The Caribbean has a cultural diversity that is different from the rest of the Costa Rica. With its beautiful beaches, great surfing conditions and pristine national parks the Caribbean coastline of the country is becoming one of the top attractions for the adventurous traveller. It is less developed than the Pacific side, with fewer roads and smaller settlements, and about half the area is set apart and protected in parks and wildlife refuges.
The capital of the region is the seedy port of Limon, which is generally avoided by tourists and used only as a transport hub, but is regaining popularity as a cruise port. Cahuita is a relaxed village neighbouring the Cahuita National Park, and here the Creole culture is particularly evident in the food and music. Further south is the even more tranquil hamlet of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, popular for its surfing and splendid coastline. In the north the coastal National Park of Tortuguero is one of the most important breeding and nesting sites of the green sea turtle.
The villages are laid back with an unhurried atmosphere common throughout the region. The majority of the people are extremely friendly, live close to the coast and speak a lively form of English. The people of the Caribbean delight in showing visitors the natural beauty of the area and are eager to share their culture with anyone willing to 'hang out' for a while. There is plenty to see and do, but things are relaxed so take time to experience this rewarding side of Costa Rica.
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