Costa Rica, meaning Rich Coast in Spanish, is a small country of Central America with 200km average width between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. While working onboard Celebrity Equinox, we had the opportunity to make few stops in Limón, Costa Rica and experience some of the best tour excursions in the country.
The Cruise Ship dock is named Hernan Garron Salazar, a cruise terminal not only for cruise ships but also for ferry boats and passengers. Puerto Limón, which is also known as Limón, is the biggest port in Costa Rica. Very nicely situated along the Caribbean coast and stretches right through a luscious rainforest. Limón’s a natural touristic paradise, drawing travelers to its many adventure activities and wildlife.
Things to do and how to get around:
Vargas Park and Garden
Easily accessible by foot from the cruise ship dock, take a leisurely stroll to the Vargas Park. In fact, it is conveniently located in the town, first right off the cruise terminal, you will admire the long magnificent palm trees swaying above you in the tropical garden.
Restaurants and shops
Across Vargas Park you will easily find many restaurants and bars readily waiting to welcome you. As well there are a few stores along the streets, you can try your luck at bargaining. Together with browsing around the city why not get a taxi right outside the cruise terminal. Taking you on a scenic drive along the coast and if you are lucky your driver will also stopover at a fresh fruit and veg store along the road to taste the local fruits.
As Limón, Costa Rica is a small city, we recommend booking tours via Shore Excursions Department on the cruise ship.
Ziplinning: The Original Canopy Tour
Start with a tour in the sky! Explore the Veragua Rain Forest from the air. About 30 minutes drive from the dock, embrace yourself in the incredible views of greenery surrounding you. Firstly, after formalities and a bit of practice, your friendly guides introduce you to the luscious rainforest, be amazed by the abundance of trees, open spaces as well as fascinating creatures. As a matter of fact, colourful frogs are easily spotted as you make your way to the first platform. There are 10 observation platforms and 9 zip lines. Next, the adrenaline kicks in as the journey starts. You will be fully equipped with gloves, straps and handle bars. A note, keep in mind, as we are in a rainforest expect tropical weather. Rain and sunshine, combined, is a typical day when it comes to zip lining across the Veragua rainforest. We highly recommend using your GoPro to capture the moment as you zip across many platforms capturing views from different angles, whilst flying over admiring the vast nature. Finally reaching base, completely drenched in rainwater, having achieved an unforgettable experience and memories. Expect about 3.5 hours of pure exploration.
The trip starts at the moment you disembark your cruise ship, quickly followed by a scenic coastal journey. This tour is moderately paced, sit back and take in the incredible sights. A traditional welcome awaits you at the riverbed, live Calypso music and dances perform as you make your way to board the riverboat. As you embark on the tour boat you will immediately feel the jungle vibe. An experience of the Veragua Rainforest and Tortuguero Canals by boat gets you up close to the fascinating creatures in Costa Rica. The journey in total is an hour boat ride. In addition to the river cruise, your tour guide will educate you on the forest and its many inhabitants, who are easily spotted throughout the voyage. Monkeys, birds, caiman, frogs and even people live along the riverside. We were fortunate to spot caimans in the water as well as lizards basking in the sun. However, the sloths were taking a nap in the trees, which made it very difficult to get some photos but then again that’s what sloths do all day! Set aside half a day for this tour at a cost of $170, you will also be treated to some delicious fruit like bananas and sugar cane. More information about Tortuguero National Park: https://www.tortugueroinfo.com/usa/tortuguero_canals_tour.htm
An absolute must do! Get up close to these gorgeous creatures. A sloth sanctuary welcomes you to experience the nurturing of these unusual sleepy animals. This animal rescue center is situated 30km south of Limón, near the city of Cahuita. The injured or orphaned sloths are brought to the sanctuary in order to get healed and rehabilitated. Sloths are very rarely found on the ground level. They spend most of their lives moving from tree to tree enjoying a snooze as much as possible. Their survival all depends on the livelihood of the rainforest. Sloths are generally found in South America and Central America. Their diet includes leaves and fruit. An interesting fact is that sloths can swim and are actually much fast in water than on land. The animal rescue center is also home to other species such as monkeys, crocodiles, caimans, tropical birds and snakes. It is important to preserve the natural environment of all those wild creatures therefore, the sanctuary was built in the tropical forest without damaging the precious vegetation.
There is a saying in Costa Rica “Pura Vida” which is used for saying hello, goodbye, cheers and so on… Indeed, our stops in Costa Rica showed us how joyful this population is and gave us a good life lesson about how to enjoy the simple things. When docking in Limón, Costa Rica, there are activities for each audience, from a leisurely stroll around the town to a peaceful river cruise. Along with a sloth sanctuary tour for animal lovers as well as for the adventurous souls there is a Ziplining.