Monkey Point

Someone once described Monkey Point as what they imagined Christopher Columbus saw when his boat landed in the New World. No cars, no roads and no power lines. Huts built from materials cut from the jungle, heart-stopping sunsets and secluded beaches where you are guaranteed not to find footsteps other than yours. The village has a small congregation of creole and mestizo families that live within about half a mile of the health clinic and a population of about 450 including the outlying farms.

A local NGO maintains an off-grid energy system in Monkey Point which produces a little more than 2kW used to power the school, communal house and health clinic. Several Monkey Pointers have small solar panel systems of there own, but other than that there is no electricity. There is no running water. And the nearest phone is two hour’s panga ride away in Bluefields.
Quinn’s Beach
Despite its humble existence as little more than a dot on the map, Monkey Point has a unique history. The rusted remains of several boxcars can be found left over from the 30’s when the Germans were shipping goods from here to the other side of the country. Rumor has it that a “first try” of the Bay of Pigs invasion was launched from here. During the war, Monkey Point was the site of several gruesome battles.
Fishing dories on Quinn Beach
Even today Monkey Point makes it in the national news. The government is making plans with South Korea to build a deep-water shipping port which would move containers from the Caribbean side to the Pacific by rail. At this point it is still speculation, but that project would completely transform the village into something the locals can’t even imagine. During an informative meeting about the project, one community member asked how he would be able to paddle his 12′ dory around the mega-freighters that would be stacked 20-deep in the harbor. Who knows how much time Monkey Point has before it turns into Puerto Punto de Mono?

Born and raised in the village, Monkey Point resident Pito has taken initiative and built a little four-room lodge to host guests. The Monkey Point Jungle Lodge is perched on a small bluff above the beach and overlooks the sea. As the name implies, the lodge backs up to the jungle where monkeys can sometimes be seen scrambling through the trees.

Monkey Point is a bit of a challenge to get to. There is no real commercial transportation. You can ask the panguero on the Bluefields/San Juan del Norte route if he could drop you off, but he will not pick you up. A more reliable option would be to get in touch with Pito who makes trips to Bluefields once or twice a week.
Some of the highlights of a few well-spent days in Monkey Point would be going horseback riding through the jungle, fishing for dinner in a hand-carved dory, spending a Saturday evening sipping chicha bruja and getting to know the locals at Edwin’s ranch, jumping into a soccer game with the local boys and then into the sea. Or find a guide to visit the neighboring Rama community of Punta de Aguila. The trail passes under dense jungle canopy, across four beaches of alternating black sand and white sand, around creeks, up hills with amazing vistas and through several little farms and coconut plantations.
Hello. Oh, hello.

The little village of Monkey Point is nothing short of unforgettable. Visit if you get the chance; it is just as relaxing as it is adventurous.

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