A wonderful educational place to visit is the Sloth Sanctuary on the Caribbean side of the country. Depending on your location (sanctuary is on hwy 36) you can reach the Sanctuary with the following travel times:
From Limon: 35 mins (going south) – From Cahuita: 15 mins (going north) From Puerto Viejo: 30 mins (going north) – check prices on their site.
If you are still into seeing animals try the Jaguar Rescue Center. They take care of not only Jaguar but 24 different species of mammals, plus birds and reptiles.
Depending on your location (Rescue Center is on hwy 256 south of Puerto Viejo) you can reach the Sanctuary with the following travel times:
From Limon: 60 mins (going south) – From Cahuita: 30 mins (going south) From Puerto Viejo: 10 mins (going south) – JRC Public Tour cost
North of Limon (about 3 hours) is the Turtle area. Click here for more info.
Now that you have worked up an appetite, maybe a little chocolate?
It is between Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. (leave Cahuita heading south on hwy 36 and as you pass Hone Creek take hwy 256 south) Puerto Viejo is on hwy 256. (keep your eyes pilled for signs) You will find a chocolate plantation, not sure what the locals call the place. It will be on the left side of the road as you travel south. Sorry I do not have a website but a lot of the tour companies do visit this location. I plan to visit in January, I will see if I can get better details.
To work off that food you might like to take a walk through the Cahuita National Park. If you like to stroll along the beach while searching the trees and ground for wildlife, this is the place. There are raccoons, crabs, howler monkeys, kingfishers, night herons, white-nosed coatis, frogs, toads and snakes. I did notice that the locals and some tours where taking their lunch and have lunch on the beach. The path is like 20 feet from the beach.
Cost is a donation of about $5.00 – you can give more.
Yes, there are tours click here for more info.
Way up north of Limon (about 3 hour drive from Limon) is another national park, Tortuguero National Park. Right on the northeast Caribbean coast. The stunning National Park protects one of the largest remaining areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. It is one of the best places in the world to see Giant Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs and then watch as the baby turtles hatch and make their way to the sea. (See also Turtle info page)
For a guide about $10 to $20
Going the other direction (south) about 12 kilometers southeast of Puerto Viejo is Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. You take hwy 256 the main road south out of Puerto Viejo to the town of Manzanillo. When you reach Manzanillo you are in the Wildlife Refuge. But if you want to get away from the people, go to the left of the main building at the end of the paved road. (see the couple on bicycles, they are going to the left). Just follow the shore line to enjoy beautiful views. Yes, there are tours by Destination Services.
Now when you get a little tired of walking around seeing all the beautiful parks and animals, you might like to see some of it from the sky. Ziplining with Terraventuras Travel & Expeditions 100 meters south of Mepe bus station in Puerto Viejo. $58 dollars per person.
These guys did get the “Certificate of Excellence” from TripAdvisor.
They do have other activities you might like to check out. Click the link above.