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South Caribbean Costa Rica is characterized by its diversity.
While the original settlers were Indigenous Bribri and Cabecar that populated and inhabited part of the High Talamanca and Low Talamanca, later arrivals included Afro-Caribbean Jamaican, Panamanians and Nicarguans who inhabited the coast from Cahuita to Manzanillo. The more recent years have seen an influx of european, north American and other foreigners.
The Low Talamanca: Its capital is now the town of Bribri, where you will find the largest commercial activity and basic services such as the Municipality and electric/telephone company (ICE).
Bribri is located 30 minutes from Puerto Viejo. In the river valley plains surrounding the town there is one of the largest banana plantations in the province of Limon. In the 31km from Bribri to Sixaola (the bordertown of Panama) you will see banana plantations on either side of the road along with a number of small spread-out towns, built for the workers of the plantaions.
Leaving the plateau and climbimg towards the High Talamnca you come to the main settlement of Shiroles. This area is where the indigenous Bribri and Cabecar lived in the early twentieth century, forced to move their settlements after the arrival of the United Fruit Company’s banana plantations. Ribas del Rio Telire and Yorkin are the two largest Indigenous villages at present, while there are still small nucleaus communities in Bratsi, Uatsi, Bambu … The High Telire is completely isolated and the white man (foreigners) are not welcome. The Yorkin people have recently embraced tourism and offer an interesting array of activities and time with their village.
This is one of the first settlements by the Afro Caribenos in the late 1700’s. Both the turtles and fishermen from as far away as Jamaica and North Nicargua found in the waters of the Caribbean South of Costa Rica a good place to lay their lives. Generous fishing and a very fertile land allowed the people the ability to grow just everything they wanted. It is for this reason that Cahuita is the birthplace of South Calypso Caribbean. Once a year you can enjoy the International Festival of Calypso colored with local entertainment and entertainment from throughout the Caribbean. Its National Park is another major attraction for its beautiful beaches and reef.
Puerto Viejo de Limon
This is another mostly Jamaican settlement and that is the atmosphere you breathe here. Very relaxed life, very relaxed sea. The people have a great respect for life, the sea and the jungle. Puerto Viejo today, is the tourist enclave of the South Caribbean as was Cahuita not so many years ago. Walking the beach for the 10 miles of Puerto Viejo you will find: Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva, Arrecife and Playa Grande. While each beach is no more than 1 mile long, each beach has its own small but dedicted community. Nightlife is to be found mostly in Puerto viejo where the retaurants, shops and bars offer nightlife, great meals and interesting experiences. Rasta Life!
This offers small communities further south, like us in Cocles (3km south of Puerto Viejo) the ability for nearby fiesta, but the tranquility of home that is thankfully sufficiently near and far.
Here we find an interesting mix of Jamaican and Panamanian from Bocas del Toro. The main activity of Manzanillo remains all things related to the sea. Manzanillo is very special and has a different flavour than Puerto Viejo, moving at a more tranquil pace. A must for those who come as a visitor to the Southern Caribbean. A day at the beach and mountain, where you can see our wildlife in their refuge, snorkeling from pristine beaches or an adventure reached by land or sea to Punta Mona.
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