Puntarenas Ferry

Costa Rica, a land of natural beauty and adventure, offers travelers a unique way to explore its coastal treasures – a ferry ride from Puntarenas to Naranjo and Paquera. It’s not just a mode of transportation; it’s a journey through picturesque landscapes, filled with wildlife encounters, and a peek into the laid-back Costa Rican lifestyle. So, grab your sun hat and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

tambor ferry views
Great views while riding across the Gulf of Nicoya

Getting There

To reach Puntarenas from the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, travelers have several transportation options. The most convenient and commonly chosen method is by road. Upon arriving at the airport, you can easily find car rental services, allowing you the flexibility to drive to Puntarenas. The journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Alternatively, for those who prefer a hassle-free experience, various shuttle services and private transportation options are available, providing a comfortable and stress-free ride to the coastal town of Puntarenas. Whether you opt for self-driving or shared transportation, the scenic route offers a glimpse of Costa Rica’s beautiful landscapes and brings you closer to the captivating shores of Puntarenas.

Purchasing tickets for the Puntarenas ferry is a straightforward process. At the ferry terminal, you’ll find designated ticket booths for various destinations, including Paquera and Naranjo on the Nicoya Peninsula. Rates vary depending on whether you are traveling as a pedestrian or with a vehicle, and the booth attendants will assist you in selecting the appropriate ticket type. Simply approach the ramp assistants or relevant booth, specify your destination, and make the payment. The ticketing system is efficient and well-organized.

You can find the schedule and rates HERE.

The Trip Across

Riding the Puntarenas ferry is a unique and leisurely experience that offers travelers a taste of maritime charm. As you pull your vehicle onto the ferry, there’s a sense of anticipation in the air as passengers prepare to embark on their journey. Once onboard, you’ll discover an array of relaxing areas to make your voyage comfortable. Upstairs, a spacious open-air deck provides a perfect spot to soak in the refreshing sea breeze, take in panoramic views of the Gulf of Nicoya, and even enjoy a drink at the onboard bar. It’s an ideal setting to unwind and savor the coastal tranquility.

For those seeking a cozier environment, the lower deck boasts an air-conditioned area with comfortable seating. Here, you’ll find a kitchen serving a selection of snacks and refreshments, providing a convenient option for a quick bite during the voyage. Whether you choose to bask in the open air on the upper deck or relax in the air-conditioned comfort below, the Puntarenas ferry ensures that your journey is as enjoyable as the destination itself, making it a memorable part of your Costa Rican adventure.

Route in red can be frustrating to drive. Ferry routes in purple.

Save The Driving

Taking the ferry from Puntarenas to the Nicoya Peninsula offers travelers not just a scenic voyage but also a strategic escape from the potential frustrations of the alternative route. The highway between Limonal and Puntarenas, while a vital connection, can be a challenging and unpredictable drive. This narrow, pot-holed one-lane road is often heavily trafficked, especially during peak seasons. The risk of encountering stopped traffic for hours due to factors like broken-down trucks or fallen trees is a genuine concern, causing considerable delays and frustration for travelers.

By opting for the ferry, travelers can bypass these potential roadblocks and transform their journey into a pleasant and efficient experience. The ferry ride not only provides a stress-free alternative but also adds an element of adventure and relaxation, allowing passengers to enjoy the beautiful Gulf of Nicoya and arrive at their destination on the Nicoya Peninsula refreshed and ready to explore. It’s a choice that not only saves time but enhances the overall travel experience.

If you're heading out for an adventure, you're going to need some cold watch and snacks. Pick up a backpack cooler, which has ample room for what you'll need while you enjoy the beach. There is an added benefit of freeing up your hands to carry the fun stuff!

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Be sure to Subscribe to our Youtube Channel, and leave a comment with your thoughts about this location or request a video in other cool destinations around Costa Rica.

We also upload ambient videos and walking tours of the locations that we visit, check out that channel Here. This channel has Ambient Walks from San Isidro de El General and The Butterfly Dome

Check the links in the Youtube video for Google Maps pins for all of these stores.

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