Searching for sloths in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica


With their sluggish limbs and camouflaged fur, sloths aren’t often easy to spot. We pinned our hopes on Manuel Antonio

There were two animals we were keen to see on our National Geographic Expedition to Costa Rica: the red-eyed tree frog and the three-toed sloth.

The first was surprisingly obliging and we took a decent snap on mere day two of the tour. The sloth, however, remained elusive. The one we did spot by a roadside was barely discernible from the surrounding branches and left us eager for more.

We were pleased then that our tour included a guided nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park. With its lush vegetation and picturesque perch by the Pacific Ocean, Manuel Antonio is one of the best places to see sloths in Costa Rica.

Shutterstock A brown-throated sloth and baby in Costa Rica

This rather odd animal has become a symbol of Costa Rica and even appears on the local currency. There’s something about the sloth’s perpetual state of languor that seems to chime with Costa Rica’s national mentality of ‘pura vida’ or ‘pure life’ that says everything’s cool, don’t worry, don’t fuss, don’t stress; just be thankful for what you have.

It’s fitting then that Costa Rica is home to two of the world’s six sloth species, namely the brown-throated sloth and the nocturnal Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. Sloths are common in Costa Rica but you’re unlikely to see them easily. Their slow movements and canopy-coloured fur mean you could walk past a tree full and not see them at all.

With this in mind, we were joined by a certified guide on our search for sloths in Manuel Antonio. If you’re keen to see these lazy creatures, then a guide is absolutely crucial. They have finely-tuned skills and will supply a telescope to help you find other wildlife too.

Autor: Kia
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