Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Welcome to Cahuita
Verdant and colorful billboard promotes a series of businesses and attractions of Praia Negra de Cahuita.
Cahuita Point
Aerial view of the Cahuita Peninsula, the most popular stretch of the eponymous park.
twilight at 2
Couple share the end-of-day beauty of Round Rock Beach.
Almost Private Caribbean
Visitor at the entrance to PN Cahuita
Plaza Cahuita
Scene from the life of the central square of the pueblo de Cahuita.
Anchoring for Leisure
Owner of a tour boat, anchored in Punta Cahuita in the homonymous national park.
Hermit on Pilgrimage
A hermit walks along a long fallen trunk of PN Cahuita.
Scene from the life of the central square of the pueblo de Cahuita.
Raccoon (mapache)
Guaxini in search of snacks approaches the beach of PN Cahuita.
coconut only
Coconut palm on a coral sand in Punta Cahuita.
Pelican Squad
Pelicans in formation fly over PN Cahuita.
good head game
Couple trains football on the dark sandy beach of Playa Negra.
Caribbean view
Couple enjoys the rough Caribbean Sea as night falls over Cahuita.
bathing football
A resident of Cahuita on a break from her beach soccer training.
Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.

Even under the scorching mid-afternoon sun, the walk along the dense coconut forest and successive dips in the Caribbean Sea gave us an intense tropical rejoicing.

We were prepared to extend it for several kilometers were it not for that place, without any dispute, one of the most sedatives on the face of the Earth, had surprises in store for us.

As is common all along the coast of Costa Rica, both the Pacific and the Caribbean, we could hear the expansive howling of howler monkeys.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, howler monkey

One of Cahuita's many howler monkeys justifies the name out loud.

From time to time, we spotted one or two more curious specimens hanging from the treetops.

It wouldn't be the first time – in this same Central American tour – that one of these furry primates would try to assault us.

Accordingly, we left our clothes and backpacks at the water's edge.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Capuchin monkey

Capuchin monkey interrupts traffic on a bridge on the PN Cahuita.

We approached a river named Suárez and its confluence with a stream they called Kelly.

The rains had been sparse in the past few weeks.

The flow remained barred by the high edge of the sand near a small mouth.

We skirted the small muddy pool. We prepare to enter the even wilder domain of Cahuita National Park when a gust of bloodthirsty mosquitoes attacks us mercilessly.

In affliction, we ran off, let go of what we were carrying and headed for the most obvious refuge from the sea.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, bathing in the Caribbean Sea

Visitor at the entrance to PN Cahuita

Mosquitoes abandon the chase. They leave us, on the surface of the skin, a destruction, barely visible at once, but which spread with each beat of the racing hearts.

We felt the irritation spread. With no idea of ​​how serious it could become, we decided to cut short the return to the village.

By the end of that afternoon, the inevitable drools had turned to a vast itchy redness.

A Rasta Healer

We come across a native armed with a machete that recognizes the misfortune so common in white-skinned visitors. Talk here, talk there, entices us with a quick relief from suffering.

"I see they caught you well, those bastards!" he throws at us in greeting. The guy has the typical cavernous voice ragga that resonates through the Caribbean domains that European settlers once populated with slaves. “Don't you dare scratch. If you like, I'll explain to you how you can get rid of it.”

Despite the somewhat suspicious look of the interlocutor with long dreadlocks and dark glasses, we are willing to hear what he has to divulge. “Alright, I save you. Just tell me how much you think I deserve for the good deed and I'll deal with you now”.

The discomfort of the itch, the uncertainty that we might be dealing with both an opportunistic charlatan and a providential healer, makes us even more uncomfortable.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, bodyboarder

Bodyboarder leaves the Caribbean Sea off Cahuita.

And it is in this precariousness of spirit that we decided to put our faith in the cavernous and somewhat hallucinated speech of the Afro-Caribbean. We gave him 4000 colones (about €6) for his hand and we were left to see where he was taking us.

The man kisses the half-curled notes in a mixture of gratitude and superstition. Take five or six steps and pull a bunch of herbs from the opposite side of the road. “Forget the pharmacies there. I assure you that this is the best medicine!”. Soon, he is quick to exemplify the treatment.

Group the herbs into a convenient small piece. Pick a coconut from a lower coconut tree.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea, coconut tree only

Coconut palm on a coral sand in Punta Cahuita.

Cut it in half in a single blow of the machete. Then, wet the sap with coconut water, squeeze it with all your strength and spread the reinforced sap over your arms and shoulders. “That's all you have to do.

I'll catch you some more so you can repeat. You don't always have to mix coconut water, tap water will also do. They'll see how it disappears in an instant.”

After a few minutes, the softening effect of the mezinha was already obvious. We were unreservedly grateful for that sorcerer's thunderous but effective intervention.

The Chinese Minority and the Indian and Afro Origins of Cahuita

We returned to the family inn where we had stayed. We went back out to do some occasional shopping in one of the grocery stores that dotted the dirt road that was the center of the village.

Welcome to Cahuita

Verdant and colorful billboard promotes a series of businesses and attractions of Praia Negra de Cahuita.

We entered three of them in search of refrigerated products.

We soon realized that all those cluttered businesses belonged to Chinese families that the villagers got used to calling simply “The Chinese”.

Another minority that, despite being more elusive, resists once formed the exclusive population of this region.

The pre-Columbian inhabitants of Cahuita and surroundings were the Bribrí and Cabécar Indians. Today, more or less acculturated communities subsist on two or three of the few indigenous reservations in Central America.

It is a given that Christopher Columbus even anchored in the vicinity of Puerto Limón.

Faced with the insurmountable density of the Caribbean jungle, both he and subsequent Hispanic discoverers chose to explore the area from the Pacific Ocean.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, boat in Punta Cahuita

Owner of a tour boat, anchored in Punta Cahuita in the homonymous national park.

For this reason, the Indians remained isolated until almost the turn of the 1870th century. Around XNUMX, Minor Keath, an American businessman, took over the construction of a railway between the capital San José and Puerto Limón.

Its purpose was to transport the coffee produced in the central valleys of Costa Rica to Europe.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean,

Aerial view of the Cahuita Peninsula, the most popular stretch of the eponymous park.

The Growing of Coffee and Bananas and the Introduction of Slaves in the Caribbean of Costa Rica

Thousands of new settlers were recruited from the West Indies, particularly Jamaica, and the China, charged with carrying out the project. Many of them succumbed to work accidents, malaria, yellow fever, dysentery and a whole panoply of other tropical diseases.

Once the railroad was completed, competition from other stops in the export of coffee and the reduced number of passengers made the line commercially unviable.

Until the tycoon launched into banana production. He did it in such a way that he soon took over the American market for that fruit.

The Afro-Cahuitensians we come across and with whom we live are the descendants of the labor force of these initiatives, who have long been held back in the region by poverty and natural isolation.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, by quad bike

Friends walk along the unpaved road along Playa Negra.

Another day passes. We give ourselves to new walks.

An Afro-Rastafarian Football

We explored the volcanic beach Negra and neighboring Blanca. We follow the Perezoso river trail facing the wide coral reef that surrounds Punta Cahuita.

We also ventured through Playa Vargas. There, faced with the rapid sunset, we reversed gears.

We return to the heart of the village with an unplanned passage through a grass in front of Playa Negra where a football match is about to start.

We installed ourselves next to an expectant third team and got our legs back.

the core of Bob Marleys footballers are torn between smoking marijuana and pretending to warm up for the match.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea, head game

Couple trains football on the dark sandy beach of Playa Negra.

Nor do they resist approaching outsiders. With us starting the conversation, they end up showing a strong pride in their remote origins.

“Here in Cahuita, we are all Smiths. One of them is even more extroverted than the rest.

Long before all these stories about the railroad and bananas, an Afro-Caribbean hunter named Will Smith who lived in the Bocas del Toro (now Panama) area followed the migration of the turtles.

He ended up settling here with his family and a few others. That's why there are so many businesses around here called anything Smith. It's not just that the name is popular.

Well, it's us playing. This weed made me want to tear them apart."

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea, football player

A resident of Cahuita on a break from her beach soccer training.


PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
miravalles, Costa Rica

The volcano that Miravalles

At 2023 meters, the Miravalles stands out in northern Costa Rica, high above a range of pairs that includes La Giganta, Tenório, Espiritu Santo, Santa Maria, Rincón de La Vieja and Orosi. Inactive with respect to eruptions, it feeds a prolific geothermal field that warms the lives of Costa Ricans in its shadow.
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Back to the Tropical Arms of Montezuma

It's been 18 years since we were dazzled by this one of Costa Rica's blessed coastlines. Just two months ago, we found him again. As cozy as we had known it.

Amberris Caye, Belize

Belize's Playground

Madonna sang it as La Isla Bonita and reinforced the motto. Today, neither hurricanes nor political strife discourage VIP and wealthy vacationers from enjoying this tropical getaway.

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Monteverde, Costa Rica

The Ecological Refuge the Quakers Bequeathed the World

Disillusioned with the US military propensity, a group of 44 Quakers migrated to Costa Rica, the nation that had abolished the army. Farmers, cattle raisers, became conservationists. They made possible one of the most revered natural strongholds in Central America.
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Fogón de Lola Costa Rica

The Flavor of Costa Rica of El Fogón de Lola

As the name suggests, the Fogón de Lola de Guapiles serves dishes prepared on the stove and in the oven, according to Costa Rican family tradition. In particular, Tia Lola's.
Cahuita, Costa Rica

An Adult Return to Cahuita

During a backpacking tour of Costa Rica in 2003, the Caribbean warmth of Cahuita delights us. In 2021, after 18 years, we return. In addition to an expected, but contained modernization and hispanization of the town, little else had changed.
Gandoca-Manzanillo (Wildlife Refuge), Costa Rica

The Caribbean Hideaway of Gandoca-Manzanillo

At the bottom of its southeastern coast, on the outskirts of Panama, the “Tica” nation protects a patch of jungle, swamps and the Caribbean Sea. As well as a providential wildlife refuge, Gandoca-Manzanillo is a stunning tropical Eden.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Ceremonies and Festivities

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
city ​​hall, capital, oslo, norway
Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Inle Lake, Myanmar

A Pleasant Forced Stop

In the second of the holes that we have during a tour around Lake Inlé, we hope that they will bring us the bicycle with the patched tyre. At the roadside shop that welcomes and helps us, everyday life doesn't stop.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

on this side of the Atlantic

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

El Cofete beach from the top of El Islote, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
VIP lights
Moyo Island, Indonesia

Moyo: An Indonesian Island Just for a Few

Few people know or have had the privilege of exploring the Moyo nature reserve. One of them was Princess Diana who, in 1993, took refuge there from the media oppression that would later victimize her.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Traveler above Jökursarlón icy lagoon, Iceland
Natural Parks
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
UNESCO World Heritage
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Glass Bottom Boats, Kabira Bay, Ishigaki
Ishigaki, Japan

The Exotic Japanese Tropics

Ishigaki is one of the last islands in the stepping stone that stretches between Honshu and Taiwan. Ishigakijima is home to some of the most amazing beaches and coastal scenery in these parts of the Pacific Ocean. More and more Japanese who visit them enjoy them with little or no bathing.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.