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Central America Travel: Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica

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If you are planning on traveling around Costa Rica, spend an afternoon at Santuario de Perezosos de Costa Rica, a center dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and research of sloths and conserving their rainforest habitat.

Schedule a tour prior to arrival

Booking details are located at the end of the post. We recommend the Buttercup tour.

Buttercup tour itinerary

  • Introduction to sloths: how they live, why they are unique and how human life impacts them
  • Meet and greet the sloths 
  • Canoe ride through the Estrella River, to view a sloth’s natural habitat

Regardless of the tour you book, you will not be presented an opportunity to hold or touch the sloths as it causes them harm.

Begin your tour by learning about a sloth’s life

A memorable takeaway: sloths actually aren’t lazy by choice. Contrary to what we’ve learned, sloths move at a slow and consistent pace due to physical adaptions to save energy. 

Sloths have the slowest rate of digestive of any mammal (it can take a month to digest a single meal). This processing means they are unable to rapidly move away from predators like Jaguars, Ocelots and Harpy Eagles.

Meet sloths of all ages

There are two types & six species of sloths. You can differentiate between the two types based upon the number of fingers they have — either three or two.

Following the briefing, continue on to a canoe ride outdoors

Canoe ride through the Estrella River

Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of Costa Rica

Heavy rains in Costa Rica

Why your participation in visiting this sanctuary matters

Sloths are solitary creatures that are mostly researched when they come injured to the sanctuary.

It is difficult to know exactly what a sloth baby’s relationship is to its mother and how, and when, a sloth becomes independent. This knowledge is core to determining whether a baby sloth can fully be rehabilitated and released or must stay in the sanctuary for the rest of its days.

That’s why supporting sanctuaries like Sanctuaries like Santuario de Perezosos de Costa Rica, provides a dual purpose — one, to immediately help suffering sloths and two, to fund new research.

An orphaned 8 month old sloth found on the highway

Booking Details


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