She Redeemed Herself – Cahuita by Day

Our first impression of Cahuita was…odd, to say the least. Aside from the drunkards, there was the strange old man who came up to us in the middle of the street asking if we smoked (no), who then proceeded to shove a huge-ass avocado in our faces and promptly let us know it was an avocado (yes).

Thanks man. We don’t want your avocado though. Maybe tomorrow, friend.

Surely, it was a full moon when we arrived in Cahuita? It had to have been. There was just so much weirdness!

Things got much more normal after the first night. Aside from the food poisoning/shouldn’t-have-ordered-the-fish that Matt experienced, that is. 

Once Matt was feeling a little better, we ventured out of the bustling metropolis of Cahuita (remember, population 600ish) down a 2 km dirt road to Playa Negra. 

 
Playa Negra was beautiful, what with her black sand, warm water, and jungle-y perimeter. We were also basically the only people on the beach.

Playa Negra at Cahuita, Costa Rica
 
Even the walk there was nice and peaceful.  There were hardly any cars on the street, most people just ride bikes.

There was a little surprise though. You know in Los Angeles and specifically on Venice Beach, how there’s Muscle Beach? Well, just before Playa Negra, there’s a tiny one of those. What a surprise! And really handy if you’re fixing for a workout.

 
On the other side of Cahuita is Cahuita National Park. This is where the real magic was. Positively no weirdness there. 

Unlike other national parks in Costa Rica, you just give a donation of your choosing as your admission fee and then you’re free to hike and go to the beach.

(This was really good for us because the $15-20 USD per person admission charges in Monteverde, Santa Elena, and Tortuguero really hurt our budget.)

We were about 10 feet into the national park when we saw white face monkeys! Up until this day, we had only seen (and heard) Howler Monkeys. These white face monkeys were adorable little guys hanging out in the trees! 

After we watched them play for a few minutes, we carried on through the beach-side jungle, dodging billions of leaf cutter ants along the way. I do not like ants. At all. 

When we had enough ant dodging, we popped out of jungle and onto the beach. It felt like our own little Gilligan’s Island.

 
Playa Blanca at Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica
 

We spent the afternoon on the beach, which carries the highest ecological certification that’s possible. It’s beautiful and wonderful for swimming but it did get a little busier than Playa Negra. Still well worth it. And here’s why. 

It’s a playground for Dolphins!

Just as we were leaving, there was a pod of dolphins swimming right near the beach. It was amazing! We tried to take a video but to no avail. 

Then we saw white face monkeys again, and one fell out of a tree! LOL

All in all, I’m glad that we gave Cahuita a chance. The old-school houses on stilts were charming, the beach beautiful, and the wildlife just great! It also helped when we found somewhere good to eat dinner!

 
Traditional house on stilts
  
The delicious restaurant

Where we stayed: Cabinas Cahuita – comfortable bed, good location near the entrance to the national park and the a/c was a pleasant surprise. Dudley is there to look out for you and help out in any way he can. He’s a true gentleman.

Favourite restaurant in Cahuita: Palenque Luisa

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