Snorkeling and hiking Cahuita National Park
On the 6th May 2012 I took a tour with Terraventuras to explore more of Cahuita National Park. Cahuita park is one of the many national parks in Costa Rica but one of those with free entrance (you just need to register with your name).
I was picked up at 8.30 am in Totem Hotel Beach Resort and with other passengers we followed to Cahuita. After 20 minutes by car, we hopped off and chose our flippers in the office. We walked to the boat and started the adventure. It was me, 2 Canadian guys wearing hiking shorts, then 2 Canadian girls, a family of 4 and an American guy, our snorkeling guide who was at the same time the boat driver and our hiking guide.
Watching the nature along the coast from the boat was without words for me! Saying that it was stunning would be an understatement. Palm trees along the whole coast and waves around our boat. When we got to the first snorkeling spot, deep some 2,5 metres, we put on the life jackets (those who wanted and children), flippers and the masks and jumped into the water. I used the life jacket (not that I need it) because it is easier with it when taking photos and videos.
I heard that Cahuita reefs are the best snorkeling place in the Southern Central America. And it was really that nice! We were following our guide in the water who was there with the life jackets to help us in case we needèd it and who was more experienced than us when spotting something interesting inside the water. We saw a lot of different corals and fish swimming around us. I really enjoyed the snorkeling, I started loving it again after that bad experience I had in Giftun Island in Egypt. And which girl wouldn’t enjoy snorkeling when you could see hot Canadian guys around you?! 🙂
After, we hopped on the boat again, drank some water (supplied by the agency) and drove to another, deeper snorkeling spot (some 5 – 6 metres). There we saw fish in huge numbers, 3 sharks (yes, a shark was swimming a metre underneath me while I was taking the video of it!) and we saw a really big ray twice (or it was two different ones, I couldn’t say). This snorkeling was different from the first place and I was happy it was also done as it was the first time in my life I could literally swim next to the sharks 🙂
Done with snorkeling, the boat took us back to Cahuita but this time not to the town but to Punta Cahuita – to the National Park. While our guide was cutting the pineapples and water melons for our snacks, we took a dip in the sea. The water there was superwarm and clean!
With more energy from the fruit, we changed into hiking shoes, put the repellent on and headed off to the national park. Walking, our guide showed us wildlife of Cahuita. We had a chance to see 2 big gold spiders, 3 small yellow poisonous vipers (thankfully they are so bright yellow so good visible in that green nature), howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, slots, big ants, butterflies, shells etc. We even saw a parasite tree and a 1000 m deep well (they were looking for something there but never found it, now there is water bubbling from the bottom).
After some 3 kilometres and 2 hours of walking through the national park along Playa Blanca, observing the wildlife of Costa Rica, and crossing a small yellow river Rio Perezoso (it has its colour due to the sediments and mangroves) and getting wet up to above the knees when crossing bigger Rio Suarez river (it is easier and less deep to cross it at the sea, not the river itself), we got to the end of our hiking. We signed the visitor book of Cahuita National Park and sat in the van waiting for us there. It took us all back to our hotels.
Check out the video from snorkeling 🙂
- bring both flip flops and hiking shoes/sport shoes
- swim suit
- mosquito repellent
- a towel
- a hat/cap
- water for the hiking
Feel free to check out more photos from Cahuita in Costa Rica.