If you’re looking to explore the pristine beaches and rainforests of Costa Rica, then Limon, a city on the country’s east coast, is a great place to base yourself. But as well as the area’s natural offerings, the city also draws in revelers with its party vibe, peaking during the carnival held each October. Away from the city center, try quaint Cahuita, or surfers’ favorite Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Here’s our pick of where to stay.
Flamboyant colors have been used to dazzling effect at this vibrant hotel in the quaint coastal village of Cahuita. Lime green walls and bright orange cushions bring the Caribbean’s sunshine indoors. Immerse yourself in nature at the nearby virgin rainforest, renowned for its biodiversity. Be sure to keep a look out for toucans, sloths, howler monkeys and white-faced capuchin at Cahuita National Park.
Colina Secreta Glamping and Villas, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
It was love at first sight when Martin and Celina cast eyes on this old cacao plantation while traveling through South America in 2018. Subsequently, their commitment to the land they now call home has seen them plant numerous almond trees to preserve the environment of the endangered green macaw. After mindful remodeling of the colonial-style villa, the rooms pay homage to the past, featuring hardwood floors, ceiling fans and botanical lithographs. The rainforest view through the window first thing is hard to beat.
Physis Caribbean Bed & Breakfast, Cocles, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Adjacent to the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and the lush tropical rainforest, it’s easy to see how this B&B came upon its moniker. Translated from Latin physis it means nature, which embodies this charming four bedroom house, incorporating colorful Costa Rican wood into the design. Continuing the theme, the gardens have been lovingly lined with native tropical plants and flowing fountains, encouraging serenity and gratitude for this incredible area.
Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa, Guacimo
5/5 (3 Reviews)
Courtesy of Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa / Expedia
A stay at the luxurious Ecolirios, located on the lower slopes of Costa Rica’s central mountain range, offers a sanctuary from everyday life. This eco-lodge is designed to appeal to all the senses, which is easily done when aided by the volcano, rainforest and mountain surroundings. Dining options specialize in farm-to-table, with menu cues taken from the surrounding area. Also taking their inspiration from the environs, the spa’s extensive treatments include a detoxing Body Mud Wrap for ultimate relaxation.
La Cameleon provides the ideal backdrop for family and friends. While the kids play mini soccer, you could be jiggling at a dance class or mixing drinks at the cocktail workshop. If detoxing is on the agenda, enrol in the ayurveda programme or a yoga session. At night, the Noa restaurant and bar comes alive. This gourmet establishment embraces experimentation through its innovative menu, featuring lobster confit with dill and capers, soft octopus in a thyme sauce, and pork belly with chocolate sauce.
A cluster of fully equipped apartments with large terraces have been artfully transplanted into the middle of a forest, providing the epitome of the living-within-nature experience. The area surrounding the 25-metre pool includes a hot tub and waterfall, while the venue’s ecological practices have earned it a Certificate of Sustainable Tourism. Explore the area by bike and drop by the Jaguar Rescue Center, also dedicated to the welfare of other indigenous animals, such as sloths and amphibians.
Hotel El Encanto is perfectly positioned for popping over to the glorious Caribbean beach across the road with its ideal snorkelling conditions, or Cahuita National Park, a mere five minutes away. There’s a variety of rooms, suites and bungalows to choose from, plus two swimming pools (including one with salt water). The massage service will gently pummel out any remaining tension from life back at home.
The heart of Hotel Suerre is the gorgeous 50-metre pool, perfect whether doing lengths or floating blissfully on the water. The restaurant serves national dishes as well as an international menu, best enjoyed when sipping on the fine selection of craft beers. There’s also a large casino on the premises and rumour has it they put on a cracking New Year’s Eve bash.
The name alone, which translates as Pineapple Villas, is enough to get you in the Caribbean holiday spirit. Six air-conditioned properties are set in a delightful garden and come with a veranda, complete with well-placed hammocks for observing the resident sloth population. Once you’ve made a selection from the book exchange, it’s time for the tough job of deciding whether to spend the day by the pool, on the large roof top deck or the private beach.
Located a few metres away from Cocles beach, the spacious bungalows made from exotic wood blend seamlessly into the environment, providing the ideal base for exploring the island. Large fronds and indigenous trees give added privacy between the lodgings. Relax Natural Village will facilitate your leisure pursuits of choice, whether you fancy a horseback ride along the shore, surfing the waves or discovering Limon’s secrets by bicycle.