Tucked along the sprawling southern Caribbean Coast
, the beautiful black-sand beaches of Cahuita are some of the most relaxing and exotic in Limon
. Boasting warm, calm waters, this tropical paradise is ideal for laid-back travelers seeking a getaway in a quaint beach community. The town sits next to one of the most visited national parks
in Costa Rica: Cahuita National Park
. Home to an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, scuba diving
, canoeing and snorkeling, it's possible to experience everything Costa Rica has to offer without leaving the area.
Cahuita is becoming more popular among travelers, but it still remains a low-key beach town with tranquil shorelines and picturesque trailways. Some trails lead to a nearby coastal forest, which is even more relaxing and secluded than the town's beaches. The tropical climate of the region is consistent throughout the year, making it a great place to travel year-round.
If you're a foodie, the unique Afro-Caribbean cuisine of Cahuita is sure to fire up your taste buds. Dessert crepes are very popular and are primarily made with local bananas, strawberries and chocolate. Café Chocolatte 100% Natural is a popular breakfast and lunch place in the area.
Cahuita National Park is filled with rich biodiversity, wildlife and a variety of activities. Beginning at the southern tip of Cahuita, the park spans nearly 55,000 acres of protected marine environments and land ecosystems and 600 acres of living coral reef in addition to its land coverage. Cahuita is one of two parks in the country that protects a coral reef. Expect hot and humid weather here all year long with the possibility of rain showers at virtually any time. However, the two dry seasons stretch from March to May and September to November.
There are plenty of activities in this park, including hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and canoeing. Hiking here is perfect for less-experienced individuals, as the trails are mostly sandy; however, they can get treacherous during heavy rains.
Because of the coral reef at the park, snorkeling and scuba diving are very popular when the waters are calm and visibility is good. Just off the coast of the park there are two shipwreck sites that are easy to explore during a diving trip.
From the Kelly Creek Ranger Station to Puerto Vargas, a 4.4 mile coastal walking trail extends for ideal wildlife viewing. Monkeys and sloths are often seen here frolicking and eating in trees.
Cahuita National Park is also a vital nesting site for the leatherback turtles between March and July. Three other marine species of turtles also use the beaches of Cahuita to lay their eggs.
The Chocolate Tour & Caribbean and Indigenous Chocolate Museum
and Factory is located in nearby Puerto Viejo. Also known as the Bribri Indigenous Reserve, visitors learn about the history of cocoa and its impact on Costa Rican culture during their time here. The museum shows off the region's Afro-Caribbean culture
, and visitors are able to make chocolate using traditional practices.
Costa Ricans love butterflies, and after a visit to the Mariposario de Cahuita, you'll see why. The Mariposario de Cahuita is located just off of Highway 36 and is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Filled with flowing fountains and lush greenery, this butterfly farm is a local favorite. Travelers can also go on an Iguana Farm tour to learn about the breeding process and preservation of green iguanas in Costa Rica. Iguanas were near extinction in the past, and the farm was founded by a Canadian foundation to help save and restore the species.