Cahuita National Park Costa Rica

We only had 2 nights in Puerto Viejo, and since we arrived late and had to leave early on Sundays, we couldn’t do much there. Since we wanted to see the Cahuita National Park (click here for Wikipedia), the decision was made quickly. So we went to the bus stop on Saturday morning and after about 15-20 minutes we arrived in Cahuita. The trip costs about two Euro. From there you walk about 10 minutes and then you can see the entrance. 🙂

The first surprise

Many people are waiting in front of the entrance to offer a guided tour. Animal spotters, so to speak, who show you the animals in the park and explain something about them. Sometimes this really is not easy, but more about that later. The first surprise for us was that the park does not charge an entrance fee. One gets into an area with a hut, there is a book in which one writes his name and his place of residence. After that you can make a voluntary donation, or not. Of course we gave something, and all the others we saw also.

Most parks don’t just take entrance, but are even quite expensive, around $20-30 per person. After that you are at the beginning and can have a look at the different routes. This is only valid for the ranger station, there is another entrance, about 3,5 km away. There you pay 5 $, which is of course still ok. But then you are already past most of the animals. So you really should start in Cahuita.

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The animals of the Cahuita National Park.

After the lady at the counter told us that you have to cross the river after approx. 1,5 km, we marched off joyfully. The weather was rather mixed, but not too hot and it didn’t rain for the time being. So we walked quite fast, because we thought that there was not much to see at the beginning anyway and that the best would come after the river.

As it turned out, that was a mistake. 😀

Since these “guides” didn’t seem very serious to us in front of the entrance, we decided to go on our own. After a few hundred meters a man approached us and told us that we had already passed a lot of animals. And that it’s hard when you don’t know where to look. He showed us some animals: a poison dart frog, several sloths, raccoons and a toucan. We just walked past everything. Then he asked if he should show us around … Since he wore a T-shirt with the park’s inscription and told us that he was one of the rangers, I asked him how much he wanted for it. “You decide” was his answer. So we went on with him.

Wieder zurück zum Start

So we went back to the beginning with the ranger and saw all the animals you can see in the upper gallery on the first 100 meters. That was impressive and we would never have found them ourselves. Right after the ranger station you can go to a fence on the right, it looks interesting, to say the least. There is a lot of junk and bulky garbage and fuss around, but there in the trees and in the plants at the water you can see a lot: Helmet Basilisks, Iguanas, various birds, the frog, Agutis, sloth and also the toucan. The ranger explained to us that after crossing the river you don’t see many animals anymore. Most of them are right at the beginning. Unfortunately we can neither confirm nor disprove this. We didn’t cross the river, because we only stayed there for a while. After we separated from our guide, we slowly walked back to the station and kept on looking for animals.

Monkeys, Blue Morpho and more.

Here you can see the other animals we have discovered there. We were there a good four hours and only covered the first 1,5 km. It rained briefly in between, so that we had to shelter. But it didn’t take long and we could go on. Among other things we found several monkeys, birds, blue morphos, crabs and squirrels.

Fazit

A visit to the Cahuita National Park is definitely worthwhile. If you have good eyes and are very patient, you will probably find some animals on your own. In the end we were happy that we had help. 🙂

The weather could have been better. But according to the ranger this weather is perfect to observe animals. If it is too hot, many disappear deeper into the forest. In good weather you should pack swimsuits, because you come along beautiful beaches and it never gets cold there anyway.

Here comes the promised video of the Blue Morpho. Unfortunately we did not manage to take a presentable photo of it.

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