Cahuita Beach (Playa BLanca / Playa Negra)
Cahuita is a small town not far north of the Panama border on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It is one of the eastern-most points of this small Central American nation, where Afro-Caribbean cultural influences remain firmly in place and create a special ambience. You might even think you were in Jamaica! Forget about “airs and graces” around here, this is a great spot for the eco tourists amongst you to chill for a few days.
Cahuita’s main attractions are Playa Negra - ‘Black Beach’ - due to the colour of sand separating the town from the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, and Playa Blanca (White Beach) in the Parque Nacional Cahuita / Cahuita National Park, just to the southeast of town.
Costa Rica has wisely chosen to preserve its bio-diverse heritage through a bold number of national park initiatives dotted around the country. Cahuita National Park is a marine conservancy of more than 2,700-acres of pristine beaches, reefs and coastline. Its mission is to protect the superb white sand beaches and lowlands, and this makes it a firm favourite with tourists and visitors. Here, you can snorkel in the protected marine area, which includes coralline reefs. It is also an important nesting ground for sea turtles. February through April typically have the best underwater visibility, so this is a good time to visit.
The impressive 600-acre reef serves as home to some 35 species of coral. More than 120 fish species hang out here and, if numbers turn you on, some 140 varieties of molluscs and over 40 species of crustaceans appear on the list of regulars in and around the reef area.
The park is home to many animals as well, and if you happen to be a keen birder, this is definitely the place to visit.
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