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The beauty of Cahuita is often overlooked in favor of the more popular town of Puerto Viejo, but those to choose to visit it discover a most relaxing place that maintains its old-fashioned charm and keeps its Caribbean flavor strong. Black sand beaches to the north and white sand to the south enclose Cahuita National Park, the town's focal point and a delightful place to spend a day wandering its flat trail and marveling at the flora and fauna. Snorkeling and swimming are inviting options along Cahuita's coast, which is home to the one of Costa Rica's only living coral reefs.
See & Do
From the center of town and the bus station, all two of the town's roads lead to the northern entrance of Parque Nacional Cahuita. Flanked by the white sandy beach of Playa Blanca on one side and dense rainforest on the other, the trail in between meanders for several kilometers along the water, and you're bound to encounter some of the numerous species that call this national park home. This is a great park for families and people of all ages as it's easy to navigate and full of wildlife to look at.
At first glance, one may be hard pressed to decide upon a restaurant among the low-slung buildings still on stilts that line the two roads through town, but one may be pleasantly surprised. Cahuita history is steeped in Afro-Caribbean culture, and that influence can be tasted in the coconut infusion of its cuisine; local chefs take pride in preserving the flavors of Jamaica and sharing meals with those who come to visit. For a stellar meal that will keep the essence of Cahuita close to your heart, stroll north until you reach Sobre la Olas, and take in the sunset over a plate of fresh ceviche.
Those who come expecting cookie cutter hotels and luxury resorts will surely be disappointed, but without breaking the bank or feeling cheated one can find plenty of options to choose from, if Cahuita's charms should convince you to stay the night. Around the center of town and near the entrance to the national park is where you'll find the most affordable and modest of accommodations, and a bit further north along Playa Negra is where the more "top-end" hotels are located, though you'll be trading the convenience of having restaurants and services nearby for more privacy and a few more amenities.