Rio de Janeiro Monkeys – My (Almost) Pets

I moved from the concrete jungle of Bangkok to an actual jungle in Brazil. The best part so far? Rio de Janeiro monkeys that came to visit me every afternoon.

Rio de Janeiro Monkeys

When I first moved to Rio, I lived on the fifth(ish) floor of an old mansion right outside Vidigal.

It was love at first sight for the balcony… The rest of the details kinda sucked.

Rio Brazil Patio Bright with Pool

And the best part of the balcony (aside from the comfortably-fits-six-adults blow up kiddie pool I “installed”) was the monkeys that came every day.


It was the highlight of my afternoon every day.

I became minorly obsessed and would save bananas and mangos to feed them.


One night I dreamt (yes I was seriously dreaming about the monkeys, that’s how enamoured I was with them) that they brought me a monkey baby to be mine.

The next day, a mom monkey showed up with a baby on her back! I about passed out.

No, she did not “give” him to me and no worries I didn’t try to steal him. But still – so cool!
My daily monkey-feeding continued until I moved from that house.

Rio de Janeiro Monkeys

The monkeys are still one of the coolest things I’ve experienced in Rio.

And no – they never bit me. But a few did get too comfortable and helped themselves to the fruit in my outdoor kitchen a couple times.

But monkeys in Rio aren’t confined to Vidigal – they’re everywhere! Some popular places to see them (and easy to reach) are Morro da Urca and Morro do Leme, as well as any part of Tijuca forest.

Have you seen Rio de Janeiro monkeys? Would you feed them by hand?

Necessary Details: Rio de Janeiro

What Else to Do in Rio de Janeiro
Check out my full guide to Rio de Janeiro here, which includes the best suggestions for hiking (including my favorite Morro do Leme hike), where to eat, weekend getaways from the city (including Buzios), and the best beaches.
You can read every article I’ve ever written about Rio de Janeiro (and there’s a lot: I lived there for almost two years!) here.
Viator offers a bunch of different Rio de Janeiro tour options, including for visiting Christ the Redeemer, and provides excellent customer service and refunds if anything goes wrong — much more than local operators would do.
Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro
If you have around $100 per night to spend, you can’t get a better value than Rio 180 hotel — each room is a suite and has its own private hot tub along with incredible views!
For a wider range of pricing options, check here  or Airbnb is a great value in Rio de Janeiro and in Buzios. You can use this link for 39USD off your first stay!
How to Arrive to Rio de Janeiro 
You can take the bus into Rio de Janeiro from many destinations within Brazil, but most people choose to fly. While Copa Airlines isn’t my favorite carrier, they do usually offer the cheapest flights. To check the latest low prices on airfare to Brazil, try Skyscanner , or if you have some date and/or destination flexibility and want to score the absolute lowest prices, try
Visa information for Brazil and Visa Renewal in Rio de Janeiro
I’ve written an extensive post (along with Q&A about the topic in the comments) here

A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

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