Tulemar Sloth. Where To See Sloths In Costa Rica

Where to See Sloths in Costa Rica?

Where to see sloths in Costa Rica: With a bounty of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Costa Rica is a paradise for wildlife lovers and a must-visit for anyone smitten with these slow-moving, tree-dwelling creatures.

A Sloth Haven

Costa Rica, a small country in Central America, is home to two species of sloths: the three-toed sloth and Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. These adorable animals dwell in lush rainforests, cloud forests, and national parks, living the slow life amongst the tall trees.

The country’s biodiversity is off the charts, a veritable treasure trove of flora and fauna. From the Pacific Coast to the Caribbean Coast, and from the dry forest of the north to the wet and wild southern Costa Rica, the country is a banquet of natural wonders.

Where to Find Sloths

Manuel Antonio National Park

Tulemar Beach Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is our top pick due to the combination of scenery, resorts, and wildlife. This park offers a good chance of sloth sightings. A guided tour with a naturalist guide can boost your chances and provide fascinating insights into the lives of these interesting creatures.

One of the best places to stay near Manuel Antonio is Tulemar, winner of TripAdvisors’ best worldwide for several years. We’ve stayed at this resort, and sloth spottings are easy whenever you step out of your villa.

No sloth tour was needed here; we saw so much wildlife in the resort area that we didn’t even go into the national park!

Tulemar Overview
Tulemar Villa
Tulemar Beach
Tulemar Pool
Restaurant At Tulemar Costa Rica

Tulemar Overview

Tulemar Resort is a luxurious getaway in the heart of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Offering a range of accommodations, from intimate bungalows to spacious villas, it’s the perfect destination for any traveler. With its private beach, lush rainforest surroundings, and abundant wildlife, Tulemar provides an unforgettable experience in a tropical paradise.

Where To Eat: El Patio de Café Milagro for breakfast. Our favorite dinner was a private check, Chef Jose, cooking in our villa!

How To Get There: To reach Tulemar Resort, fly into one of Costa Rica’s two main international airports, Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia. From there, rent a car or arrange a private shuttle (our preference) to transport you directly to the resort. The journey from SJO takes approximately 2.5-3 hours, while the drive from LIR lasts around 4-5 hours, offering scenic routes through the beautiful Costa Rican countryside.

Tip: We found some great prices during October, the rainy reason. Check for the best prices here:

Corcovado National Park 

Corcovado National Park 

Touted by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on Earth”, Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is an excellent place to spot sloths, howler monkeys, and other wildlife.

La Fortuna 

La Fortuna 

Near the Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna offers a variety of sloth tours. Keep your eyes on the tree branches; you might even spot a baby sloth! Although we saw several in the area, we didn’t see nearly as many sloths in the La Fortuna area as in Manuel Antonio.

For one of the best places to stay in La Fortuna, check out The Springs Resort & Spa. The above picture was taken from the back patio of our room! Check out our complete review of The Springs here.

Monteverde Cloud Forest 

The cloud forest is a protected area and a great place for sloth spotting, especially three-fingered sloths. Opt for a private tour for the best experience.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park is on the Caribbean side and is another hotspot for sloths in Costa Rica. The greenery and low metabolic rate of sloths make for a perfect match.

Costa Rica’s rescue centers and sanctuaries are the way to go for those seeking a more up-close-and-personal encounter with sloths.

Costa Rican Sloth Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica – Near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the Caribbean coast, this sanctuary offers the “Buttercup Tour”, named after their first rescue, a three-toed sloth. Here, you’ll learn all about the natural environment of sloths and witness the care given to young and adult sloths.

Jaguar Rescue Center – Located on the south Caribbean side, this rescue center is home to many sloths. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wild animals back into their natural habitats.

Toucan Rescue Ranch – This wildlife refuge near San Jose offers educational tours where you’ll meet a variety of animals, including the lovable Costa Rican sloth.

Proyecto Asis – Close to La Fortuna, this center offers a chance to volunteer and work with sloths and other wild animals.

Sloth Institute – Based near Manuel Antonio National Park, this institute focuses on the research, rescue, and release of sloths. Each of these centers contributes to the vital task of preserving the lives and habitats of these remarkable creatures.

Spotting Sloths in the Wild

Spotting sloths in their natural habitat is an experience like no other. These nocturnal animals spend most of their lives hanging upside down on tree branches, feasting on leaves, twigs, and buds, especially from cecropia trees.

The three-toed sloths, or “Brad \ypus Variegatus”, are characterized by their three long claws or “fingers” on their front feet. Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, “Choloepus Hoffmanni”, on the other hand, has two fingers on their front feet.

Sloth At A Restaurant

This sloth was hanging out at our breakfast restaurant in the above picture. This was just across the street from our resort in Manuel Antonio, Tulemar.


Whether spotting them from the side of the road or gazing up at them from the forest floor, witnessing sloths in Costa Rica will surely be an experience you won’t forget. From the Manuel Antonio National Park to the Tortuguero National Park and the Toucan Rescue Ranch to the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, the opportunities to encounter these fascinating animals are endless.

Tulemar Sloth

Where To See Sloths In Costa Rica? Sloth Crossing Sign

Visiting Costa Rica offers an amazing opportunity to witness sloths in their natural habitat. As we journey through the lush rainforests, we become part of a world teeming with life and biodiversity. Seeing a sloth in Costa Rica isn’t just about spotting an adorable animal; it’s about experiencing the vibrant pulse of nature itself. So, head out to the land of Pura Vida and enjoy this unique sloth-filled adventure!

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