Puerto Limón, also Limón, city in eastern Costa Rica, capital of Limón Province, on a bay in the swampy Caribbean coastal lowland. It is a leading port of the country and a terminus of the Northern Railway to San José. Exports include bananas, coffee, cocoa, and coconuts. Puerto Limón is the site of a cathedral, a large trading market, and Vargas Park, with botanical gardens; beaches lie nearby. The city was built in 1871 on the site of the Native American village of Cariari, which was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1502. Prospering after the construction of the railroad in 1890, it was the leading banana port of Costa Rica until the 1930s. Population (1997 estimate) 78,909.