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Puntarenas Port of Call

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Natural splendour in abundance ©

A gateway to Costa Rica's best natural forests and islands, Puntarenas is a run-down port city both faded as a commercial centre and developing as a new cruise and tourist destination.

The most popular attractions are excursions out of Puntarenas but within the town the aquarium Parque Marino del Pacífico and the walkway Paseo de los Turistas are popular, especially with locals.

Cruise ships either dock at Puntarenas Pier or ten miles (7km) south at Puerto Caldera, which is one of the country's most important commercial shipping ports but with very limited passenger amenities. Puntarenas Pier is not much more than a long dock and small terminal but is located within easy walking distance of the city centre.


Contact

Tel: +1 (866) 267-8274
The tourist office can be found in the terminal building

Transport

Puntarenas doesn't have much to offer cruise passengers in town but what is there can easily be walked to from the pier. Most passengers take organized shore excursions from waiting vans at the pier's end.

Attractions

From Puntarenas most worthwhile attractions are a few hours away, but when spending time in the port city the Parque del Pacifico offers some interesting saltwater aquarium exhibits and the Paseo de Los Turistas is a pleasant stroll past cafés and souvenir stands. There is a beach in Puntarenas popular with locals but better ones are found outside the city. A small museum and church round out the port's attractions.

Restaurants

Jardin Cervecero - good seafood in an upmarket atmosphere

La Yunta Steakhouse - good steak and seafood, with ocean views from the veranda

Best Dish

Ceviche

Shopping

The only shopping area in Puntarenas popular with tourists is the Paseo de Los Turistas, a short walkway which has sea side cafés and souvenir stands. There are also a few small souvenir stands next to the cruise terminal. The city centre has mostly shops for local trade.

Best Buy

Coconut crafts

Excursions

Explore the Biological Reserve of Carara

Visit San Jose with its many attractions

See crocodiles in Corcovado National Park

Sail out to Cocos Island

Sun tan on Jaco Beach

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