PUNTARENAS: Port Information
The city or port of Puntarenas is about 13 ft. above sea level with many wide open beaches to enjoy the sun and the ocean. Historically, it has been a recreation spot for national tourists. It provides many high quality tourism services that bring in international tourists.
Presently, there is a cruise ship port in the newly remodeled Muelle de Cruceros de Puntarenas. Cruise ships dock in the center of town. Passengers could stroll along the beach or the aptly named Paseo de Los Turistas (Tourist Stroll), a pedestrian boulevard stretching along the southern edge of town. Cruise ships make day visits to the eastern end of this road, and a variety of souvenir stalls and sodas ( informal lunch counters ) are there to greet passengers.
A free shuttle (tourist train) may be offered to take passengers to the end of the long pier where passengers will find a tourist info center.
Shopping and Food:
The dock area, where large cruise ships dock, has been transformed into a pleasant place to stroll. Restaurants and shops now line the Malecon, a pedestrian walkway that runs along the waterfront north of town. Finding a place to eat out isn´t difficult in Costa Rica and generally speaking wherever you head for, the standards of hygiene in the kitchens are high and passengers run little risk of getting food poisoning. Expensive restaurants may not necessarily offer the best food and visitors are encouraged to try the smaller establishments, known as sodas, which the locals tend to frequent and the food is as authentic as it gets,
The local currency is Colon(es). The rate of exchange is about 540 colones for 1 US Dollar. ATM´s machines will be found in most places. Major credit cards are widely accepted.
Spanish is the official language in Costa Rica. English is used widely in areas populated by tourists. Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 09:00 -18:00 hrs Banking Hours from 10:00 to 18.00 hrs
Excursions from Puntarenas or Puerto Caldera
Corobici River Floating Class II
Duration: 7:30 hrs.
Min: 18 – Max: 48 3G04F0In
Share the incredible wildlife of Costa Rica on this gentle float down the Corobici River. Located right in the heart of the Guanacaste province, the Corobici is a wide and fast-flowing Class I and II river with moderate waves. This float is great for all ages, safe enough for children (7+) and gentle enough for the elderly to enjoy. Nature lovers and bird watchers will appreciate the lush vegetation and abundant wildlife in this tropical dry forest.
Along the float, we’ll have ample opportunity to observe lots of animals: howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, coatis, iguanas and otters. You may also see some of the 300 species of birds that inhabit the nearby Palo Verde National Park: wood stork, kingfishers, roseate spoonbill, boat-billed heron, bare-throated tiger heron, white ibis and many, many more. All of these can be spotted in the trees along the riverbanks of the Corobici and Tenorio rivers.
At the end of this exiting experience, a delicious, typical Costa Rican lunch will be served at a nearby restaurant before heading back to the pier.
Recommended gear: Rubber-soled shoes that can get wet (Tevas, tennis shoes, booties or similar). Flip flops are not an option. Swimsuit / swim trunks. T-shirt and shorts of a quick-drying material. Waterproof sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or higher). Sun hat or bandana. Croakies or straps to secure glasses. Towel. Clothing Change, including shoes for after your Rafting Tour.
Tour Includes: transportation, naturalist guide, Fruits, snacks, and natural juices and water.
Tropical Forest Aerial Tram
Duration: 5:15 hrs
Min: 18 – Max: No
The Aerial Tram is one of the most unique Costa Rica excursions at Rainforest Adventures, featuring 18 gondolas that give rides to a maximum for 9 passengers each including one bilingual (English/Spanish) naturalist guide and take the passengers a tour to the canopy and the rich ecosystem of Costa Rican rain forests, one of the many beautiful destinations in Central America.
We show our guests all the different layers of the rainforest, from the floor to the treetops. The Costa Rica canopy is home to an enormous amount of flora and fauna; eager to find light and space, many plants have colonized the treetops, turning them into small, independently functioning ecosystems.Feel the sense of freedom as you ride on the Pacific Aerial Tram through the exuberant transitional zone of dry and rain forests. Small waterfalls and scenic views of the area are the backdrop for you to relax your imagination and delight your eyes.
Recommended gear: Light cloth and comfortable shoes, binoculars, camera, visor or hat, sunscreen, insect repellent Tour Includes: transportation, naturalist guide, entrance fee.
Notes: Flat, even at tram station, uneven, dirty trails at nature walk. Just the nature walk is not designed for wheelchairs, Tram boarding area is designed for physically challenged passengers. Nature walk about 800 yards.
Zip Line Tour at Mahogany Park
Duration: 4:15 hrs.
Min: 18 – Max: 54 per departure
Zip Line at Mahogany Park is not only an amazing adventure travel experience but it is one of the most popular ecological tours in Costa Rica. Located in a private reserve in a primary jungle of the tropical rainforest, this tour consist of 11 platforms from which to “swing”, “soar”, “fly” and descend and 9 horizontal traverses.
The tour starts on a hilltop where the first platform (or diving board as we call it) is located. From here you will climb about 10 steps to the diving board. From there you slide to the second platform in a giant Espavel tree which is down in a valley and so doesn’t look that high until you look down! From here you will follow the stream and valley and wind up back on the ground after an invigorating ride. Special to our Mahogany Park location are wildlife sightings including white-faced capuchin and howler monkeys and many varieties of birds!
Recommended gear: Light clothing, tennis shoes or good walking shoes, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent,suntan lotion wear bathing suite underneath cloth, bring a towel.
Tour Includes: transportation, park fees and
Jungle Crocodile Safari Boat Adventure
Duration: 4:15 hrs.
Multiple departures Available (am/pm)
Min: 18 – Max: No
The Estuary of Guacalillo and the Tarcoles River offer the opportunity to observe one of the largest populations of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in America, some of these reptiles are easily 4-5 meters long. This estuary is noted for its mangrove forests, four different species of mangrove may be found in this area: Tea mangrove, black mangrove, red mangrove and white mangrove. This particular Mangrove forest is one of the most important in the mid Pacific Coast for the conservation of the Scarlet Macaw, it is also a shelter for many endemic marine birds like the Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Hummingbirds, Mangrove Vireo, Panama Flycatcher and many herons and egrets
During of our 2:00 hours boat ride, our boat crew will safety approach to the sand banks of the river, where you will have the opportunity to see very close these giant crocodiles, some of them up to five meters long in its wild habitat.
Tour Includes: transportation, guided boat tour, naturalist guide, at the end of tour, guests gather for drinks, bottle water and fresh seasonal fruits or snacks.
Recommended gear: Light clothing, hat, visor, sun block, walking shoes, binoculars, camera.
Poas Volcano and Sarchi Artisans Centre – Full Day Tour
Duration: 8:30 hrs.
Min: 18 – Max: No
Poas National Park is one of the most attractive excursions that take place in the north area of Costa Rica’s Central Valley. The road to the Poas is an amazing landscape of greens, coffee plantations, flowers, sugar and strawberries fields. Set at 8.500 feet above sea level, it is still one of the few active volcanoes in America. Famous for its geyser-like eruptions of gas and ash, the main crater, considered one of the world’s largest, is an enormous pit 1,5 kilometers in diameter and 300 meters deep, is usually active with smoke discharges. At the bottom of the crater there is a hot, circular lagoon of some 350 meters in diameter, where the water temperature ranges between 40 ºC and 70 ºC.
A short drive takes us to Freddo Fresas Restaurant, where a traditional lunch will be served at a charming restaurant surrounded by a beauty landscape, greenery and flowers.
On the way back to the ship a short stop will be made at the village of Sarchi, known as the Cradle of Costa Rican Artisans because of its fine workshops. Here we will have time to enjoy the artistic work of the local crafters and wood workers and artisans that create the famous typical oxcart; you will be able to shop for many beautiful souvenirs to take home .
Tour Includes: Transportation, naturalist guide, entrance fees to national park, typical lunch, and bottled water.
Recommended gear: Suggest guests bring, good sturdy walking shoes, light wear, rain gear (poncho), sunscreen, hat, sweater or jacket. Camera.
The Real Costa Rican Coffee Experience
Duration: 5:30 hrs.
Min: 18 – Max: No
Come and join us at the Espiritu Santo Coffee Tour, where you will learn from enthusiastic guides how this organic coffee is grown, cared-for, harvested, and processed to produce some of the world’s best coffee beans. At the same time, you will have the chance to learn about Costa Rican history and taste a freshly roasted cup.
Espritu Santo Coffee Tour has earned a Rainforest Alliance seal of approval in addition to its many awards for quality. Six-five percent of the cooperative’s gourmet coffee bean production is shipped to companies, such as Starbucks, Petes Coffee and Caribu Coffeen Company in the United States and Europe, while the remainder is consumed here in Costa Rica.
At “El Mirador” , you will have the chance to sit down and enjoy a fresh sample of Espiritu Santo’s gourmet coffee, while looking out over the plantation’s beautiful coffee rows, then you will learn about the growth of coffee plants, from seedlings in nurseries to the time they are planted and picked in the plantations.
After walking along the plantation, you will soon find yourselves at the wet processing mill, where you can learn about how the coffee beans are measured, peeled, selected, and dried prior to be roasted.
Before the tour concludes, you will have the chance to visit an old traditional house, “La Casita de Juancho”, where you will witness how coffee was brewed in the time before coffee makers, and why some people still prefer to use a “chorreador”. Finally, the tour ends at the retail coffee shop, where visitors can stock up on delicious chocolate-covered coffee beans and more.
Tour Includes: Transportation, tour guide, harvesting plant, roasting plant, and gift shop.
Recommended gear: Suggest guests bring Regular comfortable clothing, suggest flat shoes, or tennis for comfort, Camera.