Costa Rican tourists are attracted to the snorkeling at Cahuita National Park because of the abundance of protected marine life which includes around 35 species of live coral and crustaceans as well as hundreds of species of fish and shellfish. This is also a protected area for nesting sea turtles and continues to be a popular destination due to the fact that the beaches are intact and the least developed.
Your tour begins with transportation from your hotel in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo. You will be taken into the Cahuita National Park where you will go on the Park’s snorkeling only tour. You will board a 12 person boat with a captain and bilingual guide who will navigate to the most important areas of the 600 acre coral reef surrounding the park. Since the coral is protected, the only way anyone can see the reefs is by snorkeling in Cahuita National Park. You will be provided with the necessary equipment which includes snorkeling mask, fins, and tube. This is an approximate 2 hour adventure that will likely be remembered forever.
Many varieties of coral can be seen on this tour including the elkhorn species, light yellow brain coral, and the blue staghorn. Consider bringing an underwater camera to photograph fan coral, angel fish, parrot fish, stingray, and barracuda that are often found feeding in the area. Coral is a living creature and a colony grows a mere 7 inches per year on average. Touching the animals could injure or kill the reef which is why it is protected.
After your snorkeling tour, lunch will be provided before you return back to your hotel.
This snorkeling-only tour includes a professional guide, entrance to the park and lunch. Transportation to the park will take at least 15 minutes from the village of Cahuita and up to 1 hour from Puerto Viejo. Once at the National Park, park staff will take the snorkeling-only group with the hiking-only group to the beginning of their activities. Depending on which group completes their activities first there may be a waiting time of up to 2 hours before both groups are taken back to the park entrance. Total time for this tour combined with round trip transportation can be between 4 and 8 hours depending on the distance to your hotel and any additional waiting time, if any, while in the park.
Weather greatly influences the visibility in this tour. It is recommended to take the Cahuita Snorkeling Tour in March, April, May, August, September, or October. You will want to bring your camera, bathing suit and a dry change of clothing, sunblock, water proof shoes, and drinking water.