a VirtualTourist member from Hendersonville
My wife and I will be in Puntarenas for just one day (arriving by cruiseship) on January 3rd from 9:00am to 6:00pm. We want to see and do as much as possible in this very short time. We would appreciate a suggested "itinerary" of must-see and must-do activities from morning to night.
We are "young", active seniors and would be open to all ideas and suggestions. We like hiking, rafting, etc..the Canopy Tour sounds interesting. We know it will be a whirlwind day, but we are ready and willing.
If there are any local VT's who could be available to personally guide/drive us thru this day, that would be even better!
I have been in Punta Arenas in 2003. Well, actually there isn't much to do there.. punta arenas wasn't too interesting in my opinion. I preferred Puerto Natales actually, but it took something like 4 hours to get there by bus from Punta Arenas.
Maybe you should contact the local tourist office and see what kind of tours they offer (depending on the time you get there)
ciaooo enjoy chile
Are you talking about the port town Puntarenas? If you are then my suggestion is to skip it alltogether and do something more interesting. This town is not the most attractive and the cleanest one you can imagine. I was there for a few hours with some of my friends and I didn't feel comfortable as we drew lots of attention by the locals as we were the only tourist in sight.
Ok here I go again. Responding to people bashing Puntarenas. This town is real Costa Rica. it isn't designed to please tourists but at the same time has value in that it is your chance to see more real Costa Rican culture. I get tired of people bashing this place. If you aren't into seeing a real Costa Rican town then stick to some Guanacaste resort.
Now to answer the question...There is a person who can take you in his boat to see the mangrove forests (like the everglades. He takes people on tours. You can ride past the seaport areas of town with run down groups of factory's and such which I find interesting (again real costa rica working class people). This can be interesting if you are into wildlife viewing, particularly birds. Unfortunately I don't know how you can reach him directly but if you contact The Portabello Hotel (in Puntarennas) they should be able to try to arrange this or contact him for you. He stores his boat there so this is where you would take off from. His name is Louis. He speaks English reasonably well.
Previous post was quite insulting to me so I have to reply again.
I consider myself an adventurous traveller and I usually avoid touristy places so going to Guanacaste never even crossed my mind. I stand behind my statement that Puntarenas is not an interesting place to see. Usually what makes my trips exciting is interaction with locals, exploring local culture, and avoiding touristy places. In Costa Rica I got that experience in towns like Fortuna, Montezuma, Quepos, Tilaran, Zarcero, etc. People I met in these towns were warm and friendly - Costa Rica style. In Puntarenas, there was nothing local and different to be seen. My only experience were local vendors yelling after me for not bying their goodies, and an annoying local guy that was after us for a few hours while we waited for the ferry to transfer us to Paquera. He literally abused us and we had nowhere to hide. Not the most comfortable situation as you can imagine. We had to give him money so he'd leave us alone...
Anyway this is my experience and that is how all the postings here should be treated - and most importantly - without judging people you know nothing about.
I did not mean to come across as insulting. Sorry if that is the way it was perceived. I will clarify further in saying that what I meant by Puntarenas being a nontouristy place is that there really aren't tourists that stay there. The towns of Fortuna, Montezuma, and Quepos are all very touristy and therefore not exactly a taste of Costa Rica prior to the gringos taking it over. Don't get me wrong those places are great to visit. I particularly love montezuma and Quepos but they are touristy. i even own property in Quepos. I would not recommend someone to spend their vacation entirely in Puntarenas but at the same time I think a day there can be an interesting experience to help get a full picture of Costa Rica.