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Tropical forests with Afro-Caribbean flavor.

In 1502 Christopher Columbus discovered Costa Rica arriving for the first time to these lands of the tropical humid forest, with its great exuberance and coral reef clear waters. Today this natural charm remains, in a region characterized by the coexistence of diverse cultures that have left their print on Costa Rican history: Caucasian's, Chinese, the Indigenous population and the Afro?caribbean. The latter, with their rich coconut flavored culinary traditions, their rhythm and their language, offering visitors a very different experience from the rest of Costa Rica's regions.

Thanks to the rich flora and fauna of the region, the variety of aquatic ecosystems and the black and white sand beaches; the region is ideal to practice activities focused on nature and sea, among them fishing Tarpon, Wahoo and the Barracuda; diving in clear waters, and surfing. Puerto Viejo constitutes one of the main locations for surfing, where the most avid surfers are attracted to conquer Salsa Brava, one of the most famous waves in the world, which surprisingly ends up reaching a height of up to 40 feet. Other prized beaches are those of playa Bonita, Westfalia and Isla Uvita. White Water Rafting is another of the region's most popular activities, thanks to the presence of the mighty Sixaola and Pacuare rivers.
The Caribbean region embraces the province of Limón with its principal towns of Guácimo, Matina, Talamanca, Pococi, Siquirres and Limón. This last one is the country's port of export. Port Limón unites with the capital, San Jose, by means of an excellent highway that takes the visitor through the mountains of Braulio Carrillo's National Park, amid exuberant landscapes continuing through tropical banana plantations and farms that produce, ornamental plants, pejibaye, heart of palm and cocoa, flowing finally into the beaches of our Caribbean Coast, skirted by infinite arrays of coconut trees. The region possesses a humid tropical climate and presents temperature changes that oscillate from 95° F during the day and 70°F during the night. The Caribbean Rain Forests reflect the perfect idea of the tropical forest, with immense evergreen trees, adorned with lianas and plants of exuberant height. These characteristics, and the presence of species such as the rainbow?beaked toucan, the wild turkey, the spider monkey, the opossum and the tapir; are a results of the presence of a great quantity of fall throughout the year, with drier periods in the months of April and October. Coincidentaly, in October the Carnival of Limón dazzles visitors with its colorful and rhythmical parades and musical groups.
Some of the protected wildlife areas that offer the opportunity to visit the region's rain forests, as well as their diverse aquatic ecosystems are: Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, Cahuita National Park, Barra de Colorado Wildlife Refuge and Tortuguero National Park. The latter, famous for the marine turtle arribadas and the natural canals that harbor threatened species such as the manatee, the otter and the crocodile.
The Caribbean will always await the visitor with its exuberance, to explore a national park, to enjoy the main warm ocean or flavor the delicious "ricen bean" consisting of rice and beans with coconut oil.