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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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Reggae Bar

Bar and restaurant right across from beach. Serving hamburgers, chicken, fish and cold beer.
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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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Police and Medical Services

Cahuita Police Station

Police station for Cahuita
 +506 2755 0217
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Clínica Veterinaria Mi Mascota

Pet supplies and veterinary clinic offering x-rays, ultrasound, surgery and export certifications.
 Urgencias: 8895 9229, Oficina: 2755 0439
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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

Kelly Creek Hotel
 kellycreekhotel.com

Boutique hotel with 4 spacious rooms and a suite with separate sitting area. Located right beside the National Park and facing the beach there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. A generous continental breakfast is served. Swedish/French owner Erica Eriksson is passionate about wildlife and speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Swedish.
 +506 2755 0007
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 Average room rate: $70
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Playa Negra Guesthouse
 playanegra.cr

Boutique hotel with rooms and cottages located at Cahuita's Playa Negra, one km north of the centre. The 4 rooms vary in size, some accommodating up to 4 persons. Each with mini-fridge, coffee maker. Some with A/C. There are 2 two bedroom cottages and one studio, each with full kitchen, private bath, porch. All with private bath, safe, wifi. The property has a pool and lush gardens.
 +506 2755 0127, 8556 2870
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 Average room rate: $84
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3 Bamboo Ecolodge

Offering 6 different vacation houses, some built as tree houses, on a spacious property with pool, lounge, breakfast area, bbq. Each house has a kitchen, private bath and there are options which can accommodate up to 6 persons.
 +506 2755 0126
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 Average room rate: $85
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Atlantida Lodge

Hotel with a pool, Brown Pelican Restaurant and Kukula Bar in front of the beach. The simple guest rooms with stucco walls in Caribbean colors and tile floors, ceiling fans, and plenty of wood trim. Each has a small patio which opens onto the hotel's lush gardens.
 +506 2755-0115
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 Average room rate: $75
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Buena Suerte Bed and Breakfast

Italian owned hotel, all rooms with patio overlooking garden, some with A/C. Breakfast included.
 +506 8834 5525
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 Average room rate: $40
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Bungalows Ache

Comfortable, rustic bungalows in quiet location on the edge of Cahuita National Park 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 Cahuita

Cabinas right near bus station with a small outdoor pool. Rooms with private baths, A/C. Shared kitchen.
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 Average room rate: $50
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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, 8301 1930
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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 Makanda

Affordable double and triple rooms around a garden each with a small terrace with table and chairs and a hammock. The rooms have television, wardrobe and private bathroom. There is shared kitchen.
 +506 2755 0435
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 Average room rate: $25
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Cabinas Tito

Cabinas in garden setting near Playa Negra beach and about 10 minute walk to Cahuita center. Variety of options including single, double, triple and quad and the equipped Caribbean House, a two bedroom / 1 bath vacation rental with kitchen.
 +506 2755 0286
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 Average room rate: $50
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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 open for breakfast & lunch. Souvenir shop.
 +506 2755-0418, 2755 0237
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 Average room rate: $25
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Cahuita Inn

Italian owned oceanfront property with small pool and Pizzeria Cahuita restaurant. New simple stylish rooms with seaviews, wifi, private baths and A/C.
 +506 2755 0179
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 Average room rate: $90
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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

Offers two 1 bedroom apartments and a studio bungalow. The apartments have a separate bedroom, living room, kitchen and private patio. The studio has a kitchenette and private covered cabana patio. All units have A/C, wifi and include a full breakfast and parking.
 +506 8713 2636, 2755 0224
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 Average room rate: $60
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Coral Hill Bungalows

Lodging consisting of three individual wooden bungalows Colibri, Mono Congo and Toucan. The bungalows are less than 200 meters from the beach at Playa Negra. Each spacious bungalow has custom designed rustic style bamboo furniture, a large porch with hammocks & chairs, floor safe, internet and includes breakfast. All set in a garden of flowers and birds.
 +506 2755 0479, 8861 0063
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 Average room rate: $140
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El Colibri Rojo

French owned bed and breakfast with 7 rooms each with private bath and 1 apartment. Shared facilities include swimming pool, jacuzzi, kitchen, bbq, secure parking. All rooms have a ceiling fan, air conditioning, fridge, TV with cable, terrace with hammock and free wifi. Just 300m from Puerto Vargas entrance to Cahuita National Park.
 +506 2755 0431
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 Average room rate: $63
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El Encanto Hotel

Small hotel 10 minutes walking from the village and Cahuita National Park. The beach is just 100 m. Offering rooms and studios, 1 with kitchen. All with private bath and patios overlooking the lush garden and pool. Breakfast included.
 +506 2755 0113
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 Average room rate: $95
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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 La Diosa

Caribbean style colorful rooms, suites and 2 or 3 bedroom bungalows. Each with queen or king bed, private bath with hot water. Most with A/C and Jacuzzi. Breakfast included. Swimming pool surrounded by coconut palms.
 +506 2755 0055
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 Average room rate: $100
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Kenaki Lodge

Offers four guest rooms and two detached bungalows. All nestled in the heart of a 6650 m2 tropical garden, facing Playa Grande. Guest rooms come with breakfast. Bungalows have equipped kitchens. Dojo offering self defense and Tae-Kwon-Do lessons and event space.
 +506 2755 0485
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 Average room rate: $100
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La Casa de las Flores Hotel

Colorful hotel with 10 rooms around a pool. The rooms have tile floors, private baths, A/C, Wifi and TVs. Breakfast is included.
 +506 2755 0326
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 Average room rate: $100
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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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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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Suizo Loco Lodge

The "Crazy Swiss Lodge" is a property with a pool and restaurant located about 3 km from the town. Room have private bath, ceiling fan or A/C, safe, mosquito net, coffeemaker and own entrance with a small terrace. Bungalows have a king bed and a second room with 2 singles. There is also a mini-fridge and microwave. Breakfast is included. The restaurant also is open for lunch and dinner from 1:15 pm to 8 pm.
 +506 2755 0349
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 Average room rate: $110
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Landmarks, Beaches

Cahuita National Park

Established in 1970 to protect the coral reefs offshore, this park protects 2,635 acres (1,067 ha) on land and 55,350 acres (22,400 ha) of marine area. You may only visit the reef with a guide. The land attractions of the park include many miles of nature trails with opportunities to see monkeys, sloths and more and gorgeous beaches from busy to quiet and deserted. Entrances are at Kelly Creek (pedestrian only) beside downtown Cahuita or at Puerto Vargas (car/pedestrian).
 +506 2755-0461
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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.
 +506 2755-0461
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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 that's been in Cahuita forever and family run by long time Caribbean residents.
 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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Restaurante Vista del Mar

Large open air restaurant with seafood, Chinese and Caribbean food.
 +506 2755 0008
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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.
 +506 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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Tree of Life

Wildlife rescue center and botanical gardens. 10 acres of gardens with many different types of plants. They take in animals who need refuge because of injury, loss of habitat, the pet trade etc and rehabilitate them. Daily tour most days at 11 a.m.
 +506 8317 0325
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Transportation

Cahuita Bus Station

The bus station in Cahuita (Terminal Cahuita) has a MEPE ticket office as well as a mall offering a variety of small shops.
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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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Babilonia

Vacation rental apartments with two bedrooms, bathrooms with hot water, a fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, stove, coffee maker, dining area, seating area with cable TV and Wi-Fi. Each has a balcony overlooking the garden.
 +506 6057 0613
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 Average room rate: $60
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Butterfly House Cahuita

Casa Mariposa is a one bedroom with 2 beds / one bath vacation rental beachfront on Playa Negra, 15 minute walk to center of Cahuita. Kitchenette.
 View on booking.com
 Average room rate: $70
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Casa del Congo

Three bedroom vacation rental home. Environmentally friendly house which includes air conditioning, solar hot water, satellite tv, spacious deck with a 6 person spa hot tub. Complete kitchen, wifi, living room. Set within an acre of wooded garden with abundant wildlife.
 View on booking.com
 Average room rate: $310
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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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Casa Marcellina

Four vacation rental homes each with 2 bedrooms, double beds, fans, safe, flat screen LED, large bathroom with tub, shower, bidet, hot water throughout the house, fully equipped kitchen, refrigerator, balcony with hammocks and outdoor shower. Some with A/C.
 +506 2755 0390, 8351 1198
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 Average room rate: $90
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Lilan Nature

House rentals on a private 2 ha estate with a swimming pool and nature all around. The 145m2 main villa has 2 bedrooms each with A/C, ensuite bathroom, floor to ceiling windows and private deck overlooking the national park. The completely equipped kitchen opens to the living room which steps into the garden to the swimming pool. The bungalow is 77m2 with a modern Balinese style and two bedrooms, 1 bath, fully equipped kitchen, comfortable living room and outdoor deck.
 +506 2755 1180
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 Average room rate: $200
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New Caribe Point

Three villas in a property with a pool and large garden. Each villa has two bedrooms, bath, kitchen, living room, patio area, A/C, TV, A/C and Wifi.
 +506 2755 0045, 8556 0456
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 Average room rate: $110
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Oasi Apartments

Modern stylish one bedroom vacation rental apartments with kitchen, A/C, flat screen tv, patio w/ garden view, some with sofa bed. Breakfast is included.
 +506 2755 0570
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 Average room rate: $95
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Topos Tree House

Two bedroom vacation home built amongst a giant ancient ficus with 8 m diameter. One side of the house is a wall of the giant's tree trunk. There is an equipped kitchen, dining room, bathroom and 2 decks, one with hammock, one with an open air living room. There are 2 bedrooms, each with its own window opening out into the tree's branches. One with queen bed, the other with two twin beds, all with mosquito nets.
 +506 2755 0105
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 Average room rate: $280
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Villa Mango

The property includes a main renovated house (145m2) with 2 spacious bedrooms, kitchen, living room and outdoor deck facing the gardens (2500m2) and pool. There is a separate second newly built large bungalow with 2 bedrooms and a third smaller individual bungalow with 1 bedroom. (45 m2 & 20 m2). Foot paths lead to the centrally located swimming pool where there is also a ranch with stove and barbecue area. Located just 400 meters from the entrance of Cahuita National Park.
 +506 8370 1469
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 Average room rate: $200
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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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