Curiously, the Caribbean Coast does not follow the standard weather patterns of Costa Rica. Savvy travelers know that Caribbean Summer is in October, which is when the regional capital of Limon holds its annual carnival celebration, and is a perfect time to visit the beautiful beaches of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo.
Very different from the rest of the country, the Costa Rica Caribbean Coast’s Jamaican-African roots are accented by local reggae music, Creole patois spoken alongside Spanish, a laid-back attitude, and local cuisine like Jamaican spice cake, rice-and-beans, coconut shrimp, and papaya juice.
The Cahuita National Park is a top Caribbean attraction to visit during this time. Located on the coast south of the town of Cahuita, about 43 kilometers south of Limón and north of Puerto Viejo, Cahuita National Park is one of the most scenic and beautiful regions in Costa Rica. The park was founded in 1982.
The Caribbean Sea here is crystal-clear and filled with multitudes of vividly colored tropical fish. Cahuita National Park has one of the largest mature coral reefs on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Snorkeling in the area is fantastic; you can swim right out from shore or go further out by boat. The magnificent underwater coral garden has 35 species of coral, including enormous Elkhorn Coral, Brain Coral and graceful Venus Sea Fans, and an abundance of marine life.
Coral reefs are home to more than 25 percent of all known marine species and are living creatures. When diving or snorkeling near coral reefs, be sure not to touch, stand or walk on the reef, or collect coral.
The white sand beaches of the Cahuita National Park are also great for beach walks and sunbathing. There are trails you can hike, where you might see white-faced capuchin monkeys, sloths, howler monkeys, raccoons, coatis, iguanas, land and water crabs, and birds like the green ibis, yellow-crowned night heron, boat-billed heron and kingfishers.
The fabulous upscale Le Caméléon Hotel on the gorgeous beach of Playa Cocles by Puerto Viejo Costa Rica is the place to stay on the Southern Caribbean Coast. The Costa Rica boutique hotel is currently offering special offers: Caribbean Summer special deal and Web Last Minute Offers.
An Enchanting Hotel of Costa Rica, Le Caméléon offers private yoga classes, spa services, and the La Sula Sea Lounge fronting Cocles Beach. Their in-house concierge can organize snorkeling and hiking tours in Cahuita National Park, along with other tours and transportation.
Article by Shannon Farley