Cahuita National Park Guide

Cahuita National Park, on the southern Caribbean coast 26 miles south of the port city of Limón, is a land and marine park best known for white-sand beaches, thick lowland jungle, brilliant turquoise water, and wildlife. Travelers to the southern Caribbean should not miss this coastal highlight! Our Cahuita National Park guide provides helpful information about wildlife, ranger stations, the coastal trail, guided tours within the park, and FAQs.

Cahuita Marine & Wildlife

Cahuita National Park sloths

Mom and baby sloth sighting in Cahuita National Park by

The park protects one of the last remaining coral reefs in the country. The reef contains about 35 different species of coral and is home to hundreds of vibrant tropical fish.

Inland, white-faced capuchin and howler monkeys can be seen or heard from the forest lining the beach and brightly colored crabs spotted (especially in the early morning hours) burrowing holes in the sand. Other wildlife within the park include iguanas, toucans, sloths, poison dart frogs, crocodiles, raccoons, snakes, and more.

Cahuita Town

The little town of Cahuita is located just outside the park. This little laid-back fishing village has developed its own culture distinct from the rest of Costa Rica with Jamaican influences, an English Creole Dialect, and reggae beats.

Cahuita Park Entrances

There are two entrances to Cahuita National Park. The generally preferred entrance, Kelly Creek, is located in town at the end of Cahuita village’s main street. It has lockers, changing rooms, and lockers. The other entrance is in Puerto Vargas (3 miles south of Cahuita) at the park’s southern end. It takes a couple of hours to hike to the best snorkeling spots from Puerto Vargas. So, if you’re looking for snorkeling, you’ll want to enter through the Cahuita entrance.

Cahuita Hiking Trails

Cahuita National Park trail

Cahuita National Park trail via @evq.m

The trails within Cahuita National Park are flat and well-maintained despite the thick surrounding forest. The main trail runs parallel to the beach – only about 300 feet away. Hikers can trek on the trail in the shade of the forest or meander out to the beach for a swim at any time.

Guided Tours of Cahuita National Park:

Cahuita National Park beach

Cahuita National Park beach via @giulio_dng

To make the most of your time, see more wildlife, and better understand the ecosystem we highly recommend a guided tour in Cahuita National Park. Below are three tours offered within the park that can be included in your custom Costa Rica vacation package.

Snorkel & Hike in Cahuita National Park Tour

Cahuita National Park is a playground of land and sea adventures. Begin your adventure at the beach! Climb aboard the boat that will bring you out to the coral reef. Enjoy a couple of hours in two different snorkeling locations within the national park. Discover colorful tropical fish, underwater marvels, and incredible coral formations. Then, fill up on tropical fruit on the beach before setting out on your hike through the coastal rainforest. Since the park is home to an abundance of diverse wildlife, you’ll likely see monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, iguanas, dart frogs, and more.

  • Includes transfers, guide, and entrance.

Cahuita Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Tour

Enjoy a picturesque boat ride along the coastline of the Cahuita National Park looking for Bottlenose and Atlantic dolphins. Then snorkel the coral reefs of the Cahuita National Park! On the way back to the shoreline, stop to have a fresh snack. Onshore, walk back through the national park (unguided) or take a boat ride back. For guests of Banana Azul Hotel.

  • Includes boat ride, guide, equipment, and snack select beverages.

Cahuita National Park, Snorkeling & Hiking Tour

Cahuita National Park has the largest coral reefs in Southern Central America along with fantastic hiking trails full of wildlife. This excursion combines a boat ride, snorkeling, and hiking. First, take a boat ride out to Punta Cahuita. Discover the “underwater tropical forest”while snorkeling. Then, head back to land for a guided hike along lush rainforest trails. Uncover the natural wonders of the area. Be on the lookout for sloths, monkeys, iguanas, frogs, and awe-inspiring insects! For guests of Banana Azul Hotel.

  • Includes transfers, guide, equipment, entrance, and snacks.

Cahuita National Park FAQs:

It might rain at any time of year on the southern Caribbean side. September and October are the driest months.
Bring a swimsuit underneath hiking clothes (if you plan to hike), hiking shoes, flip-flops, change of clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, hat, water, towels, and a picnic lunch if desired.
8 am – 4 pm
$10 per person from Puerto Vargas; a 1,000 colones donation is strongly encouraged at the Cahuita Kelly Creek entrance.

For more information, check out our favorite national parks in Costa Rica or browse our vacation packages to get started planning your trip!

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