CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK | Costa Rica
After a five hour drive from La Fortuna, we arrived in Cahuita to find out it's the smallest place we've been yet. SMALL. It's a tiny village with an Afro-Caribbean heritage. The only real attractions in Cahuita are the beaches and Cahuita National Park, a terrestrial and marine park on the Caribbean coast. Smaller than most national parks, but pretty amazing! Cahuita consisted of three gravel streets and just a handful of small businesses. You could walk from one side of town to the other in five minutes. It was along our route to the Costa Rica/Panama border which is why we decided to make it a stop.
One full day we spent exploring Cahuita National Park. It sits on a peninsula bordering the Caribbean. You can hire a guide or do it solo. The entrance fee was a donation of our choice which goes to park maintenance. We were then set free on the five mile trail along the coastline. The park was filled with wildlife! We saw monkeys, sloths, lizards, butterflies, birds, and spiders (and heard a lot of rustling in the brush). At any point along the trail we could take a few steps to the left and have the turquoise waters and pristine Caribbean beaches all to ourselves.
The first part of the hike was quiet, except for some huge spiders and lizards that got our attention. Later in the hike we looked up to see a family of six Capuchin monkeys in the trees around us! Although they kept their distance at first, they continued to get closer and closer. Another couple walked up and the four of us were taking some fantastic pictures, watching the monkeys pull bark off trees and eat the bugs underneath. All of a sudden one of the monkeys jumped on the woman's backpack! In the blink of an eye he unzipped a pocket, pulled out a pack of gum, and took off into a tree! After opening the package and tasting the gum he decided he didn't like it and threw it on the ground. Learning from what we saw and wanting his own up close experience, Ron knelt down with our backpack and extended his hand to the monkey offering a piece of fruit. The monkey scampered up close and reached for the fruit, then put his little mitts our backpack and pulled it closer to him. He was small and cute so at first Ron played along, but as he pulled back the bag the monkey started growling and showed his teeth! Game over monkey. There's no way you're getting our bag. Ron jerked it out of his hands and stood up quickly and the monkey retreated to a tree. It was such a cool experience seeing monkeys on the Caribbean beaches of Cahuita. We continued on with our hike and finished in about three hours. We highly recommend visiting the national park if you're ever passing through!
Next stop Bocas Del Toro, Panama! Hefners out!
The beach in Cahuita, Costa Rica.
Entering Cahuita National Park.
The beautiful pathways.
We saw huge spiders everywhere along the way!
Capuchin monkeys! When we realized we weren't alone anymore during the hike.
This monkey was friendly, but kept his distance.
Pulling bark of the trees looking for insects.