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Itineraries for Your Trip to Puntarenas

Puntarenas locals share their perfect days.
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2 Days in Puntarenas for First Timers

Curated by Juniper Roselifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

Serving as the gateway to the picturesque Gulf of Nicoya and surrounding tropical forests, Puntarenas and its charms are often overlooked by visitors in a hurry to get to the next destination. But, with two days in the active port city, you can experience both the local culture and the nearby natural attractions. Here’s how. 

Day 1: Morning

Get acquainted with the city waterfront on a morning stroll along the coastal boardwalk. Stop for breakfast at one of the many casual restaurants (kioscos) before browsing handicrafts at the souvenirs stands along the popular Paseo de Los Turistas (Tourists’ Walk). 

Day 1: Afternoon

Get past the touristy boardwalk and into the city center to see the authentic side of town and to have lunch alongside locals. Plus, stop by the Historical Marine Museum of Puntarenas and Casa de la Cultura for a look into the town’s maritime history and culture.

Day 1: Night

As the light fades, head back to the waterfront to catch the sunset over the bay while enjoying fresh ceviche and tropical drinks at an open-air restaurant. Then, get a taste of the local nightlife at one of the bars boasting big dancefloors often packed with young Costa Ricans. 

Day 2: Morning

Surrounded by tropical jungles and picturesque bays, Puntarenas is the ideal jumping-off point for a day exploring nature. Start the day with a high-adventure excursion that includes ziplining past waterfalls, off-roading, and rappelling. Or, get a different type of excitement on a crocodile-watching river safari. 

Day 2: Afternoon

As an alternative to spending the day in the jungle, if you are looking for a beach day, consider a day trip to Tortuga Island instead. While Puntarenas lacks idyllic beaches, just a short speedboat ride away you can bask on white-sand beaches and snorkel in emerald waters.

Day 2: Night

For your final night in Puntarenas, treat yourself to a deluxe seafood dinner. This Costa Rican fishing hub serves some of the best seafood in the country—at reasonable prices not found in many of the coastal tourist hubs.

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