5 tips for visiting Cahuita National Park
During your stay in Puerto Viejo, a day trip to the Cahuita National Park is a must. The park offers not only wonderful beaches but also tropical forests and an enormous variety of animals. Starting in Puerto Viejo Cahuita can be reached easily within a short bus ride. To make your experience even better I have put together these five tips:
1. Bring enough mosquito spray (and sun cream)
Especially if you visit the park after some rainy days you can't have enough mosquito repellent with you. Above all, in the swampy areas, there are hundreds of mosquitoes. They can be quite aggressive if you forget to bring any repellent as I did. And of cause as always, don't forget to apply some sun cream!
2. Use the Kelly Creek entrance to save money
The two entrances Kelly Creek and Puerto Vargas are located at both ends of the footpath that leads through the entire park. The Kelly Creek entrance is located directly in the village of Cahuita and can be used as a starting point. It is close to the bus terminal and the entrance fee is based on a donation. This makes it perfect for backpackers who keep an eye on their budget.
3. Plan enough time
Also the 8 km long hiking trail is quite easy to master, you should still calculate enough time. Don´t forget to add an extra hour or two to take a break at one of the beaches. To have enough time it is best to catch the bus at 9:30 the latest. The bus station in Puerto Viejo is within walking distance from Lazy Loft which is a huge advantage.
4. Keep your eyes open at all times
The fourth tip is probably one of the most important. Both the ground and the treetops are full of animals - but they are not always easy to spot. Besides various insects and lizards, Cahuita is home to raccoons, sloths and monkeys, as well as a variety of birds. Sloths, in particular, are not always easy to spot. Especially when they hang high up in the tree and, as always, hardly move. A good tip is to look for other tourist groups who seem to have discovered something.
5. Only snorkel with a local guide
Cahuita National Park is also the home of the last living coral reef of Costa Rica. So, if you are interested in snorkeling, this is the ideal place. To protect the corals, diving without a guide is strictly forbidden. You can find guides either at the entrance of the park or directly at the Punta Cahuita, about half of the hiking trail.
I hope that my tips will help you and that you won’t forget the mosquito spray, as I did. Despite the bites, it was still a great day! After the long hike, I will now treat myself with a plate of Rice and Beans at Lazy Mon. Pura Vida!