They are widely considered to be the loudest land animals on earth. The first time you hear them it can be surprising, or even scary… especially at dawn and if they’re close by!
But no worries, they are not aggressive and stay mainly in the trees. Although they can smell food from a mile away, they eat leaves, fruits, flowers and nuts, so your chance of having contact with them is fairly low. Moreover, they’re slow moving and spend most of their time resting.
Mostly found in Central and South America, the Howler monkeys usually live in groups of 5 to 20 animals, with a few adult males, many females and kids. They use their loud howl to communicate and keep space between groups. They are very agile, use their arms, legs and long tail to move around the trees and get their food. They live up to 20 years.
If you come stay at Casa Marimba or anywhere else in Laguna de Apoyo Nicaragua, you’ll most probably hear them at dawn and dusk, and sometimes during the day. If you want more chances of seeing them, we recommend the dry season (January to April). As most trees in the laguna get dry, they come closer to the shore of the lake, to eat the leaves of the trees that always stay green. And it’s not uncommon (especially if you’re staying for several days) to see them passing by in our property, eating and resting on the huge and beautiful tree giving shade to our lush garden.