The Costa Rican port of Puerto Limón is much like the tropical country itself, filled to the brim with lush landscapes, flora, and fauna. This favorite cruising port for passengers traveling through the Panama Canal has seen Christopher Columbus, Spaniards, and pirates grace her shores, and ShoreTrips will take you to see it all.
Christopher Columbus landed just off the shores of Puerto Limón in 1502, but it wasn’t until 1854, three centuries later, that the town would finally be founded by Philipp J. J. Valentini. Today this port is the largest Costa Rican city on the country’s Caribbean coast. Puerto Limón is heavily influenced by Afro-Caribbean culture, with vibrant open-air markets and unique culinary delights. Residents put their own unique spin on traditional Costa Rican dishes such as gallo pinto, by blending in unique spices and accompaniments such as simmered chicken.
Like most of Costa Rica, Puerto Limón has a tropical climate typical of a rainforest. With no dry season, the temperatures stay fairly constant, averaging between 75° and 79°, and highs in the upper 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. This weather encourages the growth of the region’s prosperous fruit crops, including bananas, pineapples, and plantains.
Puerto Limón is especially popular during October when it throws its annual Carnaval festival.. This festival celebrates when Columbus landed off the coast of the port city on his fourth voyage. Founded in the late 1940’s by local community leaders, this community festival stretches across a week, including parades, music, dancing, and famous headliners performing on the last night.
If you’re dying to see some of the vibrant and stunning local wildlife, then make sure to take the time to visit the Tortuguero National Park and Canals. This gorgeous wildlife preserve translates to “Land of Turtles,” and contains 20 miles of coastline where sea turtles can safely lay their eggs and the hatchlings can make their way into the sea. The park works in conjunction with the neighboring village of Tortuguero in order to both educate on the importance of wildlife conservation and continue to grow the local eco-tourism economy.
For a bird’s-eye view of the stunning canopy top of the rainforest, consider taking a ride on the Aerial Tram. These suspended cable cars move at a leisurely pace of 1.2 miles an hour, covering an area of 1.6 miles of breathtaking, lush rainforest. Tours are always available, and guides will tell you all about the ecosystem, wildlife, and flora of the rainforest below you as you lazily glide above.
Protecting one of Costa Rica’s most precious natural structures, the coral reefs, Cahuita National Park was established in 1970 specifically to protect the coral formations along the coastline. In 1992 an earthquake caused devastating destruction to the reef, raising a large portion of them 10 feet above sea level, where they rapidly perished. Submarine tours are available, where you can explore the reef through portholes in the ship, as well as shipwrecks and any of the colorful schools of fish that call the reef home. Above sea level, animals such as sloths, pacas, raccoons, herons, and toucans flit to and fro in the foliage.
Explore the Wonders of Puerto Limón With ShoreTrips
A great, all-encompasing tour of Costa Rica! Enjoy a “6-in-1 tour” with a professional naturalist tour guide, who will introduce you to the most important aspects of the Afro-Caribbean Culture of Costa Rica, and show you the rich wildlife of this fascinating region.
Board your covered boat for a leisurely cruise through the jungle canals. As you float down the river, your guide will introduce you to the rain forest ecosystem and point out sights of interest. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, bats, aquatic birds, iguanas, and crocodiles!
We’ll start with a scenic 20-minute boat ride and two snorkeling sessions. Then we’ll stop at the Punta to enjoy a nicely presented fruit and snack break at the beach, followed by a 1.5 hour/2-mile guided hike in this wonderful coastal forest.
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