Welcome to Puntarenas


And while the polluted waters, seedy streets and slow decay will likely shape a traveler's first impression of Puntarenas, the city’s ferry terminal is a convenient way to connect to pristine beaches of southern Nicoya, and Puntarenas. It's also the jumping-off point for the almost-mystical Isla del Coco.

Travelers mainly pass through here en route to somewhere else; but if you stay overnight, you'll feel the vibe of a genuine working Tico town and find a couple of attractions.


Top experiences in Puntarenas

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Puntarenas activities

$125 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

San Jose to Tortuga Island Boat Cruise with Lunch

After early morning pickup at your centrally located hotel, travel 1.5 hours by comfortable coach to Puntarenas. Snack on a simple breakfast consisting of a sandwich, juice and fruit served on board the coach. In Puntarenas, board your spacious boat for a nearly 2-hour cruise to Tortuga Island, taking in the jungle-clad coast of this gorgeous archipelago as you go. Pristine white sand beaches and calm turquoise water surround Tortuga Island, making it a perfect place to swim and snorkel. With approximately five hours to spend at your leisure on the island, it’s up to you whether you want to relax, be active, or both! Sunbathe on the beach or go for a dip in the sea. Explore hiking trails or play sports on the beach. You can also choose to snorkel, kayak or take a banana boat ride for a small additional charge. While you are soaking up the tropical ambiance, your guide prepares a gourmet buffet lunch for you to snack on when you get hungry. Your lunch choices include salads, grilled fish or chicken accompanied by rice and sautéed vegetables, fresh fruits, wine, and Costa Rican coffee. A few musicians play fun beach music as you enjoy your meal. After a day in paradise, head back to San Jose, retracing your steps by boat and coach. Your tour ends when you are returned to your hotel in the evening.

$99 Shore Excursions

6-in-1 Combo Tour: Puntarenas Highlights

The best tour you can take during your visit to Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Enjoy a unique tour with a professional tour guide, who will explain you the most important aspects of the Central Pacific Coast and will show you the rich wildlife of this fascinating region. Your breath taking, adventure begins with a relaxing drive through the wonderful Costa Rican countryside on an air-conditioned transportation for up to 20 passengers. Your guide will point out many sights of interest including mango, sugar and citrus plantations, diverse fruit stands and rural farming communities. You will be heading to Villa Lapas reserve, about 1 hour drive from the pier. Upon arrival to our beautiful property, you will have some free time to use restrooms and explore the surroundings before to begging the rainforest nature walk. Villa Lapas' privileged location, along the border between the tropical and dry Pacific eco-systems, gives the benefit of gathering hundreds of species of birds as well as exotic animals (poison dart frog, monkeys, raccoons, lizards, anteaters and many more), plus astonishing views of the Pacific Ocean! It would be hard to get to see this many species anywhere else. The SkyWay tour walkway and bridges have been built with the concern of your safety in mind. All tours are guided and the path's structures cand omply with industry-standard guidelines and security regulations. Having experienced the tropical forest, time is allowed for guests to relax and stroll around in the beautiful shopping Village of Santa Lucia, a quaint replica of a Spanish settlement during the Colony. At this complex, located just beside a crystal water river and rainforest, passengers will be able to purchase that special gift from a big array of items, including local gourmet coffee and small oxcarts, a symbol of the Costa Rican culture. After shopping and exploring the surroundings, enjoy complementary tropical fresh fruits and ice tea in one of the dining rooms before continuing your journey to Tarcoles River. Famous for its large American crocodiles, the Tarcoles River forms the northern border of Carara Biological Reserve on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The Tarcoles River is home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild and they are very easy to admire during our one hour boat rideLater, you will visit El Jardin souvenir store & restaurant. On the way back to the pier you will have a short tour of Puntarenas city.

$95 Shore Excursions

Rainforest Skywalk and Tarcoles River Eco Cruise Tour

The tour begins at the port where you will hop on a luxury air-conditioned motor coach for a one-hour drive along scenic roads, passing quaint villages on your way to Villa Lapas and Santa Lucia Village. Experience the raw power of the rainforest through the SkyWay walking tour. Of 1.5 miles (2.5 km) in length, this all-ages tour lets you observe a wide array of exotic flora and wildlife firsthand. Make yourself one with the jungle! Three suspended bridges at more than 180 feet above the ground. Each of these bridges is an astonishing 300 feet in length, crossing through the very heart of the tropical rainforest. Experience the unique sensation of getting surrounded by the magic of virgin, unspoiled nature. Villa Lapas's privileged location, along the border between the tropical and dry Pacific eco-systems, gives us the benefit of gathering hundreds of species of birds as well as exotic animals (poison dart frog, monkeys, raccoons, lizards, anteaters and many more), plus astonishing views of the Pacific Ocean! It would be hard to get to see this many species anywhere elseThe SkyWay tour walkway and bridges have been built with the concern of your safety in mind. All our tours are guided and the path's structures comply with industry-standard guidelines and security regulations. Having experienced the tropical forest, time is allowed for guests to relax and stroll around in the beautiful shopping village of Santa Lucia, a quaint replica of a Spanish settlement during the Colony. At this complex, located just beside a crystal water river and rainforest, passengers will be able to purchase that special gift from a big array of items, including local gourmet coffee and small oxcarts, a symbol of the Costa Rican culture. After shopping and exploring the surroundings, enjoy complementary tropical fresh fruits and ice tea in one of the dining rooms before to continue our journey to Tarcoles River. Famous for its large American crocodiles, the Tarcoles River forms the northern border of Carara Biological Reserve on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The Tarcoles River is home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild and they are very easy to admire during the one hour boat tour.After the tour, return to the pier. Upon arrival, you can decide to stay in the city or make your way back directly to the ship. For all those interested in walking along the boulevards, the pier is located right at the city at a very short distance from your ship.

$80 Day Trips & Excursions

Puntarenas Highlights Shore Excursion

The tour starts by going to a private area where the cute and well known white faced monkeys come to play every day. It is a great chance to see wildlife at its purest state. After being enchanted by these amazing creatures, you will be taken to the “fruit towns”, an area where the sweetest and best tropical fruits are produced.  Try them from the hands of smiling farmers proud to share their crops with the visitors.Once you try the soft and fresh tastes of the tropics you will be taken to the wild side. Getting on a safe and comfortable pontoon you will be gliding on the Tarcoles River. This well known waterway holds the largest population of American Crocodiles in Central America. But it is not only about these fantastic dinosaur like creatures! It is a great tour for pure naturalists, birdwatchers and photographers. You will enjoy, among several other species of birds, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills and other wonders like iguanas and basilisks (Named also Jesus Christ lizards for their ability to walk on water).After all this excitement, it is time for lunch! You will try one of the best local restaurants in the coastal region. With fresh meats, vegetables and fruits your lunch will not only be nourishing but also totally delicious! After lunch, you will get to do some shopping. The products are excellent and the prices are great.  Clean and well distributed, this store is diverse and the prices are affordable. You will end the shopping experience by going to a real Costa Rican supermarket where you will be able to buy local coffee. To end this great day you will be taken through the city of Puntarenas, the first port Costa Rica ever had in history, you will be taught about its traditions and its particular culture  and this as well is the place where your cruise will be waiting for you.At the end of this fantastic day, you will feel like your visit to Costa Rica was much longer and deeper than one day only… for all you will see and live!

$100 Shore Excursions

Punta Arenas Highlights Sightseeing Tour with Small Group

It starts by going to a private area where the well-known white-faced monkeys come every day and a great chance to see wildlife at its purest state. After being enchanted by these amazing creatures, you will be taken to the “fruit towns”. An area where the sweetest and best tropical fruits are produced. Try them from the hands of smiling agricultures proud to share their crops with our visitors. The climate ranges from hot and dry (mid-November to April) to hot and humid, during the rainy season (the rest of the year). Most of these naturalist guides, the most professional in the country, have been with this company for more than 10 years. Many are specialists in birds, plant life, or archaeology. Once you try the soft and fresh tastes of the tropics you will be taken to the wild side. Getting on a safe and comfortable pontoon you will be gliding on the Tarcoles River. This well-known waterway holds the largest population of American Crocodiles in Central America. But it is not only about these fantastic dinosaurs like creatures. It is a great tour for pure naturalists, birdwatchers, and photographer. You will enjoy, among several other species of birds, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills and other wonders like iguanas and basilisks (Named also Jesus Christ lizards for their ability to walk on water). After all this excitement, time for lunch comes in! You will try one of the best local restaurants in the coastal region. With fresh meats, vegetables and fruits your lunch will not only be nourishing but also totally delicious! And after lunch comes the shopping. The products are excellent and the prices great. Clean and well distributed, this store is diverse and the prices are affordable. And we will end the shopping going to a real Costarrican supermarket where you will be able to buy our flavored coffee.  To end this great day you will be taken through the city of Puntarenas, the first port Costa Rica ever had in history, you will be taught about its traditions and its particular culture and this as well is the place where your cruise will be waiting for you. At the end of this fantastic day, you will feel like your visit to Costa Rica was much deeper and larger than one day only... for all you will see and live!

$135 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Tortuga Island Cruise

Board a yacht at Puntarenas and enjoy a smooth ride on the Gulf of Nicoya. Admire the beautiful archipelago and look out for the many sea birds as you cruise to Tortuga Island. The island is known for its immaculate white sandy beach and turquoise waters, making it a perfect stop for swimming and snorkeling. You will spend approximately four hours on the island, where you can enjoy different activities such as a canopy tour, walking trails, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and beach sports. Or simply relax on the beach while your crew prepares an exquisite buffet-style lunch.