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Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Sitting on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya, Puntarenas is a lively town with unique trajectory from its days as Costa Rica’s main port city.   With its many waterfront bars and restaurants, its continuous festive atmosphere and its proximity to the capital city of San José, this small town is a convenient and fun vacation destination for Costa Ricans and foreign tourists alike.

Puntarenas town is best known for its traditional ‘Paseo de los Turistas’, a popular boulevard bordered by sea, where visitors find all kinds of stands with delicious food and souvenirs.  There are also nice parks, museums, historic buildings and beaches throughout Puntarenas, which make this special town an enjoyable stop in the Pacific.   


How to Get There

From San José: one hour and 15 minutes drive on New Highway to Caldera.

From Nicoya Peninsula: Ferries travel to and from the southern Nicoya Peninsula several times a day.

Ferry Schedules

Ferry to the Southern Region:
(Tambor, Montezuma, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa)

 Puntarenas to Paquera

  Paquera to Puntarenas

Ferry schedules until June 30, 2010

            * = big ferry

9:00 *
14:00 *
20:00 *

6:00 *
11:00 *
17:00 *


Ferry to the Northern Region:
(Coyote, Samara, Nicoya, Nosara)  

Puntarenas to Naranjo

Naranjo to Puntarenas





Places to Visit and Things to Do

La Casa de la Cultura de Puntarenas: ( phone: 2661-13-94)

Fantastic exhibit of paintings, sculptures, music, dance and theater. Frequent concerts during high season.  Inside La Casa de la Cultura is the Historical Marine Museum (Museo Histórico Marino), opened on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Coastal Marine Museum: (phone: 2661-23-94)

Learn about marine science, animals and conservation awareness at the Coastal Marine Museum.

Puntarenas Marine Park: (phone: 2661-52-72)

Discover the beauty of marine life with Puntarenas Marine Park’s aquariums and exhibits.  Great for kids and adults.

Aquatic Marine Adventures

Specialists in sportfishing, scuba diving, kayaking and photographic excursions.

Island Trips

There are several daily trips to nearby Tortuga Island and San Lucas Island - formerly serving as an island prison for some of the worst criminals in Costa Rica, it is now a National Park.


There are several options when it comes to sports in Puntarenas – from sand triathlons to volleyball championships, beach soccer, surf tournaments , jet skiing, kayaking, banana boating , fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and more.

Train ride

Experience the traditional Puntarenas, as you travel through time on board one of the classic wagons, with spectacular views. (Phone: 2233-33-00)


Travel Agencies for your Puntarenas Vacation

Expediciones Tropicales
www.costaricaguides.com  [email protected]




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