The Caribbean has always been famous for its white, sandy beaches and tall coconut trees and Cahuita National Park in the Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica boasts just that and so much more.
Located on the Caribbean shores 43 kilometers southeast of Limon, this 1,067-hectare coastal park is one of the most amazing and diverse in the whole of Costa Rica.
Once you’re there
They now charge at about $7 for entrance fee but donations are still welcome. The Cahuita National Park is open from 6 AM to 5 PM. The best months to be there is during March, April, September and October considering there is less rain.
More of the Underwater than the Land
One thing that separates Cahuita National Park from all the other parks of Costa Rica is that its main attractions can be best witnessed underwater. Its marine life is abundant and vast that’s why tourists flock this spot for a worthy snorkeling, diving and swimming.
- Coral Reefs- the park houses about 35 species of coral reefs including the smooth brain and elkhorn corals
- Underwater Inhabitants- there about 500 species of fish (rock beauty, blue parrot, French angelfish, etc.), 44 crustaceans, 140 mollusks, 3 halophytic phanerophytes and 128 kinds of algae–to name a few.
On shore, you can bask in the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, frolic under the sun and swim the warm waters of the park.
Flora and Fauna
The Cahuita National Park is not only known for its diverse marine life and wondrous underwater scenes. Its tropical and dense foliage with copious palm trees seen everywhere houses multitudes of wild animals. Among these inhabitants are the popular capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths, yellow-crowned night and little blue herons, Mexican tree porcupines, basilisks, green iguanas, red land and fiddler crabs.
Take as much time as you would underwater when exploring the land area of the Cahuita National Park because it’s equally rewarding.
What to Do
Apart from the impeccable sightings of the this magnificent coastal park, the Cahuita National park also offers various activities which visitors can do while they’re inside.
1. Hiking- exploring the forests and beaches in this park are now easier given the hiking trails present in the area. Take this opportunity to learn more about the vegetation and wildlife as you walk along these partially soggy trails.
2. Snorkeling- the marine life here is rich and snorkeling is a must to witness firsthand the spectacular beauty of the underwater world.
3. Camping- there is an official campsite in the Puerto Vargas Sector 2, 3 km south of Cahuita.
Better explored than read about, the Cahuita National Park is certainly one of Costa Rica’s grand tourist spots. With a touch of the Caribbean in this Latin American country, discovering the wildlife, forests and the underwater has never been this exciting and exhilarating.
Roads to Cahuita National Park are readily accessible for both public and private transportation. If you’re driving your own car, take main highway to Limon from San Jose all the way through the town of Cahuita. From there, head 6 km further to the town of Puerto Vargas where the main entrance is located.
Public buses can also take you to the famed park with departure points from San Jose or Puerto Viejo priced at $4 and $1.25 respectively.
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