Uvita Island

Travel Guide Central America Costa Rica Uvita Island





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Uvita Island, Isla Uvita in Spanish is an island off the Caribbean coast of Limon. The island is 0.8-square-kilometre big and lies 885 metres offshore of the port at Limón on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The island is 420 metres long from north to south and 315 metres wide, northwest to southeast. It is currently uninhabited, but there is at least one structure on the island, and a small dock. It is possible to visit the island by renting a boat and a driver at one of the fishing docks on the Cieneguita River.

Uvita has had several names over the years; in English, these include Grape Cay, Grape Island, and Uvia Island; in Spanish, the names Isla Uvita and La Uvita are now most common. The Cariari Indians called the island Quiribrí. In 1986 the Comisión Nacional de Nomenclatura (National Commission of Nomenclature) approved the restoration of the name Isla Quiribrí, and the Academia de Geografía e Historia de Costa Rica (Academy of Geography and History of Costa Rica) asked that the Comisión and the Municipality of Limón publish the name change in 2002 during the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island. Isla Quiribrí is now the official name but is seldom used; locally, the island is still referred to as Isla Uvita, even on official government maps.

Christopher Columbus anchored his ships on the island for repairs during his final voyage to America in 1502, and gave the island the name of La Huerta (Spanish: "the orchard"). The two-week visit allowed contact with the Indians, who welcomed the Europeans dressed in clothing of gold, which was the reason that some mistakenly attributed to Columbus the naming of Costa Rica (Spanish: "rich coast"), a name which was actually first used by the Royal Audiencia of Panama in 1538.







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Keep Connected


It's easy to find internet access, and although you can still can find a lot of internet cafes, wifi is growing fast in the country. The further away you get from San Jose, the slower and more expensive it becomes when you are using an internet cafe. Wifi is generally free of charge at most places though and apart from off the beaten track parks, jungles and mountains, the connection generally is ok. Some internet cafés also offer international calls via either phone or IP using services like Skype.


See also: International Telephone Calls

  • The country calling code to Costa Rica is 506.
  • To make an international call from Costa Rica, the code is 00.

There are plenty of phone booths around and you will get the best rate using a pre-paid international card (can often be purchased in internet cafés and other small stores). There is usually a connection fee making short calls extra expensive. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café. But making short calls using the domestic calling cards (you can make international calls using these but the denominations of the calling cards are quite small so your call will be short!) or the international calling cards available within Costa Rica (all from the government phone monopoly ICE) is the next best deal.

Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1,800 MHz GSM network. Note that the GSM phone systems in the United States and Canada use different frequencies and that travelers from there will need a "world" handset, such as a tri-band or quad-band phone, if you want to use your existing cell phone. If you want to use a local Costa Rica number, you can rent cell phone service, and of course anyone can buy a cell phone. If you have an unlocked cell phone (either one from home or bought in Costa Rica - all cell phones sold in Costa Rica must be unlocked), prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country. Try using companies like Grupo ICE under the Kölbi brand, TuYo Movil, Movistar and Claro.


Correos de Costa Rica (website in Spanish only) is the national postal services of Costa Rica. You can find post offices (correos) in almost any city and town and they are generally open from 7:30am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to noon on Saturdays. There are not that many mailboxes, so it's best to ask your hotel or go directly to the post offices. Services tend to be slow but generally reliable and on the whole cheap regarding letters and postcards. It costs about US$0.20 to the USA and Canada (taking about 1 week to 10 days), US$0.25 to Europe (about 2 weeks) and US$0.30 to Asia and Australia (3 weeks or even more). All in all, if you can try and arrange your mail from the capital San José as it's generally quicker from there. Small packages are also no problem, though take them to the post offices unpacked for inspection first! Otherwise, arrange things through private international courier services like UPS, FedEx, DHL or TNT.


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This is version 8. Last edited at 9:40 on Jan 26, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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