Midway down the east coast of Costa Rica, Puerto Limon is a pleasant place to disembark for easy access to adventure and the countries' interior. The primary city in the sprawling eastern province, Limon, Puerto Limon serves well as a staging point but pales compared to the surrounding beauties. While day trips can provide visitors with a taste of Costa Rican culture and coffee, longer stops leave time for leisurely exploring cloud forests, volcanoes, sandy shores and tumbling waterfalls.
San Jose, the nation's capital, is a manageable drive from Puerto Limon. Take in the big city for colorful markets, museums and other cultural offerings (don't leave town without springing for a hammock).
Less than an hour from San Jose, Braulio Carrillo National Park is a steamy tangle of rain forest foliage. Enjoy a short hike or take the aerial tram through the treetops for a bird's eye perspective, watching for the bright colors of resident toucans and sleek jaguars.
Thrill seekers can sign up for an afternoon of white-knuckle adventure on a white-water rafting trip, or step into the stirrups and steer a steed through lush forests and gushing rivers on a guided horseback tour. Follow the coast in either direction for silky beaches and seasonal surfing, though some of the best breaks are along the west coast. Anglers with reel time won't want to miss world-class sport fishing, though again, the best catch is off Costa Rica's western shores.
Come prepared for frequent showers, though the silver lining in these passing clouds is verdant mountains cloaked in mist and rimmed with rainbows.
Puerto Limon is 88 miles east of San Jose. The Costa Rican coast stretches for 125 miles between Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the south.