If you are going on a Panama Canal cruise, chances are that one of your ports of call will be the Costa Rican port city of Limón. Christopher Columbus landed near Limón in 1502 on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. However, the area never lived up to the promise of gold or other riches like its neighboring Spanish colonies. However, pirates found it a very promising region to explore. Limon’s true wealth, though, lies in its pineapples, bananas, and cocoa. Limón itself isn’t really a worthwhile place to see, but serves more as a gateway for nearby rain forest adventures. Here’s what you can expect during your port of call.
Your ship will dock at one of two piers at the terminal in Puerto Limón. You may have to take great care when disembarking your cruise ship. There is a reason that surfers love Costa Rica so much, and that’s because of the very busy wave action. There is a strong swell in this port, which means the gangway could be very steep and moving as you try to get on and off of your cruise ship. If you are going on a shore excursion, you will roll to the end of the pier and meet your tour guide at the bus or other vehicle. If you choose to explore the town, you don’t need to take a taxi or a bus as there is a street with souvenir shops right across from the terminal area. Wheelchair taxis are not available here. If you can transfer into a regular taxi, red colored taxis are available at the pier. The level of proficiency in English varies between taxi drivers. Definitely confirm the price to your destination before departing.
You can definitely get plenty of souvenir shopping done right near the terminal. Between your ship and the terminal building is a huge craft and souvenir market, and the path to get there is totally flat and paved. There are dozens and dozens of stalls selling chocolate, coffee, jewelry, magnets, shirts, and trinkets of all sorts. Prices are quoted in US dollars, but they will accept the local currency. If you want to be more adventurous, you can cross the street and explore the shops on the road directly across from the terminal. There are one or two dropped curbs that will allow you to get onto the sidewalk, and some of the shops do have ramps to enter. However, the streets and sidewalks are in poor states of repair. For safety reasons, do not venture from this street and stay within sight of the terminal.
If you would like to get away from the port area and explore a nearby rain forest, I highly recommend an accessible shore excursion to Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure Park, about an hour away from the port. I took this tour through Princess Cruises, but there’s a good chance it’s available through other cruise lines as well. You can read my blog post about the amazing day I spent at Veragua Rainforest by clicking here. There really is absolutely nothing to see in Limón, so try to see if there are options for you to explore more scenic parts of Costa Rica nearby.
Are you interested in booking a wheelchair accessible cruise that calls on the Port of Limon? Contact me at Spin the Globe/Travel and we’ll get started!