Costa Rica's

PUNTARENAS

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Description : A rather big town with nothing to do beside waiting for a boat or bus to leave

Comment : The town is quite dirty and, beside the stone church, lack sights. It however does not lack stores and it is therefore an excellent place to stock on goods before more expensive Montezuma. 

Where to stay ? You should be able to avoid spending a night here but, if you do, there is at least an acceptable place to stay : Hotel Cabezas (6611045), straight from the pier then left / 1750 p.p., w. shower 2500 p.p. / Correct rooms and clean atmosphere

Leaving ? The passenger boat to Paquera (for Montezuma), Lancha Don Bernardino (6613034), leaves at 6, 11:15 and 15:15. The ticket office open around one hour before departure but you can still go there earlier to leave your bag. It cost C450 and takes 1h15mn. / A car ferry is also doing the trip at 5, 12:30 & 17 but it leaves from another pier 2km away and cost C550. / To San Jose via the airport, direct bus every hour from 5:30 to 7pm (I know, something weird here) : C855. 2 hours. Non-direct buses (C700, 2.5 hours) at 4:15, 6:15, 8:10, 10:45, 13, 14:50, 17 &20 / To Monteverde, the direct bus leaves at 14:15 (C650, 3.5 hours). The non-direct leaves at 13:15 but cost C700 and takes 2 hours longer / To Liberia at 4:40, 5:30, 7, 8:30, 9:30, 11, 12:30 & 15 / To Quepos (C735, 3.5 hours) at 5, 11, 14:30 &16:30. Those buses leave from the station by the beach road, 50m East of the San Jose's station. 

 << Discover the best aspect of the town


The trip to Montezuma :
SSSS / L&R / C450 + C700 / 1.15h + 1h40 / Boat + Bus
The boat ride was lovely and very relaxing, with some good birds' spotting opportunities : look out for all the pelicans on the boats in the pier or a few in action in the middle of the sea.
Reaching Paquera, get ready for a race toward the waiting bus if the boat is busy. The locals are good at it and prepare their bags well in advance. Passengers get off on the left from the boat's basement. As it was not too busy, most people got a seat. The bus left once all the passengers in.
The scenery was green and nice enough but it was not as spectacular as I thought it would be. It was very hot and we unfortunately stopped a lot for the local's passengers. Most got off 7km before Montezuma at the bigger village of Cobano. We arrived at 14:20.

The trip to Quepos : SSS / Right / 3 hours / C725 / Bus
The 11am bus arrived at 10:30 and filled up fast. Nobody was standing when we left but it wasn't long before the alley be jammed with locals.
The road along the shore was nice but not as impressive as expected : the view toward the ocean was rather limited. 
I was a long and hot journey, without any break. We arrived in Quepos at 14:10. On the way, Jaco looked like a deserted tourist town, with empty bars and restaurants. This was low season... The bay view was lovely.