The national park of Cahuita

After exploring Cahuita on my first day, I was ready for some real vacation. Meaning I slept in and only left my room shortly after 8am (I wish I could get up this easily at home). Talking to the hostess of Cabinas Cahuita about the national park and which route to take, left me ready for the day. I got also some tips on whatever else there was to see in Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. In the end I decided to stay for a third night. That’s what I love about traveling without plans. It all falls into places.

map of the national park @Cahuita

She told me to only do the first part of the national park and then turn around once the forest thins out. When it’s hot it can get scorching there since you are no longer under the cover of the trees. She also meant that the second part is not as pretty as the first one right next to Cahuita. And, the most important detail, that at the entrance in Cahuita you only give a donation if you tell them that you go to the beach. While at the regular entrance somewhere along the road to Puerto Viejo you need to pay the full entrance fee. After such an interesting detail, of course I used the entrance right next to my hostel.

entrance to the national park @Cahuita

Despite masses of different trails listed, they all led in the same direction. So I followed the singular existing path and just hoped for the best. Which also included to see lots of animals on my own. Which I did in a way.

all trails leading in the same direction @Cahuita

It’s good to start early because the park administrations wants you to leave the beach and trails by 3pm as was indicated on another sign. The beach seemed endless when I left the trail for a bit, and I could see that I still had a lot of walking ahead of me to the get at least to the halfway point.

all the way at the end is not even the halfway point @Cahuita

Walking along the trail I enjoyed the sandy underground which made for easy going. There were not many people along the path, from time to time I saw small groups or other singular travelers.

sandy trail in the national park @Cahuita

When I found the perfect spot, I took a break, got my book out, and settled down to read. It can’t get any better than resting underneath a tree. Or in this case, on the tree. It felt like paradise on earth.

taking a break @Cahuita

secluded beach in the national park @Cahuita

Eventually the sandy trail gave way to a swamp, which was bridged with long stretches of wooden constructions.

wooden bridge over a swamp @Cahuita

there was a lot of water @Cahuita

Then there was a stretch of trail where you needed to cross the water. No help here from a wooden bridge, but by then I had already met Amy, a girl from Thailand. With her in tow I overcame this hurdle and suddenly we walked the complete trail together. There was no stopping us to explore the whole national park of Cahuita.

you need to get wet to cross this water @Cahuita

By then the scenery had changed and we were out of the woods. Very happy to report that the sun was hidden behind some clouds. So despite high temperatures at least the sun didn’t burn down on us.

out of the woods @Cahuita

The only thing that didn’t change was the endless beach. We were already more than halfway along but the scenery stayed continually beautiful.

more empty beaches @Cahuita

There were more bridges to come on the last stretch of the trail, but eventually we made it to the exit of the park. We waived a waiting taxi driver away, sure to catch the bus along the main road. But of course we had just missed it and the schedule told us that it would be at least another hour. So we started to walk back in the direction of Cahuita. But we managed successfully to stop another taxi and were back in ‘town’ in no time. Amy and I celebrated our successful trail walking with dinner at Las Olas that evening. But that is another story. Yours, Pollybert

the last stretch of the national park @Cahuita

Let me know what you think

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