This coastal Caribbean getaway is known for its vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture, stunning beaches and eco-tourism opportunities. Limón, Costa Rica has an amazing local music and food scene, and stunning beaches. The region’s Creole and African history and its colorful Caribbean community is highlighted in its cultural centers and excursions. There are sustainable practices throughout the region to protect the ecosystems.

  • Best time to travel: April to November (off-season) and December to March (peak season), June to August (storm season)
  • Time zone: Central Standard Time (CST)
  • Currency used: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
  • Noteworthy: Festival of the Black Christ (January), Limon Roots Afrocultural Festival (August), Limón Carnival (October) 
  • Best for: Solo Travel, Couple’s Trip, Hiking Trip, Friends Trip, Eco-Friendly Aventures

Play: Things To Do in Limón, Costa Rica

Veragua Rainforest Park

Described as “The Cream of the Cream of Rainforests” by National Geographic Traveler, visitors will enjoy this eco-adventure. Veragua Rainforest Park is located an hour away from the historic Puerto Limón. Visitors will enjoy the stunning views of the Talamanca Range and the Veragua Rainforest mountain reserve. This rainforest park borders La Amistad International Park, which is the largest nature reserve in Central America.

One of the top excursions include Sky Gondolas. Travelers go through the trees to see the monkeys, sloths and other wildlife. Visitors also can learn about the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest. 

The Chocolate Forest Experience

The Chocolate Forest Experience is an immersive journey into the history of chocolate production in Costa Rica. The tour includes hiking through the sustainable cacao forest, processing bean-to-bar at the chocolate workshop, tasting fresh cacao tree fruit and indulging in delicious chocolate with amazing ocean views. The tour is offered Monday through Saturday, and visitors can book in advance or walk in. The physical exertion on this walking tour is minimal and suitable for those in average physical condition. 

Zipline Canopy, Tortuguero Canal Boat Tour, and Shore Excursion

The Zipline Canopy, Tortuguero Canal Boat Tour, and Shore Excursion is an unforgettable eco-adventure. Visitors observe native wildlife, like sloths, howler monkeys and crocodiles. The boat cruise, which operates along the bio-rich Tortuguero Canal, leads to an adrenaline-pumping zipline. To make the day more stress-free, the tour includes air-conditioned transportation, fresh fruit snacks and entry to both attractions.  

Ride The Rainforest Costa Rica

Travelers can ride horses on the beach on the Ride The Rainforest Costa Rica excursion. Both seasoned and beginner riders can enjoy this excursion.

All ages and skill levels can enjoy the unforgettable views of the Costa Rican beaches and its beautiful rainforest. The company has over thirty years of experience and is well-equipped to cater to and accommodate different preferences. The tour is offered in both English and Spanish for its wide range of visitors. 

Cahuita and Puerto Vargas Snorkeling

The Cahuita and Puerto Vargas Snorkeling experience is a thrilling adventure through the green landscape of the Cahuita National Park. The all-day private tour is perfect if arriving a traveler is arriving on cruise ship.

Visitors will have the unique opportunity to snorkel and marvel at over 240 marine life. The short hike through the park shows the stunning scenery of Puerto Vargas Beach. This fun group water tour is a must-do for any adventurous traveler.

Learn The Secrets of Caribbean Cooking

The Secrets of Caribbean Cooking class is where travelers can learn the personal style of Afro-Caribbean cooking. The class gives an in-depth look at the basic ingredients of Caribbean dishes. It also recreates traditional Sunday meals enjoyed by locals.

During the class, travelers will learn how to make coconut milk, while preparing the food. At the end of the class, everyone gathers around the table to share the food and the stories behind it. The starting time is flexible to accommodate travelers’ schedules. Guests will leave with a flavorful recipe book all about authentic Caribbean culture.

Gourmet: Best Restaurants in Limón, Costa Rica

Bay Park Limón

The Bay Park Limón is an innovative family-style Costa Rican restaurant that will tantalize a foodie’s taste buds. There are a variety of classic Caribbean dishes, local Costa Rican recipes, steakhouse menu items and fresh sushi options. Guests can enjoy appetizers, like tequeños, tuna tartar and ceviche. The entrees include favorites, such as churrasco steak, salmon teriyaki and grilled red snapper fish. The lively ambiance and attentive staff make it a perfect spot to unwind and savor a delicious meal.

Reina’s Restaurant

Reina’s Restaurant sits in a prime location and boasts a full 360-degree view of Playa Bonita. The stunning views matched with a classic Central American menu are a great way to experience the local scene. It’s not just the food that makes Reina’s Restaurant special. The restaurant also hosts live music events, wedding venues and other entertainment bookings throughout the year.

Shugga Place

Travelers looking for a satisfying and sweet experience should visit Shugga Place. This bakery offers an array of delicious handmade pastries that will make anyone’s day sweeter. In addition to breakfast and lunch menu, guests can enjoy a variety of lunch options and flavored coffees. There’s also an impressive selection of freshly baked desserts, such as tres leches, cinnamon rolls, flan and pies.

Maestros Wine & Grill

The Maestros Wine & Grill is a must-visit exceptional dining experience. The gastronomy techniques blended with classic Central American flavors create a mouth-watering range of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Enjoy Argentinian beef empanadas, fresh cream of broccoli soup, lobster risotto with sundried tomatoes and Brazilian churrasqueira-style Angus picanha with tuetano butter. Their local wine, beer and cocktail menu features mules, Aperol spritz and mojitos that complement the food. The wine and grill offers desserts like tiramisú, tartufo and merengata cakes.

Restaurante Cocori

The Restaurante Cocori has been a Caribbean icon for over two decades. Their reputation comes from impeccable service, classic dishes and an unparalleled view of the Caribbean Sea. Travelers can sit back and enjoy a hearty breakfast, a satisfying lunch, a romantic dinner or a refreshing cocktail. The diverse menu includes fresh seafood, juicy burgers, sizzling fajitas, succulent ribs and mouthwatering pasta. Classic desserts, such as flan, cheesecake and brownies with ice cream are a perfect ending to a comforting meal.

Stay: Best Places To Stay in Limón, Costa Rica

Almonds and Coral Hotel

The Almonds and Coral Hotel is a one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of Costa Rica’s south Caribbean. The hotel’s prime location is in the middle of the tropical rainforest with views of a pristine golden sandy beach. The hotel is within walking distance of the Gandoca Manzanillo wildlife refuge, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.

The Cativo Restaurant is a hotel highlight, as it’s an open-air eatery under the trees and near the ocean. Guests can savor unusual and beautifully presented meals, while enjoying the natural rhythms of the rainforest and the sea. The unbeatable location and exceptional amenities make this stay a great place to unwind.

Cabinas Arrecife, Cahuita

The coastal views alone are enough to have any traveler dreaming of a move to the Caribbean paradise. The Cabinas Arrecife, Cahuita is a family-owned hotel that’s just a short walk to Cahuita National Park. Guests can experience the magic of walking and snorkeling in one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. The amenities include breakfast on the open-air terrace with ocean views, a pool with hammocks, a refrigerator and a dishwasher. For travelers seeking an escape, this is a natural choice for relaxation.

Charming House Near The Beach

This Charming House Near The Beach is a beautiful two-bedroom home that’s a quick walk away from Playa Negra beach. The beach lovers’ paradise is a peaceful and convenient stay in Cahuita, Costa Rica. The house has a lush garden and a relaxing hammock area to unwind after a day of exploring the area.

With a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute bike ride, guests can reach a wide range of restaurants and bars. The house circulates the fresh ocean breeze. WiFi is included, along with secure parking. The host also lives at the back of the property to assist with booking tours and car rentals as needed.

Hotel Boutique La Casa de las Flores, Cahuita

The charming Hotel Boutique La Casa de las Flores is in the heart of the Cahuita village. It’s close to the entrance to the Cahuita National Park. Guests can immerse themselves in the rhythmic sounds of Calypso and Reggae, while enjoying the rainforest.

Travelers can take full advantage of the hotel’s shuttle service or use bike, scooter and car rental services for exploration. Excursions and activities also are available for people to book and get the full Limón experience.

Ecolirios Hotel Boutique & Spa

Eco-conscious travelers can have an unforgettable eco-friendly experience at the Ecolirios Hotel Boutique & Spa. The hotel’s owners are Costa Rican natives with a commitment to sharing their philosophy. It focuses on nurturing all five senses, along with ecology, to help guests discover a more intimate connection to nature.

With sustainable conservation and solar-powered energy, Ecolirios offers guests the opportunity to reconnect with nature without sacrificing comfort or luxury. Surrounded by dense jungle and diverse wildlife, this stay is the perfect romantic hideaway for couples. Some of the amenities include a spa, sauna, natural pool, horse riding, jungle tours and an on-site restaurant.

Get Away: Getting To and Around Limón, Costa Rica

By Air 

The most convenient and efficient way to get to Limón is through the Juan Santamaria International Airport. From there, travelers can take a connecting domestic flight to Limón Airport. Though Limón Airport is considered an international airport, only domestic passenger flights are able to travel directly there. 

By Car

The roads in Costa Rica can be challenging to navigate due to varying terrain, road conditions, narrow and winding paths, and local driving customs. It’s recommended to have some experience driving in similar conditions or scheduling transport when driving in Costa Rica.

There are two main routes to take toward Limón: San Jose and the South Caribbean area. Gas stations and rest stops are not frequent on Costa Rica’s roads, so it’s essential to plan out the routes. Use a GPS or map for safety and easier navigation.

By Public Transit

Public transit is available from San Jose to Limón and other major cities in Costa Rica. The bus system is reliable and affordable; however, it can get crowded during peak travel hours. Travelers may need to transfer buses for certain areas.

The Terminal de Autobuses del Caribe is located in downtown San Jose where buses run throughout the day. Bus rides can take about three to four hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Explore Limón, Costa Rica On Foot

There are plenty of beautiful sights to see on foot around Limón. Comfortable shoes are a must when exploring the Caribbean gem, but the tropical climate around the island should be taken into account. Travelers should apply sunscreen, wear bug protection and have plenty of water. Travelers can stay safe and have fun by being fully aware of their surroundings.