Cahuita National Park

Where is It?Heliconia

On the south Caribbean coast in Cahuita.

How Big is It?

2732 terrestrial acres and 55,200 marine acres

When was it Created?

December 27, 1982

Bit of History:

Cahuita National Park is unique in that it truly belongs to the people, not the government. Why? Back in 1915 the Costa Rican President became shipwrecked while returning from his voyage to Sixaola. He was so impressed with the kind-hearted and helpful locals, that he returned to Cahuita and purchased all the land for 500 colones and donated titled lots to the residents.

Did you Know?

  • Cahuita has beautiful living coral reefs where marine life is abundant.
  • Its southern beach is a nesting site for several species of sea turtle.
  • It is easily accessible from the town of Cahuita and Puerto Vargas.
  • All donations stay in Cahuita to support the community and the national park.

How's the Weather?

Hot and humid year round. September thru mid-November and March thru May are the best times for snorkeling.

Ranger Stations:

Kelly Creek Ranger Station: Located beach front at the southern end of town. Open from 8 am - 4 pm. Admittance is by donation (all proceeds remain here in Cahuita)

Puerto Vargas Station: Open 8 am - 4 pm with a mandatory $6 admittance fee. If you are camping you must enter through this station. Swimming is allowed ONLY at this beach. All other beaches are protected for turtles or have dangerous currents.


  • Hiking
  • Bird and wildlife spying: sloths, monkeys and other fun creatures roam about
  • You can camp at Playa Vargas. There are facilities and potable water.
  • Snorkeling: The reefs are shallow and close to shore at Cahuita Point. 

Contact us for a snorkeling tour.


There are lots of trails to explore.

Enjoy a scenic four mile walk along the beach from the Kelly Creek station to the camping area. 


Most common sightings in this tropical humid rainforest and on the beach are:

  • White-faced capuchin monkeys
  • Coatis
  • Green iguanas
  • Sloths
  • Howler monkeys (are heard frequently)
  • Land crabs
  • Whiptail lizards
  • Toucans and aracaris
  • Herons

Amongst the Coral Reefs:

  • Queen angel fish
  • Parrot fish
  • Manta rays
  • Reef sharks
  • More than 120 species of brilliantly colored fish
  • Octopus
  • Lobster
  • Eels
  • Anemones
  • Crabs
  • More than 35 species of coral
  • 128 species of algae
  • 140 species of mollusk
  • 44 crustacean species

And if You're Lucky:

  • Sea turtles: leatherback, hawksbill and green sea turtle. They nest on the beach south of Punta Vargas.
  • Raccoons
  • Yellow pit vipers
  • Great green macaws

How do I Get There?

Contact us to schedule a guided tour or car rental.


Contact us to book a tour of this park.

Also Nearby:

Next page ยป Corcovado National Park

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