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Cruises to Puerto Limon

Puerto Limon (Photo:Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock)

About Puerto Limon

If there was ever a country created for eco-tourism, it is Costa Rica. Effectively a biological corridor between North and South America and with its neo-tropical climate and rainforests acting as a sort of biosphere, it now has one of the greatest biological diversities in the world. Nearly a quarter of its landmass is designated as national parks and it houses 8,000 species of plants, 859 species of birds, 10% of the world's butterflies and as many snakes as you could shake a stick at.



Costa Rica has also -- rare for the region -- been a peaceful, democratic country for a century or more. Abolishing all its armed services in 1949 to spend the money on improving social, medical and educational facilities has helped in this and also won it Nobel Peace prizes, not to mention UN-underpinned eternal neutrality from 1983.



It is not crime-free, though, so it still pays to take care in its towns and streets. However, it is one of the most relaxed and welcoming places to visit in Central America, and Puerto Limon is well-located for its best eco-tourist attractions.

  • More about Puerto Limon

  • Why go to Puerto Limon?

  • Puerto Limon Cruise Port Facilities?

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Sirena
Sirena

10 Night
Panama Canal CruiseDetails

240 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jan 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Pearl
Norwegian Pearl

12 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 21, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina
Marina

15 Night
South America CruiseDetails

722 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Dec 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Sky
Norwegian Sky

11 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

2,063 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

11 Night
Ultimate Caribbean&the AmericasDetails

1,756 Reviews
Leaving:Tampa
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Mar 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

332 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 15, 2023
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11 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,510 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 25, 2023
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11 Night
Ultimate Caribbean&the AmericasDetails

1,756 Reviews
Leaving:Tampa
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

36 Night
Grand World VoyageDetails

1,004 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2023
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Cruise Critic Favorite

128 Night
128-day Grand World VoyageDetails

1,004 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2023
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9 Night
Panama Canal-panama CityDetails

2,298 Reviews
Leaving:Colon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Feb 13, 2023
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14 Night
14 Nt Western Caribbean & The AmericasDetails

2,161 Reviews
Leaving:Bayonne
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Oct 27, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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40 Night
Grand South America & Antarctica VoyageDetails

532 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 7, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

3,713 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 6, 2022
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More about Puerto Limon

Why go to Puerto Limon?

Pros:

Plants, birds, butterflies, monkeys and snakes: Puerto Limon is a wildlife-lover's paradise

Cons:

It rains ... a lot

Bottom Line:

Have your camera ready during your stop in this breathtaking rain forest port

Puerto Limon Cruise Port Facilities?

A temporary open-air welcome stand, with a list of taxi fares and other tourist information, is set up right by the pier where your ship is docked. Another 100 yards on there is a small group of individually-covered craft and souvenir market stalls right outside a distinctive green terminal building. Walk through this -- past a bizarrely-sited beauty salon with its own pedicurist and chiropractor working in full view -- and out the back door, and you'll find yourself in Limon straightaway.



If you have time between tours, Limon is worth an hour or two. There are some interesting shops and a good museum (Etnohistorico -- open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.) right next to the post office on the same road as the bank and park, Avenida 2-Miguel Velasquez, but about a 10-minute walk to the left of the terminal.

Good to Know?

The rain. Sometimes we forget the connection between the rain forest and rain -- you really can't have the former without the latter. Over the year, parts of Costa Rica have as much as 26 feet of rain which is why seasons are described as "rainy" and "not so rainy" on its Pacific coast and "rainy" and "rainier" on its Caribbean side. Chances are you will see some liquid sunshine during your stay -- if you don't want to get your hair wet, pack a hat.

Getting Around?

There are buses from Limon to places like Cahuita ($1 each-way), Moin (50 cents) and even to the capital San Jose, more than 100 miles away. These leave from the bus terminal, which is a five-minute walk further down Avenida 2 from the museum.



If your ship is in for the usual 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. day, taking the bus to San Jose is not a sensible option. The journey takes three hours each way, which leaves little time there, and traffic jams could delay you and cause you to miss the ship. Even the one-hour Cahuita journey is a risk as the buses only run every two or three hours. The same applies if you hire a car from the desk in the terminal -- the roads are just not that good in Costa Rica and traffic delays are a constant problem.



More reliable (because you don't have to wait for one) and still a relatively cheap method of transport are the red taxis which can be hired at the dockside or by the terminal -- although a trip to San Jose, which has little more than a decent museum, pretty cathedral and lively central market to recommend it, is still probably not worth the hassle and expense.



Although the taxi fares are posted (for example, $20 to Cahuita), these are all negotiable. Their drivers' English is patchy so, if you are looking for a guide as well as a driver, check this first.



It is definitely worth taking the short (three-mile) trip to Moin where you can hire a boat along the Tortuguero Canals. There is an entrance fee and extra charge for a guide as well as the boat hire for independent visitors but, on this critic's recent trip there, passengers paid $50 for return taxis and boat trip for two compared with the approximately $92.50 per person cost of the ship's tour (which does include a buffet meal).



There is also a desk for local tour operators (Caribe Tico, Blue Limbo, Mambo Tours) within the terminal. They offer alternatives to the ship's tours to the Cahuita Coastal National Park, Tortuguero Canals, Rain Forest Aerial Tram as well as a two-hour Limon tour and an eight-hour trip to San Jose. There is also a range of more active trips, including horse-riding, watersports, and canopy tours.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Costa Rican currency is based on the Colon but US dollars are widely accepted, while credit cards are taken in the larger shops and most hotels and restaurants. There are no ATMs in the cruise terminal but there are several international banks in the town of Limon -- the closest to the port is just 400 yards away, across the road from Parque (Park) Vargas: Banco de Costa (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.).

Language?

The official language is Spanish but many Costa Ricans know some English, and those working at tourist sites usually speak it well.

Where You're Docked?

In the busy cargo port of Limon, where tour coaches jockey for position with fleets of lorries bringing continuous loads of Costa Rica's major export: bananas.


Puerto Limon Cruise Reviews
I had been to Costa Rica before, but not this port. Loved the scenery and folkloric dancers.Read More
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BarbinMich
Missed my excursion because of an asthma attack but after the rain stopped I walked to the "terminal" where there were many local vendors selling stuff actually made in Costa Rica. Good prices, too. Vendors were frRead More
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bostonrobert
Hired a driver/van and had a great experience!Read More
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sandykj
We were supposed to go on our much anticipated (and sole) excursion to the Botanical Gardens and a wildlife refuge. It was to be the highlight of our cruise (at least for me).This was cancelled at the last minute dueRead More
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susanross

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