Itineraries for Your Trip to Limon

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3 Days 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.

Located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side, Limon is known for its vibrant culture and lush natural landscape. Every year more than 200,000 cruise ship passengers arrive in the port city, which means you can take your pick of shore excursions. From ecoadventures to cultural tours, here are some options for a 3-day itinerary.

Day 1

A guided tour is a good way to safely navigate the bustling city. (Due to crime, travelers are advised to take precautions when visiting Limon, especially at night—avoid carrying much cash and wearing flashy jewelry.) Start by heading toward Vargas Park (Parque Vargas) down colorful checkered sidewalks lined with vendors selling fresh fruit, coconut water, and ice cream. After getting acquainted with the city center, stop at a local banana plantation and learn about one of Costa Rica’s most important exports—Limon has 80 percent of the country’s banana plantations. Alternatively, see how chocolate is made at a cacao farm in nearby Puerto Viejo, then visit Cahuita National Park. For dinner, grab some authentic grub at one of the local Caribbean eateries.

Day 2

Although Limon is situated on the coast, most of its shoreline is dedicated to shipping. Travel north to Pretty Beach (Playa Bonita) to swim, snorkel, and chill in the sand. Serious surfers should make their way to Uvita Island (Isla Uvita) to catch some waves—or scuba dive, snorkel, fish, or watch birds. Alternatively, look for three-toed sloths, toucans, and more in the rain forest on a guided hike—or explore the Tortuguero Canals by riverboat, kayak, or canoe. Later, check out the lively nightlife in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, near the Panamanian border.

Day 3

Spend your last day in Limon at the Jaguar Rescue Center. This home for ill, injured, and orphaned animals specializes in birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small primates, helping to protect, rehabilitate, and release them back into the wild. Plus, the center’s La Ceiba release site offers night tours and allows you to view the animals in their natural habitat. Alternatively, visit the sloth sanctuary—also home to monkeys, iguanas, and colorful birds. If you happen to be in Limon during one of the turtle nesting seasons (July to October for green sea and hawksbill turtles, February to April for leatherback turtles), don’t miss an excursion to Tortuguero National Park.

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