• Caitlin McAninch

Cahuita National Park Snorkel and Hike Tour

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Right along the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica sits the beautiful Cahuita National Park. The Cahuita National Park has several ecological zones: a swamp forest, rainforest, littoral woodlands and costal. It is home to tons of mammals, reptiles, and amazing marine life.

We started our morning early by being picked up at our hotel. We drove north through Puerto Viejo until we arrived at our tour office, right outside the Cahuita National Park entrance.

This tour was going to include a snorkel excursion at the great reef next to the Cahuita National Park, as well as a hike through the park back, and then lunch. Continue on to get the details about everything we saw on this tour!


After we signed in and paid, we took off walking towards the beach. On our walk, we spotted two sloths in one tree! I was very excited about that! But after a few minutes we arrived at our boat, picture above! Snorkeling was absolutely incredible. The coral reef is so full of life, and strangely close to the water level. As I was floating on my stomach I felt like I could just reach down and grab the fishes. There was even a drop off into the sea, similar to Finding Nemo!

We saw puffer fish, a shark, huge schools of fish, so many pretty sea urchins, and conch shells the size of my arm! The snorkeling was truly amazing. And the seawater was so warm and nice.

We played in the water for about an hour. We would have stayed a lot longer, but Dylan had this strange rash and the salt water was making it sting and hurt! So he was not having the greatest time. I didn’t want to make him just sit in the boat, so we decided it was time to move onto the hike.

Hiking Through Cahuita National Park

The boat dropped us off at the tip of Cahuita National Park, right at the top of this picture of the map, where you can almost make out Punta Cahuita. Here we ate pineapple and watched Capuchin monkeys play in the trees. I couldn’t stop admiring the beach. Instead of fine sand was broken pieces of coral reef. It looked so cool.

After we finished our snack, we just started walking back to the beginning area. This is about a mile long walk. But it’s on a trail and very easy and flat. And really, really awesome.

I still can’t believe how many animals we saw on this short walk. We saw two eyelash pit vipers, a tarantula, pretty crabs, TONS of hermit crabs, tons of monkeys, 4 sloths, a raccoon, and my favorite leaf cutter ants.

Here are some of my favorite photos from this day, no joke; I took almost 200 photos that day!

Eyelash Pit Viper in strike position!

Hermit crab climbing a tree!

A Racoon! I thought that was so funny to see a raccoon so far south!

Iguana! Apparently he is very old.

This was too funny! This capuchin monkey dropped down from a tree and landed on a woman's backpack!

He then took crackers out of her bag, and began eating them! Brave little guys! They'll do anything for a meal!

Ugh. This is a tarantula and those white blobs on the wood are her eggs.

Total we saw 8 different white blobs around this wooded canopy area.


These cuties are blue crabs!

Termite nest!

This flag is a representative of whether or not the beach is safe! When it's red the water is too dangerous. But if the flag is green, then you can enjoy the beach and water!

Here's me trying to take a selfie with a capuchin monkey!


Once we got to the end, our tour guide walked us to a local Caribbean cuisine restaurant. Our tour included lunch, so he said his good byes and left us there. We had some sort of chicken dish, which I really enjoyed! Dylan didn’t love the food, but he did love our drinks!

They just blended up a pineapple for me and a watermelon for Dylan. Seriously the best smoothies, ever!

Cahuita National Park is stop that cannot be missed if you visit the southern coast of Costa Rica. The wildlife was incredible. The views were perfect. The beaches ideal. It was by far one of our favorite days.

To see all the other wonderful excursions we did in Costa Rica, be sure to check out my other blog posts.

Costa Rica

Distance: 3,844 miles

Driving Time: 76 hours

#CostaRica #Activities #Abroad