How to reach the top of Monkey Mountain. A spectacular view of the Riviera Nayarit!

Today we want to let you in on everything you need to know before you head out to discover the spectacular Cerro del Mono in the Riviera Nayarit—also known as Monkey Mountain. We’ll share how to get there, how long you’ll be there, and all kinds of other details. Keep reading!


Monkey Mountain is just north of Banderas Bay in the Riviera Nayarit (about 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta) in Higuera Blanca, one of the 23 micro-destinations that make up our paradise. This mountain has become a hotspot over the past few years thanks to social media—anyone who visits can’t help but take a pic of the fantastic view of Banderas Bay, where you can pick out Punta de Mita, Litibú, and Sayulita, as well as the Islas Marietas.

How do you get to Monkey Mountain?

You have two options to get to Monkey Mountain: make a reservation with a tour operator out of Sayulita, San Pancho, or Punta de Mita, or head out on your own. The trail isn’t hard to find, and you’ll love being an explorer. All you have to do is make it to Higuera Blanca (just 5 minutes from Punta de Mita) and ask for the Monkey Mountain (Cerro del Mono) mural. Then park your car and let the adventure begin!


The locals have marked the trail with several signs that will let you know how far you’ve gone and how far you have to go. If you’ve never been to Monkey Mountain, you might want to join the locals who make the trek up every day so that you won’t get lost. Hot tip: you’ll have a good cellular signal all the way up, in case you need to review your route. 

Is it hard to hike up Monkey Mountain?

We would classify this hike as moderately difficult. The route is not the easiest, and the trail is very varied; there are stretches of dirt, firmer stretches, and others where you have to climb some rocks, which makes it fun and exciting. The truth is that if you are not used to being active, we recommend that you take it slowly, hydrate well, and watch your breathing (you can rest along the way).


How long does the hike last?

This trek takes about an hour to make it up the mountain and another hour to get down, though the way back is much more relaxed and less intense. However, the time it takes will depend on your physical state.


Who should take this hike?

We recommend it for the entire family with kids over the age of 5, but that will depend on the participants’ physical condition. Even though the trail is a little challenging, the kids can make it with an adult’s help. We bumped into a 70-year-old couple on the trail and several families with kids around 5 and 7 years old.


What should I take on the hike?

The basics: comfortable, sporty clothing, tennis shoes or hiking boots, plenty of water, candy or snacks in case you need an extra energy boost, and, if you’re not used to exerting yourself in a moderately difficult way, we suggest you take a sandwich or a piece of fruit. 


What’s the best time to head up Monkey Mountain?

We recommend starting your trek as early as possible so you can avoid the sun. We went up at 8 in the morning, and the air was nice and cool. Other people like to go up for the sunset to watch it go down on the ocean. It’s marvelous, but you need to take a flashlight for the way down (we don’t recommend this hour if this is your first time doing the hike). 


A special place for the Huichol culture

Monkey Mountain is a spiritual and symbolic place for the Huicholes. Here you’ll find offerings and the colorful ribbons typical of their culture, and if you are lucky, you might be able to see some of the sacred rituals they perform regularly.

If you have any questions about how to get to Monkey Mountain, leave them in the comments, and we will gladly help you solve them. Remember to use #RivieraNayarit in your social networks—we want to see you enjoying paradise!