Poised on the end of a sandy, palm tree-lined spit in the Gulf of Nicoya, Puntarenas still pulses with an authentic maritime vibe leftover from its days as a swank port city delivering coffee and tropical fruits to far off cities in Europe. A little less than an hour from the Central Valley, this "small fishing town" of 50,000 attracts throngs of Tico beach goers on weekends and holidays, lending it a festive atmosphere with cheery, bright colored buildings, abundant good eats and cheap beer. With tourism at the helm, the city's coastal drag - the Paseo de los Turistas - boasts vendors hawking all manner of souvenirs and myriad fresh food joints.
For land lovers, brightly-painted historic buildings, quaint parks, a few good museums, the country's longest beaches and various tour options (land and sea) make the city an attractive area in the Central Pacific.
Generally, Puntarenas is very hot and humid with a wet tropical climate, where the average temperature is around 30 degrees. December to February is the driest time in this zone. There is hardly any rain, making the roads easy to travel on.
The months between May and November are the rainiest in Puntarenas making travel difficult sometimes. The highest temperature recorded in Costa Rica (42 degrees) was in Puntarenas.