It is served in an almond tree leaf cone with fried cassava and pork cracklings.
Camarón al ajillo
Shrimp sauteed in lard with garlic.
Also known as Churchill when it is served with ice cream.
Sweet made of rice liquefied with cinnamon, milk, and sugar to taste.
Typical food of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Puntarenas has a port cuisine based on the great variety of ingredients from the Pacific Ocean, which mixed with land ingredients, offer the best of this two worlds.
In Puntarenas you can find typical dishes as "Vigorón" (a mixture of fried yucca, combined with vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, tomato, and onion, marinated in lemon). This dish is usually served in a cone of almond leaf with cracklings. On the beach area, Puntarenas offers ceviche, prepared with fish (usually corvina), coriander, onion, sweet chili, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper. In this port you can also find the traditional "camarones al ajillo", prepared with peeled fresh shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic.
Tamarind water is a drink that you will find in many restaurants of Puntarenas, as well as "agua de pipa" (made from palm fruit), very effective to quench thirst and recharge energy.
To cool off, there is nothing better than a "granizado", or "copo", which is grated ice sweetened with syrup, usually cola. These sorbets are very common in Costa Rica and in Puntarenas, usually enjoyed with powder and condensed milk. These icy drinks may also include ice cream, known as "Churchill". Another regional sweet made from rice liquefied with cinnamon, nutmeg, ice, milk, and sugar to taste, known as "Resbaladera".
La Casa de los Mariscos is one of the most popular restaurants in the area, given its location on the boardwalk, you can try seafood dishes and exotic cocktails while you relax watching the sea.
To avoid dehydration in hot days, we suggest you to drink plenty of water and to protect your skin with sunscreen.
You should pack light clothing made of natural fibers to stay cool during the day.
If you travel to Puntarenas during the rainy season, remember to bring an umbrella or a rain jacket, and if you travel during the dry season, pack a sweater for the cooler nights.
The weather in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
The weather in Puntarenas is tropical humid with an annual average temperature of 28°C (82.4°F) and light breeze throughout the year. There is a dry season that lasts from February to April, having the highest temperatures of the year; and a rainy season that starts in May, with more precipitation and humidity, especially in the morning.
What to bring by season
Rainy season (May to November): there is an average of 20 rainy days per month during this season, September and October are the rainiest with an average of 287 mm (11.3 in). Relative humidity in this season is 86% and the average high temperature is 32 °C (90 °F) during the day, while the lowest is 23 °C (73 °F). You should wear light colored clothing made of natural fabrics and a hat to keep you fresh. Remember to bring a rain jacket or a folding umbrella. Protect yourself from the UV rays with sunglasses and sunscreen. Puntarenas is a beach destination, you will need a swimsuit, flip-flops, and beach clothing.
Dry season (December to April): the average temperature is 28 °C (82 °F), with constant breeze of 9 km/h (6 mi/h) and relative humidity of 76%. The coolest temperatures of the season are recorded between December and February, with an average of 22 °C (72 °F); the highest temperatures are from February to April, recording 34 °C (93 °F). There are about 8 rainy days per month, with an average of 14 mm (0.5 in) of precipitation. If you travel to Puntarenas during this season, you should pack light colored clothing, preferably made of cotton or linen, which will help you to stay fresh during the day, as well as a light sweater for the cool evenings, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, swimsuit, and flip-flops. We recommend that you protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen. Remember to bring a folding umbrella for the scattered showers.
The port of Puntarenas, located in the Gulf of Nicoya in the Pacific Ocean, is one of the main destinations of Costa Rica, visited by national and foreign travelers due to its dark sand volcanic beaches and its tropical nature. This port also has many islands, protected areas, and attractions that make of its pier, a strategic stop for cruise ships.
In Puntarenas you can visit Parque Marino del Pacífico, a marine park located only 500 meters (1640 ft) from the pier, featuring an aquarium, exhibits of turtles and crocodiles, and amusement sites for the whole family. Paseo León Cortés Castro, known as Paseo de los Turistas (the tourist promenade), runs parallel to the beach and it is one of the busiest places in the city, with bars, restaurants, and hotels. Here you can take the ferries that cross the Gulf of Nicoya.
Other tourist attractions in the city include the cathedral, which stands out for being the only one in Costa Rica; the port market, La Punta lighthouse, where you can find the bell tower of the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen; and Casa de la Cultura de Puntarenas, an old colonial House, heritage of the city.
***The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC).