Located on the Caribbean coast, Limón Costa Rica (also known as Puerto Limón) is the country’s most important port, with 80% of international shipping passing through it. It serves as the capitol of Limón Province, which spans 130 miles of the Caribbean coast from the Nicaraguan border to the north and the Panamanian border to the south.
The area north of Limón is home to Tortuguero National Park and the Vida Silvestres Barra del Colorado National Refuge, making it a popular destination for wildlife ecotourists. The city itself is an industrial and shipping center, with most international residents living in the coastal towns of Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo, as well as inland towns like Siquirres and Guápiles.
Despite being only 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Central Valley, travel time to Limón is over four hours due to the winding mountain roads and construction to expand the highway. The province is known for its Afro-Caribbean influence and large Black and Creole population, which gives the region a distinct multi-cultural perspective that influences the local language, cooking, architecture, and music. While Spanish is the main language, English Creole is widely spoken in the region.
Limón Province is one of the most geographically diverse regions of Costa Rica, with almost impenetrable jungle, mangrove wetlands, beautiful beaches, and extensive agricultural lands growing bananas, pineapples, and coconuts. It is home to over 8,000 different plant species, as well as thousands of animal and insect species. Despite its status as a shopping hub for the region, Limón is not generally considered an expat destination.