Cahuita National Park Guide

The Cahuita National Park

The Cahuita National Park was created on September 7, 1970, for the purpose of protecting the coastal flora and fauna of the region, in addition to Cahuita’s coral reefs and marine eco systems. Cahuita’s main attractions are its white sandy beaches, miles of coconut groves, tranquil clear seas and the beautiful coral reef. Cahuita Point is mostly swamp, with an abundance of coconut and beach almond trees.

The reef sits off Cahuita Point and fans out over an area of 240 hectares. It is the only mature coral formation found along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline. Among the coral species are the Elkhorn and smooth brain, with Venus sea fans, sea urchins and numerous species of fish like the French angel fish, blue parrot fish, barracuda and queen angel fish also inhabiting the waters. Other species present are the sea cucumber, lobster, white shrimp, green turtle and various crustaceans like hermit crabs. The four identified species of crabs are also very abundant. Iguanas lazing in the sun can also swim when necessary and they can often be seen scrambling over roots and fallen tree-trunks in the swampy parts of Cahuita Point.

Cahuita and the Puerto Vargas Ranger Station

The four mile trail which connects Cahuita and the Puerto Vargas Ranger Station is well marked and maintained. White-faced monkeys, sloths and large webbed spiders are very common in this park, offering visitors much scope for a photo safari. Along the path, numerous possibilities exist to swim and or snorkel to explore the marine life in Cahuita National Park. If you need to rent snorkel equipment, Cahuita town offers the greatest number of possibilities.

Inland the birds and mammals inhabiting the forests are among Costa Rica’s most beloved creatures. The talkative howler monkeys, cheeky raccoons and cute white-nosed coatis are ever present, as are several species of swamp-forest birds, such as the green ibis, the yellow-crowned night heron and the Northern boat-billed heron. The coati is one of South America’s most ancient, aboriginal species. The slow and placid three-toed sloths are often camouflaged by microscopic algae, turning the sloth’s coat and skin an eerie grey-green to hide them in their leafy surroundings.

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