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Puerto Caldera, North Puntarenas

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Cruise Ship sailing off from Caldera Port

As one of the most important port cities in Costa Rica, Puerto Caldera is often the starting point for cruises and industrial ships. This tiny town is near many of Costa Rica's top attractions and most visited cities, including San Jose, Jaco and Puntarenas. This tropical city is located right off of the Gulf of Nicoya, making it close to traveler hot spots like Los Suenos and Tortuga Island. Whether travelers want to venture into the lush wildlife that Costa Rica is known for or venture through the cityscapes, Puerto Caldera is a perfect home base.

Puerto Caldera is the perfect destination for the traveler who loves off-the-beaten-path excursions and off-the-map attractions. Plan to be completely immersed in the native Tico lifestyle during the time spent here. Puerto Caldera offers few amenities and facilities for travelers, although there are gift shops to purchase jewelry, wooden crafts, coffee and more.

Nearby attractions

If you want a big city experience in Costa Rica, the city of Puntarenas is just a short drive away. This long peninsula is home to stunning beaches, an array of wildlife and streets lined with restaurants, bars and cafes. While in Puntarenas, you will be able to find a variety of tours and attractions, including zip-lining, fishing, shopping and more.

Carara National Park is a biological reserve located right between the dry forests to the north and the lush tropical rainforests to the south. In fact, the 13,000-acre park features a transitional forest of both dry and wet rainforest. The thick, lush forest of Carara is comprised of both ancestral trees and secondary forests, making it the perfect place for a variety of wildlife. The Tarcoles River cuts directly through the park, and is home to 2,000 crocodiles – some crocs can grow to be 20 feet long! This park is also home to more than 400 aviary species, and it is one of the best places in the country to view the scarlet macaws.

Travelers who want to party with the locals and enjoy the surf should head to Jaco, which is about 35 kilometers south of Puerto Caldera. Known as one of the most vibrant destinations, filled with lively restaurants, bars and cafes, Jaco is a 2.5-mile strip of stunning sandy shores. Whether you want to visit lavishly or on a budget, Jaco has got something to offer everyone. Here visitors can go sport fishing, kayaking, white water rafting and much more.

Helpful tips

With an average climate in the high 70s and 80s all year round, Puerto Caldera is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful locales. The green season here is between June and October, while dry season stretches from November to May.

Because of the convenient location, you can reach Puerto Caldera fairly easily. At about 1-hour west of San Jose, or 81 kilometers, Puerto Caldera can be driven to easily from the airport.