Puntarenas, Costa Rica Cruise Ship Tours

There are many companies in Puntarenas that offer cruise ship tours, especially shore excursions. Some of the popular companies include Greenway Nature Tours, Gio Tours, and Muelle Inside Tours Costa Rica. Packages usually include a boat cruise to Isla Tortuga, a bioluminescence river cruise, sport fishing, and more. The costs average $80 per person, depending on the company. 

Puntarenas, which means “Sandy Point” in Spanish, is a big port where ships come and go on the west coast of Costa Rica in Central America. 

People love visiting for its jungles, beautiful beaches, and other natural wonders. Cruise ships often make a pit stop here when they pass through the Panama Canal.

If you’re in Puntarenas and looking for cruise ship tours, this article is for you. We’ve reviewed some of the best offerings from tour companies in the seaside town, as well as what you can expect from the experience.

Key Takeaways

  • In Puntarenas, many companies organize tours for cruise ship passengers, especially shore excursions. Greenway Nature Tours and Gio Tours are among the well-known ones. 
  • These packages often include trips to places like Isla Tortuga, bioluminescent river tours, lunch at the city’s coastal area, and sportfishing adventures. 
  • Prices typically begin at $100 per person, but they can change based on the company and the package’s inclusions.

A Full Review of the Best Cruise Ship Tours in Puntarenas

Some people advise against using the transportation options offered by cruise companies because they are super expensive. 

This is quite true, because you don’t really need to rely on them. However, you will find many salespeople on the ship who try to push you into buying tours and transportation services. They often overcharge you, so it’s not worth it.

However, the cruise ship tours reviewed below are part of the few authentic ones that are actually worth the shot, and I’ll show you why: 

1. Puntarenas Highlights Shore Excursion

  • Cost: From $80
  • Duration: 8 hours.
  • It is perfect for activities such as a boat tour for a shore excursion in Puntarenas, experiencing wildlife, and eating local cuisine.

This tour sets out from Puntarenas to discover Costa Rica’s unique wildlife, food, and scenery. 

You’ll see playful monkeys and crocodiles while taking a peaceful boat ride on the Tarcoles River.

It’s also an opportunity to learn about Puntarenas’ history, taste fresh fruits, and taste typical Costa Rican dishes.

The tour allows you to treat yourself to authentic Costa Rican coffee and shop for local goods. They’ll pick you up at the port, so you can start your adventure right away. It comes with comfortable transportation in an air-conditioned minivan, as well as pickup and drop-off service from your hotel or Puntarenas cruise port.

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2. A one-day tour of Isla Tortuga with lunch from Puntarenas

  • Cost: Starts at $80
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
  • Ideal for: cruise ship tour experience from Puntarenas shore to Isla Tortuga

I recommend this boat cruise tour if you want to experience a perfect day lounging under palm trees or soaking up the sun on Isla Tortuga.

Included in the package are all fees and taxes, lunch, soda, dolphin watching, and a snorkeling tour. 

They pick you up at Muelle Inside Tours Costa Rica and depart from the ICT Tourist Dock. The tour starts at 8:00 a.m. 

During the boat cruise, you’ll spot dolphins and islands along the way. Once there, you have around 5 hours to enjoy snorkeling and relaxation on the beach. It’s the ultimate getaway!

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3. A full-day excursion to Tortuga Island from Puntarenas

  • Cost: From $125 
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • This location is ideal for: a boat cruise to Isla Tortuga, featuring snorkeling, banana paddling, and kayaking, among other activities.

Experience the wonders of Tortuga Island with your private day trip! Hop on a boat to get there, and during the ride, look for dolphins. 

Once on the island, you can go snorkeling, watch spider monkeys, and check out the impressive stone arch. Plus, you’ll get a fantastic view of the island and the sea from there. It’s a perfect day out for families or groups of friends.

All fees and taxes are included in the package, as well as coffee and tea, lunch, soda and pop, snacks, and snorkeling equipment.

The boat cruThe boat cruise will pass by Isla San Lucas National Park, where the explanation of the old prison’s complete history will take place.

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4. Puntarenas Highlights: Six-in-One Shore Excursion

  • Greenway Nature Tours is a cruise ship tour company.
  • Cost: From $135
  • Duration: 6 hours.
  • Ideal for a diverse Puntarenas shore excursion. Experience the highlights of the Gulf of Nicoya, explore rainforests, visit villages, and cruise the Tarcoles River.

Make the most of your day in Puntarenas with an exciting tour that shows you all the best parts of the Gulf of Nicoya. You’ll start by driving through the beautiful Costa Rican countryside, passing by farms and sugar plantations. Then, you’ll visit a nature reserve, where you can walk through the rainforest on hanging bridges and see lots of different animals, like monkeys and crocodiles.

After that, you’ll get to experience some local culture with stops at a replica Spanish village and a souvenir store. Finally, you’ll finish up with a sightseeing tour of the city.

This tour includes a professional guide, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, a tasty fruit snack, a boat tour on the Tarcoles River where you can see wild crocodiles, a nature walk at Villa Lapas with hanging bridges, and a visit to El Jardin Souvenir Store & Restaurant.

When your cruise ship docks in Puntarenas, just meet your guide at the pier and hop on the bus. You’ll be on your way to an adventure-packed day exploring the beauty of Costa Rica!

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5. Sportfishing Tour Puntarenas

  • Cost: Starting at $980.00 per group (up to 5).
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Puntarenas’ private fishing and snorkeling tours are ideal. Customizable departure time and duration. Includes gear, lunch, and drinks. Visit the top spots.

If you love fishing and snorkeling, you’ll enjoy this private cruise tour from Puntarenas. You get to pick when you want to leave and how long you want to stay out. 

Your captain will take you to great fishing and snorkeling spots, depending on the weather. We’ll give you lunch, beers, fishing gear, and snorkeling gear. 

On this private trip, you’ll have a blast exploring and getting personalized attention. Plus, whatever fish you catch, you can eat right there on the boat! This tour is for up to six people.

The package gives you snorkeling gear, fishing equipment, bottled water, alcoholic drinks, lunch, snacks, and private transportation.

You can either meet them at Puerto Azul Boutique Resort & Marina or ask for a pickup. When you arrive, just tell the gatekeeper you’re with Capt. Marco Guzman.

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You can never go wrong with any of the above options. I wish you a merry cruise ship tour experience in Puntarenas, Costa Rica!

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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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