Puntarenas can refer to both the city of Puntarenas and the province of Puntarenas. Plankton rich waters bring visits from giant oceanic manta rays, schools of mobula rays as well as placid whale sharks.
Stingrays of many types can be seen out here as well as eagle rays. Schooling fish are usually grunts or trevally and they occur in the hundreds. Other sharks to see off the coast of Puntarenas are whitetip sharks, and the occasional bull shark. Sea turtles are also frequently seen and amongst the reefs and pinnacles are colorful parrotfish, moray eels, groupers, angelfish and others.
The Pacific coast off Puntarenas is a favorite route for marine mammals migrating from the Southern Hemisphere so do look out for humpback whales and pilot whales during winter.
May to November is considered rainy season. It is the best time to go if you’re an advanced diver who likes pelagic action. During these months, nutrient swells attract pelagic species closer to shore and Hammerhead Sharks to Cocos Island. These plankton blooms and river runoff decrease visibility at this time.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
The closest international airport to Puntarenas is Juan Santamaria Airport in San José. From the airport, you’ll need to take ground transport to your destination in Puntarenas. The journey is about an hour and a half, but distances vary as Puntarenas is a very large province.
Once you’ve reached your holiday destination of choice, you can use buses, taxis or rental cars to travel from point A to point B.