Skip to main content

About the Puntarenas, Costa Rica Program

The Puntarenas program is a USAC specialty program. Learn more about on-site program elements and the city itself below.

About Puntarenas

  • Population: approx. 35,000
  • Distance from San José: 51 miles
  • Distance from Monteverde: 53 miles

Palm trees line the boardwalk of Puntarenas

Puntarenas is a small beach town environment where you'll be able to practice your Spanish regularly and immerse yourself in the local culture. The geography of Puntarenas is unique since it is located at the end of a sandy peninsula almost five miles long, but only 120 to 700 yards wide. Consequently, one is always close to the ocean and there are many beaches from which to choose. Puntarenas offers the peace and rural beauty of a small town while at the same time affording easy access to other parts of Costa Rica. From Puntarenas, you can travel up and down the coast to world-class surfing beaches, nature reserves, and plantations. This central Pacific region offers something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Quick Details

2021-22 App. Cycle

Summer Sessions: Suspended

Fall/Yearlong: Open

January session: Open

Spring: Open


Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type



US Credit

Program Capacity

65 students


English | Spanish

Passport & Visa

Passport & Visa Information