Cahuita: a sleepy little town, where it is easy to forget that you have to return to civilization one day.

Situated a four hour drive from San Jose, on Costa Rica's southern Caribbean Coastline, Cahuita is the town that time forgot. And that is its appeal. Forget stories of murder and crime. Cahuita is as safe (or un-safe) as any other small community in Costa Rica. Unlike Puerto Viejo, which is located a short 20 kilometers further south on the Coast, Cahuita is the ideal place to "get away from it all" and just relax. There are really only two things to do in Cahuita: (1) go to the beach or (2) go to the National Park.

Time drifts slowly by. People are friendly, but not overly friendly. Restaurant food is okay, but certainly not fancy. Prices are not yet Americanized, so you really can eat for under $10 USD per day and get a clean hotel room by the beautiful Caribbean Sea for $40 USD per night.

With your feet as your primary form of transportation (take a shuttle bus from San Jose directly to your hotel for under $30 USD per person on Interbus or Grayline - the Fantasy Bus), you will learn the layout of Cahuita's dirt roads real quick. Whether you stay in one of the decent hotels to the north of town, or right in Cahuita proper, you will not have need of a car. You can rent a bike if you are really concerned about having to actually walk the 5 or 10 minutes from your hotel to the town centre or entrance to the National Park.

The best time to visit Cahuita is during the "not so wet" months of March, April, September or October. Although situated in a rain forest, the south Caribbean Coast does not get as much rain as inland during the other eight months of the year, so you can visit Cahuita any time of the year. And besides, there is nothing like a walk in the rain when it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) outside.

Do not underestimate the appeal of Cahuita. There is something to be said for walks along the Caribbean Sea, sloths hanging out of trees, and howler monkeys reminding you at 5 am in the morning that the most important thing you have to do today is de-stress! Just do not forget to catch your shuttle bus back to San Jose for your return to reality.