Puntarenas is more well-known as the place where you catch the ferries to Paquera and Playa Naranjo on the Nicoya Peninsula than as a true tramper destination. As such, if you’re staying in Puntarenas it’s not unfair to assume you got stuck. But, it can be a useful layover before heading across the Gulf of Nicoya, where prices tend to be much higher. If you arrive in Puntarenas in the afternoon, you’ve got time to head to a market and stock up on basics (like rice, rum, and sandwich supplies). And although you’ll have to eat out in Puntarenas, there are plenty of tramp-friendly “sodas” that aren’t nearly as scary for your wallet as they will be once you arrive in Paquera and points beyond.