Stretching along the Caribbean coast, Limón is considered to be one of the most pristine and exuberant regions of Costa Rica. Featuring an around 125 mi (201 km) coastline between Nicaragua and Panama, Limón region offers white sand beaches rutted with palm trees.
It is one of the most geographically diversified regions in the country, where you can admire mangroves as well as high mountains. Limón is also one of the least populated regions of the country, which enables you to explore virgin forests and enjoy an outstanding natural beauty.
In Limón you will experience a completely different atmosphere from the rest of the country, you will get closer to a Caribbean world.
The first discovery of Limón was in 1502 when Christopher Columbus arrived on land, on the island of Uvita, a few kilometers from the main coast.
Limon was separated from the rest of Costa Rica during a really long time, therefore it has developed its own styles, languages and ways of life, almost as if it were a different country. Until the last 50-100 years, the movements of the population were restricted, the government did not even recognize the population as citizens of Costa Rica until 1948.
Traveling back and forth was a struggle due to the lack of roads, which had to travel through the dense jungle to reach the Central Valley. Electricity and roads did not reach Limon until the 1970s min.
A large number of the Afro-Caribbean population was taken to Limon by force through the slave trade, and it has influenced in many ways the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. During the 19th century, after the abolition of slavery workers were hired from nearby islands like Jamaica. This is why a majority of the population’s names are English, and English as well as Creole are widely spoken in the region. .
One of the best ways to experience Limón culture is to go to the annual Carnival party. It lasts 12 days from mid-October.
Budget: B&B Buena Suerte – Lovely Bed and Breakfast, located right next to Cahuita National Park.
Mid-range: Hotel Boutique La Casa de las Flores – Comfortable and centrally-located hotel. Features spacious bedrooms and an enjoyable swimming pool.
Splurge: Tortuga Lodge and Gardens – Quality hotel located next to bank in the middle of the jungle. Every room features a view over the river.
You can visit Limón all throughout the year, but the dry season (from December to April) is more enjoyable than the rainy season (may to December). However, the rainy season makes nature turn into a wonderful deep green creating a great spectacle.
You can first visit the capital of the region, Puerto Limón, one of the most antiques cities in the world. The town is home to many museums, offering a rich cultural experience. Visit Vargas Park, a magnificent place of wonderful architecture, where you will be able to stroll through a small forest in the city centre.
During your stay in Limón you must also spend some time in Tortuguero National Park, which is famous for its turtle nesting on the beach. Unlike many other parks in the country that are more visited by hikers, Tortuguero should be explored through its waterways.
Travelers can take a boat or go kayaking or canoeing to get the best view of the wildlife in this beautiful park. There are a large number of species of mammals, birds and, reptiles that populate the area.
Leatherback, hawksbill and green turtles are the most common species that nest on the beaches, and depending on the time of year, it is possible to see these nocturnal creatures dig their nests and lay their eggs. The canals are full of unique species such as the West Indian manatee, monkeys, river otters, and, more than 50 species of freshwater fish.
Cahuita National Park is also really worth a visit and has approximately 55,000 hectares of protected waters and 600 hectares of living coral reefs. Cahuita is home to a wide variety of aquatic fauna, including 35 species of corals and 400 species of fish.
The southern end of Cahuita is another important turtle nesting site, and the park is also home to howler monkeys, sloths, iguanas, bats, coatis and snakes.
Keteka grants access to authentic activities run by local tour operators and guides. You can book and secure your place in advance, and we will take care of everything else. We’ll let you know where to go or where you will be picked up and at what time.
Land – You will need a two-and-a-half hour drive from San José to Limón province, so you can either rent a car and drive by yourself, or take a bus that will cost around $7.
Air – You can find daily flights from San Jose to Puerto Limón (40-minutes flight) or to Tortuguero National Park (30 minutes).
Sea – Puerto Limón is Costa Rica’s biggest port, from there you can find many cruises options that can take you to the national parks and to places that can only be accessed by sea.