When researchers named the most unique characteristics of primates for the Treehugger.com website, they didn’t have to look far to unearth the species with the biggest mouths! Belize howler monkeys aren’t gossips but their name is their claim to fame: They have one of the loudest calls of any land mammal and their unsettling roars can be heard from a distance of three miles away.
No offense human guys, but male howlers are louder and larger than females but the girls are equally loquacious. What made these creatures so loud? Blame evolution. Hyoid bones in their throats kept enlarging as the species adapted over time. That means they could keep getting louder!
Howlers are said to “sing rainforests to sleep at night” throughout Central and South America. Family sizes range between 4 and 10 and they’re very territorial, daring and stake out territories that range between three and 25 acres. In other words, they are fascinating to see, hear and study.
Where to find Howler monkeys
Especially prevalent within Belize’s Cockscomb Basin, numerous conservation groups (including the Belize Audubon Society) have a big presence there to study howlers and contemporary estimates are in the range of 52,000 living in the wilds of this 128,000 acre preserve where they were “transplanted” to help the species thrive 25 years ago.
But you don’t have to trek through 128,000 acres to get up close and personal with these noisy apes if you stay at Laru Beya Resort. Gain access to these critters by taking Laru Beya’s Monkey River Tour where you’ll be charmed and delighted to encounter these creatures.
About the tour
Ready to meet the howlers? The Laru Beya Resort Monkey Tour is your ticket to a fabulous experience. You’ll cruise along the Placencia Lagoon through mangroves where you could spot a manatee during the ride. Upon arrival at the appropriately-named Monkey River Village, you will travel upstream, passing iguanas sunning on tree branches as birds fly overhead.
As you process along, you could spot crocodiles hanging out along the edge of the river’s bank. By now, you will start to hear a chorus of “voices” that aren’t exactly melodic. That’s howler monkey talk for “You’re invading my space people and I’m not happy about it.”
But you explain that they’re the reason you’ve come and once you leave the boat to trek along the jungle trail with a little help from your guide’s machete, the din will get even louder. You won’t want to leave but eventually, you will after taking a refreshing swim in the river and enjoying an authentic Belizean meal at a family eatery.
You’ll love this adventure. You’ll love the resort, too. Make this journey part of your education as you delve more deeply into these indigenous mammals while vacationing at this luxurious Placencia resort where word has it that the monkeys are jealous of the resort’s amenities, beautiful digs and some of the best service on the planet.