Created to protect one of Costa Rica's three coral reefs on the Caribbean coast, Cahuita National Park has a black-sand beach lined with palm trees. There is also a nature trail in the park that runs through the lowland rain forest and provides opportunities for viewing birds and other wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos and sloths.
Because most of the reef is in shallow water near the coast, it's perfect for snorkeling. Glass-bottomed boats leave from the nearby town of Cahuita. You also can fish, kayak, bicycle and horseback ride in the area.
Only 90 mi/145 km southeast of San Jose, Cahuita offers an island feeling, minus the heavy tourist population. Take advantage of its Caribbean culture to get your hair braided, listen to reggae and dance all night.
Cruise-ship passengers disembarking in Limon are usually given the option of touring Cahuita National Park as a shore excursion.
The park is open Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 7 am-5 pm. Park entrance fees are CRC 3,500. It is possible to rent snorkeling equipment and hire a boat in the town of Cahuita. http://www.anywherecostarica.com/attractions/national-park/cahuita.
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