The small town of Cahuita, just north of Puerto Viejo, offers the weary tramper a respite from the more party-hardy towns along the southern Caribbean coast. Less developed than neighboring Puerto Viejo, Cahuita is a great place to stop and check out some tasty Afro-Caribbean cuisine and listen to the lovely mix of languages spoken in the streets. To the south, just a five-minute walk from the center of town, sits the entrance to Cahuita National Park. If you enter from Cahuita, there is no admission fee though donations are definitely appreciated. If you enter from another point (such as Puerto Vargas), there is a $10USD charge. From Cahuita, an even, well-maintained trail runs alongside white sand beaches and through the protected habitats of monkeys, sloths, rare birds and snakes. To the north of town is Playa Negra, a beautiful black sand beach and excellent spot to take a dip in the sea. If you’re looking to stay in the area for a while, Cahuita is a good base from which to schedule your jungle treks, scuba certification, or cacao tour. Or, kick back, chill out, and bask in the relaxed pace of a small Caribbean town.