Puntarenas

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Puntarenas
Costa Rica Puntarenas Vista de la Playa-Paseo de los Turistas.jpg
Flag of Puntarenas
Flag
Coat of arms of Puntarenas
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): La perla del Pacífico, El Puerto
Puntarenas is located in Costa Rica
Puntarenas
Puntarenas
Location in the province of Puntarenas
Coordinates: 9°58′N 84°50′W / 9.967°N 84.833°W / 9.967; -84.833
Country Costa Rica
Province Puntarenas
Canton Puntarenas
Incorporated September 17, 1858
Government
 • Type Municipality
 • Mayor Rafael Ángel Rodríguez Castro (PLN)
Area
 • Total 34.34 km2 (13.26 sq mi)
 • Land 30 km2 (10 sq mi)
 • Water 60 km2 (25 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 34,085
 • Density 990/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
 • Demonym Puntarenense
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
Postal code 60101
Area code(s) + 506
Website http://www.puntarenas.go.cr/ (Spanish)

Puntarenas (Pointsands, from "punta arenas", or "sand point" in Spanish) is the capital and largest city in the Province of Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The eponymous and oddly shaped province has its largest section in the South, far from the capital.

Overview[edit]

Some 100,000 live in the city and close towns.[citation needed] With beaches on the Pacific Ocean, it also attracts many tourists, especially surfers. It is also a possible stopover point for the tourist destination Monteverde, to the northwest.

Its port, Caldera, is one of the main ports in the country. Also, regularly scheduled ferries carry vehicles from Puntarenas to the Nicoya Peninsula.[1]

History[edit]

First known as Villa Bruselas in colonial times, Puntarenas was discovered by Hernán Ponce de León in 1519. Despite the use of the Gulf of Nicoya as an entryway to Costa Rica's inland territory, the port of Puntarenas was not developed until 1840 when coffee production in the highlands reached exportable volumes. In 1845 the Congress of the Republic declared Puntarenas a duty-free port (with the exception of Cognac and hard liquor). Originally, the coffee was brought to port in oxcarts via a trail through the mountains. In 1879, a stretch of railroad track was completed which connected Puntarenas with the town of Esparza (one of the country's earliest Spanish settlements, founded in 1554, a decade before the Central Valley began to be colonized) where the oxcart trail came out of the mountains. Eventually, the railroad was built all the way through to San José and service was inaugurated in 1910.

With the railroad connection to the Central Valley, the Pacific port's activities continued to be a major part of the region's economy throughout the 20th century. However, due to the aging and deterioration of the port facilities and the need to accommodate the much larger vessels of modern shipping fleets, a new port was constructed in the 1980s to the south of Puntarenas. The site chosen was Caldera, where ships had anchored during colonial times.

Climate[edit]

Puntarenas is generally hotter than the Costa Rican Central Valley, with daytime highs ranging from 30°C to 35°C in the coldest/hottest months, respectively.[2]

Climate data for Puntarenas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33.5
(92.3)
34.4
(93.9)
34.0
(93.2)
34.6
(94.3)
33.1
(91.6)
32.2
(90)
32.2
(90)
32.2
(90)
31.9
(89.4)
31.6
(88.9)
31.8
(89.2)
32.0
(89.6)
32.79
(91.03)
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.6
(81.7)
28.3
(82.9)
28.5
(83.3)
29.2
(84.6)
28.6
(83.5)
27.9
(82.2)
27.7
(81.9)
27.7
(81.9)
27.5
(81.5)
27.4
(81.3)
27.3
(81.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.9
(82.23)
Average low °C (°F) 21.7
(71.1)
22.2
(72)
22.9
(73.2)
23.7
(74.7)
24.1
(75.4)
23.6
(74.5)
23.2
(73.8)
23.1
(73.6)
23.1
(73.6)
23.2
(73.8)
22.8
(73)
22.1
(71.8)
22.98
(73.37)
Rainfall mm (inches) 5.5
(0.217)
4.1
(0.161)
4.9
(0.193)
30.3
(1.193)
204.1
(8.035)
217.3
(8.555)
175.7
(6.917)
223.1
(8.783)
296.1
(11.657)
279.1
(10.988)
132.0
(5.197)
27.7
(1.091)
1,599.9
(62.987)
Avg. rainy days 1.8 1.9 2.9 7.8 19.1 21.0 18.0 21.8 24.3 24.5 14.7 5.7 163.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.5 254.3 282.1 255.0 201.5 156.0 164.3 170.5 159.0 167.4 183.0 232.5 2,489.1
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization[3]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory[4]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ferry information
  2. ^ Puntarenas temperatures from Climatezone.com
  3. ^ "Climate Information for Puntarenas". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  4. ^ "Climatological Information for Puntarenas, Costa Rica". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 9°58′N 84°50′W / 9.967°N 84.833°W / 9.967; -84.833