Siquirres has long served as an important transportation hub as it sits at the intersection of Hwy 32 (the main road that crosses the Atlantic slope to Puerto Limón) with Hwy 10, the old road that connects San José with Puerto Limón via Turrialba.
Even before the roads came, Siquirres administered the most important junction in the San José–Limón railway. And for the first part of the 20th century, the town delineated Costa Rica’s segregated interior: without special permission, blacks were barred from traveling west of this internal border. Until the constitution of 1949 outlawed racial discrimination, black conductors and engineers would change places with their Spanish counterparts here, then head back to Limón.
Today, Siquirres still seems to mark the place where Costa Rica proper takes a dip into the Caribbean – and it’s not just the geography. The lack of infrastructure to the east of Siquirres is subtle, but you’ll notice it when you’re charged twice as much for painfully slow Internet access, then spend half a day locating an ATM to pay for it.
There is little reason to stop in Siquirres, unless you are heading north to Parismina (in which case you should definitely make use of the bank in town). If you need somewhere to crash for the night, head 800m north of the plaza to Chito’s Lodge (768 9293; per person US$20; ), which also has a lively bar and restaurant, as well as lovely grounds inhabited by many animals. Chito is something of a local celebrity, as he has appeared on TV, wrestling with crocodiles. Castellana (central plaza; meals US$1-3) is a friendly soda and bakery serving tasty, typical Tico fare.
Last updated: Oct 20, 2009
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