Costa Rica has been deemed the "Switzerland of Central America," and Puerto Caldera is one of the reasons. Peaks rise to thirteen thousand feet above sea level, and the white-sand beaches stretch for miles along the coast of the Pacific. A series of forested slopes, large mountains, green pastures, and bountiful vegetation cover the land. Puerto Caldera is a fabulous gateway from Costa Rica's glorious coast to the riches of this quaint Central American republic. The village of Sarchi is an incredible experience, as is a trip to the capital of Costa Rica, San José. San José has acres of gorgeous sugarcane and coffee plantations, and the surrounding rainforests are magnificent. Docking in Puerto Caldera, entertaining musicians and dancers greet you with their exquisite showmanship. Touring the wildlife preserves is a great way to spend an entire day, as the wide array of animal life in Puerto Caldera is both extremely diverse and fascinating.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Punta Caldera cruise ship terminal, located directly adjacent to the small town of Puerto Caldera.
Taxi services are available at Puerto Caldera to take you to the surrounding areas that you wish to see, including the Carara Biological Preserve and the towns of Sarchi and San José. Consult with your driver first before departing for these surrounding towns, for the drive can be lengthy.
The Carara Biological Reserve, located off the Orotina Highway and across the bridge from Río Tarcoles, is a fantastic site to see all of the animal and plant life of Puerto Caldera. The Carara Biological Reserve is set in two different types of forest, the dry forest located in the north and the rain forest in the south. Visitors can enjoy a bounty of both fauna and flora, which grace the hills and plains of the region. Marshes and rivers inside the park are home to an incredibly diverse population of amphibians and reptiles. The forested areas come alive with the likes of armadillos, monkeys, pacas, peccaries, and small, but dangerous cats. Bird lovers be sure to take note, because rare specimens such as the pink crane, anhinga, roseate spoonbills, pied-billed grebes, jacanas, and Mexican tiger-bitterns can all be found here. The best times to come visit the park are either in the early morning or late afternoon. It is at these times when all of the creatures come out and can be seen by the naked eye. The tremendous variety of ecosystems within the park is the reason for the great diversity. Lakes, marshlands, and forests all comprise this glorious destination.
The Poas Volcano is a site that you absolutely can not miss. This ancient volcano is no longer active, but it is a fascinating and majestic site. Guided tours and hiking excursions can take you up close and quite personal with this grand achievement of nature. The Cloud Forest is another glorious natural wonder of Puerto Caldera. You will feel as if you are in heaven, and this is not an exaggeration. Picture yourself floating amongst a sea of clouds, with a lush green landscape beneath your feet.
The Villa Lapas Restaurant (506/290-0798) is a great location for authentic Costa Rican and Central American food. The thatched roof atmosphere adds to the excitement of this great all around dining experience.