The Grand Parade. Photo La Nacion
The Grand Parade.  More photos see La Nacion

No one can dance like a “limonense” at the carnival. Each year, the Caribbean port city of Limón celebrates with 12 days of dancing in the streets, parades and lot of Caribbean music in the event called the “Los Carnavales de Limón“.

Literally, this is a street party Costa Rica style, which is attended by people from all over the world. It is the largest and longest of all the festivals that take place in Costa Rica’s Caribbean province

Colourful parades, marching bands Caribbean style, lively musical concerts, street parties and more mark this annual event. The Limón carnival celebrates Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean culture.

The party kicked off on October 11 and runs to October 22

Limón and the southern Caribbean towns of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo are home to a thriving Afro-Caribbean community. Costa Rica’s Caribbean culture is so unique that it’s almost like going to another country to visit the area. You can hear both Spanish and Creole English, called “patois”, spoken everywhere.

Part of the community traces its roots to former African-slave Jamaican laborers who were brought over in the late nineteenth century to build the railroad connecting San José to the Port of Limón. Workers from China and other Caribbean islands also were contracted for the railroad, which was destroyed in the 1991 Limon earthquake. Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean coast include Bri Bri and Cabecar. The colorful mix is like a spicy gumbo in Costa Rica’s otherwise more traditional Spanish heritage.

Speaking of food, when you’re in Limón and the southern Caribbean, you have to try some of the local delicacies like Rice-and-Beans with red beans and coconut rice, jerk chicken, rondon (fish and vegetables cooked in coconut and curry), coconut shrimp, pati (meat pastry), and pan bon (a local cake made with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and candied fruit).

Source: Enchanting Costa Rica, Visit Costa Rica, La Nacion