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Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Seal of Puntarenas, Costa Rica  Puntarenas is a province of Costa Rica located in the western part of the country, comprising a major part of Pacific Ocean coast of Costa Rica. Puntarenas is the largest province in Costa Rica, covering an area of 11,265.69 km² (4,349.71 sq mi). It borders with Guanacaste at N; with San José, Alajuela, and Limón at E; with neighbouring Republic of Panama at SE; and the Pacific Ocean from S to W.
The capital is Puntarenas ("Puerto de Puntarenas", "El Puerto"). The province has a population of 368,827. It is subdivided into 11 cantons and 57 districts. Isla del Coco (Cocos island), at 500 km (310 mi) offshore in the Pacific Ocean, is a district of this province.

(En Español: Puntarenas)

Province of Puntarenas

Map of Puntarenas in Costa Rica Location: At the center & southern Pacific Ocean coast of Costa Rica.
Coordinates: 9°58'N 84°50'W
Subdivisions: Cantons: 11, Districts: 57
Area: 11,265.69 km² 1 (4,349.71 sq mi)
Population: 368,827 (2010)2
Capital City: Puntarenas.
     Elevation: 4 m ASL (13 feet)
     Average Temperature: 27 °C (80.7 °F)
     Annual Rainfall: 1,500 - 2,100 mm (59-83 inches)
Features & Attractions:
* "Paseo de los Turistas" Avenue, Puntarenas Church, Marine Historical Museum, Puntarenas Marine Park.
* Manuel Antonio, Cocos Island, Corcovado & Carara National Parks, Orotina Iguana Park, Tárcoles river.
* Islands: Cocos Island; Chira, Tortuga (aka Alcatraz), San Lucas, Caño.
* Cultural celebrations: "Carnavales de Puntarenas" (January) & "Virgen del Mar" boat parade (July).
* Esparza and Orotina villages.
* Beaches: Montezuma, Tambor, Mal País, Puntarenas; Herradura, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Espadilla, Manuel Antonio; Dominical, Piñuela, Platanares, Zancudo, Pavones.
* Monteverde, Boruca and Térraba Indigenous Museums, Turubari Park.
* EcoTourism: Golfo Dulce Lodge, Esquinas Lodge (Golfito, Puntarenas); La Cusinga Lodge (Uvita, Osa), La Leona EcoLodge (Carate, Osa);
   Cerro Lodge (Carara, Puntarenas); Southern Expeditions (Osa-Dominical).

The Province of Puntarenas and its Cantons
Notes & References for this table:   [1] IGN 2009.   [2] INEC (Jan 2009).  [3] Range of temperature throughout the province.  [4] Distance (in km) and direction, from the capital of province.  [5] Altitude (in m above sea level) and temperature at the capital city of the province.  [6] Capital of province.  [7] From San José.
Canton Name Area [1] (km2) Population (2009) [2] Temp. [3] Capital km from CoP [4] Altitude (m ASL),
Temp. [5]
1Puntarenas [6]1,842.33 119,814 20-34ºCPuntarenas 80, W [7] 4 | 27ºC 1,500 Dec 7, 1848
2Esparza 216.80 27,370 18-36ºC Espíritu Santo 20, E 208 2,500 Dec 7, 1848
3Buenos Aires 2,384.22 47,948  Buenos Aires   361 3,500 Jun 26, 1914
4Montes de Oro 244.76 12,570 26ºC Miramar 20, NE 340 2,500 Jul 17, 1915
5Osa 1,930.24 29,783  Ciudad Cortés 180, SE 6 4,000 Jul 29, 1940
6Aguirre 543.77 24,123  Quepos 100, SE 5 4,000 Oct 30, 1948
7Golfito 1,753.96 39,965  Golfito 235, SE 5 5,000 Jun 8, 1907
8Coto Brus 933.91 47,606   San Vito 240, SE 1,009 4,000 Dec 10, 1965
9Parrita 478.79 14,041  Parrita 80, SE 4 3,000 Jul 5, 1971
10Corredores 620.60 44,558  Ciudad Neily 260, SE 46 4,500 Oct 19, 1973
11Garabito 316.31 13,404  Jacó 50, SE 7 3,000 Sep 25, 1980

Map of Puntarenas

Carnival of Puntarenas!
Carnival of Puntarenas!:
A sweet cultural memoir from Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

© 2010 (Derechos reservados) Costa Rica 21 S.A.

 Puntarenas ("El Puerto") is the capital and largest city in the province Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and is located at the coast on an small, elongated and narrow piece of land projecting out into the Pacific, at the very entrance of Nicoya Gulf. It is home of the Puntarenas Marine Park, with an aquarium among its facilities; the well known "Paseo de Los Turistas" avenue, which runs along the beach and is the path for the annual carnival celebration; the "Fiesta de la Virgen del Mar" (Virgin of the Sea) boat parade, celebrated the closest Saturday to July 16. This province features a very irregular shape, and has its largest part in the South, far from the capital and next to Panamá.

The Gulf of Nicoya is an inlet from the Pacific containing several small islands, the largest of these being Chira Island (with a population of less than two thousand). Caldera port is one of the most important in the country. Some 100,000 live in the city and close towns. With beaches on the Pacific Ocean, it also attracts many tourists, especially surfers.

Carara National Park is located in the transition from Tropical Dry Forest, which comes from Guanacaste, to Tropical Rain Forest, which continues along the rest of the coast to Osa. The Tropical Rainforest area at Manuel Antonio and Osa is the habitat of the Squirrel Monkey in Costa Rica. Further inland, at more altitude and more fresh climate, there is Monteverde, whose Cloud Forest, key biodiversity and facilities to enjoy all of them make it a must spot for the serious tourist, and have international recognition because of its nature conservancy efforts and the lifestyle environment respect.

Osa is one of the wildest and natural region in the world, and all the vicinities on the Southern Pacific have protected areas of Tropical Rainforest, home of the Jaguar and Scarlet Macaw, as well as marine territories which are visited by cetaceans like 5 species of Dolphins (Orcas included) and False Killer, Pilot Whales and acrobatic Humpback Whales. In this region are located the Corcovado, Piedras Blancas and Ballena National Parks.

Notes & References:
(Repeated citations ordered in parenthesis)
1 (1,2) - Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2009.
2 (1,2) - Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), most recent publications.

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