Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, Dominical

4.7
#3 of 8 in Wildlife in Dominical
Get up close and personal with Costa Rican wildlife at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. Focused on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of local animals, tours last between 1 and 1.5 hours and provide information on our aims and objectives, the animals’ individual stories and our rescue work. Visitors will meet the sanctuary residents which include sloths, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, anteaters, raccoons, parrots, toucans, porcupines, and kinkajous. You will learn about their history, biology, and conservation needs from fully trained and experienced tour guides. Visitors can take lots of photographs but cannot touch the animals in accordance with Costa Rican law. This hands-off policy allows the animals to live in a low stress but happy environment. Donations from these tours go directly and completely towards running this non-profit wildlife sanctuary. Tours by reservation only. Take the guesswork out of planning a Dominical vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.
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Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
350 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Marvelous work done to care for and rehabilitate local wildlife. Worth the tour to learn what can be done to protect the wildlife of Costa Rica.  more »
  • My husband and I volunteered at Alturas for two weeks in October. Even though our time at Alturas was part of a larger vacation, the two weeks we spent volunteering is what we talk about months later....  more »
  • The visit to the Alturas Animal Santuary was well worth it. Your $25 donation goes directly to support the rehabilitation of and sanctuary for the Costa Rican wildlife. Shawn was our guide and was ext...  more »
Google
  • I can see how some people can dislike the place, but I think you need to set your expectations straight first. If you are coming as a tourist, keep in mind - this is no zoo. You will not be allowed to play with animals and animals are not kept in habitats designed for viewing by humans. This is a rescue mission, working to rehabilitate injured, abused or abandoned animals and release them back into the wild. Or to provide animals with decent life if they can not go to their wild lifestyle. The place is a part of beautiful boutique hotel and you will be able to enjoy a spectacular deck with view, a meal and a few mediocre cocktails before and after touring the sanctuary. The sanctuary itself will contain different kinds of animals depending on who needs help at the point. We got a very educating tour from a local veterinarian who was very passionate about her job and gave us a glimpse into how the sanctuary operates. Keep in mind that a) There is a mandatory non-negotiable minimum donation for the tour b) You can't see the place without the tour guide c) The road is steep and washed out. If you have decent driving experience, you'll be OK in an FWD sedan driving carefully, but a 4WD is recommended and is a must if it's wet.
  • The tour is very informative. I learned not only why the animals are there (injury, illegal ownership, etc) but how hard Alturas works to rehab AND RELEASE as many animals as is possible and safe to the animal. Being up close and learning why it’s best for the animal to not learn human interaction is a new and very meaningful. The place isn’t huge, isn’t a US zoo, it’s exaxtly right for Costa Rica.
  • These guys are doing amazing work to help local animals!
  • Good to place to see local animals, sloths, monkeys and macaws etc.. There are some sad stories as these are rescues, but your entrance fee goes to support their good actions. Definitely a place to support! They take great care to help and rescue the hurt animals in this region. Two thumbs up to this refuge!
  • The best place in the pacific coast of Costa Rica, the staff is so kind and the food perfect!!

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Where to stay in Dominical

The estuary of Rio Baru offers memorable natural scenery, so it's no surprise that most of the accommodations in Dominical cluster around this point. Look to the eastern bank of the river to find a selection of resorts, eco-lodges, and villas offering pleasant waterfront views. For something a bit quieter but with excellent beach access, stay in a private vacation rental farther east down the coast. You can also head north to stay near Nauyaca Waterfalls.
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