Cahuita National Park
Cahuita National Park
4.5
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
This coastal park contains white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Contains trails, beaches, and coral reef the only way can you visit the coral reef is by a tour and I provided.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • JOEAK96
    South Jordan, Utah12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cahuita National Park
    While visiting Cahuita, we explored this incredible park in the morning. It offers a truly unique experience as you can stroll along the beaches and through the forest while observing a variety of wildlife. Our long walk allowed us to see numerous animals and appreciate the natural beauty of the area. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Cahuita, I highly recommend taking the time to visit this park - it's definitely worth it. Although there is no official entrance fee, a donation is appreciated.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 May 2023
  • KarenM1_10
    1,084 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the visit
    We came here on a tour from our cruise ship. We had a wonderful guide who took us into the park where we saw monkeys and sloths. After the national park, we went to a different area of the park that was along the beach. This was a very nice walk where there were similar animals but much more. The beach area by the park was very nice with a restaurant near the beach entrance. Do not forget to spray with insect repellent. You will need it when you walk through the national park with all the trees and foliage.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 25 May 2023
  • mvanroy
    Merelbeke, Belgium730 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Costa Rican wildlife at its best!
    We explored this small but beautiful National Park with a guide from Cahuita Tours (and our 7y old son). We went for the hike only tour (and passed this time for the snorkeling opportunity which was offered as part of a package - although it might have been quite an experience with the local coral reef). The hike itself is rather easy and can easily be done alone as you just need to follow the single track. However, the guide helped us finding the animals (especially the smaller ones) and he gave us extra background information. We had a very successful day and saw a lot of animals, including different monkey species (howler and capuchin monkeys, both from a very close distance), different types of snakes (including a big boa and the venomous yellow eyelash viper snake), different lizards and iguanas, crabs, butterflies and other insects, gold orb spiders, a raccoon and its funny Coati brother and of course some sloths. Except for a beautiful eagle, we didn't see a lot of birds though. Please make sure you bring enough water and mosquito repellent. At the end of the approx. 8 km walk (4km one way to the Punta Cahuita which is the return point and which you need to pass before 2 pm), we treated ourselves with a refreshing dive into the warm Caribbean sea!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 4 July 2023
  • Sebastian P
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great National Park to visit
    Great National Park to visit at the caribean in Costa Rica. Is you have done snorkel before at the caribean sea the place is not a must. Better if you pay for a guide to show you the animals through the trail. You will see so many that otherwise you wont. Try to get there early because they start to close at 2pm, bring a towel, water and a lot of repelent. Have fun!! Pura Vida!!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 July 2023
  • David
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stellar park
    I had no idea that the water would be right along the trail and the jungle right up to the trail So you can rest or swim on the beach as you go along the trail. We saw moneys and snakes, raccoon of some sort and birds as well. It was so nice to see families with children, but people of all ages enjoyed this fine outing.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 2 February 2024
  • Catherine G
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't Miss Cahuita National Park!
    If you are visiting the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, do not miss Cahuita National Park! I strongly suggest hiking the full trail and catching a taxi back to your vehicle so that you can experience the entire park. Some animals seem to be more plentiful near one entrance or the other, so we are so glad we through-hiked. The trail itself is well maintained, but it is largely possible that you will encounter some very muddy areas, so be prepared with proper footwear. Also bring plenty of water and a snack; there is nowhere to purchase food or water once inside the park. We hired a guide to lead us on our hike, and we are so glad that we did. If we had been on our own, there is no way we would have been able to spot most of the animals we saw. Our guide, Manuel, was fabulous. You can find him here on Trip Advisor. I can't recommend him enough!
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 February 2024
  • Thecatsmum4
    Kettering, United Kingdom2,249 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely Park a must visit
    The park is located directly next to the beach and the trail that we walked along was only a few feet from the sand. It was well trodden, wide and easily accessable. We initially tried to walk along the beach but were stopped by staff and made to enter via the main gate, then you could go back onto the beach. There is a "suggested donation" of 5$ entry fee. There are loos and changing facitlities by the entrance. We didn't join a guide but we saw lots of them with big groups. Not sure if the groups were travelling together or just individuals. There are a lot of guides trying to sell you tours outside the entrance. The walk was lovley with lots to see and if you wanted to spend time on the beach you could, but the water was very rough and red flags were flying that day. We saw a few animals and birds, obviously if we had been with a guide we may have seen more, but we wanted to do it at our own pace. Worth a visit for at least half a day if not more. It gets busy later in the morning. A word of warning watch out for the racoons, they will steal from any unattended bags and are not frightened of humans, real masked bandits! Just by the entrance is a cafe which sells lovely ice cream!
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 7 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Thecatsmum4
Kettering, UK2,249 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
The park is located directly next to the beach and the trail that we walked along was only a few feet from the sand. It was well trodden, wide and easily accessable. We initially tried to walk along the beach but were stopped by staff and made to enter via the main gate, then you could go back onto the beach. There is a "suggested donation" of 5$ entry fee.

There are loos and changing facitlities by the entrance.

We didn't join a guide but we saw lots of them with big groups. Not sure if the groups were travelling together or just individuals. There are a lot of guides trying to sell you tours outside the entrance.

The walk was lovley with lots to see and if you wanted to spend time on the beach you could, but the water was very rough and red flags were flying that day.

We saw a few animals and birds, obviously if we had been with a guide we may have seen more, but we wanted to do it at our own pace.

Worth a visit for at least half a day if not more. It gets busy later in the morning.

A word of warning watch out for the racoons, they will steal from any unattended bags and are not frightened of humans, real masked bandits!

Just by the entrance is a cafe which sells lovely ice cream!
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tulu
34 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Went with a tour. There is a lot of walking but I saw monkeys with babies, sloth with baby and lizards. I would have preferred to not get a tour and go at my pace. More time on the beaches with snacks and chillax would have worked. Do go but without a rush. Costa Rica is wonderful!
Written 25 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catherine G
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
If you are visiting the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, do not miss Cahuita National Park! I strongly suggest hiking the full trail and catching a taxi back to your vehicle so that you can experience the entire park. Some animals seem to be more plentiful near one entrance or the other, so we are so glad we through-hiked. The trail itself is well maintained, but it is largely possible that you will encounter some very muddy areas, so be prepared with proper footwear. Also bring plenty of water and a snack; there is nowhere to purchase food or water once inside the park. We hired a guide to lead us on our hike, and we are so glad that we did. If we had been on our own, there is no way we would have been able to spot most of the animals we saw. Our guide, Manuel, was fabulous. You can find him here on Trip Advisor. I can't recommend him enough!
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
I had no idea that the water would be right along the trail and the jungle right up to the trail So you can rest or swim on the beach as you go along the trail. We saw moneys and snakes, raccoon of some sort and birds as well. It was so nice to see families with children, but people of all ages enjoyed this fine outing.
Written 2 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

charlie b
Massachusetts2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
we had a really great time in cahuita park. the monkeys where great to see. my friends and i had a very good time
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Waldemar_Schneider
Walldorf, Germany305 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
Here you get a unique combination of natural (animal) life and access to marvelous beaches - just beware of raccoons.
Written 6 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teacher O
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
The park is amazing. The first day we made a donation and walked through mostly to get to the beach. The next day, we hired a guide (Peck--WhatsApp #+506 8893 2252), and that was an excellent choice. Peck was able to point out all kinds of wildlife that we never would have noticed on our own. He knows a lot about the habits, diet, and characteristics of the animals in the park. He let us borrow his binoculars and had a helpful light pointer to show us birds, sloths, iguans, bats, and snakes in the trees. He also had a handy bird guide to show us various birds we might encounter. Peck is a native to Cahuita, and besides knowing a lot about the park and its inhabitants, he knows a lot about the people, culture, and history of the area. We were just as interested to learn about his family's history and experiences in Cahuita as we were in the park. Peck's father (who passed away earlier this year at the age of 103) was famous Calypso singer, Walter Ferguson. Peck showed us the location of a fisherman's cabin that inspired the song "Cabin in the Wata." Peck speaks English, Spanish, and English Creole easily and very fluently. Hiring him was well worth it!
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Duane and Julie Retired
Olive Hill, KY12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
The trip to Cahuita National Park is well worth your time and money. There are 2 entrances. The person at both entrances spoke great English and answered any questions we had, don't forget to sign in. Unlike the majority of the parks in Costa Rica, this park relies on donations. They will take US dollars and the suggested donation is $5, don't be cheap and donate at least $10 each as this place is well maintained and plenty to see. If you have visited other parks in Costa Rica this one is a bargain. The park can be walked in sneakers and swim trunks if you want. At any point along the trails you can go for a swim along the white sand beach in most places. Things to consider, you will have to cross 2 bodies of water with no bridges so at high tide expect to go through waste deep water, or do what we did and stay dry. Here is how. Started at the Cahuita Entrance, plenty of parking on the left side of the road right before the entrance, free. Get there early to get a spot. As you walk towards the entrance there will be polite tour guides offering to take you on a trip with them, your choice, understand you will see more with a guide, we did not use one. Have clean bathrooms at the start and then a flat walk for about 1.2 miles, spotting a Sloth, few monkeys and a racoon that liked to walk alongside me for a while. At the end of 1.2 miles you get your first water crossing, we turned around.
We then went to the Puerto Vargas entrance point, at the gate we showed our receipt from the Cahuita donation and all was good, free parking behind the office. The walk here started on a broad walk for a while through wetlands before getting back onto the beach trail. There are signs around that will tell you the different lengths of the trail, it is basically one long trail, turn around where you want. Carry water. Hope this helps some people.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
If you really want to see a lot of animals is better wen you have a guide with you +506 87509261.
Written 27 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alison F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We were incredibly lucky to meet Richard at the gate, he’s a general guide, which means he knows all there is to know. He is so incredibly knowledgeable and was able to answer every question we had. We paid him $50 for 2 hours of hiking (about 2 miles).
We saw monkeys, rare birds, a sloth, and more (my photos don’t do it justice at all). We learned so much about Costa Rica’s wildlife!
Not only is Richard incredibly knowledgeable, but he was so kind and his energy and personality alone is worth what we paid.
If you’re looking for a guide, definitely ask for Richard; you won’t regret it at all!
Written 28 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
For me was a pleasure to share with you guys and hope to see you soon for contact with me this is my phone number +50687509261 Can contact me.
Written 26 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anne0319
Kingsbridge, UK191 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
The actual national park is stunning and truly is one my highlights of Costa Rica so far. However, there are some really important points that I am disappointed about that I feel the national park authority really need to address:

I booked through Juan Chipan (aqualung), Chipan Tours, and I wasn’t really happy with the way the guide interacted with the environment.

He didn’t once tell people about how fragile the coral reef ecosystem is, he didn’t say that people needed to watch out and make sure their fins didn’t hit the coral as they were swimming, there was no brief whatsoever about protecting this environment or about how important it is. When he dived down he held onto bits, and whilst he was being careful, he really shouldn’t be doing this; it leaves a bad impression on tourists who might think it’s okay to do this too. This needs to be regulated, it needs to be compulsory for tour guides to provide their clients/tourists with the appropriate brief to ensure everyone respects the ecosystem. I didn’t feel our tour operator did that at all, and this isn’t good from an educational point of view, nor from the point of view of protecting the environment/ecosystem.

I was also really disappointed that the use of certain sunscreens isn’t regulated. As a scientist who researches the effect of sunscreens for a living, I know how important it is to ensure people only use natural reef safe sunscreens, not containing BP-3, avobenzone or octocrylene etc. There was a small sign at the entrance to the national park that stated people are encouraged to use alternative sunscreens, but no one was listening - the whole of my group besides myself and my father were using chemical based non-reef friendly sunscreens containing BP-3, Octocrylene and other unfriendly reef chemicals. This is really disheartening, as if this isn’t regulated, the reef will begin to see the effects of this type of pollution too.
Written 1 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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