Puntarenas, Costa Rica, is a fascinating city that holds multiple distinctions in the country. It serves as the capitol city of the Puntarenas region, which is the largest region in the country. Additionally, Puntarenas is the largest city in the region and one of the largest fishing port in Costa Rica. Due to its proximity to some of the best beaches, mountains, and tourist attractions in the country, Puntarenas has grown in visibility to both tourists and expats alike.
The province of Puntarenas is the largest in the country and is known as one of Costa Rica’s most important tourist destinations. It spans northward to Guanacaste and Nicoya and southward all the way to the Osa Peninsula and the Panamanian border.
As a port, Puntarenas is known as Caldera and is home to a significant fishing fleet, import/export shipping, and cruise ships sailing up the Pacific coast. The city’s main tourist street, Paseo de los Turistas, is a hub of excellent restaurants, bars, and shopping. Ceviche, a popular seafood dish, is available on almost every menu, as is Churchills, a famous shaved ice/ice cream dessert that originated in Puntarenas. While many tourists consider Puntarenas a layover on the way to the beaches or ferry to Nicoya Peninsula, the city has much to offer visitors – from parks and historic buildings and museums, to San Lucas Island, which is now a park but was formerly a prison island. The city is also an important shopping destination for people living further up and down the coast.