A favorite activity for friends visiting Granada is to do an isleta tour. I've written other posts about the isletas so I don't see a need to cover it again (click here to read more about them). After going a few times, I feel a cheated because honestly, it's a real estate tour of who's who in Nicaragua. "Here's the vacation home of the Pellas Family (who own everything that's anything in Nicaragua)." "Here's the vacation home of some random, rich foreigner." You get the point.
But there is one part of the tour that warms my heart every time...isla de los monos (monkey island). A local vet rescued spider and white-face monkeys and put them on this island to live. People usually have them as pets here but it's actually illegal. There's just absolutely no enforcement of that law. One of the monkeys is tailless because it burned off when he tried to swing from an electrical line. See why they don't belong in the city?
I've brought tomatoes before to feed them because that's always what the tour guides recommend, but the last time I went, all I had was bananas and thought, why not? They are monkeys, right? Turns out there's a reason you associate bananas with monkeys. They...love...them. They will come right up to the boat and take the food out of your hand. Once I went and they came onto the boat checking stuff out. Check out these shots above. Are they not the cutest things you've ever seen?
*(Scroll down to read some slightly scandalous information about monkeys)
If you're coming to Granada and want to do a tour, the best deal I've seen is from Puerto Asese for $12 a boat. You can fit about 10 on a boat. It will should cost you 30cordoba ($1.25) a person one-way for a taxi from city center to the port. It's kind of far out from the other tour operators but about half the cost even with taxi included. I've done a few tours, and honestly, they're all the same no matter what you're spending. And while you're out at the port, check out Villas Mombacho, a great restaurant lake-side where you can pick your fish and seafood before it's grilled or fried up for you. Yum!
*I debated about adding this to my blog because it's slightly inappropriate but well, you all know me and well, I'm slightly inappropriate so I guess it's ok. Here's some advice, if you come here and choose to greet a pet monkey NEVER NEVER touch their hands. This will be hard because they're really handsy. They're like toddlers and love to touch everything. I have learned the hard way, though, that they are avid masturbators. Very awkward when you have an 8-year old with you in service and they're asking, "Why won't he turn around to say hello?" Yikes!