To help with trip planning, pick up a travel book on Costa Rica and note all the important items about Puntarenas. If Puntarenas is part of a larger trip to Costa Rica, or you plan to visit other cities while visiting Puntarenas, all the better.

Some of the best travel guides come from those famous series of books like Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. These titles offer useful books on Costa Rica as well.

Pick up “Frommer’s Costa Rica 2006” by Eliot Greenspan for amazing photos, detailed tips, maps and inside information that only a longtime resident (as Greenspan is) could impart. Like all Frommer’s books, Greenspan’s book highlights all the best must-see tourist spots, offers a range of hotels to choose from, and includes a map of the entire country to help you get your bearings.

“Lonely Planet Costa Rica” by Carolina Miranda and Paige Penland, on the other hand, offers detailed information about the rainforests, off-the-beaten path destinations and critical information you’ll find useful once you hit Costa Rican ground. Be aware that many users of this guide complain that any hotel with a decent-sized write-up in this book are often overrun with people and with prices higher than that listed in the book. If you want to stay a little off the beaten path, book hotels that only get a cursory mention in the book, or find your own.

Finally, once you get to Costa Rica, pick up a copy of the Tico Times guidebook. This book is published by a newspaper, is updated every year, and features details you likely won’t get in the mass-published guidebooks. It's easy to find in local shops.