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Easy to Spot Sloths, Hiking in Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica

The odors are amazing and the hermit crabs are the size of walnuts. Known for its easy to spot sloths, hiking in Cahuita National Park will also feature plenty of Capuchin white face monkeys, or as locals call them, Capachinos.  

Known for its easy to spot sloths, hiking in Cahuita National Park will reveal sloths everywhere including on the palapa above diners at a nearby outdoor restaurant.
Slothing away. Sloths are so common in Cahuita they can be seen above diners at the outdoor restaurant next to the Park.

There is much to experience along the 6.2 mile checkerboard trail that weaves through hot beaming coastal sun rays and cooler humid forest shadows. There are lizards of all colors and sizes, crocodiles according to the “do not swim” signs, and if you stand still, decomposing army ants that will tear bits of skin from your unsuspecting feet.

Known for its easy to spot sloths, hiking in Cahuita National Park has crocodile warning signs.
Crocodiles? Thankfully, there were no hungry predators today.

Two and a half miles along the trail will bring you to the coral point dominated by boats full of snorkelers, each paying $30 to spend three hours among dying reefs that may be too far gone for protection to make a difference. The tours visit two shallow-water reefs that are home to Parrotfish with their powerful coral breaking jaws, stingrays that search the sandy floor, and conch shells the size of one-liter bottles. The Park is strict on disposable plastic bags but does not mention the benefits of using reef safe sunscreens.

A whiptail skink with a blue tail.
Mostly females. The colorful whiptail skink has the ability to clone itself. Sorry guys.

Continuing on the trail, the four mile mark opens to a narrow crab grassy stretch of blazing sun and sandy passage. But don’t give up because a third of a mile further, following signs to the “bus exit,” is the beginning of an easy to walk two-mile raised boardwalk through the shaded forest. On a Saturday morning there were no more than twenty people on the trail making it feel like the forest is all yours.

Known for its easy to spot sloths, hiking in Cahuita National Park has crocodile warning signs.
Cool down. The long jungle boardwalk is an escape from the hot sun.

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Hi. We are Paul and Cindy, two biologists, fit and over 50, who enjoy exploring, photographing, and blogging about our outdoor travel. Our journey is to find outdoor activities that are away from crowds, kind to nature, and authentic. We carry backpacks, stay in clean accommodations, and feel that good food is as important as good friends.

The African savanna with three acacia trees.
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