Best Hotel in Puntarenas (Honest Review of The Best Places To Stay)

When it comes to hotels, Puntarenas isn’t as flashy as Jaco, Tamarindo, or Manuel Antonio, but it’s a handy stop if you’re heading to or from the Paquera ferry. There are some nice hotels, like La Punta, Las Brisas, and the Alamar Hotel. Plus, if you’re hungry, check out Coco’s Island Bar and Grill; it’s right by the ferry terminal and serves up great food!

Choosing the right hotel in Puntarenas might be a bit tricky. It’s not as bustling with tourists as other spots in Costa Rica, so there aren’t tons of options I can rave about.

But for those who’ve stayed here, some hotels make a good home base for day trips to cool places in Costa Rica, like the Gulf of Nicoya Islands. Additionally, Puntarenas allows you to immerse yourself in the Pura Vida atmosphere, free from the influx of tourists.

La Punta, for example, is a popular hotel in Puntarenas, and the average local will point you in that direction when you ask for hotel recommendations. It’s right next to the ferry, and I’ve stayed there for one night with no inconvenience.

There are still other, better options. In this article, you will learn about some of the best hotels in Puntarenas that serve up different preferences, such as budget, for couples, for beachfront access, for ariel jungle views, and so many more.

Key Takeaways

If you need to make a quick decision, the overview below should help. However, I recommend you read further so you know what to expect from each of these hotels and their respective budgets and amenities. 

  1. Best overall: Hotel La Punta
  2. The Best Puntarenas Hotel on the Beach—HHotel Tioga
  3. The Puerto Azul Resort & Club Nautico
  4. The best Puntarenas hotel for couples and romantic treats—CClandestino Beach Resorts
  5. The hotel Aldea Casa de los Mariscos is a budget-friendly option for a short stay in Puntarenas.

A Comprehensive Review of Puntarenas’ Best Hotels

People who seek hotel options in Puntarenas often travel across Costa Rican towns and need to spend the night halfway, close to the Puntarenas ferry and bus.

Whatever the case, this review will point you in the right direction. In no particular order, here’s my honest review of some of the best hotels in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. 

1. Hotel La Punta

  • Address: 75 m. oeste de San Lucas Beach Club, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Carmen, 60101, Costa Rica.
  • Budget: $70 per night.

If you’re in Puntarenas for a short stay, I absolutely recommend Hotel La Punta. It’s affordable and located near the ferry area, as well as other establishments like bars and restaurants.

Because the rooms aren’t all that big, it’s a two-person hotel. But if you’re looking for a simple place to stay in Puntarenas for a short while, you’ll love it here.

It has a small pool where you can enjoy the evening in front of your room. It is very nicely decorated. An open lobby and reception provide free coffee and tea all day long. 

There’s also a private parking space, and it’s very close to the ferries to the Nicoya Peninsula.

The average cost per night at Hotel La Punta is $70, but you can check availability on Bookings.com. 

What I like about this hotel 

  • The hotel is very close to the ferry area and has excellent restaurants and bars.
  • Clean and spacious room 
  • A popular option for first-time visitors in Puntarenas

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • Trailers line up to board the ferry. Some were noisy.
  • Rooms can contain up to five people. 

2. Hotel Tioga

  • Address: X5F6+X26, Avenida 4 León Cortés Castro, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
  • Budget: Call or visit the website for rates and availability.

I like the oceanfront view at Hotel Tioga, and if this tickles your fancy, then you can consider lodging here. I

Hotel Tioga is the hotel you are looking for in Puntarenas at Paseo de los Turistas, just a 5-minute walk to the main port. It’s also about four long blocks from the ferry terminal to Paquera and Playa Naranjo.

At Hotel Tioga, you’ll find comfy rooms with AC and free Wi-Fi to stay connected. The hotel also provides room service and beach chairs to add to your comfort. Plus, there’s free parking for guests arriving by car.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on trying some delicious shrimp dishes at nearby restaurants like Restaurant & Marisqueria Gugas and El Shrimp Shack.

And if you’re up for exploring, the Catedral de Puntarenas is a popular attraction just a short walk away from Hotel Tioga.

What I like about this hotel 

  • Excellent location 
  • Ocean front view 
  • If you want to visit Puntarenas Beach, it is an ideal hotel, and you don’t have to pay as much money per person as other hotels in the area.
  • There are many restaurants within walking distance.

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • They warned us not to walk alone at night.

3. Las Brisas

  • Address: X5F3+V27, 60101, Av. 4, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Carmen, 60101, Costa Rica.
  • Budget: $127 per night

Just across the street from Puntarenas Beach and the Gulf of Nicoya sits Hotel La Brisas, a simple yet cozy hotel. It’s conveniently located just a 5-minute stroll from the Naviera Tambor ferry terminal and an 18-minute walk from Mora y Cañas Park.

The hotel offers simple rooms with cable TV. Some rooms even boast views of the gulf, and a few come with balconies. If you’re hungry, you can order room service.

Hotel La Brisas features a bar and a casual Greek restaurant in the lobby. Outdoors, you’ll find a refreshing pool and a charming tropical courtyard area where you can relax.

What I like about this hotel 

  • Free breakfast 
  • They have a restaurant and nice rooms with AC.
  • There’s a private pool and super-lovely staff. 

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • The pool area gets busy quickly.
  • The rooms are not well insulated for noise.
  • Protected parking is available only if you arrive early enough.

4. Alamar Hotel

  • Address: X5F3+V4R, Av. 2, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Carmen, Costa Rica
  • Budget: The average price per night for a room is $143.

Are you looking for a family-friendly hotel in Puntarenas? I totally recommend the Alamar Aparthotel.

At Alamar Aparthotel, there’s free wifi, and the rooms have flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, and a minibar.

During your stay, you will have free access to beach chairs. You can even relax by the pool or dine at the on-site restaurant. Plus, there’s free parking for guests arriving by car.

If you’re feeling hungry, several restaurants nearby are worth exploring, including Isla Coco’s Bar & Grill, Restaurant & Marisqueria Gugas, and El Shrimp Shack.

The Alamar Aparthotel is also conveniently located near popular Puntarenas attractions, such as the Catedral de Puntarenas.

What I like about this hotel 

  • The appearance and environment are good.
  • High rating for a smooth check-in process
  • There is a fenced parking lot at the hotel’s back.
  • If you cross the street, you’ll see a beach.
  • Everything is there in your room, including a fridge, AC, and safe. 
  • The bed is nice and big.

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • An elevator is missing, so you’ll have to carry your (heavy) luggage up the stairs yourself.
  • Your room does not have a safe attached to it. Hopefully, renovations have taken place between my visit and the time you read this post.

5. Puerto Azul Resort & Club Nautico

  • Address: Calle Cocal, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Barrio La Angostura, Costa Rica.
  • Budget: From $162

If you’re coming to Puntarenas with your family, consider staying at Puerto Azul Resort & Club Nautico. Located in Cocal, this resort offers various amenities to enhance your stay. 

The resort, which is conveniently located just 75 minutes from San Jose City, sits amidst the stunning beauty of Puntarenas mangroves.

At this hotel, there are plenty of tour offers, making it easy to plan how to explore Puntarenas from your lodge.

What I like about this hotel 

  • The exterior and public areas are attractive.
  • The included breakfast was good. 
  • The pool is large and looks nice. 

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • Apart from the need for improvements, there are no drawbacks.

6. Hotel Aldea Casa de los Mariscos

  • Address: X5F3+WW6, P.º de los Turistas, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Carmen, 60101, Costa Rica.
  • Budget: from $55
  • Website
  • Rating: 5/5 on TripAdvisor

Hotel Aldea Casa de los Mariscos is an excellent accommodation option in Puntarenas for those with limited money. Its unique price per night makes it budget-friendly. 

Tucked away behind the restaurant, the rooms are immaculately clean. What I really appreciate is that they had both fans and air conditioning in the rooms, which can be a lifesaver! Despite being a small hotel, it’s perfect for unwinding for a few days.

The courtyard had adorable hammocks where you could relax, and the complimentary breakfast was a delightful bonus. 

What I like about this hotel 

  • Affordable.
  • Ideal location
  • Decent rooms.

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • Staying out late locks you out and prevents you from entering unless you ring the buzzer.
  • If you want peace, this place is not for you.
  • It’s not ideal for extended stays because it’s a small hotel.

7. Clandestino Beach Resort 

  • Address: Palo Seco Beach Road, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

The romantic atmosphere of the Clandestino beach resort quickly makes it an ideal hotel option for couples coming to Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

It is situated along Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. The Clandestino Beach Resort is a charming boutique hotel situated right on the beach. 

The hotel is conveniently located approximately 20 kilometers from Quepos and 45 kilometers from Jaco, close to the breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park.

You and your partner will love the romantic dining at the restaurant. They serve mainly seafood dishes.

Make sure to grab some water, drinks, and other essentials to keep in your room fridge, especially since the bar prices can be a bit steep. The mini bar prices are more reasonable if you’re in a hurry.

What I like about this hotel 

  • It’s a fantastic beach with complimentary chairs.
  • Nice, clean rooms with A/C and fridge
  • Lush, beautiful, tropically landscaped grounds
  • Large, clean pool
  • Every room has a patio with mosquito nets for bugs and privacy.
  • Less than a 1-hour drive to Manuel Antonio

What is it about this hotel that I dislike?

  • Restaurant and beverage prices can be expensive. If you can stick mainly to beer and ice water, it’s reasonable.
  • Poor cell service is available in most locations on the property, and there is no phone in the room.
  • There is no coffee maker or microwave in the room.

What is the best area to stay in Puntarenas?

The best area to stay in Puntarenas depends on your reason for visiting the seaside town, the duration of your stay, and what tickles your fancy. 

Puntarenas Province is the largest in Costa Rica and covers a vast area, including most of the country’s Pacific coastline. 

Up north, you’ll find the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, mainly in Guanacaste Province. There are charming boutique hideaways and surf hotels near the stunning Cabo Blanco nature reserve and marine conservancy.

Moving south, there’s a long stretch of Pacific coastline with various beach resorts, ranging from luxurious to more budget-friendly options. 

This area is famous for its long, pristine white beaches and mangrove swamps. It stretches over 100 miles from Playa Hermosa in the north to Uvita in the south, passing chic resorts around Quepos, the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park, renowned for its sport fishing.

Further south, you’ll encounter extensive rainforests in the Osa Peninsula and the Gulf of Dulce, which are protected in various national parks and nature reserves like Terraba Sierpe wetlands, Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, and Piedras Blancas National Park. 

Among these forests are some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful eco-lodges and rainforest hideaways.

So it all depends on what you want to experience during your stay at Puntarenas. 

Still unsure of which hotel to choose? 

It’s not surprising if you still struggle to settle on one hotel. Choosing a hotel becomes simpler in touristy towns, but ultimately, it depends on your specific preferences.

  • First of all, in what part of Puntarenas do you wish to stay? 
  • Do you want it to be all-inclusive? Or are you just looking for a pleasant place to stay?
  • What kind of beach are you looking for—surfing or just swimming? 
  • Do you like crowded areas or prefer small towns? 
  • Are you renting a car?
  • Are you on a tight budget?

You can provide answers to the above questions to help further narrow down your preferences.

FRIENDLY ADVICE:

  • If you want to experience the local culture, nature, and food during your stay in Puntarenas, consider skipping the all-inclusive resorts. 
  • It could be a good idea to avoid crowded spots like Tamarindo, Nosara, Monteverde, and Jacó and head to the less-busy South Pacific region. 
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About 

Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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