A full-fledged nature center a few miles northwest of Cahuita and well worth a stop, the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica has dense gardens that have attracted more than 300 bird species. Many of the sloths who live on the premises are here because of illness or injury and are not on display to the public, but Buttercup, the very first of their charges, holds court in the nature-focused gift shop. A visit is a good way to learn about these little-known animals, though numerous requests from visitors to hold or pet the sloths have to be turned down. Your admission includes a two-hour tour—no reservations are needed—and contributes to further research. Advance reservations are required for a special insider's tour that takes you behind the scenes into the sloth clinic and nursery.
9 km (5 miles) northwest of Cahuita, follow signs on Río Estrella delta, Cahuita, 70403, Costa Rica