|11,276 sq. km|
|Hot and Humid|
|Manuel Antonio National Park
Cabo Blanco National Wildlife Refuge
Cano Island Biological Reserve
Islands in the Gulf ( Guayabo, Negritos, Pajaros Biological Reserves)
Corcovado National Park
About the Capital City Puntarenas
Puntarenas, Costa Rica is the capital city of the Puntarenas province. It also happens to be the largest, boasting a population of over 100,000 if you count the people who reside in the many surrounding towns. Being such a large and bustling city, it’s no wonder that Puntarenas attracts so many tourists. One of the city’s main draws is its many beaches, which feature incredible waves and, for that reason, tend to be especially popular among the surfing crowd. Furthermore, the city is also popular simply because of the fact that it’s so accessible. It features one of Costa Rica’s largest ports, Caldera and is close to several other popular tourist destinations.
Marvelous Marine Life
While Puntarenas is certainly a favorite among surfers, you don’t have to be a wave-rider or even a scuba diver to get up close and personal with the local marine life. No, all you have to do is plan a visit to the popular Puntarenas Marine Park. The park is actually more of an aquarium, and quite an astonishing one at that. It is, hands down, the best place in all of Costa Rica to safely see native marine life. It has a particularly impressive display of giant manta rays. Aside from the aquarium portion of the park, there’s a pool for cooling off, an educational center, places to grab dinner or a quick snack, and a great gift shop. Whether you’re taking the kids, that special someone, or even traveling alone, the Puntarenas Marine Park is a definite must-see.
While you can certainly spend your time in Puntarenas lounging on the beach and enjoying some well-deserved laziness, there are also plenty of opportunities to get up and get moving! There are many companies in the area that offer sea kayaking lessons and tours. Or, you can go on a walking tour of majestic Tortuga Island. There are also walking tours to view the famed Waterfall Canopy and the Pacific Islands. Opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving also abound, so don’t be afraid to grab your gear and get active!
What’s the Weather Like?
Obviously, if you’re going to be doing a lot of outdoor activities, you want there to be sunshine and clear skies all the way. Luckily for you, Puntarenas tends to stay fairly warm all year round; even its coldest temperatures tend to be much warmer than the average winter temperature in the United States. In fact, Puntarenas is actually one of the warmest cities in all of Costa Rica, so it’s definitely the place to be if it’s sunshine that you seek.
Take in a Little Culture
While it’s certainly nice to cruise the waves and soak up the sun, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little taste of culture to your Puntarenas experience. The easiest way to do that is by visiting La Casa de La Cultura, Puntarena’s main cultural center. It’s an awesome place to check out local art with plenty of exhibits debuting year round. There’s also a nice performing arts center where you can find plays, live music, and other unique entertainment options. Check the center’s schedule to see what’s playing when you’re in town; you’re sure to find something that appeals to you and that will make for a fabulous night in Puntarenas that you’ll never forget!
Day Vs. Night
One of the best features of Puntarenas is that it is essentially two cities—a quiet, relaxing one during the day and a wild, bustling one during the evening hours. You can lounge on the beach in the daytime or get involved in a fun outdoor activity. A favorite and very relaxing activity for tourists is to simply take the ferry to the nearby Nicoya Peninsula and explore the rustic little villages and wildlife refuges that exist there. At night, though, party animals will find what they’re seeking either by staying in town or heading to nearby Jaco. Both Jaco and downtown Puntarenas offer an amazing nightlife scene. You can take in a delicious meal at one of the five-star restaurants, find great deals at the local night markets, or dance the night away at a happening club. There are plenty of hotels in the area too so you can get a good night’s rest after you’ve had your fun.
All About Puntarenas
To make your visit to Puntarenas truly memorable, you have to know a thing or two about the city and its fascinating roots. You can learn everything you need to know by making a quick stop at the Museo Historico Marino. The museum is devoted to educating visitors and locals alike on Puntarena’s rich history. Not only can you view timeless photos, works of art, and ancient artifacts from the area, but you can also take a guided tour of the entire museum, either with an actual guide or via an audio device. Both types of tours are available in both English and Spanish so everyone can learn about amazing Puntarenas.