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For a wide selection of beachwear, local crafts, cheesy souvenirs, and batik clothing, try Boutique Bambata, which is on the main road near the entrance to the park. This is also a good place to have your hair wrapped in colorful threads and strung with beads. Heading north out of town, similar wares are offered at the Cahuita Tours gift shop. For something less organized, local and itinerant artisans in makeshift stands near the park entrance sell handmade jewelry and crafts.

If you’re interested in the region, pick up a copy of Paula Palmer’s “What Happen: A Folk-History of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Coast.” The book is a history of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast based on interviews with many of the area’s oldest residents. Much of it is in the traditional Creole language, from which the title is taken. It makes for a fun and interesting read, and you just might meet someone mentioned in the book.

Cahuita’s Calypso Legend

 

Walter “Gavitt” Ferguson, who turned 95 in 2014, is a living legend. For decades, Ferguson labored and sang in obscurity. Occasionally he would record a personalized cassette tape of original tunes for an interested tourist willing to part with $5. Finally, in 2002, Ferguson was recorded by the local label Papaya Music (www.papayamusic.com). Today, he has two CDs of original songs, “Babylon” and “Dr. Bombodee.” Ask around town and you should be able to find a copy. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into Gavitt himself.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.