If you’ve ever wanted to experience the wonder that is the slow moving sloth, then look no further than Costa Rica‘s Sloth Sanctuary. Founded back in 1997, the Sloth Sanctuary has been responsible for rescuing, raising and healing over 500 abandoned and injured sloths, of which over 120 have been released back into the wild. Not only is the Sloth Sanctuary a great resource for a species that is somewhat under-appreciated, but it also enables tourists to learn and experience the sloth close up.

Costa Rica Sloth Sanctuary

The Sloth Sanctuary sits on the eastern shore of Costa Rica, roughly 4 hours from San Jose Airport. While the majority of Costa Rica’s tourist resorts are generally located to the west of San Jose Airport, this helps to minimize the crowds and keep the Sloth Sanctuary as a truly special experience. It should also be noted that you will not be able to have any physical contact with the sloths as doing so can cause illness and unnecessary stress on the sloths.

You Can Even Stay at the Sloth Sanctuary

There are two options – a 2 hour ‘Buttercup’ tour, wherein you meet the original sloth that was raised by the owners and then go on an hour long canoe trip to see the sloths in their natural habitat, and a 4 hour ‘Insider’ tour that allows you to meet the newborn sloths, and includes a meal (or two) along with the Buttercup meet and canoe trip.  The former will run you $30 USD, while the latter costs $150. The Insider tour is regarded as the best due to being able to see the newborns and juvenile sloths, but both experiences are highly rated.

A photo posted by Ellie (@elle_belle11) on

You can also make your stay at the Sloth Sanctuary a true vacation by staying up to 2 nights in their Inn for $100-$115 a night. Private travel to and from San Jose airport is available for up to 6 passengers for a flat rate of $260 each way. However, there are a couple hotels in the area including the highly reviewed Almonds & Corals.

Now all that considered, Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful country and avoiding the ‘resort’ style vacation is one of the best ways to get a break from the cold/stresses of life. Add in the up close and personal experience with the always happy faced sloth, and you’re slated to have an incredible experience that you’ll never forget. Definitely one for the bucket list!

Lead Image Credit: Brittany Hampton (NOT from the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica – but rather from one in Oregon)
2nd Image Credit: Marissa Strniste