Waves crash over the sand spreading its lacy chalky white foam all over the beach. The beach is calm and serene against the gentle water of the sea. The beach leads to the national park surrounded by trees in surprisingly different shades. The sunlight in the park shines on the beauty of the worldly environment. Welcome to paradise, the Cahuita National Park.
Cahuita National Park was created in 1970 as a site and reformed as National Park in 1978. It is also the only park which does not charge an entrance fee and instead accepts donations. The name Cahuita is from the native language which means CAWI, mahogany, a tree of the region and TA is the tip or point. Cahuita is a swamp land located in the depression that lies between the coral platform and the mainland.
Cahuita National Park’s aim is to preserve the beaches and lowlands and the marine life which contains Coralline reefs, a nesting ground for sea turtles. It is home to a variety of birds, the Green Ibis, Green rufous Kingfisher and Keel billed Toucan. The Mantled Howlers, White headed Capuchins, White nosed Coatis, Raccoons, Sloths, and all live in harmony in this 600 acre reef.
The quivering water is teeming with abundant life of 35 species of coral, 140 species of molluscs, 44 species of crustaceans, and 123 species of fish.
Tourists can snorkel and scuba dive in the pristine water. The water unfolds a world of mystery. Sea fans, angelfish, blue parrot fish, urchins, barracudas and stingrays swim by. If this does not stun your attention then check the sunken ships, a ship which transported slaves and sank in the 18th century.
The park is close to the town of Cahuita so the roads and facilities are well developed. Roads from the north and the south lead to the park. It can also be reached on foot through Kelly Creek, which is south of Cahuita.
Cahuita National Park Travel Tips
- Hiking tour in the park is available with a bilingual guide and this includes an entrance fee.
- Food and drinks are not available on the tour.
- Wear light clothing, carry sun block, towel, water, swimsuit, and sport sandals.
- Make a reservation with all personal details and payment is required for this service. An e-voucher will be sent which you should carry to start the tour.
- During the rainy season the paths get muddy so hiking can be tricky.
- Snorkelling equipment is available on rent and you can rent a boat and guide as well.
- Check with rangers for the safest and clearest areas for snorkelling.
How to Reach Cahuita National Park
- 750 Cahuita Express daily from San Jose to Cahuita.
- Auto Transporters is another mode of transport.
- Coral Reef
- Chao’s Paradise
- El Girasol
- Pizzeria Cahuita
- Sobre Las Olas
Love this? Explore the entire list of places to visit in Cahuita before you plan your trip.
Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Cahuita and book an accommodation of your choice.
95% of people who visit Cahuita include Cahuita National Park in their plan
09 AM - 10 AM
74.47% of people start their Cahuita National Park visit around 09 AM - 10 AM
People usually take around 2 Hrs to see Cahuita National Park
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Cahuita National Park
Cahuita National Park Reviews & Ratings
Really nice National Park, long trek through the jungle just meters from the beach. The most important is that you cannot leave the path it's almost untouched. Many kinds of animals, and a very Important coral reef. Try to arrive early in the morning so you can enjoy the whole day walking and relaxing on the beach. Bring your own food and water, and don't forget to take your rubbish with you
Best sightings of just so many animals, better than our Amazon walk in Brazil to be honest in that respect. Sloths, tree climbing iguanas, large monkeys, raccoons, even a viper. Great guide pointing everything out to us.
One of my favorites places in my country. It's a very clean beach were you can relax and enjoy the nature.
This place is lovely, the beach is great a the little town too. You are not supposed to bring drinks into this national Park. But you can manage to disguise them.
Local guides can help you spot more critters but either way you're bound to see exciting things during this nice hike. Swimming isn't allowed in the snorkeling zone. Cute monkeys and sloths, monkeys come right up to the beach so keep your bags zipped tight!!