Puerto Limón is the biggest city on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, the capital of Limón province, and a hardworking port that sits removed from the rest of the country. Cruise ships deposit dazed-looking passengers here between October and May, but around these parts, business is measured by truckloads of fruit, not busloads of tourists, so don’t expect any pampering.
A general lack of political and financial support from the federal government means Limón has not aged gracefully: it's an unlovely grid of dilapidated buildings, overgrown parks, and sidewalks choked with street vendors. Crime is more common here than in other Caribbean towns. However, despite its shortcomings, Limón can be a good base for adventurous urban explorers.