The vivacious, coastal town of Puntarenas is a popular weekend retreat for the landlocked denizens of San Jose. Located on the Gulf of Nicoya, Puntarenas was originally the country’s most significant seaport for exports and still serves as one of the most important fishing ports in all of Costa Rica. The sandy peninsula runs an impressive 8km long and the glimmering waterfront boasts a series of open-air restaurants, cafes and bars.
Puntarenas offers a multitude of activities to enjoy, including cultural exhibits, shopping and ecological and adventure tours. Acclimate to your surroundings while strolling along the Paseo de los Turistas (literally translated, “Tourist’s Stroll”) where a variety of souvenir kiosks and typical Costa Rican lunch counters happily greet visitors.
Those wanting a bit of culture added to their vacation should visit the Casa de la Cultura, an art gallery and that occasionally features exhibits and performances. Just behind the Casa de la Cultura sits the Historical Marine Museum that showcases the history of Puntarenas via photos, artifacts and audiovisual presentations. Nearby, the Puntarenas Marine Park will surely please those traveling with children with its aquarium, splash pool, gift shop and snack bar.
Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park, located just outside of Puntarenas, is a compilation of botanical gardens representing every topographical zone in Costa Rica. The immaculately manicured trails pass through palm forests, herbariums, bamboo groves, pasture lands, orchid beds and bromeliad gardens. For additional fun, lose yourself in the hedge mazes or check out the exotic reptile exhibit.
Zip along the jungle’s treetops on a canopy tour or schedule a rock climbing excursion for a heart pumping Costa Rican excursion. For something less extreme, take pleasure in a horseback ride at one of the local outfits in Puntarenas or simply spend the day on the beach, soaking up the sun and wading in the warm waters.
Puntarenas is a delightful destination in Costa Rica for culture, adventure and entertainment. This historical town is great for travelling families, nature-lovers and adventure seekers alike.