Itineraries for Your Trip to Limon

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1 Day in Limon for First Timers

Curated by Michele LaufikMichele Laufik is a writer and editor, covering topics such as travel, beauty and wellness, and the events industry for various print and digital outlets. She recently moved from New York City and now calls Lexington her new Kentucky home. Michele has written for Glamour, NBCUniversal, Martha Stewart Living, PureWow, BizBash, among others.

On a stretch of Costa Rica that bustles with activity, Puerto Limon—aka Limon—tends to have a less touristy feel than other areas of the country. The port city welcomes throngs of cruise ship passengers throughout the year, which means you can choose from plenty of sightseeing options. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Limon.


Start your day by discovering the hidden gems of this culturally rich and naturally diverse city. Guided sightseeing tours depart from the dock, typically beginning with a quick overview of the city before venturing into the surrounding rain forest. Trek through the lush landscape, taking in the flora and fauna—look out for wildlife such as three-toed sloths, butterflies, toucans, hummingbirds, and colorful amphibians. A stop at a local banana plantation is usually included. Costa Rica is the second-largest banana producer in the world, with 80 percent of its plantations located in Limon.


Hop aboard a riverboat for a leisurely cruise through the narrow Tortuguero Canals that flow from Costa Rica’s high country into the Caribbean Sea. Located in Tortuguero National Park, this network of natural waterways allows you to explore the dense jungle surroundings easily and comfortably. Sail past plantations and floral gardens as your guide helps you spot crocodiles, monkeys, and iguanas. Along the beaches, you might even see leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtles digging nests and laying eggs, depending on the season. More adventurous travelers can paddle around the canals in a kayak or canoe.


Thanks to its residents, Limon is infused with Afro-Caribbean culture that’s reflected in the town’s bars and restaurants, many of which have a calypso vibe. You’ll notice Jamaican and African influences in popular dishes like jerk chicken, curry, and seafood, with coconut milk and exotic spices featuring prominently. For dinner, check out Soda El Patty, a Caribbean eatery that serves pati (flaky beef turnovers filled with onions and peppers); “soda” refers to a place that offers typical Costa Rican cuisine. Afterward, head to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca—closer to the Panama border—for music and dancing. Nearby Cahuita has a more low-key atmosphere.

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