Puntarenas is a port city in Costa Rica that is declining as a commercial centre but is slowly emerging as a new cruise line and tourist destination in the world. It is the entrance to some of the country’s most abundant rainforests and islands.
Outside of Puntarenas, the most popular attractions are day trips; nevertheless, inside the town, the aquarium Parque Marino del Pacifico and the promenade Paseo de Los Turistas are very popular, particularly with locals.
Cruises to Costa Rica ships may dock at Puntarenas Pier or at Puerto Caldera, which is about ten miles (7 kilometres) south and is one of the country’s most important commercial shipping ports but has minimal passenger facilities.
Puntarenas Pier is not much more than the main dock and a tiny terminal. Still, it is conveniently situated within walking distance of the city centre and is accessible by public transportation.
Best Time to Go
Early December and mid-March are the best times to travel to Costa Rica. The rainforest region has been described as having “a subtropical highland climate with mild winters and hot summers.
In December, the average temperature is approximately 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), while in March, it’s around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius). The average relative humidity is about 60% throughout the year.
Tour Vans in Puntarenas
If you would like to conveniently experience this country’s natural beauty and cultural diversity, a tour van is the best option. Tour operators are all over Puntarenas and can be found on the streets. The vans are usually marked with “Turismo” or “Amarillo” (yellow), which will help point them out.
Prices start at around 4.00USD for a transportation only tour that includes pick up/drop off service from your hotel as well as an hour-long guided tour of Puntarenas to 42.00USD for a “Walking Tour of Puntarenas.
Things to Do At the Pearl of Pacific (Puntarenas Costa Rica)
There aren’t many activities to do in Puntarenas itself, but it is a very lovely small town to stay in if you want to get a feel for local life since it isn’t overrun with tourists. Most visitors just stay a couple of hours in the town while waiting for the ferry, which is plenty of time to get a feel for this tiny town.
Nonetheless, suppose you genuinely want to get a feel for what it’s like to live in a tiny, non-touristy Costa Rican coastal town. Then, I suggest stopping by at least one night in Puntarenas, where you can stroll down the Paseo de Los Turistas, eat some excellent local seafood, and be mesmerized by their daily local life.
Isla Tortuga Cruise
Tortuga Island cruises are available from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and are offered by various operators. It’s a pleasant cruise trip that takes you on a 1.5-hour cruise across the Gulf of Nicoya to the island of Tortuga, which boasts a lovely white sand Caribbean beach.
Try Out Churchill
Churchill, a shaved ice/ice cream delicacy popular in Costa Rica, is a specialty of this town. Many beach towns have vendors selling Costa Rican copos, but Churchills developed in Puntarenas are a more intense version of the copo.
Watch a Futbol Match
The first thing to expect in a futbol match is that your seat will be filled with sloshing, beer-filled plastic cups. Secondly, Costa Rica’s futbol has no designated referee, and so each team is responsible for playing by their own rules.
Finally, there is also not a referee for the box offs, which makes it hard to tell who kicked the ball into it or who fouled another player while they were making a run at goal. This activity is exciting for travellers looking for something new and fun.
Walk Down Paseo de Los Turistas
This beachfront boulevard runs around the southern border of the town. Cruise ships make trips to the dock and go in end of the road, and a variety of souvenir shops and casual eateries known as kioscos are there to welcome guests.
Their main specialty is the Churchill, a strange dessert combination of condensed milk, syrup, and chopped fruit, which acquired its name in the 1940s from a man who frequently bought it and looked like the British prime minister.
Carara National Park
Carara National Park is a location of beauty and biodiversity. The park has an abundance of various animals, plants, and natural resources.
There are also many opportunities to understand the history of Costa Rica in Carara National Park. There are historical places that have been preserved in the park to help preserve its history once again. By visiting Carara National Park, one can explore Costa Rican history with ease.
Commonly visited attractions near Carara National Park include Mount Chirripo. Come here to experience the breathtaking scenery of Costa Rica nature reserves.
Being located on a peninsula, the province of Puntarenas is home to many beautiful beaches, inlets, islands, and other natural wonders for tourists to discover and enjoy. Infrastructure is being built slowly but steadily to support the expanding tourist industry in Costa Rica.
This province has taken a long to catch up with the latest tourist trends, but that is part of the allure of this lovely peninsula in the first place. Today’s visitors will discover quiet bright-sand beaches, protected areas, and friendly people to hang out with.
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Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.