Puerto Limon Cruise

A typical Caribbean port in Costa Rica
Butterflies, frogs, sloths and coral reefs
Wooden houses on stilts

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Puerto Limon

Amongst mangroves and white beaches

During your Caribbean MSC cruise take a slow boat north from Puerto Limón – one of several established “black” Central American coastal cities, like Bluefields in Nicaragua and Lívingston in Guatemala, a typical Caribbean port – along the Tortuguero Canal to see luxuriant vegetation and colourful wooden houses on stilts.


Another nice excursion is Veragua Rainforest: a fascinating “research and adventure park” that provides a quick and sleek introduction to some of the region’s rich biodiversity. Owned and operated entirely by Costa Ricans, Veragua holds several smartly designed animal exhibits – including one that mimics a nocturnal habitat for frogs – as well as an aerial tram, a zip line and an elevated trail through the rainforest leading to a waterfall.

The highlight of this holiday destination, though, is the research facility, where you can talk with the resident biologists and learn more about the ongoing study of the park’s stunning collection of butterflies. The Parque Nacional Cahuita covers a wedge-shaped piece of land that encompasses the area between Punta Cahuita and the main highway and, most importantly, the coral reef (arrecife) about 500m offshore. On land, Cahuita protects the coastal rainforest, a lowland habitat of semi-mangroves and tall canopy cover that backs the gently curving white-sand beaches of Playa Vargas to the south and Playa Cahuita to the north.

The small Sloth Sanctuary sits on a tiny island at the mouth of the Río Estrella. The sanctuary functions as an important rehabilitation and research centre for injured and orphaned sloths, and, not surprisingly, is the best place in Costa Rica to see them up close. Several walking trails traverse the grounds and there’s an observation platform for bird watching. You may also spot white-faced, howler and spider monkeys. On the one-hour-thirty-minute canoe tour through the delta you can catch a glimpse of caimans, river otters and all kinds of birds.

Must see places in Puerto Limon

Discover our excursions

9 results found

  • VERAGUA RAINFOREST AERIAL TRAM

      • Duration
        5:75 h

      • Adults£98Price per person

      • Children£69Price per person

      PLI32

      Tucked away in the dense jungle and yet within easy reach of port Limón by coach lies one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets: the sprawling Veragua Rainforest Research & Adventure Park. During your air-conditioned coach journey to the park, your guide will share information about the area’s biodiversity and history. Once at the park, you’ll get to soar through the tree canopy on an aerial tramway, walk to a beautiful waterfall, rub shoulders with myriad butterflies, including the incredible blue morpho, and see typical rainforest residents in a natural setting. Specialised habitats include one for reptiles, one for frogs and one for butterflies. After visiting the park’s laboratories, you’ll board the aerial tram for a breathtaking ride in the sky. Do take some photos of the stunning views and keep watch for sloths, toucans or howler monkeys in the trees. Back on terra firma again, you’ll then walk the “Trail of the Giants”, with the trees being the giants in question, or hike to the gushing Puma Waterfall. The aerial tram will return you to the visitors’ centre for a light snack of sandwiches, fresh fruit and juices at the Rainforest Cafeteria. You’ll also have time to visit the gift shop before you re-board the coach for the return ride to your ship. Please note: guests are recommended to wear comfortable closed walking shoes, light clothing, high-factor sunscreen and a hat/sun visor as well as to bring a camera and rainwear. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for pregnant women. Some portions of road encountered on the tour may be bumpy and unpaved. Reaching the Puma Waterfall involves using a total of 350 steps (both ways) and walking on an uneven dirt track. This portion of the tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with mobility problems. The Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure is suitable for guests using a walker, manual wheelchair or a collapsible lightweight electric scooter (100 lbs/45 kg or less). Guests using such mobility aids must be capable of navigating a few steps to get on and off the coach. Wheelchairs or electric scooters will be stowed in the coach’s luggage compartments and retrieved at the park for guests to use.
    • MONSTER BUS & RAINFOREST EXPEDITION

      ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
      • Snack included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults£64Price per person

      • Children£45Price per person

      PLI40

      All aboard the Monster bus – a 6 x 6, all-terrain, air-conditioned vehicle with panoramic windows – to explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica’s landscape. You’ll be heading west, passing through small towns and travelling down a winding road near the Banano River, with wonderful views to savour from various vantage points. Weather permitting, you’ll stop at the riverbank for a Costa Rican-style picnic lunch featuring seasonal fruit, drinks and snacks, after which you’ll move on again for a gentle stroll through the local rainforest. A knowledgeable guide will point out interesting flora and fauna, such as poison dart frogs, monkeys and birdlife. Another scenic drive that takes you past small creeks then follows to reach a banana plantation tucked away in a small valley. After a chance to learn how bananas are grown, you’ll make your way back to the ship with coastal views to enjoy on the way. Please note: guests are recommended to wear light clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a hat or visor, insect repellent and high-factor sunscreen as well as to bring rainwear in case of inclement weather. Guests will need to be able to climb 8 steps in order to get in and out of the Monster bus.
    • ORIGINAL CANOPY TOUR AT VERAGUA
      RAINFOREST ECO-ADVENTURE

      ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
      • Limited seats

      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults£76Price per person

      • Children£54Price per person

      PLI36

      Half a day of adrenaline-pumping, high-flying action in the most spectacular natural setting awaits you on this tour to the fabulous Veragua Rainforest complex, which you will reach following a scenic coach ride from the pier. Once you’ve arrived, a guide will fit you with the necessary equipment and brief you on the fun to come, after which you’ll begin your aerial exploration of the park. Featuring 9 observation platforms and 9 traverses, the amazing zip-line course lets you glide over the rainforest canopy and soak up breathtaking views of Costa Rica’s abundant flora and fauna. As you make your way down the 9 lines, keep your camera tethered for easy access to snap any sightings of monkeys, sloths and tropical birds, all of which are common in the area. The last traverse ends on a platform at ground level, from where a short walk will then take you to the reception area for a drink of cool, refreshing purified water. Your return journey to Limón will provide further superb views of rural Costa Rica and a well-earned chance to relax. Please note: guests must be at least 5 years of age and weigh no more than approx. 270 lbs/123 kg to take part in the tour. Guests are recommended to wear comfortable clothes (shorts, long trousers, t-shirt), sunglasses, a hat, high-factor sunscreen and insect repellent as well as to bring a change of clothes (rain is common), a little cash and a camera. Additional beverages are available for purchase at extra cost not covered by the price of the tour. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with pre-existing cardiac conditions, seizures/epilepsy and conditions affecting balance as well as pregnant women. In deciding whether or not to join this tour, guests are requested to take their personal level of fitness and medical history into consideration. Guests with pre-existing knee injuries, asthma or other respiratory conditions, diabetes or any other serious medical conditions are requested to exercise particular caution and if concerned, seek the advice of their doctor before taking part in the tour or engaging in strenuous activity.
    • TORTUGUERO CANALS & VERAGUA
      RAINFOREST ECO-ADVENTURE

      ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
      • Lunch or dinner included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        7:30 h

      • Adults£120Price per person

      • Children£84Price per person

      PLI38

      Get set to discover two supersized jungle locations on an all-day tour that first takes you north along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline on an air-conditioned coach. Relish the views and learn about the region’s prodigious biodiversity from you on-board guide. At the Tortuguero Canal, you’ll board a boat to explore a region so densely vegetated it is also named Costa Rica’s Amazon. Keep your camera close as you pass orchids, water lilies, crocodiles, spider monkeys, manatees and otters or even spot an elusive jaguar in the foliage. All told, the area supports approx. 530 different species of all shapes and sizes. Back on the coach, you’ll head for the Veragua Rainforest Park to see various creature-specific habitats. Check out the snakes and lizards at the reptile habitat, meet the amphibians at the frog habitat and enjoy watching butterflies flutter by at the butterfly garden. A buffet-style lunch is next at the main visitors’ centre, following which it’s time for the aerial tram. Divine views will reveal themselves through the forest canopy, home to toucans, sloths and howler monkeys. Touching down again at the riverbank, a walk will then take you to the “Trail of the Giants” – named after the huge trees – and a hike to the lovely Puma Waterfall. The aerial tram will return you to the park’s research laboratories, after which you’ll have time to browse in the gift shop before the coach takes you back to Limón and your ship. Please note: guests are recommended to wear comfortable closed walking shoes, light clothing, high-factor sunscreen and a hat/sun visor as well as to bring a camera and rainwear. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for pregnant women. Some portions of road encountered on the tour may be bumpy and unpaved. Reaching the Puma Waterfall involves using a total of 350 steps (both ways) and walking on an uneven dirt track. This portion of the tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with mobility problems. The Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure is suitable for guests using a walker, manual wheelchair or a collapsible lightweight electric scooter (100 lbs/45 kg or less). Guests using such mobility aids must be capable of navigating a few steps to get on and off the coach. Wheelchairs or electric scooters will be stowed in the coach’s luggage compartments and retrieved at the park for guests to use.
    • BIRDS & NATURE AT BOCUARE JUNGLE
      HAVEN

      NATURAL WONDERS
      • Lunch or dinner included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        7:25 h

      • Adults£64Price per person

      • Children£45Price per person

      PLI35

      The privately owned Bocuare Jungle Haven in the picturesque Estrella Valley is your destination on this all-day outing, which begins with a drive along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline, passing through pretty little towns and spacious banana plantations on the way. Run as a conservation and rescue centre for the region’s tropical flora and fauna, the Bocuare Jungle Haven offers unprecedented access to a unique ecosystem. A walk through the property begins your visit, after which you can enjoy stupendous views of the magnificent plant life when you cross a lagoon on a hanging bridge. The property provides a sanctuary for more than 115 different bird species, including anhingas, tiger and boat-billed herons, trogons, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and clay-coloured robins – Costa Rica´s national bird – alongside various visiting migrant birds. A tractor-pulled cart will then take you the Bocuare Villa for a look around and to change into swimwear, after which you can enjoy the refreshing coolness of the pool in its unique rainforest setting. Next up is the old sugar mill, where you’ll find out how sugarcane is processed, help with extracting the juice and sample the fruit of your labour. Your tour is rounded off by a typical Costa Rican lunch, prepared by the Bocuare family, to the sound of local music. You’ll also have a little time to spend at the gift shop before the coach returns you to the port and your ship. Please note: the tour offers guests an opportunity to hike to the heart of the rainforest and swim in a uniquely located swimming pool. Guests are advised that wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. Guests are further recommended to wear light clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a hat, high-factor sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses as well as to bring a light jacket, rainwear, a camera, binoculars, a towel and a change of clothes/swimwear to change into. Changing facilities are available for guests wishing to swim in the pool.
    • THE TORTUGUERO CANAL

      NATURAL WONDERS
        • Duration
          4:25 h

        • Adults£64Price per person

        • Children£45Price per person

        PLI02

        Consummately beautiful, a haven of biodiversity and so remote that it takes either a boat or a plane to get there, the Tortuguero Canal and waterways are your destination on this enjoyable half-day tour. An approx. 25-minute coach ride from the pier will first see you reach the private jetty to board a specially customised boat that will take you through the jungle-fringed canal and other natural waterways. As you slowly glide down the canal, which runs parallel to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline, you’ll quickly understand why this area is also called Costa Rica’s Amazon – the abundant rainforest with a profusion of flora and fauna is all around. Look out for orchids and water lilies, try to spot birds, monkeys, sloths, toucans and even crocodiles, all of which call these parts home. Wave to the locals busy on the banks or in dugout canoes on the water and let your eyes roam over the spectacular nature-given panorama, with the lush vegetation to either side delightfully mirrored in the water. Your cruise through one of Costa Rica’s greenest destinations will be rounded off by complimentary soft drinks and tropical fruit plus the sound of calypso music. Please note: guests are recommended to wear light clothing, sunglasses, a hat, high-factor sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and insect repellent as well as to bring a camera, binoculars and rainwear.
      • CARIBBEAN TRAIN, ECO CRUISE &
        COUNTRYSIDE

        SCENIC ROUTE
          • Duration
            3:30 h

          • Adults£64Price per person

          • Children£45Price per person

          PLI26

          Make yourself at home on a meticulously restored vintage carriage of the open-air Caribbean Train and get set to discover this supremely scenic region of Costa Rica in old-fashioned style. With the railway line having given rise to Costa Rica’s banana-producing industry in the late 19th/early 20th century, it passes through astounding landscapes that are begging to be photographed. Frequent stops are scheduled on the way, giving you a chance to do a bit of wildlife spotting. See how many sloths, monkeys and other jungle dwellers you can identify in the dense vegetation to either side of the tracks. Your mode of transport will then change to a boat and your exploration will take you down the beautiful Tortuguero Canal and natural waterway system. Part of a larger protected area, the river and canal banks as well as the water itself are teeming with life. Waterfowl are abundant, but you’re also likely to spot whiteface and spider monkeys hanging out in the trees – inspecting you just as carefully as you might inspect them. Once you reach the private dock at the port of Moin near Limón, you can enjoy a refreshing selection of tropical fruit before you return to the pier and your ship. Please note: the sequence in which the tour is run may vary. Guests are recommended to wear comfortable closed walking shoes, high-factor sunscreen, insect repellent, light clothing, a hat/sun visor as well as to bring a camera and rainwear.
        • SIGHTSEEING & BANANA PLANTATION

          SCENIC ROUTE
          • Limited seats

          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Easy

          • Duration
            3:30 h

          • Adults£42Price per person

          • Children£30Price per person

          PLI37

          This varied half-day tour of Costa Rican highlights begins with a coach ride to your first stop, a fully operational banana plantation for a chance to see how this tasty treat is grown. Once you’re suitably banana savvy, the coach journey continues on to the small village of Bananito, where time will be yours to do some shopping for a locally made keepsake. As your scenic ride then progresses, you’ll pass Limón International Airport as well as further banana and cassava estates, with fabulous views of Costa Rica’s Caribbean palm-fringed coastline completing the compelling visual. The area is alive with birdlife so see if you can spot any white egrets, blue herons, kingfishers and pelicans or reptiles such as iguanas, all of which are common sights. The return drive will also see you pass through Cieneguita, Limón’s oldest suburb, where the houses constructed by the island’s first Jamaican settlers were built on stilts in an effort to cope with harsh environmental conditions, such as coastal swamps, landslides, flooding, jungle fevers and heavy rains, for which the formerly untamed region was known. Please note: the sequence in which the tour is run may vary. Guests are recommended to wear light clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a hat/sun visor, insect repellent and high-factor sunscreen as well as to bring rainwear.
        • WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER & CAHUITA
          NATIONAL PARK

          SOMETHING SPECIAL
          • Limited seats

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            4:30 h

          • Adults£72Price per person

          • Children£51Price per person

          PLI39

          Spend half a day meeting some of Costa Rica’s cutest creatures during your visit to the Wildlife Rescue Center. Offering a safe haven to animals in need of refuge due to loss of habitat or other reasons, the Wildlife Rescue Center works to nurse these animals back to health so they can be released into their natural environment. During your visit you may get to see Baby Sloths, several types of Monkey, Coatis, Kinkajous, Deer, Peccaries, Jaguarondi and Parrots. You will also have a chance to see various types of tropical and indigenous plants such as heliconias, and bromeliads and will have an opportunity to see the process of how organically grown cacao beans are processed into delicious chocolate. You will enjoy a refreshing snack of fresh fruit and have some time to browse for a memento in the souvenir shop before continuing on to the Cahuita National Park for a trail hike where you might spot wildlife such as sloths before heading back to your ship. Please note: The sequence in which the tour is run may vary. The tour offers guests the opportunity to fully enjoy the rainforest and your visit to the Rescue Center will impact positively and help many animals that need care. Wildlife sightings, although frequent, are not guaranteed. The animals in residence at the Wildlife Rescue Center may vary. This excursion involves walking over uneven terrain and climbing some steps, most activities are done outdoors. Guests are recommended to bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, rain gear in case of sudden showers, and a light jacket.

        The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
        Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
         
        Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

        Costa Rica

        Suspended between two oceans
        Suspended between two oceans

        Hemmed in between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans near the narrowest point of the Central American isthmus, the diminutive republic of Costa Rica is often pictured as an oasis of political stability in the midst of a turbulent region.

        A cruise to Costa Rica is a unique opportunity to experience a democratic and prosperous nation which is also one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, an ecological treasure-trove whose wide range of habitats support a fascinating variety of wildlife, much of it now protected by an enlightened conservation system widely regarded as a model of its kind. Though this idyllic image might not do justice to the full complexities of contemporary Costa Rican society, it’s true that the country’s long democratic tradition and complete absence of military forces stand in sharp contrast to the brutal internal conflicts that have ravaged its neighbours.

        Most of all, though, it is Costa Rica’s outstanding natural beauty, and the wildlife that accompanies it, that has made it one of the world’s prime ecotourism destinations, with visitors flocking here to hike trails through ancient rainforest, peer into active volcanoes or explore the Americas’ last vestiges of high-altitude cloud forest, home to jaguars, spider monkeys and resplendent quetzals.