Cruising to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

This area of the Pacific coast has two large cruise-ship ports of call and a few smaller ones. Puntarenas, the country’s original Pacific port, hosts ships from Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity, Cunard, Norwegian, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, and Silversea cruises on select Panama Canal and around-the-world itineraries. Just south of Puntarenas, the newer port of Caldera receives ships from Azamara Club, Crystal, Holland America, Oceania, Paul Gauguin Cruises, P&O, Seabourn, and Windstar Cruises. With the atmosphere of an old-fashioned cruise port—some say "faded elegance"—Puntarenas is much more interesting than Caldera. That said, most passengers arriving at either port head out on shore excursions—hiking and wildlife viewing in national parks, zipping through the treetops on a canopy tour, or visiting San José.

Seabourn’s smaller ships and Windstar’s yachts also call at Quepos. Windstar offers several Costa Rica–only cruises that dock at Curú and Tortuga Island. On its nature-theme excursions, Lindblad Expeditions’ smaller vessels call at Quepos and Playa Herradura, along with other Costa Rican destinations farther north and south.

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