The Southern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is truly a wonderful place to visit with its laidback environs, spicy piquant food, and unique Afro-Caribbean culture. The heart and soul of the Caribbean Coast, this region with its rich flavors has become a tourist favorite for those who are looking to relax and have some fun in the sun. Step into Puerto Limon, the capital of Limon province and you will be transported into a completely different world, from the one you left back in San Jose.
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Most of the people here are of Afro-Caribbean decent and were brought either from Jamaica or other Caribbean Islands to help work on the railroads or in the banana plantations that still support and make up much of this province’s exports. If you tour Southern Limon today, you will find numerous banana plantations as bananas are now a major cash crop out here.
Head into any of the towns along Costa Rica’s Southern Caribbean Coast and you will find yourself in what can only be described as mini Jamaica’s with dreadlocked Rastafarians, reggae and calypso music being played in the streets, delicious Costa Rican Creole cooking aromas, and a confusing mix of a Spanish – English dialect that is spoken here. Welcoming strangers with open arms, these towns are an experience in themselves. In this part of the country one also gets the chance to come into contact with many indigenous Indian tribes that have lived in this region for hundreds of years.
Inaccessible till only a couple of decades back, this region has enjoyed a tourist boom in the recent years with the construction of the Guápiles Highway in 1987 connecting Limon to the capital city of San Jose. Visit the gorgeous Cahuita National Park and Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge, home to amazing coastal rainforests and stunning underwater marine life and coral reefs. For the avid surfer, a trip to this region would incomplete without staying over at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, with its amazing beaches and home of the famed Salsa Brava. The prefect place to kickback and have a good time this town is a great place to stay in.
For those who are looking for a quieter time, there are plenty of remote areas in the region, where one can stay literally in the middle of the jungle and still just a few minutes away from the coast, Manzanillo is one of these amazing small towns. These all inclusive resorts are great as they offer a tranquil haven to relax as there are no other tourist facilities in the immediate area.