Limón Domestic Airport, Limón

Nature Air Fleet
Nature Air Fleet
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Located four kilometers south of Puerto Limon on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, and often referred to as the gateway to the southern Caribbean, Limon’s domestic airport offers regular daily flights through Nature Air. Limon is commonly considered the ideal place to begin an exploration of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, since it’s located between the Cahuita National Park and Tortuguero, two of the country’s most commonly visited attractions outside San Jose. Limon is also very near to countless, excellent surf beaches and is surrounded by exotic tropical wildlife.

One of the best times to fly in to the Limon Domestic Airport is around Columbus Day, referred to by the locals as Dia de las Culturas. Easily the biggest event in Limon, this carnival’s celebration is marked by huge parades, wild parties and blasting music. The purpose of this carnival is to celebrate the myriad of cultures present in Costa Rica, such as Caribbean, Latino, and African-American culture.

With plans to slowly transition to an international airport, the Limon airport received an upgrade in the form of a paved runway in 2003-2004. Though its current state only allows for domestic flights, it’s expected to begin catering to international flights in the coming years. If you don’t intend to use the airport to explore the other sights Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast has to offer, there are taxis available to take you inland or to a nearby bus terminal for just $4 USD.

Cahuita National Park

Just a short 42-kilometer distance from the Limon Domestic Airport is Cahuita National Park. Considered one of the most beautiful national parks in Costa Rica, this park was created in 1970 to protect Costa Rica’s biggest coral reef. This park is an extremely humid rainforest, so it’s recommended to visit during the drier months of March, April, September and October. Though the park covers just 1,067 hectares of land, it protects over 22,400 hectares of marine life, the park’s main attraction. Participate in snorkeling and diving activities to get up close and personal with the diverse species of marine life that call the park home.

Puerto Viejo

If beach life is more what you’re after, Puerto Viejo is also a popular Costa Rican destination and easily accessed from Limon Domestic Airport. Its beaches are filled with surfing opportunities. In fact, it’s one of the top rated surfing destinations in the world. It also has some of the most crystal clear blue waters in the Atlantic Ocean. Puerto Viejo is quickly becoming one of Costa Rica’s hottest tourist destinations, and hosts some of the world’s most famed surfers to ride the legendary Salsa Brava waves. This town is a mere 34 miles south of Puerto Limon, and a little over 10 miles south of Cahuita, making it a perfect second stop during your trip to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Just a few kilometers north of the Panama border, this wildlife refuge was built to protect some of Costa Rica’s most endangered flora and fauna. Also a humid rainforest like Cahuita, this refuge protects the only natural mangrove oyster beds on the Costa Rican coast. This refuge also protects several rare habitats such as a wetland, the only mangrove swamp in the Atlantic, and a lowland rainforest, as well as the only orey and jolillo palm swamps in Costa Rica. This refuge is home to several species of crocodiles, manatees, caimans, dolphins, tarpons and turtles. Though not as popular for turtle nesting season as Tortuguero, this refuge hosts a turtle nesting season from March to May, an excellent time to watch the beauty of the turtle nesting and hatching process in the wild.