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The Cahuita National Park was created in 1970 to protect a large coral reef off the Caribbean coast. It is located about an hour drive north of Puerto Viejo. The park has 23,290 hectares of marine cover and 1,102 hectares of land. This marine cover is mainly made up of Blanca Beach, some wetlands as well as the Perozoso River, while the land cover is a mixture of a swamp forest, a tropical forest and a littoral forest.
Its fauna is composed not only of marine creatures, but of terrestrial creatures as well. So while snorkeling, you could see: fish, lobsters, clams, sea urchins, eels, barracudas, sea cucumbers and many more. While walking the trails during a hike, do not be surprised if you see some mammals such as the sloth, the opossum, the coati monkey, the paca, the raccoon and many others. Do not hesitate to listen carefully to the different songs of the birds, such as: the green ibis, the gray herons, the Swainson toucan, the keeled toucan, the red kingfisher, the curassow of Central America and many others. Your walk will also allow you to see other species including reptiles (snakes, lizards, caimans, green turtles, etc.), amphibians (frogs, etc.).
The accompaniment of a guide for animals observation during the hike is not obligatory, but recommended, because even though most of the animals are easily locatable, others are much less easy to locate. Therefore, the best times to observe animals are early in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you plan to snorkel, know that you will need to pay close attention to the red flags indicating that some identified spots are not safe for swimming. In any case, snorkeling is not allowed without a certified guide.
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