Q: Where can you go to hold a sloth?

A: This is actually a misconception. There aren’t many zoos in Costa Rica, however there are many wildlife shelters and rescue centers that take care of ill or injured wildlife, and assist in their reintroduction to the wild. These rescue centers work with Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy, and while most of accept tourists into their establishment, the majority would not let you hold a sloth.

In fact, here’s what ex-Environment Minister René Castro had to say: “We are getting rid of the cages and reinforcing the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way. We don’t want animals in captivity or enclosed in any way unless it is to rescue or save them.” (FYI, the current Environment Minister is Edgar Gutiérrez.)

Because of this, wildlife rescue centers are very popular among tourists who want a closer look at sloths. Most sloth sightings will occur while on the road while traveling from one town/region to the next – you’ll usually catch them sleepily hanging on a tree, in their natural environment.

Q: What are two things that most first-time visitors might not know about Costa Rica?

Adventure lovers are in their element.
The jungles of Costa Rica can give visitors an adrenaline rush. Photo by Costa Rica Tourism

A:  English is widely spoken throughout Costa Rica. With a system designed to offer free education to all kids, English is taught in all schools and kids grow up having a great understanding of the English language. Though they may not be completely bilingual, most have a strong understanding of the language. Moreover, the Costa Rican government also offers a variety of foreign language programs.

Last but not least, Costa Rica offers some of the best food in Latin America. Local, organic and sustainably maintained crops are abundant in Costa Rica, making the farm-to-table movement a staple of Costa Rican gastronomy.

If You Go to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tourism
visitcostarica.com