Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

Welcome to Puerto Limon

At first glance it may appear derelict and rather unsavoury, but this impression is because Puerto Limon was badly affected by an earthquake in 1991 from which it has never recovered. The friendly, welcoming people of this Caribbean port city, however, are proud of what they still have to offer tourists who visit the city, not so much for its sights but for its proximity to some of Costa Rica's top natural attractions.

Many cruise liners lay over in the port to allow passengers the chance to take excursions, and independent travellers come here from San Jose along the scenic Guapiles Highway to use Puerto Limon as a base for exploring the coast.

It was once a port of some importance, exporting bananas and grain to various parts of the world, but today Puerto Limon is commercially a little bereft, the focus having moved to Moin, a port about four miles (6km) to the north. The city itself however still sports some pretty, if run-down, buildings. One of its biggest draws is the market in the centre of town, selling everything from woodcarvings to cashew nut wine.

Just south of the city is the popular and beautiful beach of Playa Bonita, easily accessible by taxi or bus, and inland there are myriad scenic excursions to be made to appreciate the volcanoes, lush valleys, tropical rainforests and national parks.

From Puerto Limon do-it-yourself tourists or cruise ship passengers can organize trips to ride an aerial tram across the rain forest canopy in the Braulio Carrillo National Park, or travel to Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, passing through some incredible exotic scenery en route. The more active can opt for white-water rafting on the Reventazon River, or a horseback trek from a nearby ranch through the jungle. One of the most popular outings is a boat trip up the Tortuguero Canal, which runs parallel to the coastline from Puerto Limon to the Nicaraguan border, affording the chance to enjoy some spectacular scenery and get close to a variety of wildlife.


Puerto Limon experiences a climate with no pronounced seasons as its weather is affected by the flow of warm, moist air brought in off the Caribbean by the northeast trade winds. The months of March, April, September and October tend to be less rainy, while it typically rains the most in June, July, August, November, and December. Average daytime highs reach 83°F (28°C).

Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

The Costa Rican Colón (CRC) is divided into 100 céntimos and is the official currency, although US Dollars are also widely accepted. US Dollars and travellers cheques can be exchanged in banks and many hotels. Banks charge a service fee for cashing travellers cheques and currency other than US$ is difficult to exchange. Using black market exchange options is risky as they have been known to pass on counterfeit bills printed in Colombia. Banks close anywhere from 3pm to 6pm. Major credit cards are widely accepted, although American Express and Diners Club might be more limited. ATMs are available in major towns throughout the country, but it is advisable to always have some local cash handy.

Local time is GMT -6.

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