First time to Puntarenas, Costa Rica

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#1
On Cruise ships and in Australia & New Zealand
7,678 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We have never been to Puntarenas, Costa Rica before and I was wondering what is there to do there?, any tips/ideas??

What do you do there for the day?

Any tips/advise/ideas are very welcome
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#2
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,561 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
First of all I would join the Roll Call for your cruise to see what other people are doing? I haven't seen any vendors at the pier selling tours. Most tour are from the cruise line or arranged privately.
I have only visited the orchid farm other wise usually do a ship day.
There is a beach (gravel ? ) nearby that you can goto or just walk around.
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#3
2,268 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
We went snorkeling, but I wouldn't recommend it as there wasn't much to see, and even though we are experienced it was challenging because of the waves and the rocks.

The people on our boat who went diving were very satisfied, however.
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Margaret

2016 Windstar Costa Rica & Panama Canal
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#4
South Carolina
27,928 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
There's really nothing to do in port.
Puntarenas is a long way from anyplace you'd want to go on excursions.
We've only taken excursions booked with the ship.
Once, we just stayed on the ship.
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80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#5
77 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I was just looking at Thumbs Up Tours. They are rated #1 of the tours in Puntarenas on tripadvisor. The 10 in 1 tour looks really good; and it's only $70. Their website goes into a lot of detail of what's included: http://www.thumbsuptours.com/#!tours---activities/it10u

It's listed as a cruise ship tour; so they are used to being on time.
Who has gone on that one?
#6
NY
49 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Never heard about that agency thumbs up till a couple of months, I read somewhere the young guy who runs this new business used to work as a guide for odysseytourscr.com a tour operator for Puntarenas and has been recommended since 2005 here on cruise critic.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1608857&page=2


Originally posted by SuzieeQ
I was just looking at Thumbs Up Tours. They are rated #1 of the tours in Puntarenas on tripadvisor. The 10 in 1 tour looks really good; and it's only $70. Their website goes into a lot of detail of what's included: http://www.thumbsuptours.com/#!tours---activities/it10u

It's listed as a cruise ship tour; so they are used to being on time.
Who has gone on that one?
#7
On Cruise ships and in Australia & New Zealand
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Joined Jul 2007
Thank You everyone for the information
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Pacific Star - 11 July 2006
Pacific Star - 25 Feb 2008
Pacific Sun - 11 June 2008
Volendam - 19 Dec 2008
Pacific Sun - 25 July 2009
Pacific Sun - 19 Dec 2009
Sun Princess - 1 Oct 2010
Pacific Pearl - 26 June 2011
Pacific Pearl - 1 July 2011
Diamond Princess - 29th Dec 2011
Pacific Jewel - 19 May 2012
Diamond Princess - 26 Nov 2012
Sea Princess - 29 Aug 2013
Sea Princess - 2 Sept 2013
Sun Princess - 25 Jan 2014
Pacific Pearl - 6 June 2014
Carnival Legend - 27 Oct 2014
Queen Elizabeth - 8 Feb 2015
Pacific Pearl - 8 May 2015
Emerald Princess - 19 Sept 2015
Emerald Princess - 26 Sept 2015
Emerald Princess - 17th Oct 2015
Carnival Glory - 25 Oct 2015
Coral Princess - 7 Oct 2015
Pacific Aria - 17 Dec 2015
Queen Mary 2 - 11 March 2016
Sun Princess - 19 April 2016
Queen Victoria - 17 Sept 2016
Emerald Princess - 28 Sept 2016
Pacific Pearl - 30 Jan 2017
P&O UK: Aurora - 12 March 2017
P&O UK: Aurora - 22 March 2017
P&O UK: Aurora - 29 April 2017
Queen Victoria - 8th July 2017


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#8
Palm City, Fl
3,919 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We had no trouble finding a tour on the pier.

"Charlie" had room to add four to his mini-van which lowered the per person cost a little bit.

We had a wonderful day touring the lowlands in the area, including a boat ride on a river full of salt water crocs and beautiful birds.

Note: the boat ride was additional (modest) cost.

This was in November 2012.

"Charlie" made it clear that only tour operators with proper docs and insurance were allowed to solicit clients on the pier.
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#9
2 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by thinfool
We had no trouble finding a tour on the pier.

"Charlie" had room to add four to his mini-van which lowered the per person cost a little bit.

We had a wonderful day touring the lowlands in the area, including a boat ride on a river full of salt water crocs and beautiful birds.

Note: the boat ride was additional (modest) cost.

This was in November 2012.

"Charlie" made it clear that only tour operators with proper docs and insurance were allowed to solicit clients on the pier.
Hi ThinFool, When were you in Puntarenas (ie year)... We have never been there, want to do a river cruise, but don't want to book the excursion on board our ship... So, I want to confirm that there are vendors selling river cruises at the pier... where do you go, etc.

THANKS,
SDlem
#10
96 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
We just got back from a Panama Canal cruise on Norwegian. We did the 10 in 1 tour of Puntarenas with Thumbs Up Tours. I would recommend them very highly. Our guide was a delightful American ex-pat named Carrie. We saw tons of wildlife, took a river cruise, toured a botanical garden, and had a typical Costa Rican lunch. We traveled in a 14-passenger air-conditioned van. The price was $70, which we didn't have to pay til the tour was over. I spoke with other passengers who took ship's tours and paid $70 for just the river cruise. I would definitely use Thumbs-Up Tours again.