Caribbean Coast

Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Caribbean province of Limon runs 125 miles (200 km), from the northern Nicaraguan border to the southern border with Panama. Exotic nature reserves, such as the famous Tortuguero National Park, beckon adventurous travelers, while alluring southern beaches allow visitors to relax in an easy Caribbean vibe. With a mesh of Tico and Afro-Caribbean culture, Limon Province displays a unique side of Costa Rica.

Once a completely isolated frontier land, the eastern-most province of Limon was given a breath of life after the establishment of a seaport at Puerto Limon on the central coast. In 1867, authorities decided that an Atlantic port was needed to export bananas from the region's booming plantations to markets around the world. As the story goes, a solitary lemon (limón in Spanish) tree was growing at the proposed site and gave the port its name. The consequent establishment of Puerto Limon and construction of a railway to San Jose opened a near-abandoned province to the rest of the country. While the railroad no longer exists, the paved Guapiles Highway (Hwy 32) provides easy access, linking the Caribbean to the rest of the country.

Traveling north from Limon, forlorn Caribbean beaches and exotic nature reserves beckon adventurous travelers to explore areas often overlooked beauty and wildlife. The smooth alluvial plain, which extends westward from the Atlantic coast to the mountain ranges of Costa Rica's heartland, provides an ideal location for the villages that dot Highway 32's descend from the Central Highlands. Banana plantations envelop much of the surrounding terrain, as do thick rainforests, which grow in density with every step northward. The region's climate is undoubtedly sustained by Costa Rica's highest annual rainfall averages. It's no wonder that some of the most ecologically diverse parks in the country are located in Limon's northeast (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre, Barra del Colorado, and Parque Nacional Tortuguero.) Here, swampland encompasses such an immense area that parks such as Tortuguero are only accessible by plane or motorboat.

Rains are spawned by trade winds off the Caribbean, and they fuel the dense forests that give sanctuary to the region's diverse flora and fauna. These Atlantic fronts, referred to as "temporales del Atlantico," often last for days, especially during the rainy season, which stretches from mid April through December. Here, humidity is more pronounced as a result of heavy and moist air that hovers over the Caribbean Sea. However, in spite of the storm fronts that whisk over the region, Limon is frequented by enough pleasant sunshine to forgive the rain. In fact, the months of February and March may be spared of rainfall altogether. The dry season often experiences weeklong periods devoid of a single drop.

South of Puerto Limon, the Talamanca Mountain Range makes its way toward the coast. The region derives its name, Talamanca, from these overbearing mountains, which forever cast their shadow on the coastal hamlets below. In this area, Cahuita National Park, with its translucent blue-green water, hosts a great coral reef for those interested in snorkeling or scuba diving. The Jamaican roots of Cahuita's inhabitants heavily influence the easy-going culture of this costal village.

Further south, Puerto Viejo prides itself as the best surfing spot on Coast Rica's Caribbean. It's reputation is well-deserved thanks to fabulous surfs that barrel thier way along the shore. Puerto Viejo's tiny coastal hamlet is popular with the alternative crowd, as well as surfers. The nightlife presents an interesting mix of Afro-Caribbean, indigenous, Tico, and foreign culture that mesh together at the town's discos.

Perhaps the greatest draw for visitors to the province of Limon is a distinct multiculturalism that's unique to the region. Approximately one-third of the population is black, primarily of Jamaican descent, and many indigenous Bribri and Cabecar people live among the Talamanca areas. Limon's multicultural dynamic can be found up and down the Carribean coast of Costa Rica.

Top Attractions

View All

Destinations in Caribbean

14 destinations



Costa Rica Attractions

Heres a list of Costa Rica's Amazing Sights and Attractions

Attractions
Destinations
Flora Fauna
Flora Fauna
 

Rhinoceros Beetle

 

House Gecko

 

Monkey Tail (Guaba chilillo)

 

Glass Frog

 

Common Basilisk

 

Spectacled Caiman

 

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

 

Leatherback Turtle

 

Fishing Bulldog Bat

 

Scarlet Macaw

 

Long-tailed Hermit

 

Boa Constrictor

 

Olingo

 

Common Dolphin

 

Spiny Green Lizard

 

Leaf-Cutter Ant

 

Puma

 

Blue-jeans Frog or Strawberry Poison-dart Frog

 

Millipede

 

Resplendent Quetzal

 

Monarch Butterfly

 

Magnificent Frigatebird

 

Jaguar

 

Green Page Moth

 

Two-Toed Sloth

 

Fer-de-Lance

 

Green Heron

 

Bare-necked Umbrellabird

 

Turquoise-browed Motmot

 

Agouti

 

Ocelot

 

Bottle-nosed Dolphin

 

Coati

 

Red-Eyed Leaf (Tree) Frog

 

American Crocodile

 

Baird's Tapir

 

Owl Butterfly

 

Tonka Bean Tree

 

Keel-billed Toucan

 

Vampire Bat

 

Humpback Whale

 

Barbachele

 

Spider Monkey

 

Ground Anole

 

Brown Pelican

 

Mantled Howler Monkey

 

Tarantula

 

Army Ant

 

Arboreal Termites

 

Giant Toad or Cane Toad

 

Kinkajou

 

Pacific Spotted Dolphin

 

Golden Orb Weaver

 

Great Green Macaw

 

White-Faced or Capuchin Monkey

 

Glasswing Butterfly

 

Armadillo

 

Pink Shower Tree

 

Stinking Toe Tree

 

White Leadtree

 

Fiery-billed Aracari and Collared Aracari

 

Ice Cream Bean Tree

 

Margay

 

Walking Stick

 

Long-tailed Manakin

 

Tayra

 

Green Turtle

 

Brilliant Forest Frog

 

Assassin Bugs and Kissing Bugs

 

Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata)

 

Common Tink Frog

 

Zopilota

 

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

 

Narrow-headed Vine Snake

 

Collared Peccary

 

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

 

Oncilla

 

Jaguarundi

 

Orca, Killer Whale

 

Milk Frog

 

Elephant Ear Tree

 

Andiroba

 

Black Ctenosaur

 

Helicopter Damselfly

 

Fin Whale

 

Scorpions

 

Cook

 

Black Witch

 

Squirrel Monkey

 

Three-wattled Bellbird

 

Saman (Samanea saman, aka Albizia saman)

 

Blue Morpho

 

Chestnut-headed Oropendola

 

Violet Sabrewing

 

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

 

Bananaquit

 

Spotted Longwing

 

Three-Toed Sloth

 

Bullet Ant

 

Paca