Route: National Parque Cahuita (Costa Rica)

Location
Costa Rica
Description

Submitted by Jeff Garmire:

There is one trail that runs through National Parque Cahuita on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It is one of the most visited National Parques in Costa Rica and is so on the Caribbean side. The route travels through jungle, is largely on the sand with a couple of boardwalk sections, crosses two rivers (involving getting wet), runs amid monkeys, sloths, raccoons and palm trees. To create the National Parque, the town of Cahuita was picked up and moved out of the current park boundaries. The route is a little over 5 miles each way with one side (Cahuita Entrance) being a donation only fee, which adds to the accessibility of the route.

Cahuita is a place different than most of Costa Rica with its Jamaica (Afro-Caribbean) culture infusion. It gives the NP a unique feel and is at the center of many of the local's livelihood. The diversity within the NP ranges from sloths to pit vipers, with some tough history involving the slave trade in the area. Running on the sand and coral that washed ashore from the reef just off the coast is an excellent way to see the Caribbean from Central America.