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The province of Puntarenas is located on the West coast of the country, along the Pacific Ocean, south of Guanacaste. Although the narrow and slender shape of its northern part makes it appear a non large province from a geographical point of view, it is surprisingly the largest in Costa Rica. It covers a 11,266 km2 land, an area shared by 11 cantons formed by 57 districts. The province is divided in two: north and south. The northern part extends along the southern border of Manuel Antonio National Park and is easily accessible because of the majority of the roads that are in good condition. The southern part extends from the Osa Peninsula to the border shared with Panama. That being said, Puntarenas also shares borders with four other Costa Rican provinces: Alajuela, Guanacaste, Limon and San Jose.
In the southern part of the province, the forests are among the most lush and dense of the country, due to heavy rainfall, which itself is the result of the hot and tropical climate throughout the year. Its beaches, but especially its national parks make it a province that must absolutely be considered when visiting Costa Rica.
Like Guanacaste, Puntarenas has national parks that highlight the green side of the country. During your visit, if you want to see a fauna and flora that do not exist anywhere else in the world; if you fail to go to another province that also allows to do so, go to one of the national parks. The Manuel Antonio, Corcovado and Carara national parks will certainly give you the opportunity.
The Nauyaca waterfalls, one of the most beautiful in the country will also wink at you to astonish you. Try not to miss it, because like all the other tourist attractions, it will make your visit to Puntarenas unforgettable.
Since Puntarenas is on the West coast of the country and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, it is both a port and seaside province.
Known for its beautiful beaches, some of the other provinces and even other countries envy it. When you’ll go for your stay, you will want to swim in all its beaches. Consequently, since no one is held to the impossible, Among the multitude that exist, we suggest you some that could possibly please you.
Manuel Antonio Beach is probably the one you should visit first, because its great popularity and picturesque beauty will leave you speechless.
On the other hand, Uvita will probably be a better option if you want a less crowded place. As for Herradura, although it is small, you will have easy access to it and will be able to do several activities.
Finally, you will probably love Dominical, a beach that is also famous for family vacations, but is also ideal for couples looking to escape without their children.
Compared with those of other countries, Costa Rica's gastronomy is not very varied, but when compared to those of the countries of Central America, it is one of the most varied. It is actually Creole cuisine with Spanish, African and Aboriginal influences. In cooking, Costa Ricans use different spices and herbs to give a unique taste to their dishes (coriander, cumin, achiote, etc.). In general, the gastronomy is much the same throughout the country, with probably some very minor differences in the way dishes are cooked. Regarding Puntarenas, the fact that it’s bordered by the Pacific Ocean implies that it obviously includes seafood in its cuisine. Here are some of the dishes you will be able to taste wherever you go in the country: Gallo Pinto, Ceviche, Tamales, Arroz con Pollo, Olla de Carne. These are dishes that Costa Ricans like to eat gathered around a table with family or friends.
To be well imbued with the culture of a given country implies among other things to participate in events that highlight this culture. The lifestyle of the inhabitants is unquestionably one of the best indicators that give informations about the said culture. In this sense, the north of Puntarenas celebrates great events that open a door on Costa Rica’s culture. Although organized once a year, the Puntarenas’ Carnival is not a simple celebration, it is essential, even indispensable, because it is a very representative element of Costa Rican culture. The Fiesta de la Virgen del Mar (Virgin of the Sea Day) is another celebration through which the Ticos and Ticas of Puntarenas explain their culture to foreigners.
Visiting a country also involves knowing a little about its history. Although historians are able to detail the country’s historical trajectory, this may not be enough because proofs are needed to support it. These proofs take the form of historical sites and monuments (buildings, statues, sculptures, etc.) and museums containing authentic objects that speak for themselves. The province of Puntarenas has a history of its own, but which does not contrast with the history of the country as a whole. Tourists visiting the Marine Historical Museum will be able to see it.
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