Limon Costa RicaLimon Costa Rica is the largest town and port on the country's Caribbean coast, with a population of around 90,000 people. Not just the capital of the Limon province, but also a major industrial hub, massive freighters carry off tonnes of fruit to Europe and the United States from the city's port daily
In a more recent years, Puerto Limon has also become a de facto port of call for many cruise ships as they head for the Panama canal or make their rounds on a western Caribbean tour between the months of October and May. The business that this influx of visitors has brought has done much to improve what was once a shoddy and crime-ridden town.
Puerto Limon Costa Rica now has a number of new businesses and tour operators which cater to these cruise ship passengers, not to mention a slew of new shops and eateries. You will find numerous tour opportunities as Limon is a great jumping off point for exploration of the Caribbean coast rather than a destination itself. Head to the Terminal de Cruceros for a gaggle of shops and tour operator stands.
Puerto Limon's most interesting attraction is the annual Columbus Day Carnaval celebration on October 12th, when the town explodes with festival fever. Floats, dancers, and musicians parade down the streets in grand Mardi-Gras fashion with perhaps a bit less polish, but ever bit as much enthusiasm as other Carnaval locales in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The festivities last for a week and provide an opportunity to see cultural dances, eat foods and watch concerts from Afro-Caribbean groups, indigenous peoples and even the Chinese community. Unless you're lacking a pulse, you will be compelled to join in the festivities. Reserve a hotel room well in advance.
If you're a history buff, or just like little islands, Isla Uvita is a tiny islet about 1km off the coast of Puerto Limon - it's also purportedly the landing site of Columbus himself back on September 18, 1502, while on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. You can walk around the island in just half an hour.
Still, the town is not as tourist friendly as other tourist destinations and most visitors simply pass through on their way to Tortuguero or Puerto Viejo since Limon is simply an unavoidable stop at the end of the Guapiles Highway coming from San Jose towards the coast. Crime, though improving with an increased police presence over the last few years, is still more prolific here than in other towns. Costa Ricans outside of Limon often refer to the town contemptuously as "Piedropolis" - literally, Crack City - for the drug situation.
Getting to Limon Costa RicaDouble-decker buses from Transportes Caribenos (506/2221-2596) leave the Gran Terminal del Caribe in San Jose bound for Puerto Limon every hour from 5am-7pm. The terminal is located on Calle Central between Avenidas 13 and 15. The buses will continue on to Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Bribri, and Sixoala after Limon. Return buses to San Jose leave Limon from the corner of Calle 2 and Avenida 2. The cost is $4.
There are multiple daily flights from San Jose to Limon on SANSA and Nature Air.
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