The sloth is a symbol of Costa Rica reflecting the nation’s pura vida lifestyle. Pura Vida is a uniquely Costa Rican approach to life where everyone is laid back, easy going, and friendly. There are two species of sloths here in Costa Rica: the brown-throated three-toed sloth and Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. Sloths are related to anteaters and have similar sets of claws. They dwell in trees only in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America and leaves are their main source of food. Since leaves provide little energy, sloths have lower metabolic rates and body temperatures as well as super slow movements. They sleep around 15 hours a day. They defecate and urinate only once a week when they descend to the ground and they normally have a life span of 20-30 years. Two-toed sloths are largely nocturnal and their two front feet have two toes each with a set of long curved claws. Their hind feet have three toes. They have longer snouts, are larger in size, and have separate front toes when compared to the three-toed sloths. The brown-throated sloth is the most common of the three-toed sloths and they have a round head and a short nose. These sloths are active both during the day and at night. Sloths are all around the area but sometimes difficult to spot since they are sleeping most of the time. We were lucky to come across one awake and moving about just on the side of the road 😀
Three-toed sloths look like they are smiling at you
Male three-toed sloths have a line on their backs
We were told that the Bogarin Trail is one of the best places to see sloths in the La Fortuna area and we were not disappointed. The 2 km trail is located only 5 mins from La Fortuna on an old cattle farm and originally had no rainforest or wildlife. In 2000, Giovanni Bogarin started to restore the forest and now the lush forest is filled with sloths, colorful frogs, and tropical birds. There are about 25 sloths here and walking the trail, we saw quite a few.
Entrance to Bogarin Trail
Sloths sleep balled up in the trees and are not easy to spot
Birders at the Bogarin Trail
Hummingbird sitting in its nest
Keel billed toucan
Time flies by when you are having fun! My 5 days in Arenal and La Fortuna flew by and it’s time for my 3-hour drive back to San Jose where I will spend the night before catching a flight to Jamaica for my holiday after the holiday. 😎
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