Costa Rica can be considered a paradise for many reasons. It’s home to more than 800 miles of coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, more than 50% of the country is made up of rainforests, and the entire nation is run almost entirely on renewable energy. But, perhaps best of all, it’s home to sloths. Lots and lots of sloths.
Costa Rica is home to two types of sloths — the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth and the brown-throated sloth. And while there is a high chance you’ll see a sloth in the wild on your trip to Costa Rica, the Sloth Conservation Foundation notes that a precise population count can be challenging to nail down, as sloths are rather good at hiding in tree canopies.
Additionally, reps for the foundation explained that while they can’t give a specific number, it appears as though the sloth population is dwindling quickly in Costa Rica and across habitats in Central America and northern South America due to deforestation, human interaction, and slow breeding habits (sloths only reproduce once every three years). That’s why it’s extra important to view these animals at a safe distance, ensuring both their welfare and yours. And remember to book tours with reputable, ethical guides who will show you where they are without interfering with their daily lives. (You should never pet a sloth, or any other wild animal, so if a destination is offering that, please avoid giving them your business.)
Here’s where to look for the super slow, adorable creatures hovering in the trees around Costa Rica.