A fun, informative introduction to sloths: how they live, why they are unique and how human encroachment affects them. Meet sloth rescue Nº 1, Buttercup, and see sloths in enclosures in the Learning Center.
You may also see a wild sloth during your 45-minute canoe ride to experience the sloths’ habitat. The sturdy fiberglass canoe fits six guests comfortably, and there’s no need to paddle. Your boatman, a local guide, will glide you along the shallow Estrella River to see protected lowland rainforest flora and fauna.
Entire Buttercup Tour duration: about 2 hours
Holding/touching sloths is prohibited, as direct contact with strangers is harmful to the sloths.
US$30 Adult/Teen age 13+
US$15 Child age 5–12
n/c Young child up to age 4
Age 12 and younger must be accompanied by adult
⇒ New! Book your Buttercup Tour⇐
BOOKING: Please call/email at least two days prior to when you’d like to take a Buttercup Tour. We’ll check the schedule and advise which tour slots are available for you. The booking line is open 8AM–3PM, Tuesday through Sunday, year round (except Mondays, U.S. Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.)
Buttercup Tour start times 8:00AM / 9:00AM / 10:00AM / 11:00AM / 12:00PM / 1:00PM / 2:00PM
Credit card or cash (US$ or CR colones) accepted at registration. Advance booking accepted only for a group of 20 or more.
BUTTERCUP TOUR / GROUPS OF 20 OR MORE
For 20 or more visiting together, send details to Tours@SlothSanctuary.com. We will check availability then invoice you via PayPal.
US$25 for each adult in your group
US$22 for each student in your group with school or university ID
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: When parking in our lot, hide valuables and lock your car.
NO PETS/NO MASCOTAS Dogs prohibited. Do not leave dogs in car. Do not tie up dogs outside. Service animals excepted, but email us in advance so we can explain regulations.
- Morning Tour // 8:45AM arrival & registration / Tour begins at 9:00AM
- Afternoon Tour // 12:45PM arrival & registration / Tour begins at 1:00PM
The Insider’s Tour includes everything in the Buttercup Tour, plus you will go “behind the scenes” to see the Slothpital clinic and visit infant and baby sloths in the NICU/Nursery.
For an optimal experience, the number of guests is typically limited to 6 total.
Entire Insider’s Tour duration: about 3 hours
Holding/touching sloths is prohibited here, as direct contact with strangers is harmful to the sloths. Our mission is the rescued sloths’ wellbeing. Most guests leave with a greater respect for wildlife and the understanding that they can appreciate a sloth without needing to touch it.
US$150 Adult age 19–64
US$75 Youth age 6–18
US$85 Senior age 65 and up
n/c Child through age 5
Youths/children must be accompanied by adult.
Insider’s Tour booking & payment required in advance.
How to book your Insider’s Tour
- Request tour date using form below.
- We will email you to confirm availability and send your invoice via PayPal.
- Please pay your invoice via PayPal using a major credit card. A PayPal account is not required, just your credit card.
- When you receive payment confirmation from us, your Insider’s Tour is booked!
- Please print invoice to show to us when you arrive.
- Cancellation/rescheduling information is detailed on your invoice.
Insider’s Tour Gift Certificates
Send details to Tours@SlothSanctuary.com. We will respond promptly with a PayPal invoice that you may pay by credit card. Once paid, we will email a Gift Certificate for the lucky recipient. Valid for two years from issue date.
Booking the Insider’s Tour is required to stay at the Inn. Available Tuesday through Saturday night. Stay up to three nights and explore other area attractions. Room rate includes continental breakfast.
From USA: Southwest Airlines to San José, Costa Rica
From San José and Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast: Sansa Airlines to Limon (2 flights a day from San José)
From Liberia, Costa Rica: Nature Air to Limon
Set GPS to Latitude 9.799565 Longitude -82.915112 Route 36
Interbus: Take route Limon/Cahuita/Hone Creek/Puerto Viejo. Ask driver to stop at Aviarios del Caribe/Sloth Sanctuary. See large yellow sloth crossing sign at the bus stop near front gate.
I want to hold or touch a sloth. May I?
No. We know many sloth lovers dream of holding sloths, but it is bad for the sloths. Only the sloths’ regular Sanctuary staff handlers are allowed to touch and hold sloths. When handled by unfamiliar people, a sloth has a stress reaction of tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate) that weakens the heart muscle, a cause of premature death. Also, foreign microbes and allergens attached to guests can compromise rescued sloths’ immune systems.
Note: Avoid roadside locals who lure tourists to pose for a photo holding a sloth. They will tear a baby away from its mother to exploit it for money. After they take your photo is taken, they discard the baby inhumanely, leaving it to die from malnutrition or dehydration. If you see someone trying this, please take a photo of them, then call 911 to report them to the police. top of page
Can I volunteer, work, intern or help at the Sanctuary?
We are not hiring volunteers or staff. We are proud to hire local Costa Ricans and offer veterinary clinical rotations solely to university students who reside in Costa Rica. Too many handlers causes the animals to fall ill or die prematurely due to tachycardia, foreign microbes and allergens. For Costa Rican wildlife volunteer opportunities check here.
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I’m coming to visit! Where can I get bottled water & snacks?
Purified bottled drinking water is essential for your comfort & health in tropical Costa Rica. On your way here, seek out a local market or our favorite, Auto Mercado (multiple locations). top of page
We require 60 days’ notice to film at the Sanctuary or interview Judy Avey-Arroyo. Send details of your request to Support@SlothSanctuary.com
Urgent sloth rescue: +506 2750 0775
- If you find an injured, orphaned or abandoned sloth, tell us the exact location where you found the sloth. Use your mobile phone to take a screen capture of the GPS coordinates.
- Si encuentra un perezoso que requiere ser rescatado, es muy importante que nos indica su ubicacion exacta. Se puede obtener la ubicacion exacta tomando una captura de pantalla de las cardinales GPS desde su celular.
Located on the southeast Caribbean side, we are a 320-acre nature preserve and rescue center. The Sanctuary is funded solely by proceeds from educational tours, the gift shop and inn and generous donors around the world.