Limón is one of seven provinces of Costa Rica and is the least develped with respect to tourist infrastructure. It is located in the eastern part of the country at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It borders from the south clockwise the country Panama, the provinces Puntarenas, San José, Cartago and Heredia, and the country Nicaragua. The capital is Puerto Limón. The province has a population of 339,295 (2000). It is subdivided into six cantons. 

From Limon north to Nicaragua there are virtually no roads, and all transportation depends on the canal system that connects the villages of Parismina, Tortuguero and Colorado. Some of the primary towns include Limon, Parismina, Tortuguero, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Bri-Bri and Sixaola.

 Beach Scene from Parismina, Provincia de Limon


This fragile part of the country is home to the famous Torutguero National Park - and is one of the most critical sea turtle habitats in the Americas. This is generally the attraction that brings tourists to this part of Costa Rica. Leatherback, Green And Hawksbill turles nest on the beaches from Parismina on north. Turtle projects in the village of Parismina, Tortuguero, Pacquare and other small groups are springing up to protect these critically endangered creatures. Turtle season generally runs frm mid-February through Late September of each year.

 Map of the Limon Province of Costa Rica


The town of Puerto Viejo de Limón is a popular surfing destination featuring the Salsa Brava and Cockle's beach. Ohter popular activities inlclude bird watching, sport fishing for tarpon and snook and "getting away from it all".

This part of the country is lacking in large resorts or other high-end tourist attractions, although some of the finest (but not inexpensive) fishing lodges in  Central America can be found in the area, and these meet international standards for fine fishing lodges. Homestay opportunities and a variety of budget travel options make this area a worthwhile area to get away from the tourist track and see something less commercial.

Close to half of Limón's residents are Afro-Caribbean (mostly Jamaican) ancestry. English creole and Spanish are spoken in the province. Many locals speak English which can be comforting to tourists who don't have much spanish speaking background. Lively nightlife with reggae,salsa and latin dancing make discos come to life on Saturday nights even in the sleepiest of towns.

 Most small villages in this area do not have ATMs and few places accept credit cards - so bring plenty of cash. And tipping the locals is always appreciated!