Located on the coast of the Nicoya Gulf, across from the Nicoya Peninsula, Puntarenas was developed as a port in 1840. The city centre is built around the traditional central plaza. Cafes line the beach strip and offer fresh seafood dishes and of course delicious Costa Rican coffee.
San Lucas Island: Once home to Costa Rica’s worst criminals, San Lucas Island is now a wildlife refuge. The island was a penitentiary from the late 1800’s until 1991 and the buildings are considered cultural heritage sites. Wildlife on the island includes howler monkeys, deer, pheasants and at least 8 species of bats amongst the prison buildings.
Parque Marino del Pacifico: Situated in town on the site of the old train station, this aquarium and refuge is a recent addition to the town. Here you’ll find Nemo (clown fish), nurse sharks, seahorses, as well as pelicans and crocodiles. The site also has a small splash for kids.