Puntarenas: The City
Vuelo Supremo Supreme Flight
Quiero vivir la vida aventurera
de los errantes pájaros marinos;
no tener, para ir a la otra rivera,
la prosaica visión de los caminos.

Poder volar cuando la tarde muera
entre fugaces rampos ambarinos
y poner a los raudos torbellinos
el ala fuerte y la mirada fiera.

Huir de todo lo que sea humano;
embriagarme de azul… Ser soberano
de dos inmensidades: mar y cielo,

y cuando sienta el corazón cansado
morir sobre un peñón abandonado
con las alas abiertas para el vuelo.

I want to live the adventurous life
of the errant sea birds;
not to have, to go to the other shore,
the prosaic view of the roads.

To be able to fly when the afternoon dies
between fleeting amber fields
and to oppose to the fast whirlwinds
the strong wing and the fierce glance.

To flee from everything that's human;
to get drunk of blue… To be sovereign
of two immensities: sea and sky,

and when I feel the heart tired
to die on an abandoned cliff
with the wings open to fly

Costa Rican poet Julián Marchena (1897-1985), 1941


Puntarenas means “Sandy Point”, but is called “The Pacific Pearl” by tradition due to its strategic geographic location

The Central Pacific's largest city in Costa Rica, Puntarenas sits on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya. The city is surrounded by ocean, and several ferries carry passengers and vehicles across the Gulf of Nicoya, to Tambor

For years, it was the country's principal port, now handles cruise ships. The port of Caldera is located nearby and there is also a cruise port in the city, where most cruise ships dock today

The average temperature is around 32ºC, so many locals usually taste “churchills” in the restaurants in the beach — these are typical ice creams made of chushed ice powder and condensed milk and “sirope”


Despite the use of the Gulf of Nicoya as an entryway to Costa Rica's inland territory, the port of Puntarenas was not developed until 1840 when coffee production in the highlands reached exportable volumes. Originally, the coffee was brought to port in oxcarts via a trail through the mountains. In 1879, a stretch of railroad track was completed which connected Puntarenas with the town of Esparza (one of the country's earliest Spanish settlements, founded in 1554, a decade before the Central Valley began to be colonized) where the oxcart trail came out of the mountains. Eventually, the railroad was built all the way through to San José and service was inaugurated in 1910

With the railroad connection to the Central Valley, the Pacific port's activities continued to be a major part of the region's economy throughout the 20th century. However, due to the aging and deterioration of the port facilities and the need to accommodate the much larger vessels of modern shipping fleets, a new port was constructed in the 1980's to the south of Puntarenas. The site chosen was Caldera, where ships had anchored during colonial times

Current Weather

The ICAO station MRCH (located in Chacarita) records the local weather. You can also look up for the current weather in Puntarenas at these links:


Interesting Links



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