Packages To Puntarenas
Puntarenas, or ‘sand point’ in Spanish, is the largest city and capital of the province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Its beaches are on the Pacific Coast and are a major destination for surfers. Its port, Caldera, is one of the main ports in the country as some of the finest coffees to grace European tables were once carried to the continent from Puntarenas. In the mid-20th century however, the construction of the railway leading from the Central Valley to Puerto Limon provided a more direct shipping route to Europe and initiated the city’s decline in importance to Europe. Today, Caldera is still a major port on the Pacific Coast.
Due to the fact that Puntarenas is the closest coastal towns to San Jose, many city folk venture to Puntarenas to escape the city heat. The beaches, although regularly cleaned, are known to be polluted. Future plans to continue overhauling the beachfront are in place to ensure the beautiful views across the Golfo de Nicoya are untainted.
Getting There & Other Transportation
The easiest way to get to Puntarenas is a flight into the Juan Santamaria International Airport. It is roughly a 2 hour drive from San Jose to Puntarenas and you can get to and from the airport by bus or taxi. Buses leave depart every hour to San Jose from the corner of Calle 2 and Paseo de los Turistas. Taxis can be called from your hotel or waved down on the street. Be sure to discuss fare before entering the taxi. Buses also leave for many destinations within Costa Rica (Canas & Tilaran, Costa de Pajaros, Jaco, Liberia, Nicoya, etc).
If you are travelling from Puntarenas to Paquera or Playa Naranjo, car and passenger ferries depart several times a day from the northwestern dock.
Hotels & Places to Stay
For travelers looking for deals, check out these guesthouses for rent:
Casta Del Sol
Perla de Pacifico
For a stay in a hotel, look into the following highly rated locations:
Hotel Hacienda Jabes
Casa Celeste Hotel
Hotel Los Jardines de Monteverde
Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort
Hotel Tango Mar Hotel Beach-Resort
Dining & Nightlife
The seafood is especially good in North Puntarenas along the coast because the fish, crabs and lobsters are freshly caught by local fisherman. In turn, the fishermen immediately sell them to the eateries along the shore.
Some great restaurants to try are:
Restaurante Kaite Negro (local seafood)
La Casona (South American cuisine)
Food Stands (market area with many small stands and restaurants)
La Yunta Steakhouse (Steakhouse)
As far as nightlife goes, the aforementioned Restaurante Kaite Negro turns into a lively bar with live music and dancing after dining hours. Some other dance floors to check out are Capitan Moreno’s and El Oasis del Pacifico.
Some attractions in Puntarenas are as follows:
Paseo de los Turistas
‘Turists’s stroll’ is a pedestrian boulevard that stretches along the southern edge of town. Cruise ships land in port at the eastern end of this road and make day trips to the area.
Puntarenas Marine Park
This aquarium showcases manta rays and other creatures from the Pacific Ocean.
Museo Historico Marino
This museum captures the history of Puntarenas through presentations, photos and artifacts.
This boat tour organizes tours to the islands and around the area as well as fishing charters.
La Casa de la Cultura
Experience live performances, art galleries, and seasonal cultural events at La Casa de la Cultura.
Currency, Culture and Language
The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish.
The official currency in Costa Rica is the colón (or colones, plural).