Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Puntarenas the province is firstly notable as the biggest province of Costa Rica just ahead of Guanacaste. It also occupies almost the entire Pacific Coast of Costa Rica except for the northwest portion that belongs to Guanacaste. Home to some of the most famous beaches and National Parks in Costa Rica, Puntarenas is a major tourist destination and home of Costa Rica’s principal Pacific shipping port.

The area that now makes up the province of Puntarenas has long been inhabited by many different groups of Central American Indians. With the arrival of the Spanish in 1522 those populations began to diminish, though from Quepos down south to the Osa Peninsula some tribes managed to maintain semi-independence.

A tropical humid climate dominates in Puntarenas and temperatures range from the low 70s into the 90s. Like its neighbor to the north, Guanacaste, Puntarenas experiences a dry season from December through April and then a progressively rainier green season from May through November.

Unsurprisingly for somewhere with such a long coastline, fishing is an important part of the way of life in Puntarenas. Whether it is artisanal and industrial fishing or sport fishing, Puntarenas is a top spot for both. Agriculture and cattle ranching are present, but not to the degree as in other provinces. Tourism on the other hand is a big part of the economy.

Some of the most famous National Parks in Costa Rica like Monteverde, Carara, Corcovado on the Osa Peninsula, Cabo Blanco, and the Tarcoles Conservation Area are located in Puntarenas. Coco’s Island, several hundred miles off the coast, is one of the world’s most bio diverse habitats and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Some of the country’s best beaches including Jaco, Quepos, Drake Bay, and Manuel Antonio attract throngs of beach lovers throughout the year.

Puntarenas offers some of the best attractions in Costa Rica and unique destinations like Marino Ballena National Park, where one can see the yearly humpback whale migration, make for unforgettable Costa Rica vacations.

Puntarenas Attractions

Corcovado National Park Puntarenas Costa Rica1
Drake Bay on trail to Corcovado National Park Costa Rica1
Jaco Beach Puntarenas Costa Rica1

Manuel Antonio Park Puntarenas Costa Rica1

Monteverde Puntarenas Costa Rica1