This is an easy walk for just about anyone....young or old. The sandy path is flat & there are only a few small roots crossing the path here & there. There is wildlife everywhere! We saw dozens of monkeys...Capuchin (Mono cariblanco) & Howlers (Mono congo) as well as Racoons (Mapache norteno) & Aguotis (Guatusas) that look like giant Guinea pigs. We also came within 2 or 3 feet of a sleeping three-toed sloth (Perezoso de tres dedos). Wow!!!He/she looked pretty comfy all stretched out only 4 feet off the ground. Walking at an easy pace it took us about 3+ hours.....we made it back in under 45 minutes because we were trying to beat nightfall....we sure didn't want to be caught out there with all those wild critters after dark!!
I'd say the best bet is to start at Puert Vargas so that you end up in Cahuita & can rest & have a drink etc. If you start at the town end then when you come out at Puerto Vargas there is no place close to get a drink & the only way back to Cahuita is through the park or along the main road.
Meeting Walter " Mr. Gavitt" Ferguson was a highlight of our most recent trip in December 2007.
In 2005 wanting to buy a CD of local music we found one by "Mr. Gavitt" called "Dr. Bombadee". Once back in Canada we played it & absolutely loved his way of singing about his caribe history. On a trip in 2006 we bought his other CD "Babylon" & loved it too. Finally in 2007 we got up the nerve to actually meet him. Before we did though we purchaed another copy of his second CD "Dr. Bombadee" & asked if he would sign it. When we arrived at his home it was such a coincidence that he was sitting on his porch singing along to the very same CD! What a wonderful & interesting man. He was more than happy to sign the CD & we had a very pleasant conversation with him. After that we saw & chatted with him daily at the Sol y Mar restaurant where he spends his mornings & evenings. He is around 83 years old & going blind. If you do buy one of his CD's don't hestitate to go & meet him & get his autograph before it is too late.
This is an amazing park. It's all beach and rain forest. It's barely touched. I was the first person in (6 AM) one morning, and I had the entire place to myself. Lots of animals eating breakfast, beautiful sand, quiet, peace. Really cool. I highly recommend spending at least one night in Cahuita. It's the quiet, but pretty happy side of Puerto Viejo.
This guy is gorgeous and deadly! We spotted him just a couple of feet from the path in the Nat. Park Cahuita. He was twirled around a twig ..hoping for a humming bird or whatever. Looked harmles but his bite will have you dead in less than an hour. Hope no one touched him!
The sloth Sanctuary is a great way to get up close and personal with these really cute animals, they have adults and babys, some of which they will let you touch. There is a video and then a guided tour of the sanctuary and an introduction to the babys. There is also the resident "pet" sloth named Buttercup who was the first sloth treated by the sanctuary.
Price: 15 US dollars or 750 colones
There are 9 kilometres of trails through jungle bordering on beach in the Cahuita National Park. This gives you an opportunity to come face to face with white faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas, lizards and many species of gorgeous butterflies. There is a coral reef beyond Punta Cahuita and many secluded beaches you can find to take in the sun and enjoy the warm waters.
Beautiful coral and fish in the park. You must go with a guide according to Park regulations which is better off anyway since there are certain areas with rip tides and much of the reef has been destroyed by storms etc. so it is best to go with someone who knows the best spots to explore. You can pay $15 at any local travel shop for 2-3 hours of snorkeling or hire one of the local boatmen yourself to take you and negotiate a better price. We didn't feel like trekking the 4 km back through the jungle from the point so we flagged down a boatmen on his way back home who took us for 1000 colones each. We may have been to negotiate a better price but we felt it was fair for the half hour ride and a gorgeous alternative way to see the park.
I took an early start and had the national park all to myself most of the time and I really enjoyed the solitude. I think it is a very Finnish feature, we need to be alone a lot. It was hot and the sun was shining brightly but luckily the road, which later turned into a path was shady so the heath didn't bother me that much. I walked slowly and looked around, right and left, up and down. A quick moment in the corner of my eye turned out to be a beetle hiding under the leaves or a crab running quickly into hideway. If one has patience one can spot many little creature here. I had packed a lunch with me and lots to drink. Water and fruit juices. There were tables and benches by the seaside and I sat on one of them and had my baquette and tuna sandwiches. Delicious!
In the first river that flows into the park are two ..big caymen. We watched them for a long time . The owner of our hotel feeds then chicken heads. There's a turtle that stays close to them...they've been friends for years!
They are my favorite and one of the easiest places to spot them is Nat. Park Cahuita. I love watching them as they eat and fly through the trees . We've tromped all over other parks in Costa Rica but we always get a good look at them inthe Nat. Park Cahuita
This is the best deal in Costa Rica. Entry fee is by donation . You can spend all day in this park . There are tons of animals and wildlife ...and a gorgeous white sand beach. Some people just enter and walk along the trail to the beach ...admiring the howler monkeys . Others come for the nature walk. We did both!! Closes at 5 PM
I was lucky enough to see some monkeys as soon as I entered the park through Puerto Vargas Ranger Station. They were jumping in the tree tops and too far for my camera to take good photos, so i just spent long time looking at them. It was like being in one of those nature documents you see on TV. Later I saw other monkeys in the bushes and this time I was able to take some photos of them too. Definitely the highlight of my walk in Cahuita National park.
I had read that one shouldn't forget to take insect repellent with oneself and I was beginning to think that it was a vain advice but soon I realised that I needed the repellent after all. A herd of flying beasts attacted me, but soon I attacted them. I ahd bought the repellent in Finland and the lady in the pharmacy told me that the smell of it would keep insects away and she was right too. I didn't have any difficulties with them during my holiday. When I was crossing a small river, which at that time of the year was very shallow, so I could walk in it with my hiking boots, I met a Japanese young man who had been badly biten by mosquitos and he asked if I had repellent. I gladly borrowed him mine as there was no way I would have let my fellow traveller suffer!
Cahuita is not really my kind of a place as I am not a beach person, so I found there was not much for me to do. It was also TOO HOT for me there. Anyway I did take quite a lot of photos there and liked colourful wooden houses very much.
Where the jungle borders the beach. Trek through the jungle, observe the wildlife, and when the mosquitos become too much to handle take a dive into the warm Caribbean Sea. Animals like howler and capuchin monkeys, pacas, coati, iguanas, basilisks, sea turtles, crabs, toucans, herons, racoons, opposums, and porcupines all make this place their home.
There are two entrances to the National Park - one at the edge of town in Cahuita at the Kelly Creek Station and the other several kilometers south of town at Puerto Vargas. Although the official entrance is at Puerto Vargas, I recommend entering at Kelly Creek because they only ask for a suggested donation. You can donate as little or as much as you feel like. At Puerto Vargas, there is a standard 6 USD fee.
Take the 7 km trek from one end to the other; as you go through the jungle you must wade through a river - very adventurous eh?
Don't forget your bug repellent; also be prepared to be eaten alive by sand flies - nothing will keep them away from your skin.