A Banana Plantation in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Julie Royce's picture

Lots of choice in the beautiful natural paradise of Costa Rica. We could spend the day ogling the lush countryside brimming with animals (squirrel monkeys, snakes, sloths, lizards, leatherback turtles) and foliage. We flipped a coin.  Heads we signed up for another day zip-lining. Tails we’d choose something else. Tails.  Okay, there must be other excursions with our names on them.  We opted-out of horseback riding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and river tubing.  Maybe I’d filled my action quota harnessed and gliding through the rain forests in Roatan. No sense tempting fate with another perilous activity. (For me, horseback riding IS perilous.)

 

 

Overlooking the City of Puerto Limon

 Overlooking the City of Puerto Limon

 

 

Since bananas are such a big part of the country’s economy, we decided a banana plantation would be something new, and we made our way, via an air conditioned van, to learn about growing el plátano. Puerto Limon was founded in the late 1800s as a port city to ship bananas and other food products abroad.

 

 

Our Van to the Day’s Activities

Our Van to the Day’s Activities

 

 

 

Monkey Napping in a Tree

 

Monkey Napping in a Tree

 

Our first stop was a roadside fruit stand where we sampled fresh fruits that left our tongues tingling for more.  We shot monkeys sleeping in trees (camera only) on our way to the plantation. Our guide forgot to tell us that on a Saturday the plantation would be all but deserted.  With that information beforehand, my husband would undoubtedly have selected whitewater rafting, so I was secretly overjoyed that no one had shared that small detail.  How else would I have learned that bananas start out in a pod?  Or that they could be a mainstay of a country’s economy? 

 

Our Guide Shows Us a Banana Pod

Our Guide Shows Us a Banana Pod

 

Banana Plantation

Banana Plantation  (above and below)

 

Banana Plantation

 

 

The Costa Rican beach we stopped at was inviting, but time didn’t permit donning suits, sunscreen or pulling out the Kindle.  Too many places to go and things to see.  Our guide promised a city tour and did stop and let us jump out for a photo op.  Unfortunately, the time we spent in the city was only long enough for him to run to an ATM across from an intriguing church that I’ll never get to explore.  That’s the downside to having only short spurts of time available and traveling with a guide. Especially one, who contrary to the sales pitch, spoke little English. We were prisoner to his agenda.  Still, I enjoyed the trip.  The worst day in a sunny paradise is better than the best winter day spent in the cold, rainy East Bay of Northern California.

 

 

 

Enjoying a Puerto Limon Beach

Enjoying a Puerto Limon Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Albrecht Royce, Travel Adventures Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a monthly column for Wandering Educators.

 

 

Feature photo: Roadside fruit stand, Cosa Rica

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Bob and Julie Royce.

 

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