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Limón

A Parks Service control point is located at the village of Cahuita and the Park Headquarters are in the sector known as Puerto Vargas, on the other side of Cahuita Point. The two posts are 30 kms. southeast of Cahuita on the road between Limón and Brí-Brí.

Lush vegetation, white sandy beaches, coconut trees, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, marshes and a hot, humid climate are some of the components of Cahuita, a national park of 1,067 hectares located on the Caribbean shore, southeast of the city of Limón.

A dense, tropical foliage , with a wealth of palm trees and high humity, provides shelter for pacas, raccoon, Northern tamanduas, white faced capuchin monkeys, Southern opossums, three-toed sloths, agouties, common long-nosed armadillos and Mexican tree porcupines. The marshes are home to green iguanas, basilisks, yellow-crowned night herons, magnificent frigatebirds, green ibis, little blue herons, gulls and other species. The coast is inhabited by red land and fiddler crabs, the latter a very striking species that uses its oversized claw to dig holes in the mud.

The world of coral reefs is made up of over 35 species of coral, including elkhorn coral and smooth brain coral. This underwater habitat abounds with sea urchins, lobsters, turtles, moray eels, sharks and innumerable brightly colored fish of various sizes and shapes.

The species identified on the Cahuita reef include 128 of algae, 44 of crustaceans, 140 of mollusks, 3 of halophytic phanerophytes, and 123 of fish. The reef consists of 240 hectares of around Chuita Point, a site endangered by the build-up of silt and other sedimentary deposits. The park extends along the coast for 14 kms. with beach after beach shaded by lush vegetation and coconut trees, typical of Costa Rican Caribbean. Theses beaches are ideal places to relax and observe nature close at hand.

Cahuita suffered a mayor damage as the result of an earthquake that took place on 22nd April 1991. Enormous fissures opened, many trees were toppled, the park facilities were destroyed, and the area, together with a large part of the Caribbean coast, was elevated, leaving part of the reef exposed, which subsequently killed the corals.

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The Cahuita National Park
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