CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK
It is located in the province of Limon, caribbean coast, 42 km south of the city of Limon.
It was created by Executive Order No. 1236-A, of September 7, 1970, (under the name of Cahuita National Monument). Has an area of 1,067.9 land hectares and 22.400 marine hectares. Cahuita is located in the basal zone of the Tropical Atlantic Region of Costa Rica and can be say that no other wild area of the country protects the resources of plants and animals presents in that region. The park was created to protect the earth`s flora and fauna, coral reefs and various marine ecosystems. It is one of the most beautiful scenic areas of the country for its white sand beaches, thousands of coconut palms, turquoise see and coral reef.
According to the clasification of Holdridge life zones, the park lies within the area of living tropical rainforest. The park has several important habitats such as swamp forest with species of tabosara, sangregao and golden fruit, the mixed forest not flooded with species of guaitil, jorco and cerillo; mangrove where predominate the red mangrove and the coastal vegetation, with plenty of coconut trees and papaturros.
The coral reefs cover an extension of 600 hectares and it extends in form of a fan infront of Punta Cahuita, between the river Perezoso and Puerto Vargas. Part of the reef platform is submerged to about 11 meters over the sea level. According to studies conducted after the earthquake of April 22, 1991, the reef platform emerged about 1 meter. It is the most developed reef in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Among the coral species more characteristic we can find the elkhorn coral, the cerebriform, the Poritis poritis, the Montastrea cavernosa of great size and the Poritis divaricata. Also the sea fans, the urchins and lots of colorful fish of many sizes.
The queen angelfish is undoubtely the most beautiful of the reef. However, there are other pretty attractive species such as french angelfish, isabelita and blue parrot fish. Other species that have their habitat here are the barracuda fish, remora, stingray, three shark species, moray eels, urchins, sea cucumber that can grow to 30 cm in length, lobster, sea sponge, cambute, white shrimp, green turtle and the hawksbill turtle. In the Cahuita reed, have identified 35 coral species, 140 mollusks, 44 crustaceans, 128 algae and 123 fish. Protected marine resources here, are in a process of deterioration caused by the large amount of sediment and agrochemical pollution, which carries the river La Estrella, which are deposited by sea currents on the coral reefs.
They are common in terrestrial wildlife the howler monkey, White-faced monkey, raccoon, sloths, otters, coati, as well as several species of swamp forest birds, such as the green ibis, el martín pescador verdirrojizo, night heron and the chocuaco.
Park facilities and hours
There is a scenic trail from the Kelly Creek Station along the coast to the beach camping area, then to the Puerto Vargas Station. Both ranger stations are open for visitor attention from 8am to 4pm, and have potable water and restrooms. The beach camping area has restrooms, showers and picnic tables. Swimming is allowed only in this area, as other beaches of the park have strong currents or are protected turtle nesting areas.
Our reception desk will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these or other tours. Tours can be booked through our receptionists prior to or during your trip.
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