Parismina, Costa Rica

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Donate to Support Conservation Efforts in Parismina!  - Click HERE!


      February 2009

  Click for Puerto Limon, Costa Rica Forecast

There is a lot to do in Parismina - wildlife viewing, horseback riding, canal tours and beachcombing. World class fishing is available in the canals and on the ocean. Fishing off the beach can be great too!

It's Turtle Time again!!! The first Leatherbacks made it to the beach the week of 2/16. Turtle season is from February - August, with the most active time being mid April - mid May. Volunteer with the local turtle association or just get a taste of authentic small time life in this beautiful Costa Rican village. Check out our turtle page for more information.

As of January 2009, new "land line" telephone numbers are being assigned to residents & businesses in the village - these new numbers will have a Limon prefix and (supposedly) offer a better connection. And don't forget that all Costa Rican telephone numbers changed to 8 digits around Easter 2008. All land lines now have a '2' before them, and all cell phone numbers have an '8' in front. Thus, the phone number of the tourist kiosk <was> 2710-7703.map of barra de parismina costa rica 2008

Check out the new Map of Parismina!!! Click on the image to enlarge and print it!

Tarpon, snook, bonito and shark can all be found in and around Parismina. Lodging geared toward fishing enthusiasts is available for travelers of all budgets. Remember that Parismina has no bank or ATM, and few places accept credit cards - so bring enough cash!

 


Where is Barra del Parismina?

Map showing Parismina, Costa RicaBarra del Parismina is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, at the mouth of the Parismina river. There is no road to Parismina - it is accessible only by boat or plane. Parismina is about half way between Tortuguero and Limon on the Tortuguero canals.

The coordinates for the village are:
10 degrees 18 minutes 23 seconds North, 83 degrees, 21 minutes, 12 seconds West.

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Things to do

Join the Parismina Sea Turtle Commission as a tourist or a volunteer and help patrol the beaches at night, protecting the nesting sea turtles from poachers. Watch these marvelous creatures come ashore to lay their eggs on the mysterious and beautiful beaches of this lonely stretch of the Caribbean coast. A small donation lets you tag along with a local guide for a night time beach hike looking for nesting turtles! Tours available nightly, during turtle season. Call the office for reservations or more information: 506-2710-7703

Hire a boat and explore the magical Tortuguero canals- a tropical wonderland. A variety of tours are available from local guides - call the tour office at 2710-7703 for more information. Bird watching enthusiasts will be thrilled to see the roesate spoonbill, toucans, the elusive Moctezuma bird and more. Tours can be geared toward fishing, watching wildlife or both. Monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and birds are all easily found on the canals near Parismina. Call Ricky to arrange a tour at (506) 2710-1528.

Enjoy the local sports scene! Pick-up games of volleyball and soccer happen almost every evening in the plaza in the center of town. Join the locals in a game, or just sit and watch the action.

Go fishing on the beach or at the river mouth. Hire a guide to fish the ocean or river. 

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Hotels

Iguana Verde - Ricky Knowles and his wife Jendry offer charming and  well kept cabinas in the center of town. Ricky and Jendry speak English and can be of great help getting to know the town. They offer meals with some packages - prices vary by season. Rooms start at 20$ per couple including air conditioning, or 14$ for a room without a fan. Ricky  will guide you on private jungle trails and can connect you with other guides around town. Telephone 506-2798-0828 <new telephone # as of January 2009>

The Cariblanco Lodge has rooms near the beach. Prices vary. Different rooms are available, some with private hot showers. The cantina there features a open air restaurant which offers a limited menu of bocas and meals. The local swimming pool is out front! Phone 506-8393-5481

 

Parismina Game Fish Resort offers sportfishermen reasonably priced basic rooms for about 20$ with fans (no air conditioning) . Hammocks are available, and tours can be arranged with local guides. Call 506-2710-1528 for more information.

The Caribbean Tarpon Lodge has re-opened with new boats, great guides and all inclusive fishing packages from three days and more. Tarpon, snook and shark are the fish to go for here and world record tarpon have been caught near Parismina! A variety of packages are available. Visit their website at www.costaricasportfishing.com or call (888) 2341.5525.

Danilo and his family manage a hotel formerly named The Carefree Ranch. This charming hotel with its picket fence is located across from the Catholic Church, and can't be missed if you arrive at the public boat dock. The rooms are nice and clean and cost ~20 per person with breakfast included. Fishing tours may be arranged here. Phone 506-2710-1479.

Camping is available; pitch your own or rent one of Don Alex's cooking cabinas. Ask for Alex Periera at the hardware store.

The luxurious Rio Parismina Lodge is a high end fishing lodge specializing in Tarpon and Snook managed by Fernando Gonzales. Visit their web site at www.riop.com

Lodging in Siquirres (the last town on the way to Parismina if you go via bus from San Jose)-

If you need to spend the night in Siquirres, the place to go is Las Tilapias de Chito (~$40 US dollars for a room. Any taxi driver will take you there from downtown Siquirres for less than 2000 colones / four dollars. This is a great place with a bar, restaurant, canals, wildlife everywhere (I saw the two biggest iguanas of my life on the top of trees there) along with Chito's pet crocodile Pacho. Chito and Pacho do a show every Sunday at 4 PM. Telephone (506) 2768-9293 or cellular (506) 8398-1517

A drab but cheaper alternative is the Hotel Central which has the advantage of being about a block away from the bus station - handy for the early bus.


Homestays

Homestays are a great way to support local families in the village and get to know authentic Caribbean culture. Opportunities are available year round, though turtle viewing and volunteer projects vary throughout the year.

Lodging Options For Volunteers

Please note - all volunteers must pay a $30 registration fee.

Homestays are available where you can live with a local family. A private room is provided, as well as all of your meals. It is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and become part of the community. The cost is approximately $25.00 a day for up to 7 days. You may contact parisminaturtles@gmail.com for more information. If you do a homestay for more than 6 nights it is $20 per night and after 2 weeks it goes down to $15 per night. That includes your room, 3 meals and they do your laundry.

Homestays can be arranged through the tourist kiosk -  506-2710-7703 MWF 2-4PM Costa Rica Time.

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Restaurants

Cariblanco: An open-air beachside cantina with unpredictable service, basic meals and drinks.

Rancho La Palma is run by Don Alexis Chavez and his family at the new dock. Food is generally available from 6AM - 8PM and a variety of typical dishes are offered. Or you can just hang out and watch the boats come in and out enjoying a beer. Cerveca runs about 600 colones and refrescos about 500, with a typical breakfast of gallo pinto con huevo running about 1500 colones. Lunches and dinners start at around 2000 colones.

Salon Parismina: Elizabeth may prepare you lunch, dinner or bocas at this cantina near the "new" dock. Karaoke gets rolling many evenings.

There are a few great restaurants along the canals toward Tortuguero. The locals affectionately refer to these places as 'dos' and 'tres'. If you head out on the canals for fishing or sightseeing, either of these places makes a great stop.

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Getting There:

Parismina is on the Caribbean coast of Costa, Rica. Fly in to the capital city of San Jose. To reach the Caribbean coast, busses leave every day from the Gran Terminal Carribe which is on Calle Central between Avenida 10 and Avenida 11. To get to Parismina you will want to transfer busses in the town of Siquirres. The bus from San Jose arrives at the 'New Bus Station' but you will need to go down the street 200 meters to the 'Old Bus Station' to catch your connection. If you need to spend the night in Siquirres, the place to go is Las Tilapias de Chito (~$40 US dollars for a room. Any taxi driver will take you there for about 2000 colones / four dollars. This is a great place with a bar, restaurant, canals, wildlife. A drab but cheaper alternative is the Hotel Central which has the advantage of being about a block away from the bus station - handy for the early bus.

The most affordable way to reach Parismina is to take the public bus from Siquirres to Cano Blanco. This bus leaves three times a day from the old bus station. It is operated by Hermanos Caño-Aguilar. Their telephone number is 2768-81-72. Schedule may change so call in advance.

Schedule: (Call Hermanos Aguilar at 768-8172 to confirm)

From

To

Weekdays

Weekend

Siquirres (old station)

Caño Blanco

4:30 AM, 12:30PM (a third bus has been added - call to check - may have changed)

6:00 AM, 2:00 PM (a third bus has been added! Call to check - may have changed)

Caño Blanco

Siquirres (old station)

7:00 AM, 1:30PM

7:30 AM, 3:00 PM

A taxi may also be taken to Caño Blanco from Siquirres, this costs about 20,000 colones or about 40 dollars.

From Caño Blanco (which is little more than a cantina/gas station/dock), you can take the regularly scheduled water taxi if you show up at the same time as the public bus to take you to Parismina. The water taxis leave about 10 minutes after the bus from Siquirries arrives. There may be boats lined up offering this service. This 15 minute boat ride should cost you around 1000 colones. 'Boteros' are almost always able to take you to Parismina for 8,000 - 10,000 colones for whoever fits in the boat. They will drop you off at the Parismina 'dock'.

Parismina is passed by river on the way to Tortuguero on many pre-arranged tours. These boats rarely stop in Parismina but special arrangements may be made with many boat captains.

Alternately, boats may be taken from the port city of Moin (just north of Limon) following the canals north to Parismina. There are a few new regularly scheduled services which may be arranged from Limon, Cahuita or Puerto Viejo. More information will be posted about this option soon.

Neither of the Costa Rican airlines offers regularly scheduled flights to Parismina. However, Rio Parismina Lodge has a regularly scheduled charter flight that carries its guests from San Jose. Charter flights to Parismina are available. Daily flights to Tortuguero from San Jose are available on both Nature Air and Sansa airlines.

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Health care

Medical attention is available at a community clinic. A doctor visits the village twice a week, currently on Tuesday and Friday. This changes regularly. Parismina is an isolated village many hours from a major hospital. Plan ahead and be careful! If you do find yourself sick, the nearest full-time clinic is in the nearby banana plantation town of Carmen. The nearest major hospital is several hours away in the town of Guapiles. 


Other details

There are no ATMs or banking facilities of any kind in Parismina so be sure to bring enough cash.

Parismina has a clean, reliable municipal water system which is safe for tourists to drink.

The phone number at the tourist office is 2710-7703. They are open MWF from 2-4 PM (US Central Time, no daylight savings). From the United States, dial 011-(506) 2710-7703.

If you need to contact someone, it is common to call a payphone and leave a message for the person you want to contact with a time that you will call them back. Then, they can wait at the payphone for your call at the arranged time.

The motor vehicle in Parismina is a tractor used for garbage collection.

There is no post office.

Tipping is greatly appreciated at the local restaurants/bars!

The village fills up for Semana Santa- reservations required!


Sea Turtles                                             

Four different species of these magnificent creatures nest on the beaches at Parismina. Several of these, particularly the leatherback sea turtle, is hovering on the brink of extinction. Until recently, a lack of patrolling on the beaches of Parismina led to widespread  poaching. Although poaching remains a problem, the people of Parismina have shown dedication to ending this problem on their beaches. The village of Parismina is a fishing village where the lives of the people are tied to the sea and people have a great respect for it. Show your support by hiring a local guide to take you on an night time tour. Be careful- the beaches can be dangerous. It is better not to go alone, day or night.  Email parisminaturtles@gmail.com for more information.

Learn more about the turtles that nest on the beaches at Parismina at our Turtle Page.

See the page for Save the Turtles

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[Turtles] [Photos] [In Spanish] [Internship] [Guestbook] [Sport Fishing]

You may call the tourist kiosk directly at 506-2710-7703 from MWF 2-4 PM, Costa Rican time [US Central time; no daylight savings]. From the United States, Dial 011-506-710-7703.

 

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