As Costa Rica’s largest port, Puerto Limón simmers with amazing sights, sounds, and food.
It’s the ideal place if you want a truly authentic, relatively tourist-free Costa Rican experience. If you’re short on time, there are a few essential things to do in Puerto Limón that you should not miss.
See classic Costa Rica at Parque Vargas
You’ll definitely want to make time to walk around Parque Vargas. With its old bandstand, palm trees, brightly colored tropical flowers, views of the coast, and occasional visits from tropical birds, it’s filled with rustic charm.
Explore Puerto Limón's best beach
From Parque Vargas, take a stroll across Playa Bonita, one of the country’s most popular beaches. Enjoy the golden sand between your toes and take a quick dip in the crystal waters. Once you’ve dried off, walk a few meters to watch the boats come in at the city's harbor.
Where to visit
There are many other attractions for those who want more than beaches and beer. When you’ve finished relaxing by the sea, visit the fascinating Ethno Historic Museum.
Here, you'll dive into this historic port’s fascinating story, from its beginnings to the present day, all within a colonial building that you’ll learn all about at the museum.
If you love the Ethno Historic Museum, you’ll also enjoy exploring the Old Quarter, with its faded glamour and antique architecture that serve as reminders of Costa Rica’s colonial past.
Try the whole range of Costa Rican food
Costa Rican cuisine is flavorful, hearty, and balanced. Rice is a staple of the Costa Rican diet, and you’ll have ample opportunities to try different rice recipes. Food is mostly cooked from scratch and includes a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, as these ingredients are readily available.
Gallo pinto is something you must try, consisting of slow-cooked rice with herbs, spices, and beans; it’s popular as a breakfast dish and a great way to start your day. For lunch, seek out one of the local family-run restaurants, known as sodas. Here, you’re sure to get a true taste of Costa Rica, and a great welcome, too — it’s almost like being part of the family.
For dinner, don’t miss out on the local seafood. As Puerto Limón is a port town, there is an abundance of fresh seafood, and you have a large number of seafood restaurants to choose from. For an authentic experience, head toward the beach and enjoy the delicious fish dishes while looking out over the ocean.
Although this quick guide describes some of the city’s highlights, an excellent way to discover more great things to do in Puerto Limón is to lose yourself in its beautiful beaches and architecture. Get exploring!