Welcome to the Puntarenas cruise port guide. Some cruise ships will call this port of call Puerto Caldera instead of Puntarenas. Fact is Puerto Caldera and Puntarenas are two different ports of call from where you can explore beautiful Costa Rica. You will have the opportunity to explore the volcanoes, mountains, rainforests, coffee plantations, wildlife and waterfalls of this beautiful country. While Costa Rica might be one of the smallest countries of Central America it is also one of the most naturally diverse! Check out your option of how to get out and about at the cruise port of Puntarenas.
Cruise port guide Puntarenas – Costa Rica: docked
Cruise ships dock at the long pier of Puerto Caldera. Shore excursion buses from the ship are waiting for you on the pier. The independent travellers can walk to the end of the pier where you will go through security. When you exit the pier you will be right in the centre of Puerto Caldera.
When you exit the cruise port you will see a rather nice crafts market that runs parallel to the beach directly to your left hand side. This is a great place to pick up your local souvenirs like coffee, flutes and work from the local artists.
Directly at the exit of the port at your left hand side you will see a line of restaurants. They all provide w-fi when you purchase a drink or lunch.
Directly to the left and right hand side you will find a wonderful black beach. Especially to the left hand side when exiting the port you will find lost of beach chairs and beach restaurants.
Other than that there is nothing within walking distance of the cruise facilities.
We strongly recommend you not to stay in the port area unless you would favour a day on the beach. At just one hour drive you will find amazing landscapes, volcanoes and rainforest that are unique in the world. Therefore we highly recommend you to take a shore excursion or taxi tour. Find out underneath what your options are:
At the exit of the port there are also lots of mini vans that say “Turismo”. These vans are waiting to gather a small group of people to visit sites of interest. The tour vans have no fixed route. The drivers carry around a list of places of interest and you simply put together an itinerary and hopefully more people will want to join your group.
Make sure to negotiate a price before you step in. The price is usually negotiated per person. There are no fixed prices so make sure you bring your bargaining skills.
At the exit of the pier you will be overloaded by taxi and tour operators. You will recognise official taxis by their red color and yellow triangle.
Things to do from Puntarenas:
-Monteverde Cloud Forest
-Poas Volcano National Park
-Coffee plantation La Luisa
-Sarchi (largest oxcart in the world)
-Go Zip lining, hiking, river riding, rock climbing
If you want to try the local dishes we highly recommend one of the following:
Casados: rice, black beans, salad and tortilla
Chorreadas: Costa Rican corn pancakes
Chicharrones: fried pork belly or rinds
Churchill: typical Puntarenas sorbet