Puntarenas City Information

Puntarenas, the center hub along the Paseo de los Turistas, is an ocean front boulevard that comes alive on the weekends and is a great place to enjoy Costa Rican culture. Experience authentic Costa Rican dishes, lively music and storefront shops that offer everything from clothing, shoes and souvenirs for you to carry home.

The city of Puntarenas is the capital of the province and is located on the shores of the Pacific at the east side of the Gulf of Nicoya. Puntarenas has long been a favorite of the locals for the beaches, fishing and lively local fare found here.  On weekends and holidays the beaches are filled, and the streets swollen with traffic that converges on it from the central valley and the city populations.  In the past, Puntarenas was an important shipping port for the Pacific cargo coming in and out of Costa Rica. Today it is a busy port for the cruise ship industry as well as a central point for the ferry system between it and the Nicoya region. The majority of shipping has moved to the port at Caldera, south of Puntarenas, but the harbor is still dotted with the fishing boats of the locals that supply fresh seafood daily to the local restaurants. Puntarenas and the surrounding districts in the north offer a wide variety of attractions, accommodations and tours so any visitor to this area will find it easy to fill their days.


Things To Do

Shopping in the area is good with a huge selection of storefronts including clothing, souvenirs, shoes, jewelry and art.

Visit the Marine Historic Museum which gives an overview of the Marine life and exhibits. Located in the Puntarenas Center.

Spend a lazy afternoon at Marino del Pacifico Park lounging on a blanket with a picnic lunch.

Isla Pajaros Biological Reserve is located right of the coast of Pajaros', northeast of Puntarenas and makes a wonderful day trip combined with playing on the beach.

Take a ferry over to the Nicoya side to enjoy the sightseeing and have lunch in one of the small port towns.

Visit Carara National Park located south of Puntarenas to explore the waterfalls and hike through the various trails.

Visit the Ferria Market to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables or buy some of the colorful souvenirs that are displayed in this huge open market.


Penas Blancas Forest Reserve

Carara Biological Reserve

Photo Credit: "puroticorico" [Rainbow Pier], under CC license, "stevendepolo" [costa rica2009] under CC license