Limon is a town located on Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica
I have heard many travelers to Costa Rica talk about traveling to Limon and saying, “My it is not at all an attractive town and located in such a beautiful coastline on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica with palm trees and warm Caribbean winds which blow each day. Limon is a port city and this is one reason it is so unattractive. Filled will big trucks and large containers filled with all sorts of things coming into Costa Rica and leaving Costa Rica. And the weather is hot and steamy here and rains a lot..all year round. Takes around 3.5 hours to drive to Limon from the capital city of San Jose. The road is good and very scenic winding through Braulio Carrillo National Park with its dense forests and tall mountains. You dont’ want to drive this road after dark due to the dense fog that sets in as you pass thru Braulio Carrillo National park. Then you arrive to the Atlantic lowland forest where you can immediately feel the temperatures warming and feel hot and steamy.
In the 17th century there were cocoa plantations in these Atlantic lowland areas which were worked by slaves from Africa. But in the early 1800s the cocoa production was halted. There was constant trouble from raids by pirates, English pirates from Jamaica, along with the local Miskitos (indigenous people inhabiting this area of Costa Rica.)
Today this area is planted in Bananas which is the second largest product of export for Costa Rica. Coffee is first.
Around 1871 the Costa Rican government, because of the growth of the coffee export market, decided that it needed a port of the Atlantic side to facilitae getting the coffee to Europe, so the port of Limon was established in a place that was little more than a migrant black fisherman’s village consisting of five huts. And in the same year the Atlantic Railroad was constructed which went from San Jose to Limon. Workers were brought to work on the railroad from China, Jamaica, and Italy. Today we see many Chinese, Italians, and Black people who remained in the area and made it their home.
So Limon became a banana town and a railroad town, populated mostly by blacks from Jamaica and Chinese. These people who worked on the Banana plantations were no given any rights of citizenship by the Costa Rica government. They were not allowed to move from this area and go to work in San Jose or any other towns of Costa Rica. However, today the story is quite different and they are full fledged citizens of Costa Rica and work where ever they can find work.
“SUMMER TIME AND THE LIVING IS EASY”
Tourism is a big thing if you travel south of Limon on the coastal road. Most of these roads are in great need of repair but the landscape along the beaches is beautiful with palm trees swaying in the tropical wind. You don’t see large fancy hotel complexes here, just small hotels. The weather is not really suitable to draw the big crowds of tourist to the sun because it rains here all year round. Life seems very laid back , no one in a hurry. Lots of people of all ages riding bicycles. “Just summer time and the living is easy” There is lots of wildlife here such as sloths, howler monkeys, and so many colorful tropical birds! The flowers and shrubs are so unique…no seen in any other parts of Costa Rica.
Costaricalearn.com filmed the Tortuguero Canals and Tortuguero National Park and the inhabitants there. This National Park is located a few miles north of Limon. You can see it on our video “Costa Rica A Travel Adventure Spectacular Video.” Just go to home page and there see the 2 minute trailor and if you would like your own full length copy, you can order it there.