We docked early on a Saturday morning in Limón, Costa Rica a commercial and tourist port on the central east coast.
A few Costa Rican tidbits:
- Costa Rica was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus on his last trek to the West Indies in 1502.
- Costa Rica may have gotten its name from the bejeweled native people Columbus encountered when he landed here.
- It may also have gotten its name (rich coast) to fool explorers and pirates as there was no naturally found gold here.
- Costa Rica has been an independent country since 1838 and a democracy since 1869.
- Costa Rica’s major economic drivers are tourism, coffee and agriculture.
- Nearly 30% of its land has been preserved.
- Costa Rica has more species of birds than the US and Canada combined.
(Sources: our Tortuguero tour guide and onboard lecture as well as this site: http://www.ticotimes.net/travel/puerto-limon-a-downtown-walking-tour-rich-in-history.)
Before heading out for our tour of Tortuguero National Park and a cruise on its canals, which you can read about in an upcoming post, we strolled around Puerto Limón (or Limón). We found this town to be pretty cool and full of energy. It was Saturday, so the Mercado Municipal was bustling. It was a wet and rainy day, so that limited exploring but we really liked the port town.
We also checked out Parque Vargas and the Isla Ivita (uninhabited surfing spot where the waves break on the reef) lookout.
The park has several statues commemorating the town’s history and influential people.
Adios y pura vida, Limón.