Time to Sloth – Visiting Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary

Located along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the province of Limon is the small village of Cahuita. Cahuita is also the name given to the town of the Cahuita district, and it is about a 4-hour drive from San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. One of the distinctive landmarks of Cahuita is the sloth sanctuary. The sloth sanctuary is the first rescue center purposed for abandoned, orphaned and injured sloths. However, it became officially authorized and recognized by the government of Costa Rica in 1997 as a rescue center. The sanctuary is situated just near the Estrella River and has an alternative touring route along with the narrow freshwater canal system, an attribute of the mainstream. It is home to many animals apart from the sloths and also houses species of anteaters, turtles, river-otters monkeys and even butterflies like the turquoise -blue amorphous butterfly.

Get to Know the Sloths

The sloths are the slowest moving mammals on earth and spend their lives hanging upside down. Their name is from the Latin word acedia, which means “without care.” From a physical perspective, their name articulates a cessation of motion or an indifference; in other words, expresses “laziness.” You can notice it in the way they live and move. However, lazy and weird they may seem to be, they are reasonably cute animals if you get to spend more time with them. In Costa Rica’s sloth sanctuary, there are two classes of sloths, the Bradypus Variegatus and the Choloepus Hoffmanni. Both a differentiated by several attributive traits, one of the most distinguishing characteristics is the number of fingers they have.

Sloth Species

The Bradypus Variegatus sloth has three fingers, and the Choloepus Hoffmanni has only two fingers. The Bradypus variegatus is commonly known as the brown-throated sloths and usually have an approximate life span of 30 to 40 years. What is impressive about them is that they are at most times active and awake for just a short period but spend an approximate of 15-18hrs a day sleeping. Also, because of their slow movement, and their prolonged inactive state, they have algae growing on their very soft furs. Choloepus Hoffmanni, on the other hand, is commonly known as the two-toed sloth. It has more shaggy fur, and like the other species, it is mostly a nocturnal animal. They do not in any way pose a threat to humans as they are a friendly species of animals. However, at times, they can be a bit weird to see. These are the only two remaining species of sloths in the world out of the three species. The giant ground sloths are the other species that are already extinct.

Traveling to The Sloth Sanctuary

Costa Rica’s sloth sanctuary offers diverse activities and also serves as a perfect place for visitors to stop by and book themselves a slot to interact with the sloths. Visitors can spend a night there in Cahuita. From the capital San Jose, follow the main highway to Limon then head to Cahuita from Limon city. Within the town make a turn toward Puerto Viejo. At about 18 miles look out for Aviarios del Caribe, and there you will find the sanctuary. Give yourself a break and have some sloth time.