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North Caribbean
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  • General information
  • About North Caribbean
  • History
The North Caribbean covers the northern territory of the province of Limon, from the banks of the Rio San Juan in the border with Nicaragua, to the city of Limon, and from the coast of the Caribbean Sea to the Central Volcanic Mountain Range and the Talamanca Mountain Range.

This region is a beautiful coastal zone with exuberant vegetation, mangrove swamps, many rivers and a great variety of wildlife, such as monkeys, jaguars, more than 300 species of birds and exotic poisonous frogs, like the red poison dart frog.

Among its attractions theres an impressive flooded plain, the famous protected zone of Barra del Colorado and of course, one of the most beautiful natural treasures on Earth: the channels of Tortuguero. They have deltas and peaceful rivers with 11 different habitats. When traveling by boat through the channels you can find 7 different species of river turtles, being also home to a large variety of fresh water fish and shelter of the manatee, which is endangered.

The coasts of the Tortuguero National Park are visited every year by green, leatherback, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles for the spawning season that goes from April to October. These arrivals are monitored by the park rangers with the support of the community. You can participate in the nocturnal tours and observe them lay their eggs, and this way witness an unforgettable experience.

To get to Barra del Colorado and Tortuguero there are different domestic flights that part from San Jose and land in the landing strips located in these communities. You can also take boats at the end of the road of Cariari or from Puerto Moin that travel through the channels.

Among the most important rivers of this humid region there are: Rio Colorado, which can be traveled by boat and is known internationally for the practice of sportfishing of tarpons and common snooks; Rio Toro Amarillo, which is used for hydropower generation due to its large flow; Parismina and Tortuguero rivers, which are very important for navigation; and Rio Pacuare, which is known worldwide for rafting (class III and IV). 

The Tortuguero, Colorado and Reventazon rivers are more than 152 km long and served as settlement for native populations and colonizers.

The Caribbean coast is straight, without bays or gulfs, and has strong waves in its beaches. Playa Portete and Playa Bonita are visited by surfers from all over the world. In front of these beaches you can appreciate a panoramic view of the beautiful Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island).

Towards the south you will find the city of Limon, header of the province of the same name and main port (for commerce and tourism) in the Caribbean Sea.

Puerto Limon is the hometown of the Afro-Caribbean culture of Costa Rica, whose identity was influenced by workers that came from Haiti and Curaao, who worked in the building of the railway to the Atlantic and in banana plantations. This wonderful mixture of ethnicities has given great contributions to the Costa Rican identity in gastronomy, with the combination and introduction of different and new tastes, as well as in music and in many other aspects of our culture.

In its old section you can admire architectural samples that are very important for the heritage and culture of the country, like the Black Star Line (1922), used for important activities of the community. Its hall also stands out, the Liberty Hall, where the first crowning of the queen of the civic feasts of Limon took place in 1949, festivities that are nowadays the popular Carnivals of Limon.

Other places you should visit are the Central Marketplace, built in 1941; the Costa Rica Pension, one of the first places to stay of the zone; and the Parque Vargas, which honors Balvanero Vargas Molina, with its dense tropical vegetation. Theres also the cutwater, frequently visited by tourists that travel in cruises. This structure goes for several meters until it ends in the Tony Facio Hospital. From here you can observe the Isla Uvita, where Christopher Columbus anchored in his fourth trip and has many ships that go towards Puerto Moin or Puerto Limon.

This region has very high rainfall due to the constant humidity brought by trade winds of the Caribbean Sea, thats why it doesnt have well-defined seasons like the Pacific.

The average rainfall in the coastline reaches 3.525 mm and in the mountains 3.620 mm. In the shores there are two dry periods, from February to March, similar to the dry season of the rest of the country, and from September to October, which is the driest period. In the high zones it rains the less only during February and March. The months with the heaviest rainfall are July and December.

The average temperature ranges between 25C and 27C, according to the National Meteorological Institute. Like in the rest of the country, the lowest temperatures occur between December and February, getting to 20C, and the highest temperatures can reach 30C during May, June and October. In the mountains, the temperature is usually 3C lower than the average temperature in the coasts.

Most part of the zone is irrigated by large rivers that flow into the Caribbean Sea. The topography of the territory is mainly flat and very low, producing many flooded areas and swamps towards the north, also creating waterways. This region rises as a giant wall that limits towards the south with the Central Volcanic Mountain Range.

Thanks to the artificial channels of Tortuguero, it was able to connect Moin to Barra del Colorado. The early works were done during the early 1960s, where a channel that is 1.25 km was opened and allowed to enable 3.34 km of channels between Matina and the Lago Urpeano. During the late 1960s, some channels were created, making 11.3 km of waterways that enabled other natural channels, with a total extension of 83.76 km. 

Later, the channels of Rio Colorado were finished. With the earthquake of 1991, the continental platform rose and the channels lost some depth, so they had to be dredged. Some zones are currently undergoing a dredging process, but the 100% of the way between Barra del Colorado and Moin is enabled.

The zone of the Caribbean, where Limon is located, has plenty of (...)
The name of this place is immediately related to adventure, where you (...)
Tortuguero now has eco-friendly facilities
September 24, 2012

Come to Tortuguero, destination that inspires adventure, where you can appreciate one of the most beautiful natural and isolated scenarios in Costa Rica
The Caribbean is celebrating the XIV Black Culture Festival
August 08, 2012

The goal of the festival is to create awareness in society about rescuing, valuing and promoting the Afro-Costa Rican cultural identity
An agreement for implementing the Forest Conservation Program was signed
July 24, 2012

Besides improving the conditions of the different Conservation Areas and National Parks, they will invest resources in high-technology equipment to prevent forest fires
The project Costa Rica Verde y Limpia has already started
June 21, 2012

The cleaning has taken place in several locations, such as Tortuguero, Playa Azul, Garabito and Guacalillo, which can be visited as from September
Costa Rica, the perfect destination for birdwatching
June 06, 2012

Costa Rica has 880 resident and migrating bird species, 56 of them are cataloged as endemic
Dont miss great adventures during rainy season
May 29, 2012

A canopy tour, hanging bridges, horseback rides, hikes through trails and fishing are some of the adventure activities you can enjoy during rainy season
"Estacion Limon" offers a great cultural diversity
May 14, 2012

This project gathers free cultural shows, workshops and activities for everyone the first Saturday of each month
Concherias arrives to Heredia and Desamparados
April 18, 2012

Around 60 artists will participate in this project, among directors, actors, dancers, musicians and designers, who are part of this multidisciplinary show
XI International Poetry Festival will honor Costa Rican youth and children
April 12, 2012

During 9 days the festival will promote reading and the poetic creation in educational centers, public libraries, prisons and hospitals around the country
Celebrate the National Parks Day in Costa Rica
March 27, 2012

The main objective of the celebration is to project the need to preserve and use rationally part of the forests, wetlands and wildlife the country has