Caribbean - Costa Rica
Nothing compares to the natural beauty of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. This region mixes the unique flavor of the African-Costa Rican culture along with the colors of the most exuberant nature and the country’s native indigenous legacy.
The rivers and mountains of the Atlantic side of the country melt into the Caribbean coast within the borders of Costa Rica’s seventh province, Limón.
The North allows visitors to discover the secrets of the exuberant biodiversity overflowing the sides of the Tortuguero Canals, an extensive maze of fresh and salt-water canals that intertwine through the jungle and are home to thousands of plants and animals. To the South, the magnificent white sand beaches and coral reefs are presumed to be the reason why the famous Spanish conqueror Christopher Columbus named this land Costa Rica (which means rich coast) when he disembarked here in 1502.
The Tortuguero Canals and the white water rafting rivers of the Sarapiquí area are every naturalist’s paradise. Aside from local mammal, reptile, bird and plant observation; this region is ideal for practicing several adventure sports such as tree canopy zip lines, rafting and rappelling. Boating through the canals, horseback riding, and communitarian tourism in the small rural towns, are among some of the more relaxing.
A bit farther South, just a few dozen miles from the Costa Rican border with Panama, the beaches, villages, natural reserves and national parks of the South Caribbean have no rivals.
The unique blend of Caribbean, African, Italian, Chinese and Indigenous descendents adds extra cultural value to the already diverse selection of tropical fruits, sea food, art, music and natural wealth you will experience in this region.
If you are looking toward spending some time under the sun, surrounded by kind genuine people, and enjoying good food along with reggae or calypso rhythms, the villages of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo should be your destination of choice.
Aside from offering perfect crystal clear swimming waters, the Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve are two of the best-kept secrets in the country. It is within the boundaries of these two parks you can walk along the coast while observing and above all experimenting the local flora and fauna. White-faced capuchin monkeys, snakes, sloths, and multicolored fish are just a few of the parks’ inhabitants that you will see on any given day in this part of Limón.
As unique as it’s people, architecture in the Caribbean is outstanding. The province of Limón is the perfect place to discover the characteristics of tropical-Caribbean architecture, which witnessed the growth of the country’s agriculture-based economy.
With wood as its main material, the region’s architecture reflects the culture through the built in details and colors of buildings and homes.
Today, the people of downtown Limón and nearby villages of Siquirres, Guápiles, Bribri and Matina have developed a very special identity, in many ways different from the rest of the country. Thus, during October thousands of visitors gather in the province to celebrate it and participate in their festive carnival.