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Its capital city of the same name sits in the northern section of the strangely shaped province of Puntarenas. Not only is it the largest province in the country, but the city of Puntarenas is also the largest in the province. This city is home to more than 100,000 Ticos, and its proximity to the sea make it an extremely popular destination among locals and strangers. Those who are in San José like to go to this neighboring region especially during weekends and holidays. Tourists are attracted to this city for its beaches, nearby surf, architecture and historical value.

Rich Marine History
Being positioned on the coast, the city of Puntarenas is very important to the history of Costa Rica.
The location makes it ideal to be a cargo port, in fact it houses one of the most important ports in the country. Today, Puntarenas is the most important area for fishing in the country, but it also serves as a port for ferries and cruises that cross the Pacific Ocean on their way to the Panama Canal. This fishing port helps the country always offer fresh seafood, including lobster and shrimp. With the ferry terminal in Puntarenas, people can easily move through the blue waters of the Nicoya Peninsula, where they can enjoy white sand beaches, surfing, and protected areas filled with forests and more beaches.

Nearby Parks and Beaches
There are other beaches as well as national parks that tourists can travel to and from Puntarenas in a relatively short period of time. Some of the most popular nearby areas are Playa Naranjo, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, Carara National Park and the popular Boca Barranca surfing destination.

An Ideal Place
One of the things that you should not overlook is that Puntarenas is not just a passing city or a place with a port. While many people use Puntarenas as a transit city, it is worth mentioning that this city also has a variety of things to appreciate and explore. Be sure to visit the cafes along the beach on Paseo de Los Turistas. You will surely find something to satisfy that need for sugar, with delicious smoothies made with delicious fruit on many of the menus. Once you have filled your stomach, you can take a pleasant walk on the sidewalks in search of the perfect souvenir that the vendors offer you. These places are ideal for tourists to find real souvenirs and to take them to friends or home.

Stay Local
Whether you decide to stay in the city of Puntarenas as part of your vacation, or just happen to be somewhere else, there are plenty of activities that will keep you active during your vacation. Like many coastal cities in Costa Rica, you can do water sports like fishing, kayaking, and surfing on nearby beaches. There are great places to hike while visiting beautiful suspension bridges or waterfalls. Without forgetting the hectic nightlife that is lived in the Paseo de Los Turistas, where you can also find a very good gastronomic offer.

Concerts usually take place in Puntarenas.
The cultural center attracts many tourists in the area. You will be able to appreciate the local culture first hand by attending the festivals and carnivals that the city hosts, including the Popular Celebrations in November and the Virgin of the Sea Festival in July.
February and March are also good months to visit Puntarenas, as the well-known Puntarenas Carnivals take place.

If you plan to stay in Puntarenas for a few days, you may want to explore nearby areas.
Jacó is located to the south of the city, being one of the most popular beach cities in Costa Rica. It has great surfing thus attracting many tourists without forgetting the great variety of commerce.

Beautiful buildings
If you need to rest from so much water, there is a lot to do inland in the city of Puntarenas.
You will find interesting architecture, from restaurants to churches. You will be able to explore the city and discover the most unusual buildings and then be able to discuss with your traveling friends in one of the many restaurants in the city.

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