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The Limón Province - Costa Rica Caribbean

 

Limon Province, Costa Rica Real Estate and the Caribbean, don't be left behind.

Limon province is a very unique area on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It has a rich history and a zestful culture. The first white man to land in Limon was Christopher Columbus on September 14, 1502. This was his 4th trip to the Americas. A statue of Chris commemorating this day stands in the central park in downtown Limon.

Three hundred years later Jamaican laborers were imported to build the infamous jungle railroad from San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica) to Limon. The purpose for the railroad was to ship coffee from the inland valleys to the east coast port, obviating the need to navigate Cape Horn in route to the European markets.

Limon has since became a major port on the Atlantic coast of central America. 90% of all Costa Rica's imports and exports go through Limon. The biggest export crop is bananas ($1.6 billion a year), followed by pineapples ($900 million a year) and coffee ($800 million a year). 85% of all the pineapples consumed in the U.S. pass through Limon. This is  a fairly recent development. In 1992, Del Monte discovered a new strain of pineapple which is large, very sweet and golden in color. The east of Costa Rica is the only place in the world which seems to be able to grow this species and the industry is increasing at a rate of 30% a year. Exports are increasing yearly at an average of 12% a year. In 2005 over 7 billion was exported from Costa Rica. The technology Sector (Micro Chip manufacturing) has recently become the number one exports from Costa Rica. Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Coca Cola are among several of the companies that have already established their corporations in Costa Rica.

The city of Limon has a population of 75,000. About 40% are English speaking Jamaican descent, 10% Chinese and the rest a blend of Spanish, Indigenous Indian, European and American. It is a lovely city and self sufficient. It has several modern supermarkets, many excellent small specialty stores, a modern hospital, and a newly developed international airport. Click here for a recent article with the Tico Times Newspaper on the opening.

In 2005 over 400,000 cruise ship tourists will disembark in Limon and enjoy tours of the surrounding areas. An estimated 254 cruise ships will dock in the port of Limon in the year 2006. That's an increase of 34% from 2005.The Costa Rica tourism board estimates these numbers will more than double in the next 5 years. The government, backed by the world bank, is pumping millions of dollars into the areas infrastructure to encourage more tourism to the area. The construction of a $40 million, 5 Star Grand Caribbean Resort will take place on the eastern side of Limon and is planned to start construction in 2008. The resort which will include a Marina, 250 room hotel, 27 hole golf course, 200 condos and villas is proposed by ECI Ltd. The same corporation building the Gran Pacifica resort currently under way in Nicaragua.

Limon is about half way down the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. There are no roads along the northern coast. The only way to get to the northern towns of Torteguero and Rio Colorado is by airplane or boat. There is an inland waterway from Limon to Rio Colorado on the Nicaraguan border. This area also has a rich history. Horatio Nelson, Captain Morgan and William Walker all sailed up the Rio Colorado into the San Juan River on their way to Grenada on Lake Nicaragua.

Tortaguero is a favorite tourist destination. Turtle watching and fishing are the most popular activates. World class tarpon and snook fishing is available here.

South of Limon to the Panama border is referred to as the Talamaca Coast. It is truly a beautiful area. The sea is very light and dark blue in contrasts. The dense jungle vegetation is lush green and the hibiscus brilliant red.

In the past 20 years the southern towns of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo have become favorite tourist towns, especially for Italians and Germans. Both towns have very excellent European restaurants. Puerto Viejo (PV) also has some world class surfing beaches. South of PV is Punta Uva which is arguably the nicest place in Costa Rica. "Outside Magazine" recently ranked Punta Uva as one of the top 10 beaches in the World.

Limon and the Talamanca coast are one of central Americas best kept secrets. Most Americans who come to Costa Rica make a bee line to the crowded Pacific coast towns and never consider going to the east coast. In fact, the Limon area gets a bad reputation by Americans, many of them who have never even been there. For those of us who have discovered and enjoyed the area, we hope that this continues to be the trend. However, this is wishful thinking because all of us who live there believe the whole area is about to take off. We intend to continue to enjoy it while it remains a wonderful place. Costa Rica Real Estate and the Caribbean, don't be left behind.