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Cahuita beach. Photo by Andres Madrigal

The original Caribbean vibe in Costa Rica

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Cahuita was once the most developed town on the South Caribbean coast although it has since been eclipsed by Puerto Viejo. But it retains a more Caribbean vibe than the more international Puerto Viejo and the community has strong cultural links to calypso music and authentic Caribbean cooking. It also boasts the main entrance to Cahuita National Park which is one of the jewels of the coast with its beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife.

The town has a wide variety of services including a bank, supermarkets, many restaurants and a wide variety of hotels so many travellers elect to base themselves here for their visit to the South Caribbean coast. Getting south from Cahuita to Puerto Viejo is only practical via the highway so it is not recommended for walking or cycling. But there are frequent buses or it's just 20 minutes by car or taxi. Check the local transport page for more details.

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Bars

Boca Chica Bar, Restaurante y Piscina

Bar set around a swimming pool. Only place to stop for a drink if you have some time before the bus if you exit Cahuita National Park via Puerto Vargas. Although the sign indicates this is a restaurant, there was no food available on the day I visited.
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Splash Bar

Bar and restaurant offering cocktails, crepes, pizza and free access to their pool for customers.
 +506 8412 1872
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Coffee, Ice Cream, Chocolate and Dessert

Choco Latte

100% natural bread made fresh daily. Serving breakfast with European style espresso.
 +506 2755 0010
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Facefood

Espresso drinks, pastries, sandwiches and pizza.
 +506 2755 0239
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Financial Services: Banks, etc

Banco de Costa Rica Cahuita

Cahuita Branch of BCR with ATM, money exchange and banking services.
 +506 2211 1111
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Hotels

Bungalows Ache

Located on the edge of Cahuita National Park, an ideal place for those who want to relax and appreciate the local flora and fauna. Just a few minutes from the center of Cahuita. The white sand beach is just 100 meters away. Comfortable, rustic bungalows have room for 2-4 people equipped with 1 or 2 double beds with mosquito net, fan, bathroom with hot water, fridge, hot water for tea and coffee, hammock, safe.
 +506 2755 0119
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 Average room rate: $45
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Cabinas Caribe Luna

Hotel near the center of Cahuita but without the noise of the street. Accommodation with a large garden and comfortable well equipped vacation houses.
 +506 2755 0131
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 Average room rate: $60
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Cabinas Jenny

Small affordable beachfront cabinas centrally located in Cahuita. All rooms have ocean view, private balcony, private bath, and fridges.
 +506 2755-0256
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 Average room rate: $30
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Cabinas Palmer

Basic accommodations in the centre of Cahuita
 +506 2755 0435
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Cabinas y Soda Sol y Mar

Sea view, 50 meters from the beach & the Cahuita National Park entrance. Large, clean, basic rooms, sleeps up to 5 people per room. Private bathroom, hot water, fan. Secure parking. Nice sea breeze. Restaurant is open for breakfast & lunch. Owned & operated by the Ferguson family.
 +506 2755-0418, 2755 0237
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 Average room rate: $25
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Cahuita National Park Hotel

Located right beside the entrance to Cahuita National Park, offers simple rooms with private bath, most with views of the park or beach. Restaurant.
 +506 2755 0244
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 Average room rate: $56
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Coconut Love Beach House

Two full suites with bedroom with queen bed and mini walk-in closet, bathroom with shower with hot water, full kitchen with fridge and stove/hotplate, coffee maker, blender, toaster, living area with couch and coffee table, balcony with patio furniture and hammock, private tropical garden, ceiling fans free parking, wi-fi, safety box and daily cleaning and full breakfast.
 +506 8713 2636
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 Average room rate: $60
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Coral Hill Bungalows

Lodging consisting of three individual wooden bungalows. The bungalows are less than 200 meters from the beach at Playa Negra. They are just steps to horseback riding, biking, ocean kayaking and surfing. Each contains custom designed rustic style bamboo furniture set in a garden of flowers and birds.
 +506 2755 0479 / 2755 0554
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 Average room rate: $130
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Goddess Garden

Hotel and retreat center (yoga etc) hidden away in the jungle, about 10 min car ride from town. Good for groups, weddings, business trips etc. They sleep up to 50 people, have conference room, restaurant, places for yoga, big rancho, big swimming pool. All inclusive possible.
 +506 2755 0070, 2755 0541
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 Average room rate: $90
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Hotel Atlantida

Quiet, midsize hotel, just steps away from the beach, with a pool and a few basic amenities. The guest rooms have a decidedly rustic feel to them, with pale-yellow stucco walls, red-tile floors, ceiling fans, and plenty of bamboo trim. Each has a small patio with a bamboo screen divider for privacy, which opens onto the hotel's lush gardens.
 +506 2755-0115
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 Average room rate: $40
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Hotel El Encanto

Small high quality hotel 5 minutes walking from the village and close to the Cahuita National Park where sloths, monkeys, birds and other types of wildlife can be seen. The beach is just 100m. Offering 3 tastefully decorated bungalows, an apartment with kitchenette/sat TV and a 3bdrm/3ba fully equipped house.
 +506 2755-0113
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 Average room rate: $60
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Hotel Jaguar

Throughout the 65000m2 property, small gardens and forested sections highlight the omnipresent vegetation with a mixture of well known ornamentals and the fabulous tropical fruits. Rooms are large and comfortable. They all have two Queen Size beds, and a private bathroom. Rooms are available in three price categories.
 +506 2755-0238
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 Average room rate: $44
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Hotel La Diosa

10 Caribbean style colorful cabanas. Many with A/C and Jacuzzi. Pool.
 +506 2755-0055
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 Average room rate: $100
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Kelly Creek Hotel and Restaurant

Small hotel with 4 spacious rooms right beside the National Park and facing the beach. Restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Spanish owners Marie-Claude and Andrés. Dinner speciality is Paella (order in advance).
 +506 2755-0007
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 Average room rate: $55
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Kenaki Lodge

A new complex of bungalows and luxury cottages, nestled in the heart of a 6650 m2 tropical garden, facing Large Beach. Haven, Kenaki Lodge offer to rent short or long-term 13 beds divided into three detached bungalows and three guests rooms.
 +506 2755 0485
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Magellan Boutique Hotel

Small luxury boutique hotel just 150 meters from Playa Grande. Located in a private jungle oasis, the recently remodeled hotel offers tropical gardens, a pool, a yoga studio, bbq area, bar and lounge. Has six stylish, recently remodeled guest bedrooms, with a comfortable atmosphere and modern amenities.
 2755-0035
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 Average room rate: $60
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Playa Negra Guesthouse

Small sea side hotel located at Cahuita's Playa Negra, one km north of the centre of town. Opened in Dec 2008, the hotel offers upscale accommodation consisting of two lovely, fully equipped Caribbean style cottages, three tastefully decorated guest rooms, swimming pool and pool house. The cottages and rooms overlook lush, carefully maintained gardens. For nature lovers, the Cahuita National Park is only a ten minute walk and has hiking trails running adjacent to pristine white sand beaches.
 2755-0127
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 Average room rate: $80
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Riverside Cabins and Houses

This hotel backs on to Kelly Creek & abounds with wildlife. Beautiful gardens in front and access to the river at the end of the property where you might see raccoons, sloths, Agoutis, Mantled Howlers and White-headed Capuchins, Iguanas and a variety of birds. A resident guide "Peck" is available for private tours. Only a 5 minute walk to the National Park entrance. Variety of rooms and cabins available, some fully equipped with kitchens.
 8893 2252, 2755 0148
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 Average room rate: $50
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Landmarks, Beaches

Cahuita National Park

The park stretches all the way from Kelly Creek immediately beside downtown Cahuita to Playa Negra in Puerto Viejo. There is a pedestrian only entrance at Kelly Creek and a car and pedestrian entrance at Puerto Vargas and bus stops at both ends so you can do a one way 8.5 km hike through the park if you like.
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Kelly Creek Station

This is the main entrance to Cahuita National Park accessed via a foot bridge over Kelly Creek. Pedestrian only. Here you'll pay a donation to enter the park ($5 USD is suggested which is the mandatory fee at the Puerto Vargas entrance). There are toilets and showers just beyond the entry station.
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Puerto Vargas Station

Ranger station entry for Cahuita National Park where you'll pay your $5.00 USD fee to enter the park. Both cars and pedestrians can enter here and there is a bus stop along the main road if you arrive or leave by bus so you can take the bus to one entrance and leave via the other. There are showers, toilets and parking 2.3km from here at the Puerto Vargas info center (you can't drive further than that).
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Pharmacies

Farmacia Quiribri Cahuita

Pharmacy offering basic medial consults, over the counter and prescription drugs, sundries.
 +506 2755 0505
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Restaurants

Barakka Bistro

Italian and french food on the main st
 +506 2755 0145
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Cocorico Restaurante

Specialized in homemade cakes, desserts, bread, crepes and ice cream. Also serve pintos, casados, pizzas, pastas, salads and paninis.
 +506 2755 0409 / 8313 7502
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Miss Edith's

Traditional Caribbean restaurant
 2755 0248
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Restaurante La Fe

Chef and owner Walter, a Cahuita native, serves up tall tales and tasty meals at this reasonably priced spot. There’s a laundry list of Tico and Caribbean items, but the main draw is anything doused in the restaurant’s spicy-delicious coconut sauce.
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Roberto's Restaurant and Tours

Restaurant serving traditional Caribbean food. As well offers tours including snorkeling, National Park tours and fishing.
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Sobre Las Olas

Beachfront restaurant with an Italian owner/chef specializing in seafood dishes.
 2755 0109
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Soda Kawe

Casual restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving Costa Rican fare like casados, pinto, etc.
 +506 2755 0233
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Schools

Escuela y Colegio Complementaria Cahuita

The Cahuita Complementary School & college is an integrated preparatory school and college, duly recognized by the Ministry of Public Education.
 +506 2755 0129
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Supermarkets and Other Groceries

Super Vaz #2

The largest of the supermarkets in Cahuita
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Tours and Activities

Sloth Sanctuary

Sanctuary for orphaned and injured sloths. Informational tours where you can learn about their work and see the sloths including the famous "Buttercup" who has been with them since 1992. Rehabilitated animals are returned to the wild whenever possible. They also offer rooms at the Buttercup Inn which is reserved for guests who take the Insider's Tour. Closed Mondays.
 2750 0775
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 Average room rate: $100
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Vacation Rentals

Puerto Viejo Top PicksLa Casa Del Mango
 casamangocahuita.com

A glass tower with 4 bedrooms which can be rented individually or as a vacation rental. Located just steps from the beach in Cahuita. The swimming pool, sundecks, kitchen and tropical garden are all available to guests.
 +506 2755 0173
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 Average room rate: $110
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Casa Magdalena

This wooden house is nestled into a natural setting of tropical flowers and fruit trees and has a private pool. The two story home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a light and spacious open plan kitchen/dining/living area. The main bedroom has ensuite bathroom and private veranda, overlooking the colourful and leafy garden. The veranda and balcony are furnished with sofas and hammocks. Fully equipped and well-maintained.
 +506 8914 7675 phone or whatsapp
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 Average room rate: $75
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Additional comments from our visitors about Cahuita

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What are people saying about us?

Jane from USA.
Puerto viejo vs cahuita.

I spent week in Puerto Viejo four years ago and plan to go back next January for a month. I will be traveling with my brother & sister in law. We are looking for a house that is comfortable and with screens. Any suggestions welcome.
my main question is about Cahuita. I loved Puerto Viejo. My sister in law found a house outside Cahuita that she likes. When I was last in PV, Cahuita was not much of anything
I see that there are now lots of restaurants and hotels but it feels like this has all grown up rapidly the attract the tourist
trade and doesn't have the vibe of PV. Please let know war you think

Thanks

April 10, 2011

What are people saying about us?

margo

I have not spent much time in Cahuita , but it looks nice . There is not too much to do around there as in P.V. Maybe you guys could split your time up ..half in each area. That would be fun , I think! Playa Cocles would be good for the P.V area. It is close enough to town and there are nice beaches nearby also. Hit the farmer's market EARLY saturday in P.V! Have fun!

April 12, 2011

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