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“Overall a good experience...”

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
Ranked #3 of 8 things to do in Cahuita
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 3 August 2014

I went to the sanctuary a couple of weeks ago while visiting Cahuita. I'm a yearly visitor to Cahuita and decided it was time to come. I'm glad I went but agree with some of the concerns expressed here.

The cost of $25 for the basic tour isn't really worth what you get. You see six sloths that are permanent residents and get to visit the sloth nursery. That was it. Then they put in a boat for an hour. I guess as someone who lives in Costa Rica, going on a boat ride in the forest isn't that new and exciting. I was moved from group to group and one staff member got a little testy with me when I asked some questions about where I'm supposed to be. When she realized I wasn't being rude and just a bit confused about where to go, she calmed down a bit.

Jeff was our guide and I was dropped in with a group of people who had come together. They had all read a book based on the sloths at the sanctuary before coming and immediately peppered him with questions. Never even heard how the sanctuary got started or even the most basic facts about sloths. I did enjoy hearing the stories of the different sloths and what they do to help the rescued animals.

Overall, I enjoyed but a was a touch disappointed. Two summers ago, I visited the Centro de Rescate Jaguar just south of Puerto VIejo. It was such an excellent tour and was only $15. I learned way more about sloths (and monkeys and lizards and birds and deer and spiders) there. The tour was way more comprehensive. If you are anywhere near Cahuita, you need to make that trip.

Still I take solace in the good work they are doing and that the $25 I spent is helping animals at the sanctuary. They llegitimately are doing good work. I spoke to many locals about the place and almost everyone had a story about how the sanctuary had stepped up in many situations. Jeff was a very personable guy and I think he just got hijacked by an overbearing group of people. I did learn new things on the tour but learned more from reading the website after I returned to Cahuita.

If you can afford it, I'm guessing the insider tour is way better. It was amazing to see the animals up close. So if I sound wishy-washy I am. If you are hard up for cash on your trip, the Centro Rescate Jaguar is a way better deal (and you play with monkeys).

3  Thank Paseando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2014

We did enjoy some things about the Sanctuary, like getting to see sloths up close. The first part of the tour is spent on the river, which was fine, but could have been about half the time (we were actually on the river for almost an hour and a half...spent 30 minutes "parked" watching monkeys). It felt like they want to stretch out the time because they are charging a lot for a look at a few sloths ($25.00 per person). The river guide didn't share much with us, even though my husband is bilingual and could have translated for us. We did see a few bats and a sloth or two, but like I said, that part could have been much shorter. Our guide seemed to spend more time trying to impress the young girls in our group; we "old folks" were somewhat in the way. Overall, the sanctuary is doing good work, and I know the entrance fee goes to support the work there, but I was somewhat disappointed in the tour. It would cost a lot to take a family, and there are other rescue centers on the coast where you can see lots of animals and not just slots - for less money.

4  Thank Carm3lL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We had a great time at the sloth sanctuary. The tour is absolutely worth it. The canoe trip down the river was fun, we saw sloths, lizards, crabs, and bats as well as gorgeous plants. Then the tour through the facilities was very educational, the guides knew their stuff and everyone at the place was so friendly and clearly loved their sloths.

Thank Alicia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

This sanctuary is wonderfull, the warm actitude from the people that received us was fantastic, the introduction into the world of sloths is clear, graphic, the visit to the nursery and the baby sloths touched our hearts. After, the dugout trip through nice waterways where we could see aligators, wild sloths, basilisks, birds let you enjoy the natural taste of the caribean area.

After this visit, and 8 kilometers drive, we took a Cocoa tour with a local indigenous, Petronila, she shows how made chocolate from the cocoa´s beans, tasting the natural flavor of cocoa, and she speaks english, french and spanish and of course bribri, the local dialect, we contact her by a german friend that gave us this phone number 506-27502019, try it, you will not be dissapointed

1  Thank Marco_Montero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We knew we would fall in love with the sloths--but we didn't expect that our little boat tour would turn into one of our most awesome wildlife viewing experiences (howler monkeys, more sloths, beautiful birds, turtles, etc.)! The staff was not just wonderful, but inspiring. My kids were in heaven. If I were rich I would make a big donation to this place...

Thank ProfessorLen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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