Trip Planner: Central America / Costa Rica / Province of Guanacaste / Playa Ocotal / The Monkey Farm
The Monkey Farm is located in Playa Ocotal. Use our Playa Ocotal trip itinerary maker tool to arrange your visit to The Monkey Farm and other attractions in Playa Ocotal.
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The Monkey Farm Reviews
Vicki and her crew were fantastic. Highly recommend a visit and horseback riding. The horses were well kept and friendly. They were treated like pets and fun to ride. Great job helping to rehab monkey... more »
Whatever bad reviews are out there, DISREGARD them. Me and my husband went on the two hour horseback ride tour with Vicki. As people who have never rode horses before, she was very helpful in teaching... more »
Unfortunately named, the "monkey farm" does not have monkeys (some light googling should explain why they no longer do) It now operates as a "sustainable" farm project where you can see horses, pigs, ... more »
Not a monkey farm at all. There was not a single monkey. It's some french kids who have a garden; some goats and some ragged horses. We were shown a real live compost worm mound. We were asked for a donation. When we asked about the monkeys, we were asked in dismay "oh do you want to see monkeys in cages?" After being shamed for expecting to see monkeys at THE MONKEY FARM we left. Don't waste your time.
I spent 4 months living on the farm in my big tent and the relationships that I made with some of the volunteers while I was there are ones that I cherish to this day. At that time it seemed wonderful, there were monkeys and animals everywhere and the volunteers seemed happy working on various projects all over the farm. I would find out a few months later, after leaving my career and home near the beach in San Diego to live and work on the farm full time, that I was wrong about the legitimacy of The Monkey Farm and had been misled in a number of ways. If you are looking to make a difference for wildlife it is my honest opinion that avoiding this place will do just that. The farm may have been a noble pursuit with good intentions at one point, but I firmly believe that it is the farthest thing you could get from a rehabilitation center or place for wildlife and it needs to stop pretending to be one – I saw more death and had to bury more animals while working on that farm than I care to think about. I ended up deleting almost all of the photos that I took while I was there because I felt like it was a farce and for a photographer who loves wildlife that should tell you something about how seriously I feel. The operator of the farm can make some convincing arguments against the negative press out there and goes to great lengths to make it appear everything is okay there, even posting old pictures as new ones on social media and telling tripadvisor admins that ex employees have made negative reviews to get them removed – this was something she personally asked me to do which I refused on moral grounds. All of this negativity can sometimes be easy to ignore when in the back of your head you think you are going to a paradise in Costa Rica, but after a while the truth just can’t and shouldn’t be denied for your own good and safety.
It sounded good, until i arrived. Do NOT sign up for volunteering. They ask for a minimum of 30 days volunteering, & all they want is a free gardener for 30 days. There are NO animals to rescue or help at this location. Don't bother going unless you want to garden for 30 days.
What a sweet group of volunteers running this place. They are happy to walk you around the farm and show you all the eco-friendly ways they're growing food, raising animals. Sadly, the monkeys weren't around the day we visited. They give you moringa seeds when you visit, but be careful - they can be highly invasive in many places (especially if you don't regularly eat all the parts of it, as they recommend). Fun stop on the way to the beach.
After earning my degree in veterinary medicine and coming to a crossroads in my life, I needed a change and wanted to seek out a purpose, gain experience with exotics in a clinic setting while volunteering for a good cause. After traveling over 3,000 miles to Costa Rica, I arrived at The Monkey Farm, only to find out that there were NO monkeys, no clinic and a very different atmosphere than I expected. I didn’t receive a very warm welcome from the owner, Vicki Conley whom I had been email back and forth for over a month while planning and she seemed very nice over email, but in person was completely different. I wasn’t given a tour of the farm or told anything other than pick any spot you want to set up your tent. I expected to be walking into a great experience with other volunteers from all over the world, a clinic for medical care, a permaculture garden that supplied our food, an aquaponics system I was curious to know all about and well cared for wildlife, exotic species and farm animals. Instead I walked into a living hell. To read my full review and experience, see "The Monkey Farm Review" page on Facebook. Google says my review is too long to be placed here.
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