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  • Photos of South Caribbean
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South Caribbean
Find the best services to enjoy your vacations in Costa Rica
 
  • General information
  • About South Caribbean
  • History
This region has beautiful beaches surrounded by dense vegetation, which are sometimes decorated with complex coral formations that are very important for the balance of the marine ecosystem. These places are amazing for diving.

It covers the southern section of the city of Limon all the way to the Rio Sixaola, towards the south, which serves as a natural border with Panama. It limits with the east side of the Talamanca Mountain Range towards the west, displaying a rich biodiversity, with many rivers and forests with very tall trees, reaching 50 m. Towards the east it has the Caribbean Sea as a natural border, with a very beautiful coastline.

Among its beaches of crystal-clear waters there are: the popular Playa Viscaya, where the Rio Viscaya flows into the sea and is ideal for swimming, and Playa Negra of Cahuita, with dark sand and impressive sceneries.

Along the coastline you will find the Cahuita National Park, a beautiful zone that protects land flora and fauna as well as unique marine ecosystems. Playa Blanca is located here, with beautiful landscapes, and also Punta Cahuita, surrounded by the most important coral reef of the Caribbean in Costa Rica, which has an extension of 600 hectares and enters the coast 500 m. Theres also Puerto Vargas, with calm waters that transform into strong waves near the mouth of the Rio Carbon.

Towards the south, between the Rio Carbon and the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, you will find the town of Puerto Viejo, and after it, Cahuita. This town is known for having a cultural mix of more than 50 different nationalities. Unlike these cities, Westfalia and Penhurst are peaceful communities with a very strong presence of the Afro-Caribbean culture.

You can find other beautiful beaches along the coastline, such as Playa Negra (in Puerto Viejo) with dark sand, and Playa Cocles, with light-colored sand decorated by a small coral reef full of marine life.
Playa Chiquita (with coral formations) and Punta Uva (next to Manzanillo) are also very popular. Punta Uva has strong currents, white sands and its own coral formations.

Almost at the end of the Caribbean coast you can find the beaches of Manzanillo and Gandoca, which are part of the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. It has soft waves and several coral reefs that can be seen above the surface.

The Gandoca Lagoon is another natural attraction fed by the small stream of Mata Limon, with the Gandoca Wetland, produced by the overflow of the Rio Sixaola, where many sea birds look for food.

Towards the Talamanca Mountain Range, the Bribri native group lives in this region and has witnessed for centuries the changes that the South Caribbean has undergone. However, they keep their own traditions and make a great variety of traditional crafts as economical support and as tool for the preservation of their culture.

As an example of sustainable development, theres the Kekldi Native Reserve, which is part of the Ecotourism Network of Talamanca, and has environmental projects, a worldwide known platform for the observation of birds of prey, and a green iguana farm.

The Talamanca Mountain Range is composed by La Amistad Great Reserve of the Biosphere, a large area that protects more than 40 species of mammals, like the jaguar and the tapir, many birds and some amphibians. 

This imposing territory has the highest peaks of Costa Rica and also puts together many protected areas and native reserves, such as: Tayni Native Reserve, Chirripo Native Reserve, Bribri Native Reserve of Talamanca and Hity Cerere Biologic Reserve. This name comes from the Bribri language and means green coat and clear waters, in reference to its dense vegetation of tall forests and rivers that form incredibly beautiful waterfalls.

 
 
Weather
The weather of the South Caribbean is very similar to the North Caribbean, except for the Talamanca Mountain Range, which has heavy rainfall and many clouds. The humidity comes from the Caribbean and is carried by trade winds that travel in an east-west direction. The Talamanca Mountain Range forms a barrier that concentrates the clouds in its eastern section, increasing the heavy rainfall in the mountains.

Just like the North Caribbean, theres no dry season, just a decrease in rainfall during March and September. The heaviest rainfall occurs during July and December.

Temperature
The average temperature along the coastline ranges between 25C and 27C. In January and February it can drop to a minimum of 20C, and during April and May can rise to a maximum of 30C. The mountains can drop around 5C during the day and almost 8C at dawn.

Geography
The zone can be divided in two main sections; the first one is the coastline that goes from the southern region of the city of Limon and ends in the Rio Sixaola, in the border with Panama. This region is flat and has vegetation along the shore. Its beaches are a combination of white sands, product of the formation of coral reefs, and dark sands due to the influence of minerals, like manganese. The shore vegetation is somewhat short and abundant, and the beaches have strong waves.

The jungle has been replaced with banana and cocoa plantations, as well as with other species, taking advantage of the flat land and the high humidity of the weather.

The entire region is watered by many rivers of different sizes, like Banano, El Estrella, Carbon, Sixaola and others. The zone has adapted to the change of some channels, like it occurred with the rivers Banano and Bananito after the earthquake of April 22nd, 1991, which affected the Caribbean coast.

The second main section is the mountain section, which is known as Low and High Talamanca, and has an irregular territory hard to access. The forest here is very dense and the trees are more than 30 m tall. This region is watered by many rivers that carry plenty of stones, which form beautiful waterfalls inside the mountain. There are no volcanic formations in this part of the country and the lands irregularity is due to the constant activity of tectonic plates.


 
 
 
 
 
Cities
Cahuita
This small town is located in front of Playa Negra, about 60 km from (...)
Puerto Viejo and Cocles
In this town, the magical Caribbean atmosphere will take over your (...)
News
Enjoy your vacations in Puerto Viejo to the rhythm of calypso and reggae
November 01, 2012

This paradise offers the perfect dose of comfort to enjoy this beautiful zone, in hotels designed with a Caribbean style
Gandoca Manzanillo, the paradise of coral reefs in the country
Octuber 01, 2012

Its coast is formed by beautiful landscapes, white sand beaches with soft slopes and little waves, making thousands of tourists come for their vacations
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
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
The Caribbean is exhibiting art
March 20, 2012

The Tourism Fair is offering entertaining activities for kids and adults, concerts, typical food of Limon, artistic performances, parades and typical masquerades, among others
Costa Rica wins again the award to the best stand in Germany
March 19, 2012

The graded aspects to give the award were design, use of technology, service and the activities arranged to attract the visitors to the stand
Costa Rica is the fifth most ecological country in the world
March 08, 2012

One of the aspects that contributed with the choice was that the country produces very low levels of carbon dioxide, which affects in global warming
Campaign Costa Ricas Million Dollar Gift of Happiness starts its second phase
March 02, 2012

Starting on March 2012 and until February 2013, the campaign will keep the idea of selling the country as the place to share happiness
Costa Rica celebrated World Day of Wetlands
February 15, 2012

The country has shown important progress in the conservation of these ecosystems, but still there are some challenges pending
Costa Rican Tourism Institute guarantees tourisms safety
February 14, 2012

The ICT is working along the National Learning Institute for the formation of all the companies belonging to the hotel sector in the country: gastronomy, computing, hotels and English language proficiency