Cahuita is a laid back and vibrant little village tucked along the sprawling southern Caribbean Coast. The low-key beach town has become popular among travellers in the past decades and is a must see destination boasting tranquil shorelines, picturesque railways, tropical climate, beautiful black-sand beaches, warm, calm waters, a zesty cuisine and an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, scuba diving, canoeing and snorkelling.
The best way to make the most of your time in this pristine village is to indulge in some of the best things to do in Cahuita, which include tours of the Tortuguero National Park, Cahuita National Park, Tree of Life Wildlife Centre and Botanical Gardens, Alma Verde and other tours including Chocolate Tour & Caribbean and Indigenous Chocolate Museum, Mariposario de Cahuita, Animal Rescue Centre, Sloth Sanctuary and ATV jungle tours. Other top things to do include white sand beaches like Playa Blanca, Black Beach and outdoor activities and adventure sports including hiking, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming, surfing, canoeing, kayaking, dolphin watching, deep sea fishing, canopy and zip line rides. The activities and attractions in Cahuita cater to all ages and interests, from kids, families, solo travellers, to female travellers and adventure junkies, helping you plan a perfect and memorable trip to Cahuita.
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What to Do in and around Cahuita
Enjoy 11 best Cahuita attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 4051 times in trip plans
Limon, Costa Rica
08:00 am - 06:00 pm
If you love turtles then the National Park is the place to be. The national park accommodates birds, monkeys to name a few and the boat ride to the park is sure to offer you sightings of crocodiles. A thrill in itself, if you are lucky you will see small turtles meeting the sea for the first time at sunset- a natural miracle which will be hard to forget anytime soon.
#2 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 4249 times in trip plans
36 Costa Road
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.
#3 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3893 times in trip plans
Cahuita Costa Rica
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Watch the sky streak with the most brilliant orange complimenting perfectly with hues of red and crimson, with hints of blue still lingering in the clouds. As the sun sets behind the horizon, the amazing colours battle with each other pushing away the blackness. The water gleam in the last rays of the sun. As you watch the waves softly lapping on the beach, sip a Pina colada, and enjoy the aroma of fresh sea food, caught during the day and cooked at night waft through the air. Sobre Las Olas was built to heighten your senses.
The restaurant is situated on the edge of the coral reef overlooking the stunning coastline of Cahuita. There are seats on the beach nestled between palm trees and hammocks to swing from while appetisers such as spicy mussels, and ceviche are served as appetisers.
Flavours of the food served here reflect the fusion of Costa Rican food with Italian, union of husband and wife who run this restaurant. The wide display of cuisine is astonishing. Well-cooked tender fish steaks fall off the bone. Ranging from langouste, lobsters with fries, swordfish cappachio, fish and chips, spaghetti in mixed seafood, rice with Cameroons, ratatouille, avocado salad, to chocolate cakes and tiramisu, the list is endless. And to top that the chef will prepare food as per your requirements, thus chicken and steak is also on the menu. A generous sprinkling of fresh basil does wonders to the meals. This restaurant has a bar so all meals are accompanied with a beverage of your choice.
The staff are very attentive and cater to your whims. The portion of every meal is very fulfilling and sitting on the waves and enjoying a hearty meal is truly magical.
During the day, a sturdy horse will walk into the water with you riding on it, an experience you will not forget!
#4 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3797 times in trip plans
36 Costa Rica
Confused? You have every reason to be. The animal in front of you with either two toes or three toes is ambling around in the slowest possible manner. In the wild these animals plod along so slowly that algae grows on its furry coats and gives them a green tint which is a useful camouflage in the forest. But the sloths at the Aviarios Del Caribe Sloth Sanctuary are tended to with gentle care and love.
Sloths are the world’s slowest animals, so sedentary that is built for life in the tree tops. They spend nearly all their time clinging aloft, hanging from branches with their long prominent claws. They even sleep on the trees. They are the most somnolent animals, sleeping from 15 hours to 18 hours a day. Being nocturnal they wake up for dinner at night to feed on leaves, shoots and fruits.
The mission at the sanctuary is to study the sloth and to spread this knowledge and information to promote and stimulate respect from people.
The sloths at the sanctuary are protected and observed. The staff at the sanctuary studies these animals, cares for them and organises and carry out scientific research and analysis on their habitats throughout the country. Modern technology had helped to expand research and develop a humane programme to teach hand reared sloths the skills necessary for survival in the wild. The loss of habitat is of grave concern and in order to raise awareness about these creatures, the sanctuary built a Learning Centre in 2004. The public is made aware of the plight of these gentle creatures by the educational facilities available in the sanctuary.
A year later a clinic was built with a kitchen, laundry, quarantine centre, and a nursery to hand rear orphans. It hopes to reach out globally to help protect these species and partner with rain forest and wild life researchers on an international level.
Children benefit from such research and educational programmes regarding the sloths. They are taught about how to preserve these extraordinary animals for the generations ahead.
#5 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 2306 times in trip plans
Cahuita, Costa Rica
09:00 am - 03:00 pm
A haven for battered animals, animals rescued from injuries or were illegal pet and confiscated from the owners were all bought back to this institution to be nursed back to health and given an improved chance of survival in the wild. The Botanical Garden is not merely an ornamental garden, it is a safe house with a series of large cages which is home to the local fauna.
Animals such as toucans, monkeys, coatimundi, deer, wild pigs, and peccaries have all found their realm in this garden where they get professional care under supervision. Apart from this, the centre also has breeding programmes for iguanas and turtles. This is not a zoo but a rescue centre for animals which were pets or wild animals which were injured. Some of these animals like being petted since they crave for the warmth of a human hand and nothing better to help them heal than tender love and care. The wild animals are prepared to readjust and survive and released into their natural environment.
The lush gardens is rich with bromeliads, heliconias, palms, and the nursery under the canopy is packed with tropical plants which are ethno-botanical in nature. Ethno botanical plants are consumed by man such as the cinnamon and black pepper plants. The paved pathways lead to the pond which is teeming with koi and carp, the traditional Japanese symbol for Love and Friendship. A walk through the gardens takes you to the beach which has a unique black sand and it blends with the nature in the park. The infra-structure of the garden in designed to blend harmony with the needs of the animals under protection.
In order to help children understand the importance and conservation of wildlife, the centre offers tours for school children. The tours provide the children with an in depth study of fauna and flora of the region.
#6 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3748 times in trip plans
Beach Road, Cahuita, Costa Rica
Discover a hidden gem along the coastline, where the trees protect a building serving food to enchant your five senses. Feast your eyes on the magnificent stretch of beach, admire the open space and feel the cool air under the canopy of trees. Hear the distant sound of gulls flying and leave your other senses to feel the impact of the food being served. The Pizzeria Cahuita focuses on simplicity, and inspires the purpose it’s built for- Pizza!
Pizzeria Cahuita is one with the land. It is free of clutter and unnecessary elements. The focus is on the space inside and outside. The elements of colour, design, texture and the furnishings all create a unique ambience. The use of glass windows makes this restaurant bright and cheerful. There is a patio with seating arrangements as well and you can hear the ocean while you eat.
The owners, an Italian couple are very friendly and ensure that service is quick. Even the staff serving the guests are warm and welcoming. They cook up a dish and serve you is less than an hour, and in order to accommodate you while you wait, wine and bread is served. They have free delivery services to most parts of Cahuita and are very prompt on delivery. Fresh ingredients are used in the variety of mouth-watering dishes that is available on the menu. A large brick oven is used to cook the pizza and other very appetising Italian cuisine.
The chefs whip up a range of dishes from the depth of the ocean like snapper and prawns, crayfish, all with a strong taste of the sea, with their succulent texture and taste. Fresh from the oven are perfect melt in your mouth food like ravioli, lasagne, scampi, pesto gnocchi, pancetta and bruschetta, all cooked to perfection. The desserts such as tiramisu, and the chocolate cake, look like masterpieces. Juicy steak cooked tenderly with fresh herbs fall into pieces on your plate.
But the incredible pizzas is what draws tourists to this place like moth to a light. You have travelled this far to taste the pizzas here, and the blend of five cheeses, with the tomato sauce and meat on thin crust is a sheer gastronomical delight.
#7 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3885 times in trip plans
Playa Grande Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Caribbean Coconut is at the edge of the jungle and you experience wildlife at your door. Sit on the patio at dusk or dawn and wait for wildlife to find you. The serenade of frogs, chorus of colourful birds, the ‘howls’ of howler monkeys, a slow moving sloth and a boa constrictor wound around a branch of a tree are all part of the beautiful scenery surrounding the hotel. It has a beach across the road with an untouched coastline. Paradise!
It is a small hotel with excellent maintenance and family service, which makes you think and feel you are at home. The owners give a lot of personal attention to the guests to ensure that they experience the thrill of the Caribbean, its cuisine and warmth and take the memory back as a treasure. This is one of the newest hotel with rooms built in wood to give the tropical image, and equipped with air conditioners, Wi-Fi, bathrooms with hot and cold water, private patios, and a welcoming swimming pool. The hotel is the perfect place to unwind after a hike in the jungle or the beach.
The gorgeous beach goes on for miles and it is pretty desolate, so a stroll in the afternoon is very relaxing with the warm sea breeze caressing you. Safety and security is part of the package though you are living in the jungle!
Back at the hotel, each room is provided with free breakfast and you are welcome to bring your pet as well. Extras include bed linen. Service is available for 24hours at the front desk and parking is free. The Italian restaurant run by the owners serve authentic Italian cuisine, prepared by the family and only fresh Italian products are used. Pasta, pizza, meat, fish, fruits, desserts, drinks are all at its best, since they rely on quality. They cater to special menus as well and take out is also an option. The restaurant is open daily from 6 p.m.
#8 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3469 times in trip plans
Main Road, Cahuita, Costa Rica
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Coco’s Bar is a hotspot for travellers after a long day of exploring. Located at the heart of the city, the Bar offers good food, drinks and lively music. Sway to some reggae and soca tunes over lip-smacking delicacies. A must after a hard day of exploring the city.
#9 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3430 times in trip plans
Tuba Creek, Playa Grande Cahuita, Cahuita 7302, Costa Rica
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
To offer a holistic approach, the Alma Verde is spread across 20 hectares of land consisting of medicinal plants. The place is home to many animals and accommodates visitors to experience oneness with the world around them.
The place also offers medicinal therapies and is known for its Yoga sessions amidst the soothing greenery.
Yoga and Meditation
A world within itself, a trip to Cahuita is incomplete without a visit to Alma Verde.
#10 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3821 times in trip plans
Los Pargos, Guanacaste Povince
The foamy waves crash into one another, as if they have something to say. The surfers come here to escape from the humdrum of everyday life. Sea breeze moves through palm leaves, making the coconut trees sway in rhythm. The trees and the waves speak an ancient language sending a universal message of harmony with Nature. This is Playa Negra, a beach with endless stretch of dark sand, speckled with trees that have orange leaves and flowers.
The intense colours on the beach runs all along the 2 kilometres stretch and the pristine waters and open space create a beautiful setting for tourists. The coral breaks down just before the coastline and the waves deposit the dark sand on the beach. Playa Negra can boast about being awarded the Ecological Blue flag several times, and this honour is showered on the city for keeping the beach’s water clean with its intense administration. The city ensures that the beach is not crowded by tourists so that the surfers can roll freedom, adventure, and creativity into one and become a part of the ocean.
The beach offers big waves to surfers who experience the magical feeling of flying. Surfing brings out their spiritual side as they achieve total fulfilment on all levels. And soon surfing becomes an addiction.
This unique beach also has quiet waters for swimmers. The water offers weightlessness, serenity in the air, the sound of seagulls, which is surreal. It enlightens you and suspends time. Stand up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is also a form of sport. While you stand and paddle, you may get a glimpse of the amazing animals swimming below, varieties of fish, turtles, and perhaps whales and dolphins in the horizon. The adrenalin rush is a stunning experience. It’s almost as if the animals are challenging you to swim. There is something here for every age group and every level of interest. Costa Rica has stunning beaches, pristine, warm waters, abundant wildlife and welcoming locals.
Horseback riding can get you hooked as well. The horses are such gentle animals, galloping in the wind, with such ease and grace, making you feel nature’s energy as they run across the beach effortlessly. You think you were riding Aladdin’s carpet.
At Playa Negra time ceases to exist. You combine peace, presence, and excitement which brings you back to this beach over and over again. It is common cure for someone who feels that he has missed out or bailed on rejuvenating his life and that brings him back for another amazing trip.
#11 of 11 Things to do in Cahuita | Added 3378 times in trip plans
Cahuita, Costa Rica
Known for its pristine white sand, the Playa Blanca is a nice way to get a sun tan while you enjoy its water. Probably one of the most un-crowded beaches in the city, a picnic here is sure to be intimate and relaxing.
The capuchin monkeys which drop by to welcome its visitors only add to its charm.