The Limon Coast


This southern Caribbean coast attracts surfers, snorkelers and reggae enthusiasts as well as ordinary tourists and ecology buffs who want to savor the unique tropical environment. Weather patterns here are unpredictable, with no sharp distinction between winter and summer. Rain can fall at any time, and usually does. Winds often blow down from the north, sometimes causing the Caribbean coast to duplicate Miami's weather. I recall one time in Puerto Viejo, when Miami was suffering from one of those rare, orange-freezing winter storms. The frosty winds didn't linger in Miami, they blustered on down to Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Unprepared for cold, I pulled on every piece of clothing I had with me, and shivered the night away huddled under a flimsy blanket. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in the Caribbean tropics and not in Kalispell, Montana. All the while, San Jose's temperature remained a normal 65 degrees - but this is very rare and usually it is hot year around.
The plus side of the Caribbean weather is that things stay green and lush year round, unlike the Pacific coast. The down side is that it is always more humid and insects tend to grow healthy and robust on this side of the continent.


The city of Limon, a two-and-a-half hour drive from San Jose, is where Columbus sighted the American mainland for the first time, back in 1502. Apparently he thought it was another island and didn't bother going ashore himself. (If Limon was as depressing back then as it is today, I understand why.) At best, Limon has always been a ramshackle affair a tropical banana port, too large to have the charm of a village, yet too small to offer the amenities of a real city.

Puerto Viejo in the other hand is a paradise for tourist, unique restaurants and bars beautiful beaches, every thing is in a walking distance and if you pick up a bicycle ?you can reach most of the beaches to the south of the village in half an hour.

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