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Cahuita National Park

The park was established in 1970 and is focussed on the coast. About a tenth of its 1,100 hectares is marine and includes some beautiful coral reefs, including the country’s largest coastal reef with 35 species of corals and some 500 species of fish. The reef was partially damaged by an earthquake in 1991 but is now recovering. Also beneath the sea is the wreck of an 18th century slave ship.
On land there is tropical rainforest and sandy beach. The rainforest is home to sloths, howler and capuchin monkeys, iguanas, caimans and armadillos plus a range of birds including toucans.
Reasons to visit Cahuita National Park include:

  • The park is best known for its coral reefs which lie close to shore. In the dry season snorkelling is good (you do noeed to be accompanied by a guide).
  • There are two shipwrecks which you can explore. Whilst you are unlikely to find any hidden treasure, they are nonetheless interesting to explore.
  • On dry land you can hike through the forest in search of wildlife. You might find sloths, coatis, raccoons or agoutis. White-faced capuchins and howler monkeys are fairly common here.
  • Birding can be equally as rewarding with green ibis, keel-billed toucans, rufous kingfishers and swainson toucans likely to make an appearance.
  • Whilst the villages of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo do not fall within the park's boundaries, they are still worthy of a visit. The laid-back Caribbean vibe and the multicultural community are part and parcel of this beautiful Costa Rican coastline.

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Cahuita National Park accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT -6 hours

Flight time:

The flying time is about 12 hours from the UK. There are now direct flights from the UK using British Airways. We work with all the major airlines and can offer flights from the UK or via the USA, Panama or a European hub. With the connection times you are looking at around 15 or 16 hours.

Language: Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken throughout Costa Rica


Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.


There are no compulsory vaccinations.



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