To Spanish explorers, the rumours of gold and vast riches could only mean that this section of Central America was the Costa Rica, the "Rich Coast." Hailed as the Switzerland of the Americas, Costa Rica occupies a unique position, lying between two oceans and two continents. On both coasts, tropical rainforests rise to the mountains of the interior, many of which soar over 13,000 feet above sea level. In the west, a seemingly endless succession of brown-sand beaches forms the nation's Pacific coast. Puntarenas is your gateway to Costa Rica's wonders and to its capital city of San Jose.