Puntarenas


On a narrow piece of land almost 10 miles (16 km) long, Puntarenas (population 20,950) has an estuary on one side and the Gulf of Nicoya on the other. It is 71 miles (115 km) northwest of San Jose, and 82 miles (132 km) southeast of Liberia. Its economy is based largely on fishing and tourism. This is a laid-back coastal lifestyle: walk along the palm-lined oceanfront promenade called Paseo de los Turistas, swim in a pretty hotel pool under a warm blue sky, and watch people, ships anchored offshore, and sunsets.
Drop by the small museum downtown, Museo Hist6rico Marino, Avenida Central, Calles 3/5, for a look at Puntarenas's history. A picture of this port city's culture emerges through exhibits, terrific old photos, a video, and artifacts. open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sunday.

Among popular day tours are those offering a cruise from Puntarenas to an island or beach in the gulf. good eats, swimming and snorkeling in clear waters, and entertainment. Packages include transfers from San Jose.

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