An industrial port complex for both cruise ships and cargo vessels, Puerto Caldera belongs to the Esparza Puntarenas Province. It began functioning as a port in 1577 and foreign maritime commerce was transferred there from Puntarenas City in 1834. The opening of the new port in 1972 brought new industries, more tourists and other development for the nation. It also serves as the primary access point from the Pacific Coast to the historic capital San Jose. There are no passenger amenities in Puerto Caldera except for a small, air-conditioned terminal with restrooms, information desk, public phones and a small selection of craft vendors. There is also an International Calling Center which accepts major calling cards. The unspoiled natural beauty of the region is one of Puerto Caldera's main attractions. Its rain forest, which start just inside the coastline and continue up into the mountain ranges, contain rivers, waterfalls, parks and wildlife preserves. About 20 miles south of Puerto Caldera are two forest reserves, known for their large and diverse populations of forest and aquatic birds: the Biological Reserve of Carara, and a preserve that encompasses the islands of Guayabo, Negritos and Los Pajaros.