Golfito is located on the Golfo Dulce, opposite Osa Peninsula, and is Costa Rica’s most southern port town. The town may be small but the activities in the surrounding areas are incredibly diverse from whale watching to hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and surfing. Despite its southern location, Golfito is very easy to reach from the Golfito Domestic Airport located just outside of town.
Cano Island is a top destination for scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking. Be prepared to spot Manta Rays, Dolphins, Whales, Sharks, and turtles as well as the stunning coral reefs. Located 20 kilometers off the shore of Drake Bay, this island also serves as an archeological site. Mysterious, spherical stones have been found that date back to pre-Columbian times.
Osa Peninsula is a must visit for the nature lover. Most famous for its biodiversity, you have Corcovado National Park which houses the most wide selection of wildlife in the whole country. all four monkey species, all four sea turtle species and over 40 frog species. In addition, there are 100 butterfly species, 10,000 insect species, several types of snakes, over 25 lizard species all six feline species, tapirs, crocodiles, peccaries and over 400 bird species! As if that isn’t enough, Osa also offers some of the best whale watching in the whole country.
Golfito is known as the gateway to Pavones. It offers some of the world’s best surf, with some of the best and lonest waves, as well as a challenging trek to those who are up for it. The trek to this remote town is known as the second longest in the world after Chicama, Peru.
Piedras Blancas National Park
Piedras Blancas National Park is the lesser known neighbor of Corcovado National Park. As an important gathering point for birds, Piedras Blancas is one of the best places in the country to spot birds. The high levels of humidity that persist all year round make for a lush and green forest where many plants and animals can be found. Other than birds, you can also spot jaguar, coatis and monkeys.
To boost economic conditions in the area after the departure of United Fruit Company, the government of Costa Rica established a duty-free zone in the city of Golfito. This has not only provided employment for the local population, but also an outlet for Costa Ricans to find reasonably priced goods. The establishment of the Duty-Free Zone has enhanced the overall stability and economy of the Golfito area. This makes the area even more attractive for visitors as the increase in prosperity is reflected in the dedication to ecotourism and the preservation of the natural beauty which surrounds the city.
Visit between April and November: The rainy season is actually the best tine to visit Golfito and its surrounding areas. The weather can get quite temperamental in the south but if you want to catch big waves in Pavones or spot humpback whales, you have a better chance of doing so during this time of the year.
Beware of rocks while surfing in Pavones: The ocean floor is quite rocky in this region so be careful while you surf.
Prepare very well for your trip to Corcovado: Do not visit Corcovado without a guide. This park is highly concentrated in wildlife and you can encounter some dangers like killer bees, poisonous snakes and large groups of peccaries.
The easiest way to reach Golfito is by flying in the domestic airport just outside of town. You can also arrange for touring agencies to take you there. If you plan on driving yourself, make sure you realize that the roads can be a little rougher here and flooding is not unusual. When renting a car in Costa Rica, also keep in mind that most insurance packages do not include water damage.
For high quality local cuisine as well as sea food, visit Mar y Luna in Golfito. Vegetarians are welcome! If you favor a more contemporary spin on local flavors in the setting of a pub, Banana Bay Marina Restaurant is a great choice. Make sure you try the Gallo Pinto for breakfast and the Casado for lunch.
Where to stay
Golfito has gained prominence for investing in ecolodges. Costa Rica’s efforts to maintain its natural heritage has been apparent for years so ecolodges are a logical next step for this green paradise. If you’re looking to stay right in town Casa Roland Resort is a great place to go. This charming resort features a pool, cozy rooms and plenty of space. If you’re looking for something a little more rugged, check out Tiskita Jungle Lodge. The lodge design is inspired by the Star Wars Ewok huts. But you won’t find any lightsaber battles here. It’s actually very secluded and a great place to connect with nature. Saladero Ecolodge is secluded and peaceful has some interesting mangrove tours. Come here if you want to try your hand at kayaking. For a full list of Hotels and Lodges Check out where to stay in Costa Rica.