Photo of Puntarenas

About Puntarenas

Puntarenas Province is Costa Rica's largest, and covers a huge amount of territory, including most of Costa Rica's Pacific coastline. From a visitor perspective, the province can best be split into three main areas. At the northern end is the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, most of which is in Guanacaste Province. There are some stunning hideway boutiques here, as well as a number of surf hotels, bordering the spectacular Cabo Blanco nature reserve and its marine conservancy.

Moving further south you come to a long stretch of Pacific coastline, dotted with beach resorts - some super luxurious, some more affordable. The area is known for it's long white pristine beaches and mangrove swamps, stretching over 100 miles from Playa Hermosa in the north, past the chic resorts around Quepos (gateway to the Manuel Antonio National Park, and one of the world's finest areas for big sport fishing), to Uvita in the south.

Finally you come to an area of extensive rainforests in the Osa Peninsula and on the Gulf of Dulce (the Gulf of Sweetness), all protected in a number of national parks and nature reserves - the Terraba Sierpe wetlands, Corcovado National Park, the Golfo Dulce forest reserve, and Piedras Blancas national park. Dotted amongst them are some of Costa Rica's loveliest eco-lodges and rainforest hideaways.

Below, we've categorised the best places to stay in Puntarenas by geography. As you would expect, they are all very popular, especially in the January to April peak season, so book ahead in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

The best places to stay in Puntarenas

Nicoya Peninsula - for chilling

  • Florblanca is chilled hotel of just 11 rooms nestled on the edge of the rainforest and with its own secluded white sand beach, as well as a lovely pool. It's a great spot for surfers. The rooms are light and airy, beautifully done, many with four poster beds. A dreamy location, perfect for writing your next novel.
  • Nearby, the Blue Surf Sanctuary is another great surfer hang out, an inexpensive property of just four bungalows on raised stilts set back a short distance from Santa Teresa beach. Rooms are simply decorated, it's a laid back spot, they have a small pool, you won't want to leave.

Nicoya Peninsula - for chic

  • For somewhere more pampering, further down Santa Teresa beach you come to a boutique hotel called Nantipa. This chic hideaway is nestled in trees right on a wide expanse of beach, with a large pool (to service the 21 rooms), a great retaurant, and modern guestrooms with lots of glass to showcase the surroundings. Some have their own plunge pools. It's a great place to treat the family.
  • On the other hand if you want an adult only experience, in more seclusion, just a small distance inland is the equally chic, though tiny (5 rooms), Mint Santa Teresa. Built into the hillside in the forest, it's similarly modern in design with acres of glass and wide terraces overlooking the sea. There's an infinity pool and epic views from your bed.
  • Ten minutes south by road you step up again with the Casa Chameleon at Mal Pais, a luxury boutique property of ten stunning villas, tastefully fitted out, each with their own plunge pools. The restaurant around the pool is excellent, with sweeping views to the sea, a short distance away down the hill. Grown-ups only.
  • For rustic chic, look no further than the laid back Ylang Ylang Beach Resort on the opposite side of the peninsula. It's in a secluded spot above its own (often deserted) beach. Rooms are simply though colourfully decorated, the food is organic, and they offer a range of holistic treatments including daily yoga lessons. A wide lawn looks over the sea and you can dine on the beach.

Central Pacific Coast - Quepos

  • At the luxury end, there is the award winning Makanda by the Sea, an architect designed jungle hideaway high up the hill overlooking the sea and the forest canopy, complete with an enticing infinity pool. Rooms have pampering bathrooms, oceans of glass, and lovely terraces for viewing the sunset. They serve excellent food.
  • In the same vein is Los Altos Resort. Rooms are a bit more traditional modern, but well designed with acres of space, sharp lines, lots of glass, and epic views. Some have kitchens for private dining (chefs can be arranged), and the suites are enormous. They have their own private beach down the hill, a standout spa, and gourmet dining.
  • A bit further inland is the Gaia Hotel and Reserve. It's adults only, and aimed at those who want to explore the forest and enjoy an activity holiday, from trekking to white water rafting. They have their own nature reserve for guests, and doorstep access to the Manuel Antonio National Park. An infinity pool perches perilously above the forest, and there's a Sky lounge for dining and incredible sunsets.
  • Back by the sea, the Hotel Arenas del Mar is a minimalist five star resort set on a cliff top in eleven acres of jungle. Rooms are unobtrusive, set into the hillside, and golf carts can take down down to a private beach. Entrance to the national park is nearby. A great base for exploring after breakfast on the beach.
  • Last, if you are looking for ocean frontage with great surf, check out the Clandestino Beach Resort, seven miles north of Quepos on a wild - and wide - stretch of beach. It's chilled and relatively inexpensive compared to some others, a place to flop and slow down surrounded by nature.


  • For pure luxury, check out Kura, just outside Uvita. Beloved of the travel guides, it has just six rooms, but what rooms, and what thrilling views. The fusion food is excellent. A sublime paradise in the forest with the ocean in the distance.
  • Nearby, the adult-only Oxygen Jungle Villas is a sublime collection of Balinese-inspired accomodations with freestanding outdoor baths on private terraces, a pampering spa and romantic dining next to a glorious infinity pool. Utterly spoiling.
  • Higher up in the hills, Ranch Pacifico is another adult-only haven overlooking the jungle and the sea. Modernist architecture and acres of plate glass connect seamlessly with an abundance of nature all around (you can spot sloths, monkeys, jaguarundis and anteaters), with lovely wide terraces and lawns for dining and taking in the canopy views.

Eco Lodges (Gulf of Dulce and the Osa Peninsula)

  • Drake Bay Getaway is the first of a handful of eco-lodges in the far south of the province on the Osa Peninsula and bordering the Gulf of Dulce. The lodge is on the northern edge of Corcovado National Park, a stunning area of virgin rainforest. Their ten modern cabins boast private balconies in an eco-friendly structure. The resort is just above Colorada Beach and offers wellness and relaxation as well as wildlife adventure tours.
  • On the southside of the national park down the coast is the secluded Luna Lodge, a wilderness retreat set in thick forest. It's minutes from the beach (with some great surf) and is well priced, with accommodation to suit a range of budgets. They offer a range of jungle tours. Rooms are simple and chilled.
  • Travelling further to the tip of the Osa peninsula is Lapa Rios Ecolodge, again near a beach but this time nestled above the forest, with great views. The romantic thatched cabins are more luxurious, with wide verandah decks and views of the sea. There's an excellent restaurant too, and a lush pool.
  • For a more traditional eco-hotel, check out Playa Cativo Eco Lodge across the Gulf of Dulce in the Piedras Blancas national park. Lovely lawns drop down to the beach, and rooms are elegant, light and airy and designed with plenty of wood. There's an indulgent spa here too and a tranquil pool.
  • Last, for something more designer in feel, consider Cielo Lodge, a contemporary eco-lodge in a spectacular setting within a 380-acre private reserve of primary and secondary rainforest. Each of the 8 rooms have a terrace and outdoor shower, and there are a wide range of forest activities on offer.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • The best time to travel is during the dry season, between January and April, when the temperature ranges between 22 and 35 degrees celsius.
  • Fly to Puerto Jiménez domestic Airport on the Gulf of Dulce.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Puntarenas

Best Hotels in Puntarenas

  • Blue Surf Sanctuary North Santa Teresa, Puntarenas 4 rooms from £98

    Families  -  The bungalows sleep between 3 - 5 while kids will love the pool, spacious garden, and access to the beach
    Beach Life  -  Just a stroll away from white sand beaches that host the best variety of surf and breathtaking sunsets
    Active Holiday  -  The hotel offers a Surf & Yoga package, perfect for those who want an active holiday
    Great walks  -  Hike throuhg Cabo Blanco National Park or Curu Wildlife Refuge and spot wildlife and tropical plants along the way
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenParking

    A small boutique hotel tucked away in the forest yet just a stroll from Santa Teresa's beaches. A handful of bungalows are spacious and simply styled with exposed beams, private terraces, and hanging day beds. With surf and yoga at the forefront of this property, this is ideal for an active break. See More

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  • Clandestino Beach Resort Parrita, Puntarenas 12 rooms from £112

    Active Holiday  -  From watersports to jungle treks there are numerous activities to keep all entertained.
    Surfing  -  Excellent waves for both amatures and professional surfers alike.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    An ocean front resort tucked in the Costa Rican rainforest. Spacious rooms have an organic feel with natural hues and materials being used. Dine in the romantic restaurant specialising in seafood. Spend days exploring the rainforest or lounging on the white sand beach. A tropical haven. See More

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  • Ylang Ylang Beach Resort Montezuma, Puntarenas 21 rooms from £152

    Restaurant  -  The food served is chiefly organic, fresh and local. Amazing fish plus vegetarian, vegan, gluten free all available.
    Great walks  -  Take the 35 min hike to the 3 tier Montezuma Waterfall and enjoy a refreshing swim when you get there.
    Surfing  -  Costa Rica's Pacific coast is great for surfing. Lessons can be arranged locally
    Spa  -  Offering a wide range of massages, facials and body treatments.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParking

    A charming, laid back, beach front resort that caters for both families and couples. Rustic chic rooms and bungalows with either rainforest or beach views and all with private terrace or balcony. There's a small pool, spa, and daily yoga lessons. Plus restaurant championing local organic fare. See More

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  • Oxygen Jungle Villas Uvita de Osa 12 rooms from £155

    Active Holiday  -  Between the jungle and the sea there's a vast array of activities to get involved in.
    Back to Nature  -  Just in the surrounding area toucans, sloths, and howler monkeys are all common.
    Surfing  -  A well known area for surfing. Classes and rentals are available from a nearby surf shop.
    Sailing  -  Spend an unforgettable day searching for whales and dolphins.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A boutique collection of Balinese-style villas in the Costa Rican jungle overlooking the Pacific. Smart villas feature mosquito framed four-poster beds, plenty of glass and luxury bathrooms. An infinity pool boasts epic views and the spa is utterly spoiling. Adult-only and undeniably romantic. See More

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  • Mint Santa Teresa Santa Teresa Beach, Puntarenas 5 rooms from £172

    Hideaway  -  Set back in the jungle and with wonderfully secluded rooms allowing guests to take in the views, this is an idyllic hideaway
    Boutique  -  Expect chic modern design with locally sourced wooden furniture and art from Costa Rican artists at this boutique stay
    Beach Life  -  Set just a 500m walk from the nearest beach, the whole property boasts ocean views and there's great surfing too
    Groups  -  With just five rooms and stunning communal spaces, this would make a very hip base for a group getaway
    Swimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A stylish adult-only boutique hotel set amidst the jungle with spectacular ocean views. Each of the five rooms are sleek, spacious, and airy. Expect sharp lines, locally crafted furniture and art, and epic views from your bed. With an infinity pool and the beach a stroll away, this is a hip stay. See More

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  • Luna Lodge Carate, Puntarenas 16 rooms from £172

    Back to Nature  -  Set amidst the jungle revel in utter tranquility.
    Surfing  -  Surfing available at the nearby Carate Beach.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 5yrs are welcome.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A secluded property set in lush jungle and just minutes from the beach. A variety of accommodation suits all budgets. Find organic design, luxury bathrooms and oh-so comfy beds. From yoga classes to jungle safaris there's numerous activities to keep all entertained. A glorious hideaway. See More

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  • Gaia Hotel and Reserve Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 20 rooms from £192

    Back to Nature  -  Boasting its own nature reserve and right next to Manuel Antonio National Park.
    Honeymoons  -  A grown up hotel in a secluded location. Ideal for spending time together.
    Sailing  -  Head out to sea and search for dolphin and whales.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    An adult-only hilltop hotel nestled amongst its own nature reserve. Contemporary rooms feature polished wooden floors, crisp white linen and local artefacts. An infinity pool sat seemingly perilously overlooking the forest boasts spectacular views. The perfect spot to get back to nature. See More

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  • Hotel Three Sixty Puntarenas 12 rooms from £230

    Active Holiday  -  For those who want to keep busy there are a wide range of activities including horse riding, fishing, hiking, and snorkelling
    Romantic Break  -  An adult-only property offering spellbinding views, a gourment restaurant, and a spa — perfect couples' getaway material
    Hideaway  -  A tranquil hideaway with epic views of the surrounding nature, perfect for a rejuvenating escape
    Views  -  This property is all about the spectacular views with panoramic jungle views from all angles
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    A luxurious adults-only hotel with fabulous panoramic views of rainforest & ocean. Smartly styled villas offer plenty of privacy while luxe touches include Egyptian cotton sheets, private terraces, and king size beds. There's a spa, wrap-around infinity pool, and gourmet dining — ideal for couples. See More

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  • Los Altos Resort QUEPOS, Puntarenas 27 rooms from £253

    Beach Life  -  With its own stretch of secluded white sands backed by thick rainforest, this is the perfect beach destination
    Total relaxation  -  With its noteworthy spa, yoga classes, and rainforest setting — this is the perfect place to come and unwind
    Great walks  -  Manuel Antonio National Park is just a five minute drive away and has miles of scenic nature trails
    Families  -  The enormous suites come with lounging space and kitchens, ideal for families
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    A luxurious hotel set within the rainforest and boasting a private and secluded white sand beach. Spacious rooms and enormous suites are contemporary and chic with expansive windows, sharp lines, and modern art. With a standout spa, gourmet dining, and private chef experiences, this is a luxe stay. See More

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  • Rancho Pacifico Uvita 7 rooms from £261

    Back to Nature  -  A wildlife lovers haven with monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, parakeets and even whales all commonplace.
    Honeymoons  -  An exclusive adult-only hideaway with 3 villas, 2 treehouses, and 2 luxury suites
    Sailing  -  For memorable days out take a boat to spot whales and dolphins.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a guided tour through the hotel's own sanctuary.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet

    An adult-only haven set overlooking the famous Whale’s Tail Beach. Spacious suites, treehouses and villas connect seamlessly with the abundance of nature all around. Beyond the hotel’s alluring tranquility, find an endless array of activities on land or by sea. The perfect romantic getaway. See More

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  • Casa Chameleon Mal Pais, Puntarenas 10 rooms from £269

    Hideaway  -  An exclusive, adult-only, hotel tucked away in the mountainside.
    Surfing  -  Hit the waves at the surf-destination of Santa Teresa.
    Great walks  -  Take long strolls along the stunning coastline.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets

    A luxurious hideaway comprising of just 10 stunning villas. With nature taken as inspiration airy rooms feature plenty of wood set against organic hues. Luxury is taken seriously here with each villa housing a plunge pool and service is efficient and friendly. The restaurant is superb too. Fabulous. See More

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  • Florblanca Puntarenas 11 rooms from £312

    Surfing  -  Classes are available and the hotel will provide you with surf boards.
    Beach Life  -  Live the laid backed life on a white sand beach with great surf.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    A glorious resort nestled amidst the forest and opening out onto a secluded white sand beach perfectly primed for surfers. Wonderfully romantic rooms feature polished wooden floors and shutters, white muslin draped beds and large terraces. A tranquil tropical hideaway. See More

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  • Makanda by the Sea Quepos, Puntarenas 9 rooms from £312

    Back to Nature  -  A design masterpiece in the depths of the tropical Costa Rican jungle.
    Fishing  -  Nearby Quepos is well-known for inland angling.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    An impeccably designed jungle property boasting fantastic views over the surrounding canopy. Individually designed rooms are contemporary in style with plenty of glass, uber luxurious bathrooms and endless space. Dine in the romantic outdoor restaurant and unwind over a massage in the spa. Bliss. See More

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  • Playa Cativo Eco Lodge Esquinas, Puntarenas from £328

    Back to Nature  -  Located in the Costa Rican rainforest and bordering a white sand beach.
    Restaurant  -  Gourmet dining with many ingredients sourced from the property's own farm
    Kayaking  -  Enjoy a days kayaking on the Rio Esquinas through mangroves to the ocean.
    Views  -  The property enjoys wonderful views both of the rainforest and the ocean
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury eco lodge boasting an enviable position on the Costa Rican coast and backed by lush rainforest. Contemporary rooms have an organic feel with plenty of wood and windows framing spectacular views. Enjoy farm to table dining an indulgent spa and tranquil pool. A nature lovers dream. See More

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  • Nantipa Santa Teresa Beach, Puntarenas 21 rooms from £340

    Beach Life  -  Set on a secluded stretch of white sand beach complete with loungers and oversized pillows for serious relaxation
    Total relaxation  -  Esconced in nature and boasting a lovely pool and wellness centre, this is a destination to come and unwind
    Families  -  Much of the accommodation is specifically designed for families with multiple bedrooms and lounging areas
    Surfing  -  Surfing is the area's favourite pastime. Guests can take two hour lessons with all equipment provided
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Mr & Mrs Smith

    A chic boutique hideaway set right on the beach in Santa Teresa. Bungalows & villas have been craftily designed so as not to disturb the natural habitat. However, interiors are modern with sharp lines, swathes of glass, and little luxuries such as Netflix. A stylish stay suited to groups & families. See More

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  • Lapa Rios Ecolodge Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas 17 rooms from £382

    Hideaway  -  Hidden in the depths of the rainforest find utter tranquility, access to stunning beaches and superb food.
    Birdwatching  -  Boasting a unique location on a migration corridor; this is a birdwatchers haven.
    Sailing  -  Search for dolphins, stingrays and turtles on one of the hotel's tours.
    Surfing  -  The two beaches within walking distance have perfect waves for surfing.
    RestaurantSwimming PoolParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet

    A secluded eco lodge surrounded by rainforest and just a short walk from beautiful white sand beaches. Romantic thatched cabins have three open walls bringing you close to nature, large terraces and luxurious bathrooms. Exemplary cuisine makes use of produce from the surrounds. A glorious escape. See More

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  • Hotel Arenas del Mar Puntarenas 38 rooms from £398

    Beach Life  -  Boasting spectacular ocean views and easy access to a beautiful stretch of white sand beach
    Great walks  -  Wander through the rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park
    Surfing  -  Find perfect waves for surfing on the nearby beaches
    Kayaking  -  Kayak through the surrounding unexplored mangroves
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury hotel offering a spectacular cliff-top location and glorious ocean views. Minimalist interiors draw focus to the beautiful natural surrounds. Set beside Manuel Antonio National Park and just minutes from the beach, there's plenty to explore. See More

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  • Kura Uvita 6 rooms from £521

    Eco break  -  Kurta uses drip technology to water the lush gardens, relies on solar power and harvests local ingredients for the restaurant.
    Total relaxation  -  Lounge by the salt water infinity pool with a cocktail or indulge in the spas menu of wraps, scrubs and massages.
    Diving  -  Experienced divers head straight for Isla del Cano where you can swim with manta rays, turtles, dolphins and tropical fish.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A sublime hilltop paradise with private villas and bedrooms offering gorgeous views to the South Pacific. A tropical hideaway with a sparkling infinity pool and small spa. Bedrooms have private balconies and the restaurant offers Costa Rican fusion cuisine. Romantic, remote and relaxing. See More

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  • Drake Bay Getaway Puntarenas 10 rooms from £507

    Other Activities  -  Various wilderness adventure experiences are available, including mangrove tours, kayaking and whale watching
    Honeymoons  -  The hotel offers all inclusive, personalized honeymoon packages, which include massages and adventure tours
    Birdwatching  -  The hotel offers birdwatching tours in the famous Corcovado National Park
    Back to Nature  -  The hotel is surrounded by jungle, national parks and the Pacific Ocean
    RestaurantNo pets

    Eco-luxury hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Drake Bay Jungle. Each modern cabin boasts a private balcony and has an eco-friendly design and structure. The resort offers wellness and relaxation as well as wildlife adventure tours. The restaurant uses the best local fish, fruit and veg. See More

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  • Cielo Lodge Golfito, Puntarenas 8 rooms from £640

    Active Holiday  -  Included in the price are a wide range of activities from whale watching to guided rainforest hikes and cookery classes
    Eco break  -  Amongst other accolades the hotel is is completely off-grid, powered by solar panels and a small micro-hydro system
    Romantic Break  -  Secluded villas boast private terraces with fabulous views and outdoor showers — the perfect romantic base
    Back to Nature  -  Set on a 380 acre private reserve of primary and secondary rainforest, this is a true escape to nature
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    A contemporary eco-lodge boasting a spectacular setting within a 380-acre private reserve of primary and secondary rainforest. Indulgent suites are simply styled drawing attention to the surrounding nature. Each has a private terrace and outdoor shower. A tranquil hideaway for nature lovers. See More

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