While a Monkey Lala sounds like it could be a dancing chimp, you might be surprised to learn that it has nothing to do with monkeys at all. In fact, there are two different types of Monkey Lala, and neither of them has to do with monkeys! So, what is a Monkey Lala you wonder? Let’s go through both types so you know what you’re getting into before visiting the Bay Islands.
The Monkey Lala that Moves
The first version of a Monkey Lala that you’ll want to be aware of is one that moves around quite a bit. When visiting the Bay Islands, always keep your eye out for scurrying motion on the ground, specifically near brush areas. What you might catch a glimpse of is a small lizard – bigger than the geckos you’ll see everywhere, but smaller than the iguanas you’ll find sunbathing in the trees.
These lizards are known as Basilisks, and they’re sometimes called Jesus Lizards because they are known to actually walk on water. Their quick moving legs enable them to basically skim across the surface – not even breaking the surface tension because of their speed. In the Bay Islands, we call these little lizards Monkey Lalas.
Monkey Lalas are entertaining to watch, as they toss their heads back dramatically and run along the ground on their back two legs. They are quick and it’s tough to catch a good photograph of them, so just enjoy their sightings whenever you manage to spot one amidst the scurrying motion and leaves rusting around underfoot.
The Monkey Lala that Cools You Down
The second version of a Monkey Lala in the Bay Islands is known as the drink of Roatan. Named after our beloved little lizards that walk on water and dramatically hurry to and fro with their heads held high, the Monkey Lala drink might make you feel the same way.
Each bartender will have his or her own version of the drink with little changes that make it unique, but typically a Monkey Lala contains vodka, rum, Bailey’s, Kahlua, and coconut cream blended together with ice into a frozen cocktail. Most bartenders will swirl in some chocolate sauce to add an extra zing, offering you a sugar rush in a cold glass as you enjoy another beautiful sunset.
Keep in mind that these lovely libations have multiple different liquors, so they’re not to be taken lightly. Also keep in mind that they’re quite filling, so having multiple might just give you a bellyache. But, when visiting Roatan, it’s almost a requirement that you at least try one Monkey Lala at your favorite beachfront bar, curling your toes into the sand and revelling in the fact that you’re in paradise.
Whether you spot a moving Monkey Lala or you drink a frozen one to cool down, at least now you know so when someone in Roatan mentions it, you don’t have to ask, “What the heck is a Monkey Lala?”