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This season, hundreds of Costa Ricans and tourists from around the world will be visiting the province of Limón, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, attracted by both its wonderful beaches surrounded by lush green forest, and by the very colorful tropical atmosphere and flavor characteristic of the area.

Maybe it's because of Limon’s varied heritage: Chinese, Jamaican, Spanish, Indian...that this province is so varied and picturesque.
With an area of 9,188 square kilometers, its altitude is sea level. The weather is warm and wet, with an average temperature of 29 C. Its coast features all types of beaches: from the small Playa Bonita, close to downtown, to the secluded and exhuberant Gandoca Manzanillo, a Wildlife Refuge, almost on the border with Panama.

Many of these beaches are favorites with surfers.

Recent improvements to the roads that lead to beaches such as Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo have contributed to the increase in tourism.

According to one local hotel manager,: "the town is full of people, as are the hot night life spots".

One can get to Limón from San José via the Braulio Carrillo Highway that goes through Braulio Carrillo National Park, an experience in itself for nature lovers.

Near the city of Limón, the province’s capital, are a few small beaches, the most popular being Portete and Playa Bonita. Limón is a center of afro-caribbean culture. It is perched in front of Isla Uvita, a huge stone block covered with vegetation and surrounded by coral reefs.

However, the favorite tourist spots in the province are south of the city. Fifty kilometers down the road is Playa Cahuita, which is part of Cahuita National Park, a protected area for coral reef ecosystems, where one can find more than 35 different coral species.

Just about 600 meters from Playa Cahuita is Hotel Atlantida Lodge, an great place that captures the laid back atmosphere of the Caribbean, in a beautiful, private Jungle Lodge setting, surrounded by magnificent tropical gardens. It has a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, gym, massage room, boutique, meeting room and laundry. The front desk is a "Tropical Adventure Center " where you can personally arrange the adventure of your choice. The hotel’s 30 rooms have comfortable beds and private bathrooms with hot water.

Atlantida Lodge is also close to Playa Negra, 3,5 km. of black sand that extends from Cahuita to the outlet of Río Tuba. To the north the swell is strong and the vegetation really impressive. To the south is a fascinating coral reef beach. It is a perfect place for diving and snorkeling.

South of Cahuita is Puerto Viejo and the Hotel Villas del Caribe whose villas have fully-equipped kitchens and private terraces. Each can accommodate up to six people. All villas are tastefully designed and furnished for comfort with lamps, cushions, loungers and hammocks.

About 10 kilometers southeast of Puerto Viejo is the white sand beach of Punta Cocles.

A coarl reef betwen Puerto Viejo and Punta Cocles has created a natural aquarium that’s a favorite of divers and photographers.

The surrounding area is rich in exotic flora and fauna, and is considered one of the country’s prime bird watching regions.

Cahuita National Park:

Cahuita National Park is the first Marine Park of Costa Rica, decreed as such in 1970, and is considered one of the most beautiful of the national park system. It encompasses 1.067.9 hectares of land and 22.400 hectares of marine area. The protected flora area includes 600 hectares of coral reef that extends from Río Perezoso to Puerto Vargas, and tropical vegetation (cocos, almond trees and "Higuerones").

The park was also created to protect several marine ecosystems. The fauna are land, marine, beach and swamp, because the park includes several habitats such as swamp forest and mixed forest (with red mangle, among others). Some of the species than can be observed are howler monkeys, racoons, sloths, white-faced monkeys and white-nosed coaties.

On Cahuita beach there is snorkeling, diving, surfing and fishing.

PARQUE NACIONAL TORTUGUERO The remote Tortuguero National Park, on the Caribbean Coast near the fishing town of Tortuguero, is known for its turtle nesting. At various times of the year, green, hawksbill, loggerhead, and giant leatherback turtles lumber up the beaches here and deposit their eggs for safe keeping. In the park you may see freshwater turtles, crocodiles, manatees, tapirs, jaguars, anteaters, ocelots, howler monkeys, and other animals -- not to mention some 350 species of birds and countless butterflies. There are no roads to Tortuguero; 30 mins. flying time from San José.

PUERTO VIEJO DE LIMÓN One of the hottest spots on the international surfpunk circuit, this muddy, colorful little town on the Caribbean swarms with surfers, New Age hippies, and wheelers and dealers both pleasant and otherwise. Time was when most people came here only to surf; now many seem to be looking for a party. Puerto Viejo is a fun town to visit, but be warned: Do not confuse it with the scrappy port town of Puerto Limón, up the coast, which is prone to street crime.

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For more information on visiting Costa Rica to view this spectacular event please visit Costa Rica’s TravelWEB @ www.crica.com, or by calling our toll free number at 1-800-788-7857 or 1-866-822-2269 .

 


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