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Limon, Costa Rica

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Limon, Costa Rica

For other uses, see Limón (disambiguation).

Puerto Limón
Location in Costa Rica

Coordinates: 9°59′N 83°02′W / 9.983°N 83.033°W / 9.983; -83.033Coordinates: 9°59′N 83°02′W / 9.983°N 83.033°W / 9.983; -83.033

Country  Costa Rica
Province Limón
Founded 1870
 • Total 59.79 km2 (23.09 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 58,522
Demonym limonense
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) None (UTC-6)
Postal code 70101

Puerto Limón, commonly known as Limón (Spanish for "lemon"),[2] is the capital city and main hub of Limón province, as well as of the cantón (county) of Limón in Costa Rica. It has a population of about 60,000 (including surrounding towns), and is home to a thriving Afro-Caribbean community.[3] Part of the community traces its roots to Jamaican laborers who worked on a late nineteenth-century railroad project that connected San José to Puerto Limón. Other parts of the population trace their roots to the Nicaraguan, Panamanian, and Colombian turtle-hunters who eventually settled along the Province of Limón's coast.[4] Until 1948, the Costa Rican government did not recognize Afro-Caribbean people as citizens and restricted their movement outside Limón province.[5] As a result of this "travel ban", this Afro-Caribbean population became firmly established in the region, which influenced the decision to not move even after it was legally permitted.[6] The Afro-Caribbean community speaks Spanish and Limonese Creole, a creole of English.

Puerto Limón contains two port terminals, Limón and Moín, which permit the shipment of Costa Rican exports as well as the anchoring of cruise ships. Health care is provided for the city by Hospital Dr. Tony Facio Castro.[7] Two small islands, Uvita Island and Isla de Pájaros, are just offshore.



Notorious pirates, Edward Mansvelt and his vice admiral Henry Morgan, arrived at Portete, a small bay between Limón and Moín, in 1666. They proceeded inland to Cartago, the capital of Costa Rica at the time, but were driven away by the inhabitants at Turrialba on 15 April. The pirate army left on 16 April and arrived back in Portete on 23 April. They left Costa Rica and did not return.[8]


The town was officially founded in 1854 by Philipp J. J. Valentini under government auspices.[9] Puerto Limon was stricken by the 1991 Limon Earthquake, this affected the city landscape and coastline.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the first negro leader to think of pan-Africanism as a solution to the living conditions of the black population in the Americas. Prior to him, black leaders like Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Henry Highland Garnet and Frederick Douglass had fought to achieve better social and economical conditions for the black population.

Born in Jamaica, (1887–1940), his grandfather was a mason named William Garvey (c. 1805–1891); his father was Mosiah Garvey; and they lived in a property William had bought at Winder Hills, next to St. Ann Bay, where he lived until manhood.

In 1910, he travelled to different countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Europe—including Puerto Limón, where he worked as a time-keeper for the United Fruit Company for some months, observing how in all places he went, the black population suffered poor conditions. Once ready, he travelled to Jamaica, arriving on 15 July 1914. Five days later, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities (Imperial) League.[10]


Limón is divided into four districts which are in turn subdivided into pueblos and poblados (neighbourhoods and villages).[11]

Limón Canton
Districts (Distritos) Neighbourhoods (Pueblos) Villages (Poblados)
1. Limón Bellavista, Bohío, Bosque, Cangrejos, Cariari, Cerro Mocho, Cielo Amarillo, Cristóbal Colón o Cieneguita, Corales (1, 2 and 3), Cruce, Fortín, Hospital, Laureles, Limóncito, Moín, Piuta, Portete, Pueblo Nuevo, Roosevelt, San Juan, Santa Eduviges, Trinidad, Veracruz, Colina, Ceibón, Pacuare, Siglo XXI Buenos Aires, Cocal, Dos Bocas, Empalme Moin, Milla Nueve, Santa Rosa
2. Valle La Estrella Alsacia, Armenia, Atalanta, Boca Río Estrella, Bocuare, Bonifacio, Buenavista, Burrico, Calveri, Casa Amarilla, Cerere, Colonia, Concepciòn, Cuen, Chirripó Abajo, Duruy, Fortuna, Guaria, Hueco, I Griega, Loras, Miramar, Nanabre, Nubes, Penshurt, Pleyades, Provenir, Progreso, Río Ley, Río Seco, San Andrés, San Carlos, San Clemente, San Rafael, Talía, Tobruk, Tuba Creek, Valle Las Rosas, Vesta  
3. Río Blanco Liverpool Brisas, Búfalo, México, Milla 9, Miravalles, Río Blanco, Río Cedro, Río Madre, Río Quito, Sandoval, Santa Rita, Victoria
4. Matama Bomba Aguas Zarcas, Asuncióm, Bananito Norte, Bananito Sur, Bearesem, Beverley, Calle Tranvía, Castillo Nuevo, Dondonia, Filadelfia Norte, Filadelfia Sur, Kent, Manú, María Luisa, Mountain Cow, Polonia, Quitaría, Tigre, Trébol, Wesfalia


Puerto Limón is famous in Costa Rica for its yearly fall festival called carnaval which occurs the week of 12 October, the date Columbus first anchored off Limón's coast in 1502, on his fourth voyage. The event was started by local community leader and activist, Alfred Josiah Henry Smith (known as "Mister King"), who helped organize the first carnaval in October 1949.[12] The event stretches about a week (across two weekends), and includes a parade, food, music, dancing, and, on the last night, a concert in the Parque Vargas headlined by a major Latino or Caribbean music act. Previous artists have included Eddy Herrera (2002), Damian Marley (2003), El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico (2005), and T.O.K. (2006).

Although the show goes on rain or shine, the event has recently suffered some setbacks. Organizers cancelled carnaval in 2007 due to a major dengue outbreak,[13] and again in 2008 due to major municipal trash-removal issues and related health worries.[14] While trash removal had long been an issue due to lack of trucks and a 62-mile haul to the nearest landfill (in Pococí), the ordered closure of this and other landfills in 2007 meant Puerto Limón had to send trash 135 miles to Alajuela and pay a higher disposal fee.[15][16][17] The situation led to a bottle-neck in trash removal, which, combined with the major dengue breakout, caused organizers to cancel 2008's carnaval as a precautionary measure.[14] Given the severity of the situation, the city bought land in nearby Santa Rosa and, in April 2009, opened its own landfill (called El Tomatal).[17] Given the improved situation, carnaval picked up in 2009 after its two-year hiatus.


Limón features a tropical rainforest climate under Köppen’s climate classification. Average temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year averaging around 25 degrees Celsius. Common to all cities with this climate, Limón has no discernable dry season. It’s driest month (September) averages roughly 160 mm of precipitation while the wettest month (December) averages just above 400 mm of rain. Limon averages nearly 3,400 mm of precipitation annually.

Climate data for Limón International Airport, Costa Rica
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.8
Average low °C (°F) 20.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 303.3
Avg. precipitation days 18.1 16.1 16.8 16.0 18.3 19.0 22.5 19.2 14.0 16.7 17.4 21.0 215.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 158.1 155.4 176.7 174.0 170.5 129.0 120.9 145.7 153.0 164.3 147.0 151.9 1,846.5
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization.[18]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory.[19]


Limón is served by the Pablo Zidar International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Pablo Zidar, Limón), IATA code LIO, an airstrip which is 1,800m long by 30m wide, 2m above sea level, on the coast south of the city.[20] The Presidency Ministry announced in June 2011 that Sansa Airlines would begin regular scheduled flights four times a week to Limón Airport, beginning in July and costing ₡30,000–₡75,000 ($60–$150), to increase tourism to Limón Province.[21][22][23]

Sister city



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