Like a lot of places to vacation in Costa Rica, the Caribbean coast is full of nature estuaries and beaches lined with coconut palms. And for adventure vacations there is of course world-class surfing, plenty of rushing rivers to go white water rafting. But the Caribbean is infused with a distinctive Afro-Caribbean culture and rhythm that you can hear in a mix of Calpyso and Reggae music and taste in a wonderful blend of Caribbean spices used local restaurants.
A Little Geography
Tucked between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, Costa Rica’s eastern border is a massive stretch of Caribbean coastline, some 120 miles of beaches, palm trees and the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Traveling to Costa Rica's Caribean
NatureAir flies daily from Costa Rica's capital of San Jose to Torguguero, a scenic 28-minute flight. Compare that to 5 hours of driving from San Jose. Not the best way to spend your vacation in Costa Rica. If you want to visit Limón or Barra del Colorado, charter flights are also available through NatureAir.
Things to Do & See
The labyrinth of waterways of both Barra del Colorado and Tortuguero National Parks are surrounded by dense rain forest — a spectacular place for an up-close and personal encounter with Costa Rica’s wildlife. Exploring these areas one might see crocodiles, caiman, spider, howler or capuchin monkeys, basilisk lizards, toucans, herons, kingfishers, and the like. And if you’re lucky, you might spot an endangered manatee or green macaw.
Tortuguero National Park
This Costa Rica vacation attraction offers a number of ways to experience nature at its finest, including protected nesting grounds for marine turtles. In fact, Tortuguero is the most important area for turtle preservation in the western Caribbean. Green turtles find their way onto the black-sand beaches every year June through October, peaking in September. Mid-February through July, giant leatherback turtles also come to lay their eggs, especially between April & May. In July the hawksbill turtles make their annual mating pilgrimage.
Barra del Colorado National Park
The meandering canals and rivers of Barra del Colorado boast some of the best snook and tarpon fishing in the world.
Limón city is the capital of the Limón province and the primary gateway to the Southern Caribbean Coast. Industry and history are rich in Limón, but the charm and beauty of the region truly shine as you travel south. The exception to this rule is during the second week of October when Limón hosts Carnaval, one of the liveliest cultural festivals in all of Central America.