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“Interesting tour”

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
Ranked #3 of 10 things to do in Cahuita
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Two types of tours to see sloths and learn about their diminishing rainforest habitat. Sorry, no direct contact with sloths, for their well-being and yours. "Buttercup Tour" requires no advance reservation; just arrive about 20 minutes before the top of the hour (8AM–2PM) to register. Duration about 2 hours. "Insider's Tour" is given twice daily and requires advance booking. This tour includes everything in the Buttercup Tour plus "behind-the-scenes" visits to the NICU, Slothpital, climbing area and more. Admission/donations collected directly support the sloths – their rescue, rehabilitation, wellness, research, housing and enrichments. Thank you for supporting the sloths with your tour!
Reviewed 10 February 2017 via mobile

Enjoyed the canoe tour. Our guide was very knowledgable and had a good command of English. Saw lots of howler monkeys and sloths as well as fiddler crabs. The sloth sanctuary was also good. Learned a lot about sloths!!

Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perezosos, Public Relations Manager at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2017

Thank you for coming here, Laura. This is a good place to learn about sloths and see the lowland tropic rainforest. You might have heard the howler monkeys before you saw them … OoooooOOOOooo! Thanks for your prompt review and we hope you enjoyed your Costa Rican experiences. ¡Pura Vida!

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54 - 58 of 693 reviews

Reviewed 9 February 2017

We did a 2 hour tour at $30 each starting at 8am (apparently earlier is better). We got a taxi from Cahita which cost $20 which was way over the odds and if we had been better prepared we would have just the bus both ways as it cost about 300 something Colones (which is less than 40p each), to get back to Cahita, taking us the bus station in town.

We first went on an hour boat ride tour in 2 boats (one with 3 and one with 4 guests) and a boatman. We saw sloth (not sure if this wild or a sloth during its rehabilitation), caymen, many birds, sleeping bat and and a Jesus Christ Lizard actually walking on water as it’s common name implies.

It was relaxing and lovely and the boatman was happy to slow the boat to allow us to take pictures. On our return Marcus led us to the enclosure where about 6 sloths live - 3 Choloepus hoffammi or two fingered sloth on the left and 3 Bradypus varigates or three fingered sloths on the right. He filled us in with loads of information about both types of sloths which really are quite different to each other. They are each named some after celebrities but my favorite was Toyota (you will have to go to find out the story behind his name). It was clear that the main aim of the sanctuary was to look after the sloths within their care, some more 100 of them I believe. The tourism was really an aside to bring in more cash for their upkeep. As it should be really. After this we were led across the corridor to the area where many baby sloths are cared for. At the time, many of them were outside being ‘potty trained’ we could just about see through the hole in the wall/floor, and learnt a little more about the problems that the sanctuary face.

Some people complain that you are unable to hold the sloths but this is stressful for the animal and come with a risk of transfer of disease. This no holding policy really shows that it is the sloths first and money after, which is very pleasing. It feels like most the site is off limits, although I understand there is a 4 hour ‘Insider's tour’ for $150 and I also believe volunteering is a possibility as is staying on site.

This place is well run, commercial enough to make enough to keep it running / care this many many sloths, keep tourists happy and inform the public about them, but first and foremost care for many orphaned sloths many of which will be living in the sanctuary for many years to come.

(sorry didn't post before just realised I wrote but never posted!)

Thank Assamti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perezosos, Public Relations Manager at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2017

Excellent account of your experience! We cherish that one-armed Toyota—he is the epitome of resilience. Sorry if the rest of the facility felt off-limits, but you are right, the 4-hour tour accesses parts of the Sanctuary that the 2-hour tour does not. Marco is a seasoned and sensitive guide and we hope you enjoyed his delivery. Thank you for supporting the sloths with your admission/donation. Indeed proceeds from tours fund the sloths' care, nutrition and research to further understand their species. ¡Pura Vida!

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Reviewed 30 January 2017 via mobile

I was a bit disappointed, maybe because I was waiting for something wonderful. It's just a several sloths in the cages, very long lecture about the sloth and nice, but long and boring boat trip. If you are real fan of nature, this place is for you, but if you are an ordinary tourist- nothing special

Thank Таня К
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perezosos, Public Relations Manager at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2017

Very sorry that your visit was a disappointment, Tanya! We strive for it to be as wonderful as you were hoping, but indeed the Buttercup Tour is shorter and there are fewer sloths seen in the experience. The canoe trip is also supposed to be interesting, a unique way to show the flora and fauna in the sloths' habitat. In any case, we're sorry it was not that fun for you. We hope the remainder of your Costa Rica trip was excellent. ¡Pura Vida!

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Reviewed 25 January 2017

I will preface this review with the fact that I am a HUGE sloth lover, so my review may be biased, however if you love sloths as much as I do-then pay attention! I basically planned our cruise around the fact that it stopped in Puerto Limon so that I could visit the sloth sanctuary (bucket list-check). I'm happy to report the sanctuary did NOT disappoint! It all started with booking the tour and setting up transportation to and from the cruise port for our day at the sanctuary about a month ahead of time. Gerald was quick to respond to my inquiries and was very informative and helpful (all done via email). I booked the 'Insider's Tour'-it's expensive, but compared to other cruise excursions it falls in line. My attitude is-it goes to a good cause! For a fee, the sanctuary also provided transportation so that I did not have to bother with taxi's-again, I'd rather they have my $$ than a random taxi driver. Once picked up at the cruise terminal-we headed out to our adventure.

It was about a 30 min drive to the sanctuary where we started out with the general tour. Marco was our guide and was awesome. He did the tour in English & Spanish without skipping a beat. While observing some of the familiar adult sloths (check out their newsletters for some of the residents to learn about them ahead of time) Marco introduced them and spoke about their histories. From there we headed to the nursery where the younger sloths are housed. I'll admit-I was then expecting BABIES, but the room held the older youngin's which was still very interesting. The areas are quiet, not a lot of action-remember you're observing sloths..most were sleeping while we snapped photos-but cute nonetheless!
Once we were finished with the general tour we were directed to our lunch area (included in the Insider's Tour) where we sat under a lovely covered seating deck and had a view of the small river and sounds of the resident howler monkeys. Very peaceful! Lunch was simple..soup, sandwich, chips and drink (try the tomato soup-it was good!). From there we had to wait for Marco to do one more tour-since we were the only people who had the insider tour for the day-he wanted to have time to bring us around without having to rush to another group so we did our river tour. Cali was our guide. Having read about him in the newsletter I already had an idea of his time on the sanctuary..he was very friendly and willing to talk. I got the impression maybe some people don't talk to him much-but he was pretty funny and also informative. We saw a few critters on our little tour-no sloths, but that was ok.
Once we completed the river tour, we met up with Marco for the good stuff. Marco took us to the "slothspital' to discuss what the sanctuary does on a daily basis. Luckily it was a weekend so there wasn't any activity at that time. We got to see the area where they treat sloths that come in on rescue and where the regulars get their checkups-definitely behind the scenes. From there he took us to the outer area where the rescued/wild sloths are kept. We did not walk through the cage area, but did get to see the enormity of what they deal with. I appreciated Marco's honesty with rescue and their challenges. He addressed some of the recent issues are that arising with sanctuary-he covered everything I wanted to ask before I had the chance to ask!

Next stop-BABIES! I had NO idea what we were in for. Marco asked if we were ready for the cutest thing we quite possibly had ever seen, and I'll admit-he was right. We entered the NICU, where several storage tubs sat on the floor with the babies...I cannot explain the feeling. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We sat amongst the babies and got to see them up close and personal, hugging their stuffed toys tight. I hate to reveal too much. I feel like this is the insider tour secret that only a few get to experience. I'm sure its more people than I think-but I'd like to think that it is a unique experience for each person that does it. A roller coaster of emotions-a newly found baby was in one of the tubs. The nurse informed Marco the baby had been brought in that morning-the mother was deceased from a fallen tree branch-heart breaking, but at the same time joyous that the baby was alive and appeared to be well. It truly brought the whole experience full circle of what this sanctuary's mission is and how important they are!

Enough of a review yet? I did not address the most important feature~ Buttercup. Buttercup has her own area in the sanctuary where you can take pictures to your heart's content..and she's photogenic to boot! We probably visited her 10 different times while we were on the sanctuary grounds...she's a great spokesloth.

I hope this review helps you! I have been to Costa Rica once before for an extended vacation and wish I would have known about this place at that time. Knowing what I know, I will definitely be visiting the sanctuary again. I feel lucky to have gotten to go there this time around!! Definitely consider this as stop as I feel it reflects what Costa Rica is about! Pura Vida!

5  Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perezosos, Public Relations Manager at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2017

Tina, this was an AMAZING first-person review! Thank you for sharing in detail your experience, from what you expected to what you didn't, and most importantly how you felt being with sloths on the Insider's Tour. It is expensive, and we understand that, but the funds directly support rescued sloths. Thank you for helping fund their nutrition, wellness and essential research that benefits them and the future of their species. We are humbled to read your kind words and will also let Marco know how pleased you were. We hope the remainder of your cruise was superb. ¡Pura Vida!

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Reviewed 24 January 2017

Second visit to Costa Rica and sole reason for coming back was to visit this sanctuary. I don't know where to even begin. We took the Behind the Scene tour and I am so glad i decided to spend the extra money for this tour. Our small group got the most incredible tour, lecture and boat ride around the facility.The gentleman that took our group was so knowledgeable and had such a love for these incredible creatures. I learned so much!the highlight was being able to sit with ( not touching ) the sloths out in a play area and also in the nursery. I also got to meet and chat with the founder and her daughter. This Sanctuary is incredible and are doing everything they can to help these Sloths. They now, with all the new knowledge from years of caring for them are trying to reintroduce as many as they can back into wild...I highly recommend this place if you love sloths!

2  Thank schnoobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perezosos, Public Relations Manager at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2017

Thank you for your fabulous review and for coming all the way back to Costa Rica just to do the Insider's "Behind-the-Scenes" Tour! When they are available, founder Judy and daughter Ursula enjoy meeting with guests, chatting and answering questions. We are honored that we were on your bucket list and are so touched at your kind words. ¡Pura Vida! :)

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