Once an important banana port on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, Puerto Limon is better known today as a good jumping-off point for visitors headed to Cahuita and Tortuguero national parks, or the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. The city is also sometimes called simply "Limon" by locals, although that is also the name of the province.
Puerto Limon, which is about 100 mi/160 km east of San Jose, is also a popular stop for cruise ships. Unfortunately, there really isn't much to see or do in Puerto Limon itself—unless you are there for the huge Columbus Day Carnival in October.
This may soon change, however, as a major restoration project is under way in Puerto Limon to refurbish cultural buildings and improve infrastructure, including the Museo Regional de la Provincia de Puerto Limon, which used to reside in the colonial-era post office. Puerto Limon also hosted the XII Festival Internacional de las Artes in March 2010.
Bringing further recognition to this oft-forgotten city, the Transat Jacques Vabre sailboat race finished in Puerto Limon in 2009, and the city is expected to continue hosting this event. An environmental impact study to expand Puerto Limon has also been approved, and investors are bidding on the project.
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