Puerto Limon, Costa Rica


Capital
The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose.
Location
Costa Rica is in the Central American Isthmas, with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. It is flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.

Size
The land area of Costa Rica is about the size of West Virginia; a little under 20 thousand square miles. From north to south, Costa Rica stretches 275 miles.

Population
There are about 4 million people living in Costa Rica, including a number of Americans.

Language
The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. Many Costa Ricans speak English and French.

Currency
The official currency is the “Colon”. The United States dollar, credit cards and travelers checks are widely accepted.

Time ZoneCosta Rica is on United States Central Standard Time.
Tourist InformationThere is not a tourist office in Puerto Limon.
Province of Limon
Limon is one of seven provinces in Costa Rica and the only one to be entirely on the Caribbean side of the Continental Divide. Limon consists of thick tropical jungles and sprawling banana plantations bordering the lofty Central Mountains. Twelve miles to the north of Puerto Limon is the international port of Moin. From here to the Nicaraguan border, 80 miles away, stretches the Totuguero Canal System. Running parallel to the sea, this system of natural and artificial waterways crisscross the jungle and mangrove-lined coast. Southward, a dirt road leads past white-sand beaches and picturesque fishing villanges. The heavy annual rainfall in this province is essential for the forests and bananas, but can make traveling difficult. Over 25 percent of Costa Rica is protected for conservation purposes- serving as shelter to many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. This represents more than four percent of the world’s total floral and faunal species.
Puerto Limon
Situated 100 miles from San Jose, Puerto Limon is sometimes described as a Somerset Maugham town and represents Costa Rica’s slice of the Caribbean. The 60,000 residents are largely made up of descendants of Jamaican and Chinese immigrants. Export products such as coffee and bananas are transported here for loading onto outbound ships. A highway winds its way down to Limon from the 3,700 foot highlands. The drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean is approximately 155 miles.

Shopping
Costa Rica is known for its many arts and crafts, including wood figures, carved walking canes, toys, leather goods, wall hangings, coffee and more. Some small villages are famous for their hardwood ox carts, hand painted with traditional-geometric designs used since the beginning of the century. You can purchase miniature replicas and the colorful cartwheels of these wooden carts.


Interesting PlacesA. Parque Vargas
Parque Vargas is very closed to the ship. It takes you only 5 minutes to reach it. It is located on the waterfront. This main attraction has beautiful tropical trees and flowers.

B. Sea Wall
You can walk along the sea wall of Puerto Limon. You can view the rocky headland upon which the city was built.

C. Playa Bonita
Playa Bonita is located northwest of town.

D. Central Market
This municipal market is where produce, crafts and sundries are sold.

E. Veragua Rainforest
Veragua rainforest is located about one hour from the cruise ship terminal. It is the ultimate research and adventure park that includes a gondola ride through the canopy, interactive flora and fauna displays, and walking trails.


History

Costa Rica was sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1502, when he landed near Puerto Limon on the Atlantic shore. Believing he had discovered a land of vast wealth, he named it “Costa Rica”, which means “Rich Coast”. Different from other parts of Central America, the colonization did not take too much life. The local inhabitants were mainly peaceful Indian farmers whose numbers were eventually depleted when introduced to European disease.

The first capital city was Cartago, founded in 1563. Eventually, the capital was moved West to San Jose in 1737. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821, beginning a period of civil war between the Liberal and Conservative factions.

After independence, the government anxiously sought goods that could be exported and taxed for revenue. Finally, they found coffee to be the goods they were looking for. Then, the government offered free land to coffee growers. It resulted in building a landowning class. The prosperity grew very rapidly because of it since 1850s.

Costa Rica’s long tradition of democracy began in 1889 and has continued to the present day. The only lapse in this record was in 1948, when the constitution was abolished and military dictatorship took over. One year later, a new constitution was adopted and the army was permanently abolished. In 1983, the country made an official proclamation of neutrality.

Costa Rica today is a model of democracy and political stability. It boasts a fine health care system, telecommunications network and school system with one of the highest literacy rates in the world-92 percent.

Transportation

Red colored taxis are available at the pier. Drivers speak English. Please set price before you get on. Its rate is around $ 25 for a cab for an hour.

Shopping
If you visit Puerto Limon by cruise ship, it is easy to go shopping. The shopping centre is in the central market which is on walking distance from the pier. Most of the stores are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Post OfficeThe Post office is open from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The Postal Service in Costa Rica is extremely efficient . International mail and facsimile service is quite reliable.

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Emergency
In case of an emergency, dial 911.
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