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How to Spend 3 Days in Puntarenas

How to Spend 3 Days in Puntarenas

Surrounded by adventure-filled jungle and picturesque islands, Puntarenas makes the ideal place to base while exploring Costa Rica’s renowned natural attractions. Here’s how to enjoy the best of Puntarenas’ authentic local culture, outdoor adventures, and top-notch seafood on a 3-day trip.

Day 1: Local Food and Culture

Start off your stay in Puntarenas with a day exploring the food, culture, and history of the city. Stroll the Paseo de Los Turistas—a beach boardwalk lined with food stalls and souvenir stands—where you can pick up local handicrafts and try a Churchill, a classic local treat made from shaved ice and ice cream. Then, venture from the waterfront to learn more about the region at the Historical Marine Museum of Puntarenas and Casa de la Cultura. Make it back for a seat at one of the open-air, ocean-facing restaurants to watch the sunset over a fresh seafood meal. 

  

Day 2: Surrounding Adventures

Day two is for adventure. Thrill-seekers head to the jungle for a ziplining tour that includes waterfalls, ocean views, rappelling, and off-roading. Or, get your adrenaline fix on a high-ropes challenge course that pushes physical and mental boundaries in the rainforest canopy. 

Alternatively, those looking for a day of relaxation can head to the white sand beaches and turquoise water of Tortuga Island on a speedboat tour that includes sunbathing, snorkeling, and fresh seafood served on the island. Return to Puntarenas to experience the local nightlife scene at one of the dance clubs along the waterfront. 

Day 3: Explore the Coast

For your last day in Puntarenas, book a tour that includes a bit of everything. By taking a day trip south from Puntarenas to Jaco, adventurous travelers access ziplining, horseback riding, and off-roading through the rainforest, while nature-lovers get to spot monkeys and massive crocodiles along the Tarcoles River. Then, spend the afternoon at the lively surf-friendly Jaco Beach. Catch a wave or just relax and catch some rays. Return to Puntarenas and indulge one last fresh seafood dinner where you can enjoy anything from classic (yet affordable) surf and turf to ceviche, shrimp, and conch fresh from the prolific Gulf of Nicoya.

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8 Tours and Activities | All Puntarenas Tours

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Half Day Costa Rica Punta Arenas Highlights

Half Day Costa Rica Punta Arenas Highlights

star-4.5
Spend a day exploring Costa Rica’s beauty away from the beach on this guided shore excursion from Punta Arenas. Head out with a guide and a small group of 15 people or fewer to discover the region’s highlights, including the tropical fruits grown in nearby “fruit towns,” a wildlife area known for its population of white-faced monkeys, and a sail down the lush Tarcoles River. Tour includes entrance fees and all transportation with port or hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$102.57
From
$102.57
Taking safety measures

Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour

Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour

star-4.5
Explore the Tarcoles River, home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations, on this guided boat tour. Along the way, learn about the area’s biodiversity and spot crocodiles, reptiles, and other local wildlife, including more than 50 bird species. Plus, enjoy some Costa Rican coffee and other refreshments on board. Private tour options are available.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

Puntarenas & Caldera Shore Excursion Day Trip

Puntarenas & Caldera Shore Excursion Day Trip

Play among the jungles and rivers of Jacó with a full-day combo tour from Puntarenas. Take you pick from a canopy zipline tour, waterfall horseback ride, or an off-road ATV rumble through the rain forest. You’ll also stop to ogle the enormous crocodiles lounging in the Tarcoles River and soak up the relaxed vibes of Jacó Beach.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$155.00
From
$155.00
Taking safety measures

Monkeys Place & Puntarenas City Tour

Monkeys Place & Puntarenas City Tour

star-3
On this tour we visited the Monkeys Place, a magical place to have an environment in harmony with wildlife, we will visit the city of Puntarenas and Esparza, the second oldest city in Costa Rica, full of culture and history.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.29
From
$51.29

Bird Watching Tour

Bird Watching Tour

star-4.5
Explore the Tarcoles River and discover its biodiversity on this guided bird-watching tour. Sail along in a comfortable, safe boat from which you’ll have the chance to spot more than 50 bird species. The river’s muddy banks and mangroves are home to a number of shorebirds, seabirds, and other native wildlife.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.00
From
$40.00
Taking safety measures

Waterfall Gardens plus Doka coffe tour (Private)

Waterfall Gardens plus Doka coffe tour (Private)

Costa Rica has become the world's premier destination for ecotourism. Places like La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park are the reason why. Hike through rainforest and cloud forest on purpose-built trails to discover incredible biodiversity. Butterflies, monkeys, hummingbirds, reptiles - this is just the start of a long list of what you'll see. In addition to wildlife watching, learn all about coffee, from tiny seed to delicious cup.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$192.31
From
$192.31
Taking safety measures

Tarcoles river plus Canopy Vistas los sueños (Private)

Tarcoles river plus Canopy Vistas los sueños (Private)

This tour combines an educational ride along the Tarcoles River with a zipline adventure through the forest canopy, a combination that highlights two Costa Rica environments in one day. Look out for animals like crocodiles, macaws, and lizards as you float along the river, and then soar with birds and monkeys on an 11-platform zipline course.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$183.59
From
$183.59
Taking safety measures

Adventure Park High Ropes Course

Adventure Park High Ropes Course

star-5
Test your balance and mind-body coordination on the high ropes course at Adventure Park Costa Rica—the country’s longest and largest course of its kind. Climb into the rain forest canopy along a series of treetop platforms, and challenge both your mental and physical stamina on a variety of hanging ropes activities designed for all levels. Admire stunning views of the Gulf of Nicoya along the way, and celebrate your skills with a ride on the giant Tarzan swing.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$132.31
From
$132.31