Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Monkeys & Maria's House

As mentioned in my first post of my recent trip to the Dominican Republic, the trip was free. My husband won this trip at his job due to his performance through out the year. Part of the complete package included two activities, we were given the options to choose from Zip lining, visiting an island, monkey experience, a dolphin experience, snorkeling, and one more but I can't think of it right now. We choose the monkey and dolphin experience.  Our first activity was the monkey experience. I was so busy with work that I never really had time to research the monkey experience and really know what the experience consisted of. Well when I arrived I was informed that we would be visiting a monkey sanctuary where we would be able to feed and touch monkeys. Needless to say, I was a little scared!
View from the monkey exposure






I was scared of a monkey attacking or biting us, these our wild animals after all. I was nervous of how it would feel to have a monkey actually touch my skin. I'm just a big scaredy cat!   After a 45 minute ride we arrived at the monkey sanctuary and it was like we were in the jungle!  I held it together and made my way into the sanctuary. It was so beautiful and green! Oh it was super duper HUMID!

As soon as we walked in, monkeys started to come out of the trees and before you know it they were on top of our heads, backs,shoulders and arms. We were given small bowls with fruits and seeds to feed the monkeys. We didn't really reach out to touch the monkeys but rather let the monkeys come up to us. I felt so nervous and tense that I didn't really take many pictures. My husband was so entertained with the monkeys the he also didn't take any pictures of me with a monkey on my head.  After a few monkeys jumping on me I was finally able to relax a little and take these pictures. I was literally scared for nothing, these are 2 lb monkeys that are just looking for a piece of banana from each bowl.

The actual time with the monkeys was very short, probably 25-30 minutes. Once we were done with the monkeys they loaded us back on a bus and drove us to our next destination.

The view outside of Maria's house.

We were taken to a typical house to see how locals live. It's hard to pick a highlight from my trip because there were so many, but I gotta say, visiting this home was up there. The house is small, bright pink and very humble but in paradise.  The owner of this house is Maria who is married with grown children and grandchildren. The house is surrounded by lush green trees, coffee trees, cinnamon trees, cacao trees, and beautiful plants and flowers. They brought us to this house so we can see how natives use their land to grow a variety of resources that they can consume or sell for income.

This photo was taken from a speeding van.


coffee beans






Maria's daughter


Roasted coffee beans

Cacao

The inside of the cacao.

While we were at Maria's house they showed us how they grow coffee beans, roast and grind coffee.  They let us taste the cacao, which has a fruity taste to it. It was such a cool experience. They also let us taste Cacao Cinnamon tea, which is made at Maria's house as well. At the end of the visit they sell you some of the products that they produce. We bought some of the delicious cacao tea. Its like a smooth chocolate tea!


Driving away from Maria's house.

If you will be visiting Punta Cana and are interested in these activities, I've linked some of the sites where you can learn a little more about them.

*Monkey Experience
Casa Maria

I'm not done with Punta Cana, so come back soon for more.