Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

     On the morning of Saturday, January 9, we docked in the harbor of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.  Costa Rica is a beautiful country which has abolished its military to free up funds for social welfare and education. The Afro-Costa Rican population, most of whom live in or near Puerto Limon, were not considered citizens until the mid 20th century.  This is a fairly ramshackle little town, located in a spot where Christopher Columbus stopped to repair one of his ships in 1502.  Although the town was actually founded in the mid-19th century, we saw signs indicating it dates itself from 1502.  Puerto Limon is Costa Rica’s major port on the Caribbean side and it has a brisk traffic in containers.  Bananas & coffee are the major exports, although it has a reputation as a drug trading center & a very tough and dangerous town.

1b. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica_stitch33a. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica_stitch35. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica19a. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica_stitch

     Most travellers come here for eco-tourism, of which Costa Rica is a leader.  We had seen the wildlife & rainforest on a previous visit & we have quite a few excursions scheduled on this trip, so we decided just to walk around town.  It was a hot & sunny day and really there is little here that is of interest for the visitor.  There is a museum that is supposed to be interesting, but it was closed the day we were there.  So we set out to find the public library (for newcomers, we do that a lot).  We found it, a nice looking little green library with painted stone benches & wall murals in the courtyard.  But it was abandoned and locked up behind a wire gate; we hope it has been relocated rather than eliminated.

37. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica38. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica41. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica42. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

   Strolling along the streets, unsuccessfully looking for the museum, we passed shops, houses & the baseball stadium.  We also passed the Post Office, which had an interesting stucco decoration over the doors and windows.

43. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica45. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica46. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica44. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica56. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica57. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

     The tallest building in town is the modern cathedral, which was clearly visible from the ship.  It has an old and a new bell tower, an attractive wood slat ceiling & colorful stained glass windows.  A very tall Christmas tree (not a real tree) was still standing outside the front façade & colorful flowers lined the street outside.  The modern design indicates that it was rebuilt after the town suffered a severe earthquake in 1991.

47. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica51. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica48. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica50. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica49. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica53. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica55. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica32. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

    Last but not least we walked over to the Parque Vargas, not far from the port.  This is a very pleasant small park bordering the sea, with very tall trees including palms, some laden with bright yellow coconuts. We also saw large stone sculptures and a bandstand in the center.  A lot of construction is in progress, so you have to watch your step

60. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica61. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica59. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica63. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica62. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica70. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica64. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica75. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

      The wildlife includes interesting birds unafraid of people & some sloths high in the trees.  We never would have seen them, since they look like shadows in the branches to the uninitiated.  But a local guy pointed them out to us – a baby & an adult – and woke one of them up by banging the bottom of the tree with something loud.  They are cute in a homely sort of way.

71. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica72. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica73. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

    By now we were tired from the heat & humidity so we headed back to the ship.  In the afternoon we sailed away toward Panama & there was a sailaway party on the aft deck.

36. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica90. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica91. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica92. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica97. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

     So that’s it for Costa Rica.  All that is left are a couple of towel animals to end this episode.

151. Panama Canal15. At Sea on Amsterdam

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4 responses

  1. Patricia

    Sensational photos with excellent commentary!

    February 3, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  2. Barb

    Seems strange to be following your travels by blog. We have be fortunate to be with you on two great voyages.

    February 3, 2016 at 9:10 pm

  3. Elinor Stillman

    Hi Rick and Mary. I note that Costa Rica has recently been added as a place with Zika-carrying mosquitos. The Onion reports that continents outside of South and Central America will be unaffected unless people in those places have sex and/or go outside. Am enjoying your photos and reports.

    Elinor

    February 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    • Thanks for the warning Elinor. I don’t think we will be abiding by the Onion’s suggested restrictions, but the good news is that neither of us is likely to be getting pregnant any time soon. More to the point, we were wearing DEET in Costa Rica & no mosquitoes came near us.

      On Saturday, February 6, 2016, BADER JOURNAL wrote:

      >

      February 9, 2016 at 1:46 am

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