Paso Canoas, South Puntarenas

Hummingbird in Paso Canoas area
Hummingbird in Paso Canoas area

Situated on the border between Panamá and Costa Rica, Paso Canoas is the portrait of what it means to welcome newcomers to Costa Rica with open arms. Inviting and friendly, the town offers a number of entertainment venues. Even if you’re content to stay within Costa Rica’s welcoming environs, a stop by Paso Canoas is worth every minute for the joys of Central American hospitality.

Beauty at the Border

As a border town, Paso Canoas is often the last stop for travelers leaving Costa Rica – and the first point of entry for travelers arriving from Panamá. The unassuming border is comprised of a single stretch of deserted road, and yet that stretch of road blossoms into a buzzing hub of activity and entertainment where travelers can find a number of attractions, shops stocked with fascinating local and cultural wares, and restaurants overflowing with the unique, rich flavors of Costa Rican cuisine. Several thousand tourists frequent Paso Canoas daily, making it a fast-moving center point of local life.

The Perfect Tourist Stop

If you have a few hours to kill while waiting to cross the border, Paso Canoas offers the perfect way to pass the time. Tour the many attractions and take in the scenic wildlife; get to know the locals and absorb the vibrancy of Costa Rican culture. Paso Canoas’s residents are welcoming and friendly, and meeting the local community is an essential part of any stop in our lovely border town. For those first entering Costa Rica, Paso Canoas can be your first encounter with the local culture and the varying nuances of what it means to be native Costa Rican.

Wilson Botanical Garden

If you have time, stop by the nearby Wilson Botanical Garden – a stunning masterpiece of botanical beauty founded by Robert and Catherine Wilson in 1963. The garden occupies 12 hectares of lushly cultivated space, surrounded by over 250 hectares of natural forest. With over 1,000 species of plants from over 200 families in the garden alone, this national treasure leaped to international acclaim for the beauty of its flower-strewn gardens and the richness of its biodiversity. The flowers include flourishing orchids and bromeliads, as well as a number of medicinal plants.

That biodiversity includes many species of birds, which makes it a haven for photographers, naturalists, and biologists alike. For bird watchers, there can be no greater thrill than waiting for the perfect sighting of the many rare species within the park.

The garden also houses a research and educational facility, and is part of the Las Cruces Biological Station. The Organization for Tropical Studies, a nonprofit focused on education in tropical biology, uses the garden as a key point of research and education for anyone interested in tropical biodiversity and plant and animal species. Whether you’re interested in biological education or just sightseeing, though, you can schedule a guided morning or night tour or take a self-directed tour along easy pathways and among labeled plant life. With custom itineraries and boat tours, the park is accessible to you on your schedule.

Wildlife Conservation

Paso Canoas is also home to a number of nearby wildlife conservation areas, giving visitors a glimpse into the richness and individuality of Costa Rica’s wildlife. Take in the breathtaking natural scenery and get your first taste of what makes Costa Rica stand out as a unique, flourishing ecological niche unlike any other in the world.

Make the beauty of Paso Canoas a part of your vacation by scheduling a stop in our favorite border town. Take in the sights, enjoy the food, get to know the locals, and absorb the vistas. Once you’ve discovered the richness of Paso Canoas, you’ll never want to leave.

Costa Rica Eco-Adventure Tour
12 Days / 11 Nights or 10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $2,352 per person
Eco Experience: A Costa Rican Adventure
11 Days / 10 Nights
Starting at $3,874 per person

Where to Stay near Paso Canoas

Featured Hotel
Playa Cativo Lodge
Starting at $165 / night
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Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Starting at $310 / person
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Tiskita Jungle Lodge
Starting at $75 / night
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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Starting at $440 / night (meals included)
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Coloso del Mar
Starting at $65 / night
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El Remanso Lodge
Starting at $270 / night per person - Meals Included
Featured Hotel
Hotel Cuna del Angel
Starting at $121 / night
Featured Hotel
Agua Dulce Beach Resort
Starting at $110 / night