Puerto Limón, Limón

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If you are looking for a real glimpse into the daily life and culture of Costa Rica, it is difficult to find a better example than Puerto Limón.

This is a hugely significant city because it is the most important port in the country. It has a long and interesting history dating all the way back to 1502 when Columbus landed at this port while exploring the New World.

The port itself was founded much later, in 1870, and it was used primarily to provide the bananas and grain which were abundant in Costa Rica all across the globe. Nowadays, this city is more famous for its cashews.

Come to Puerto Limón and see the cultural and fascinating sights in one of Costa Rica’s oldest and most prominent cities, right in the Limón province.

Getting to Puerto Limón

This port is located on the eastern coast of Costa Rica. It is easily accessible, which is what made it such an important and prominent ports for the country.

Of course, this means it is possible to arrive by boat. More likely, however, you will take the Guapiles Highway from Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. Puerto Limón is about 160 kilometers east of San Jose and 55 kilometers north of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

The journey from downtown San Jose lasts about two and a half hours, but it is well worth the detour.

In addition to the sights you will be treated to once you arrive, the journey takes you right by many beautiful landmarks, such as the Brava Volcano and the Brauilo Carrillo National Park.

Whether you stop at these locations and get a closer look or simply enjoy them as you pass is up to you. Additionally, the Tortuguero National Park and the Cahuita National Park are located near Puerto Limón, so you can use the port as a convenient stopover when visiting these exciting sights.

Plus, the Playa Bonita beach is also nearby. This is a coast famous for its exceptional surfing opportunities.

The Local Culture

The city of Puerto Limón is not known as a tourist location. Many visitors to the country consider this to be a good thing, especially if they are trying to see what life in Costa Rica is really like.

However, one of the most significant aspects of this port is how different it is from others cities in Costa Rica. To this day, it maintains strong Afro Caribbean culture.

The majority of residents of Puerto Limón are of Caribbean descent as well. In this city, most people speak Spanish, English, and Caribbean Patois.

While visiting, come see the Parque Vargas on the east side of town. It looks out over the Caribbean Sea. Puerto Limón is also known for its unique and fascinating architecture.

The city was hit by many earthquakes over the years, which has given the building a bit of a rundown look, although many say this has only increased the city’s heritage.

Join in the Festivities

By far, the most exciting event in Puerto Limón is the Dia de las Culturas, which is a carnival which is held every year on Columbus Day. There are large parades, thrilling parties, and loud, cultural music.

The city is known for its active social scene at night, even if the city is rather laidback during the day.

There are many bars and restaurants for you to discover and many open air markets to explore. You can find souvenirs of all kinds in the main market located in the center of town.

Due to the cashews which are grown here, the town is also known for its cashew wine. Be sure to taste it for yourself while visiting Puerto Limón.

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