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Happy Travel Stories: Finding a baby sloth at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Happy Travel Stories: Finding a baby sloth at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (Some Good News)

Need happy stories or some good news for a change? Look no further! Every Monday, I’m posting happy travel stories to brighten your day and temporarily distract from these uncertain times! Today, it’s about finding a baby sloth in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park.

If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug, you absolutely should) I posted this a few days ago…

Compared to my usual nonsense of posting anything travel-related with a touch of green (I love green!), this blew up. Apparently I’m not the only one who loves seeing a sweet baby sloth and mom up close. Who knew?

By the way, I looked it up, and baby sloth is the technically correct term for a baby sloth.

What is a baby sloth called? | Broke Girl Abroad
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I kinda wanna petition the animal naming convention to start calling them floofs. That’s what they look like to me.

Anyways, the main reason I was so excited to visit Costa Rica last December was to see sloths in the wild. I love sloths. I have so many sloth-themed items, it’s a little stupid.

So the idea of seeing sloths up close and personal? Bliss.

The day before my dad and I set out to Corcovado National Park, we had walked through Manuel Antonio National Park. The amount of sloths we spotted filled my heart. They, of course, were way up in the trees. But luckily, our guide had a telescope and zoomed in so I could watch these wonderful creatures to my heart’s content. We even spotted a mom and baby sloth duo!

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica | Broke Girl Abroad
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Could it get any better? Yes. Yes it could.

Getting to Corcovado from anywhere in Costa Rica is a beast. It’s only accessible by sea or plane, and only a certain number of people are allowed in per day. It was about two hours to Uvita by car, then two-ish hours on a boat over an unforgiving sea for me to get there.

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica | Broke Girl Abroad
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Honestly? I’d do it all over again.

Corcovado is so wildly different compared to Manuel Antonio. For one, Manuel Antonio is surprisingly wheelchair accessible. There are wide wooden paths built into the trails, which makes following a certain route seamless.

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica | Broke Girl Abroad
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Corcovado doesn’t have a boat dock. You wade through to get to land. The paths are long-worn footsteps in the mud, with the occasional plank thrown over a creek. It’s not for the faint of heart. 

But Corcovado’s preservation means you can see nature, up close and personal. No monkeys who are so used to humans that they know how to open a backpack and look for snacks. No water stations frequented by humans and animals alike. Just nature, if you can spot it.

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica | Broke Girl Abroad
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We took a loop trail in the Sirena section of the park, and that’s where we saw it. The closest I’ve ever been or will likely ever be to sloths in the wild.

Happy Travel Stories: Finding a baby sloth at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (Some Good News)
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A mama sloth and her baby, squealing like crazy.

Our guide made sure to keep us a safe distance from the two as we watched in awe. I’ve never seen a group of people turn so quiet so quickly.

Our guide whispered that the newborn had probably fallen off its mother’s back (thus the squealing), and mom was trying to coax the baby back on. It was a common scene with newborn sloths, and this one looked gunshy to get back on mom’s back.

The guide kindly filmed multiple angles of the sloth family for me with his telescope, leaving me free to take it all in. I’m not sure how long we all stayed there, but it was several minutes before we continued on our way.

Since the trail was a loop, it meant that toward the end of our hike, we’d see mama and baby again. We eagerly stepped back to the clearing, and found that… well, some progress had been made by the traumatized newborn. The little one had moved behind mom, but still didn’t seem quite ready to climb back on. Baby would let out a few loud, healthy squeals, so we knew the poor thing was okay, just spooked.

Happy Travel Stories: Finding a baby sloth at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (Some Good News)
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We wished the little sloth family well, and continued back to camp for lunch before our next hike. We had a tight schedule to stick to, and were already stretching it pretty thin with our two lengthy sloth stops. But… can you blame us? How often does one find a mama and baby sloth so close? 

According to our guide, this was a rare and special sighting. I’d 100% agree.

Did you enjoy reading some good news for a change? Want to hear more happy travel stories? Sign up for my newsletter below and get good news content delivered straight to your inbox every Monday!

Happy Travel Stories: Finding a baby sloth at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (Some Good News)
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Pin this happy travel story with some good news for later!

Safe travels!

-Maggie

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About Me | Broke Girl Abroad

Maggie, the Broke Girl Abroad, is just another Millennial who wanted to make a travel blog because of that one time she studied abroad.

Now a 9-to-5 employee, follow along as she attempts to see the world by balancing her budget, her 40 hour work week, and her precious, precious vacation days. 

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