3: Puerto Limòn, Costa Rica

Today, our ship docked in Puerto Limòn, a port city of around 100,000 located on Costa Rica’s Atlantic coast. 

When we disembarked, we walked straight into a downpour. Costa Rica and especially its eastern shore are known for extremely wet climates. Locals say that Limòn has two seasons: the rainy season and the rainy season.

We met our guide, Reynato, and our driver, Marco, at the end of the pier. Clutching our umbrellas, we piled into our hired Hyundai van and set off for our first destination: a ziplining facility perched high on a forested mountain.

Located in the hilltop Liverpool neighborhood of Limòn, the ziplining center featured cables deftly woven through the rainforest canopy, sometimes as high as 250 feet above the forest floor. Howler monkeys and tropical birds screeched from the treetops, and brightly colored poison dart frogs hopped along the muddy ground.

After our ziplining adventure, we returned to the base of the mountain to escape the rain and eat some fresh fruit. A puppy came up to say hello!

Our next stop was the Tortugiero River, where we boarded a small boat for an ecological tour. A week of rain had made the river muddy and brown, but the jungle on either side was a rich, vibrant green.

Here, we saw sloths, monkeys, brightly colored tropical birds, and iguanas.

After our river cruise, we visited the beautiful Bonita Beach:

and lastly, the Jamaica Town neighborhood of Limòn, which offers a panoramic view of the entire city:

Costa Rica is consistently ranked one of the happiest countries in the world, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Costa Rica is not a high-income country, but the people living here value the natural world can bring far more than they do money. Over and over, our guide emphasized that the Costa Rican people believe that money can’t buy happiness. Costa Ricans pride themselves on taking care of their planet and all it has to offer, and this peaceful tropical nation is on track to becoming the world’s first fully carbon-neutral country. There is so much more that Costa Rica has to offer, and I hope to return myself.

Next: the serene island of Roatan, located off the coast of Honduras.

© Knstrong 2013