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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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3 Tours and Activities

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Half Day Costa Rica Punta Arenas Highlights

Half Day Costa Rica Punta Arenas Highlights

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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
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD102.57
From
USD102.57

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
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD192.31
From
USD192.31

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
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD183.59
From
USD183.59