|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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Read the other
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 .