Panama 2008

Limon, Costa Rica

22 March 2008

General Information

Local Map

Photographs and Commentary
click on pictures to enlarge

Costa Rica may have been the highlight of our trip. We docked at Puerto Limon, the main port of Costa Rica. It is located on the Caribbean coast approximately 100 miles from the capital, San Jose. The country is split by a range of mountains running on a north/south direction. The eastern side of the mountains is mostly a rain forest and the vegetation is unbelievably lush. They say they have two seasons in this part of Costa Rica, wet and not so wet. This rainfall makes the area an excellent place for cultivating bananas and pineapples. Neither of these crops is native to this country, but it is now a leading producer of both. The rainforest also provides a home for many species of animals and plants that represent more than 4% of the worlds flora and fauna. Costa Rica is an environmentally sensitive area with 25% of the country protected for conservation purposes.

Our excursion today took us to the rainforest. Our first stop was an aerial tram that took us both and the lower reaches of the forest and the top of the canopy. The highest point on the tram was 120 ft above the forest floor. We had no guarantee that we would see many animals and although we heard some, we saw few. The plant life was quite varied and we did see a few birds. Our guide indicated that it is just a matter of luck whether we see any animals and I guess it wasn't our day. At any, rate, it was still a great experience... different from any other we have had in observing nature.

Our next stop was at a banana plantation. This was not on the schedule but since we had some time, the guide took us to one of the larger plantations. It was interesting to learn how the banana plants are cultivated, harvested and processed for the market. We didn't go into the packing house but our guide explained the process. Did you know that banana is not a tree? It is a herb.

Our final stop was to take a boat trip on one of the many canals that run through the Limon province. The Totuguero Canal System, a combination of natural and made made canals, runs from just north of Puerto Limon for 80 miles to the Nicaraguan border. We only had an hour allocated to this stop and most of us wished it would have been longer. We saw a number of bird species, bats, a troop of Howler Monkeys, a sloth and one juvenile Caiman that swam alongside the boat for a short while. Reluctantly, we left the canal, boarded the bus and headed back to the ship.


March 22nd 2008, Limon, Costa Rica

Throughout the night with a westerly course in this part of the Caribbean Sea named "Clark Basin", Coral Princess made landfall off the coast of Costa Rica shortly before 06:00, the speed was then reduced as we approached the small berth in the "Bahia De Limon" a local Pilot boarded and assisted the Captain to easily dock the vessel.
Noon Position:                    Alongside - Limon, Costa Rica
Temperature:                       28°C / 82°F
Wind:                                  Light Airs
Barometer:                           1 014 hPa
Weather conditions: Mostly Cloudy.
Once all passengers were on board, at 18:23 we let go our moorings and manoeuvred off the berth moving slowly astern and swinging the bow to starboard, as soon as we transited clear of "Isla Uvita" a north­easterly course was set and maintained during the night.

Sunrise in Limon

Sunrise on arrival in Limon

Warren & Luellen

Warren and Luellen

pineapple field

Fields of pineapples

Rainforest Aerial Tram

Edible fruit

The guide told us that the fruit of this plant is edible... want to try?
(Picture by Susie)

Giant fern

Giant Fern (center)... it has been around since the time of the dinosaurs
(Picture by Susie)


Hornet nest

Hornet nest under leaf


Left, Bromeliad in bloom (Picture by Susie)


We were told that there are a number of flowering plants in the rain forest, this is one of the few we saw.

Dense rain forest

The rainforest is so dense that it is impassable in spots


Rain Forest canopy

Rainforest Canopy

Left, the tram path is minimally maintained. They only cut away just enough vegetation to allow the tram to go through. We still got hit by branches and leaves that intruded on the car. This part of the rainforest had been a plantation and was allowed to return to its original state. It only took a few years to reach the current density.



Elephant ears

Elephant Ears. These leaves were between 1-2 feet in length. The more exposure to light they have the bigger the leaves.

Banana Plantation

Banana flower

Banana Flower

Banana plants

Banana bunches in their protective blue plastic bags. The banana plant bears fruit only once in its life and they are cut down after they are harvested. New plants grow from the same root system and can be seen next to mature plants.

Canal Cruise

Blue Heron

Blue Heron (Picture by Susie)


Two Toed Sloth (Picture by Susie)


Bats no more than two inches in size (Picture by Susie)

bird nests

Nests woven out of grasses and twigs




This juvenile Caiman was about two feet long... still would not want my finger in his jaws.

bird Wading bird


On the way back to the dock, we spotted this flock of birds. Our guide told us they were migrating hawks with a few vultures keeping them company.

Fran and Mel's Pictures

Sunrise in Limon

Sunrise in Limon Bay



RRain forest tram

Rainforest tram

Rain Forest Canopy view

Rainforest canopy viewed from tram

Riverside beach

Holiday crowd on riverside beach

Riverside beach

Riverside beach and car wash

Banana Flower

Banana Flower

Blue Heron

Blue Heron



Howler Monkeys

Howler Monkeys



Confiscated boats

These boats were confiscated by the Costa Rican Coast Guard. Most were drug smugglers.

Previous Day Next Day