Costa Rica Expat City Guide

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

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.

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Videos about Puntarenas

Puntarenas Location

Map of Costa Rica

Puntarenas Climate

Climate Type: Tropical Savanna

Temperatures in Puntarenas are a bit higher than many other large cities inland, but they are also very consistent.  Average mean temperature throughout the year is between 27 °C (81 °F) and 29 °C (84 °F).  In the hottest months (March & April) high temperatures can exceed 34 °C (93 °F). And the average low temperatures rarely fall below 22 °C (71.5 °F).  Like much of the Pacific of the country, the wettest months tend to be August-October.

Puntarenas Weather

Puntarenas, CR
8:52 am
weather icon 31°C | °F
L: 31° H: 31°
overcast clouds
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:24 am
Sunset: 5:50 pm

At a Glance

Population: 41,528 (2011 Census data)

Popular Expat Neighborhoods: Puntarenas

Largest Regional City: Puntarenas

Vibe: beach, ocean, city, urban, commercial

Distance to Nearest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport – 85 kilometers (53 miles) – approx. 90 minutes without heavy traffic


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