Getting Around in North Puntarenas

Costa Rica is a great place to visit, but it can be difficult to pick where in Costa Rica to go – there are so many great options! The North Puntarenas area is a great pick for those that are into surfing and sport fishing. This region is a top tourist destination, and for good reason – plenty of beach resort towns and some of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Overall, this region has a little bit of everything: sun, surfing, fishing, sand, trees, and a variety of animals and flowers.

One thing you don’t want ruining your chill, relaxing vacation is the stress of wondering how you are going to get around. If you are traveling to North Puntarenas, the good news is that you’ll find the area is pretty easy to navigate. The roads are plenty, maintained, and feature proper signage – which is crucial if you are a visitor! The region is an incredible place to travel; no matter which mode of transportation you choose, you’ll be able to travel along the coast to get some salty air in your lungs while soaking up the sun and feeling how amazing Mother Nature can be.

The Basics

North Puntarenas is filled with little treasures, like wonderful palm-oil plantations and stunning beach vistas. These are great places to plan to visit, and you’ll likely be able to get a tour package that includes transportation – and just like that there is one less thing to worry about! Booking activities through tour companies is a great way to help you get around the region.

A good place to begin your journey would be from the town of Puntarenas, which was one a major shipping port. Today, the town is the province’s capital. Just 110km west of San José, the town boasts some of the best seafood you’ll find in the area.

The town’s central location makes it easy to travel along the Central Pacific Coast. Heading north is a great idea, since that is where you’ll find not one, but two cloud forests: Monteverde and Santa Elena. If you’ve never been to a cloud forest, put it on your list. If you have been, I’m sure you’re anxious to go back!

Those that head west will find themselves with many sandy shores to choose from, including beach resorts at Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Montezuma and Tambor.

South of Puntarenas you will find the surfing hotspots of Jaco, Playa Hermosa and Dominical as well as the gorgeous Manuel Antonio National Park and the Carara National Park.

Public Buses

Those on a budget should consider using the public buses in North Puntarenas to get around. The buses in this area allow you to explore the Central Pacific Coast, since there are frequent stops in all of the best tourist towns. If you’re looking to travel on the Nicoya Peninsula, you’ll also have to use a ferry; you’ll be able to catch a bus again once you arrive.

Rental Cars

Rental cars are a great option for those that want to break away from the tourist packs and explore Costa Rica deeper. With your own car, on your own time, you can find some beautiful isolated stretches of sun, surf and sand. This is definitely the best way to see the province on your terms. If you’re heading to North Puntarenas from San Jose, you can rent to drive for the trip.

Drivers for Hire

Taxis are readily available in most major towns in the North Puntarenas area and are a good way to get around especially if you are traveling with your family or a large group of friends.

Alternative Transportation

Bike and scooter rentals are also very popular in North Puntarenas with several rental stores and offices found up and down the coast.

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