Our next stop was Limon, Costa Rica where we had planned a private tour with Nature Tours Greenway (Jacqueline was our tour guide and she was awesome!). We were met at the cruise pier gangway where we took a mini-bus and began our short city tour. History records that in 1502 Christopher Columbus landed in Costa Rica at the place known as Puerto Limon. The country’s port par excellence thanks to import and export traffic, Limon now has the facilities to receive cruise ships as well. The city’s old quarter has the characteristics of a historical center and is currently under urban renovation with restoration of buildings and a pedestrian walkway from Parque Vargas to the market.
Our first stop was to a banana plantation and packing house where we learned a lot about the banana tree, harvesting, processing, packing and exportation. Costa Rica is the second largest banana producer in the world and 80% of the plantations are located in Limon province, becoming one of the most important economic activities in the region. We were very lucky to see the workers doing their job in the fields and the packing house. A very interesting cultural experience as we learned that these workers make only $25 per day and work 40 hours per week. The plantation we were at was Del Monte #4011 – look on your bananas next time you are in the store and see if they have a stamp of #4011 on it. If so, we visited the banana plantation where your bananas came from!
We continued our journey to the Rain Forest, La Jungla Trail which was less than 1 mile of walking through the forest, offering beautiful landscapes, various flora (such as orchids and bromeliads as well as other ground level plants) and different species of trees ranging from young to old and small to large. We also had many opportunities to see the fascinating different types of frog species. One was the red dart frog that you will see a photo of along with a leaf-eater ant which carries leafs from trees which weigh more than they do).
Our last stop was a 1 hour cruise along the Tortuguero canals where we kept an eye out for wildlife including monkeys, birds and crocodiles as well as the beautiful flora as you will see from our photos.
Our last stop before we make our way back to Fort Lauderdale was Cayman Islands. Our group decided to have a leisure fun day so we took a taxi and stayed on the 7-mile beach for a few hours, then made our way back by stopping at a local restaurant for some great local food/drinks. We continued our walk back to town in order to shop for last minute gifts before heading back on our cruise ship.
Greg & Sharon Conrad