Puntarenas Costa Rica
Ferry arriving at Puntarenas
Located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Puntarenas is an eclectic seaside community that has a unique blend of cultural attractions. Puntarenas is the ideal starting point for any number of different water based activities.
Puntarenas is a perfect launching spot for a variety of different maritime activities. There are various guide services located within the town that take visitors on excursions to see and explore the surrounding mangrove swamp areas. These tours are a perfect opportunity for bird enthusiasts, due to the high number of different bird species the mangroves are home to. Another popular local attraction is to take the local ferry to the nearby Isla Tortuga, where visitors have an opportunity to play in the surf, snorkel, have lunch, and explore the quaint little island for a day.
Puntarenas is a three and a half mile long thin strip of peninsula that has long been home to a successful deep-water seaport. Originally founded by the Spanish Conquistador Fernandez de Cordova, the peninsula grew to be a very large exporting port for the international coffee trade. The town became a popular beach destination in the 20th century due to its close proximity to Costa Rica's central highlands.
Puntarenas takes much pride in its colourful seaside street section, which is known as the malecón. Here, there a lots of vendors selling local foods and ice cream, playgrounds, picnic areas, strolling families, people playing games, etc. It is a very lively area. There are also several souvenir shops that cater to the incoming cruise ship crowds. Other local attractions include the town's church, an art museum, and a local maritime history museum.
If you are lucky enough to be in Puntarenas on July 16th , you will be able to take part in the festivities surrounding the annual Fiesta del Virgin del Mar. Legend has it that four local fishermen were caught out at sea in a violent storm. The men prayed to their patron saint, St. Carmen, asking for deliverance from the storm in exchange for a massive boat procession and festival dedicated to her. Needless to say, the men survived and now there is the annual festival which is a real treat for any visitors.
There are several beach resorts and hotels throughout Puntarenas that can accommodate any of one's lodging needs. Whether one is seeking a pampered more expensive stay or a cheaper economical one, Puntarenas can accommodate to you. The town becomes very popular during the high season (December through May) so it is important to book ahead if you are planning to travel here during this period.