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Cruises from Puntarenas / Puerta Caldera

Puntarenas / Puerta Caldera, Costa Rica Cruises

Puntarenas / Puerta Caldera, Costa Rica Cruises

In the heart of Central America, Costa Rica offers lush greenery, picturesque beaches, and mossy cloud forests. San José's capital is more significant than Puntarenas, a port city on the lush Pacific coast. Before it emerged as a top tourist destination, Puntarenas was mainly used to export coffee from its long, skinny peninsula on the Gulf of Nicoya. In recent years, Ticos, as Costa Ricans are called, have used it as a weekend getaway destination and a gateway to an adventure-filled world.

Highlights of Puntarenas

Below are the Puntarenas highlights to know before your visit!

Wildlife & Nature

In terms of biodiversity, Costa Rica ranks among the top 20 countries, home to five percent of species on the planet. Throughout Puntarenas, you can find all sorts of animals, including scarlet macaws, yellow-throated toucans, squirrel monkeys, and brown-throated three-toed sloths. A protected park, islands, beaches, and inlets make up Puntarenas. There is a lot of knowledge about Costa Rica's nature and wildlife, and the locals are actively involved in protecting endangered species. As part of their yearly curriculum, Costa Rican children are taught the importance of conservation from a very young age. Local sustainability projects are run by many schools directly in their communities.

Watery History

The city of Puntarenas' location on the coast positioned it to play an essential role in Costa Rican history. It was one of the country's most important seaports due to its ideal location as a cargo port. Many cruise ships are transiting the Pacific Ocean from Puntarenas, which serves as a docking station for ferries and a commercial fishing port for the country. In addition to lobsters and shrimp, the fishing port contributes to the fantastic fresh seafood available in the country. A ferry terminal in Puntarenas allows travelers to cross the Blue Sea to reach the Nicoya Peninsula, where white sand beaches, surfing, and protected areas are available.

Beautiful Buildings

Puntarenas offers plenty to see inland if you need a break from the water. From restaurants to churches, the area has attractive architecture. Visit one of the many restaurants in the city. You can discuss the most unusual buildings you find with your travel mates.

Interesting Spots to Visit

The Nicoya Peninsula can be reached by ferry from Puntarenas, or day cruises can be taken to nearby islands. Once you are here, you can visit several other sites that are listed below.  

Carara National Park

Carara encompasses 11,614 acres (4,700 hectares). This area ranges in elevation from 100 to 500 meters (328 to 1,640 feet). Rainforest and river habitats can be found within the park. Besides hiking trails, hiking tours are offered on the Tarcoles River, where giant crocodiles live. A variety of wildlife can be found in the park. A wide range of mammals can be found here, such as armadillos, pacas, kinkajous, peccaries, two-and three-toed sloths, capuchins, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, anteaters, etc. Numerous species of snakes live here, as well as massive crocodiles, iguanas, and dart frogs. Birdwatching is the main reason people visit Carara. One of its main attractions is its breeding population of scarlet macaws. In the higher elevations, people will see blue-crowned mot-mots, collared aracaris, guans, trogons, and hummingbirds. Several birds, such as herons, egrets, and kingfishers, can be found along the river banks.

Beaches and Islands

The province of Puntarenas contains several islands, beaches, and inlets. You can enjoy a wide variety of activities along these beaches with your partner or family. Surfing, swimming, hiking, sunbathing, and jet skiing are all popular activities with locals and tourists alike. Puntarenas or the Mata Limon Estuary are great places to visit if jet skiing or water skiing is your thing. You can rent a touring yacht or go fishing there, as the waters are much calmer. In addition, the Mata Limon Estuary is an excellent place to do this.

Paseo De Los Turistas Walk

One of Puntarenas' most popular beaches, this stretch runs along the main beach. There are many kiosks around the cruise ship docking pier where tourists can purchase local arts and crafts and enjoy traditional fruit salads and frozen drinks known as Churchill's. Additionally, sports fields, park areas, showers, restrooms, and other amenities are available along this stretch for tourists.

Historic Marine Museum

The cultural museum, amphitheater, and library are located in the restored historic barracks of Puntarenas. A monthly exhibition of paintings and sculptures is held in the first of these galleries. Various performances are held at the amphitheater, including theater, dance, and music. Puntarenas is the center of historical information, showcasing how the port evolved into one of the country's most important ports while maintaining the religious traditions and celebrations that make Puntarenas unique. Various natural resources are also displayed at the museum, including wetlands, forests, marine areas, and land animals. Tuesday through Sunday, the museum is open from 9:45 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. The 1902 Puntarenas Cathedral and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are also in the same area.

Virgen Del Mar Festival

To commemorate a famous event many years ago, colorfully decorated boats are created every 16th July. When a group of shipwrecked fishermen called on the Virgin Mary for assistance, they were rescued shortly after. The festival includes a wide range of water sports competitions and other recreational activities for adults and children. Quepos also celebrates the holiday.

When to Visit?

Travelers seeking perfect beach weather will most likely visit Puntarenas during the dry season, which runs from December to April. Most days are hot and dry, with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees.

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