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Limon – Surfing in the Caribbean Water of Costa Rica


Limon – Surfing in the Caribbean Water of Costa Rica


Limon is a doorway to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The hip, bohemian culture of Costa Rica gets even more intense on the Caribbean region. Splashes of brilliant colors and a whimsical culture combine well with the region’s mysterious aura, imaginary hidden treasures and pirates.The capital of the Caribbean coast, Limon features six counties, which include Pococí, Guácimo, Siquirres, Matina, Puerto Limón, and Talamanca. Puerto Limon, founded in 1870, is a capital city of the province of Limon, and also a largest city of the region with a population of 85,000 people. The people are mostly of Afro-Caribbean ancestry. Limon acts as a main port from where cruise ships travel to from Panama Canal. The waterfront city has been hit by many earthquakes rendering it rundown. Still, the city is bustling with colorful outdoor markets, captivating olden architecture, a charming city hall and a number of quaint museums.

Puerto Limon is easily accessible. From San Jose, there is a direct highway that leads to the city’s coast. The journey is about 2.5 hours long if you are traveling by your own car. Limon is situated on a rocky cape which means the town does not have a proper beach, but about 4 km away; Playa Bonita is present which is nice enough for picnics and frolicking in the waves. Although the town is not exactly tourist oriented, the city has a unique appeal.

Surf Adventures in Puerto Limon

The province of Limon is home to many renowned surf breaks in Costa Rica. It features a cluster of white sand beaches, turtle sanctuaries and a sweeping range of coastal jungles. There are no actual surf breaks in the city of Limon itself but there is a number of amazing surf destinations nearby the town.

Salsa Brava

Considered one of the largest breaks in the world, Salsa Brava is located just south to Puerto Limon in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. The Cann ICT Pag-3 Hermosasurf point has a dangerous set of fast, tubular waves with shallow reefs. Unfit for beginners and intermediates, Salsa Brava is suitable for only advanced and professional surfers who are looking for an ultimate challenge.


Safe, consistent, smooth and clean – the words accurately describe the surf break at Playa Cocles. It is a tiny village in the Caribbean lowland just south to Puerto Viejo. The beach town has a string of sublime beaches with a scenic backdrop of coastal rain forests. The break is ideal for beginners who will have a fun time trying to catch the waves. Manzanillo features a very fast break which only a veteran surfer can safely ride.


Cahuita is a small town located south to Limon. It is a portal Cahuita National Park. Playa Negra, also known as Black Beach, is a superb place to pick up a wave. The beach is not very popular among the people, but it has amazing swells throughout the year. For surf enthusiasts, the beach is a perfect place to escape to.

Other Locations

Westfalia presents both left and right breaks for surfing. Playa Bonita, on the north of Puerto Limon, and Isla Uvita, off the Limon coast, have great swells to ride on.

Where to Stay and Eat in Puerto Limon

There is a large variety of accommodations in Puerto Limon. The hotels are usually affordable and mid range but a handful of luxurious hotels can be found nearby Playa Bontia. Hotel International is a very convenient lodging for vacationers, particularly for backpackers and students. For a more affluent place, Costa Rica Tree House is a nice option for families and couples. Those who are seeking a lavish place to spend their vacation, Hotel Playa Westfalia, Hotel Playa Bonita and Hotel Park are highly recommended. When it comes to restaurants and diners, Limon has quite a number of those. From bakeries and coffee shops to sodas, bars and upscale restaurants, tourists will find plenty of places to have a good meal. Many hotels and lodgings, such as Park Hotel, have their own restaurants and bars.

Surfing in Salsa Brava, Limon

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