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Limón has little for tourists to do or see. The closest true attraction, Veragua Rainforest Park, is about a 40-minute drive. If you do end up spending any time in Limón, be sure to take a seat in Parque Vargas along the seawall and watch the city’s citizens go about their business. Occupying a city block on the waterfront, this is a lush and quiet oasis in the heart of downtown. You may even spot some sloths living in the trees here. If you want to shop for souvenirs, head to the cruise ship terminal whenever a ship is in port, and you’ll find more than your fair share of vendors.

Finally, if you’re interested in architecture, take a walk around town. When banana shipments built this port, local merchants erected elaborately decorated buildings, several of which have survived the city’s many earthquakes, humid weather, and salty sea air. There’s a certain charm in the town’s fallen grace, drooping balconies, rotting woodwork, and chipped paint. One of the city’s most famous buildings was known locally as the Black Star Line, located on Avenida 5 and Calle 6. Built in 1922, as the headquarters for Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association, it was restored and was the setting of a popular restaurant, but it burned down in 2016 and has yet to be rebuilt.

Just be careful: Despite being an increasingly popular cruise port, Limón is a rough and impoverished port town. Street crime and violence are problems. Tourists should stick to the very well-worn city center and spots mentioned here. Avoid walking anywhere at night, and even in the daytime, it’s best to travel with someone else.

A One-Stop Shop Rainforest Tourism Spot

Located outside of Limón in a patch of thick rainforest south of the banana town of Liverpool, Veragua Rainforest Park ★ (www.veraguarainforest.com; tel. 4000-0949) is a popular destination for cruise ship excursions, but it's a worthy stop for anyone visiting the area. Attractions include a serpentarium, butterfly garden, entomology lab, hummingbird garden, insect exhibit, frog room, zipline canopy tour, and a short tram ride to a rainforest trail system. Along the trails, you’ll find a beautiful little waterfall. A half-day tour runs $66, or $55 for children 4 to 12; a full day with canopy tour is $99, or $75 for children over 5. The park is open Tues to Sun from 8am to 3pm; closed Mon except when cruise ships are in town. Overnight options with simple quarters can be arranged.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.