Palmar Sur, South Puntarenas

Sierpe river, Palmar Sur
Sierpe river, Palmar Sur
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The tiny river town of Palmar Sur is the home of the mysterious granite stone spheres that date back to Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian period. This town is also has a main airport for those wishing to travel to Drake Bay, the Osa Peninsula and the Corcovado National Park. Lying in the Southern Pacific region of the country, Palmar Sur is located in the south of Puntarenas province.

Some 270 km south of the capital city of San Jose, Palmar Sur lies on the banks of the River Sierpe in the Diquis Valley. A nearly 6-hour drive from San Jose, the best way to get to Palmar Sur is to catch a 40-minute domestic flight from the Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Located on the delta of the Sierpe River, Palmar Sur is also an important river port and is home to some of the largest mangrove swamps in the world. With its virgin biodiversity and easily accessible wildlife, this town provides tourists with the perfect way to spend the day before they head on their journey towards the southern regions of Costa Rica.

One can spend the day here enjoying the lovely landscape in the town’s many riverside restaurants and hotels or one can visit the inexplicable stone spheres found in the area. According to researchers, these spherical granite stones date back thousands of years. While the largest stones can weigh as much as 13,000 kg, some stones are as small as bowling balls. The mysteriousness of these stones is mainly because scientists are baffled as to how perfectly spherical they are.

Separated from the town of Palmar Norte by the Terraba River, Palmar Sur is the only town in the area really worth visiting. With domestic flights here on a daily basis, one can even catch a ‘water taxi’ (boat) from the town of Sierpe to Drake Bay. In the center of town is a lovely little church that is surrounded by the main plaza where locals gather and meet every afternoon.