Country Guide » Destinations
Golfito is located in the Southernest part of Costa Rica, on the eastern side of Golfo Dulce, close to Panama. The port enjoyed prosperity at the beginning of the 20th Century with the United Banana Company, and was the only port of any importance in those parts, but lost its status in 1985 with the end of the banana company. Today, it is enjoying popularity again, as a tourist attraction and it has become the Golfito Reserve, otherwise called Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre. In 1990 a duty-free zone was created, attracting ticos and foreigners alike by the thousands. National Parks were created in the whole area and now Golfito is totally established as being one of the most important tourist attraction. There are “out of this world” boat trips to do in Golf Dulce, as well as enchanting trips to do on the Rio Coto. The Corcovado National Park is one of Costa Rica’s highly prized treasures and was named the most biodiverse place on Earth by National Geographic, is just across Golfo Dulce. Pavones, south of Golfo Dulce, is a surfer’s paradise. San Vito is a small village hiding high up in the Hills, it was founded by Italians in the late 1950s. As it’s over 900 meters high, it is a welcome change from the hot and humid climate found further down, and it is a good spot for an Italian meal. The Wilson Botanical Gardens, also named Las Cruces Biological Station, is a paradise for gardeners, bird watchers, biologists, or just for anyone who enjoys nature; 700 species of palms can be found there, making the second largest collection in the world. Also in the area is the International Park La Amistad, international because it occupies Panama as well as Costa Rican soil, where many indigenous tribes such as Bribri, Ngobe, Naso, Cabecar as well as other Latin ethnic groups are living.
Playa Zancudo is definitely the best beach to visit while in Golfito; it is possible to drive there, or to take a bus, but the boat trip is also beautiful. It is good for swimming; it is a long and peaceful beach, perfect for talking long strides, with many bars and restaurants alongside the shore. There are small cabinas there too should you want to spend some time.
Golfito has a nice selection of hotels, and following below are some of the best ones;
Hotel El Gran Ceibo, nice place with balconies, A/C, and beautifully located in a tropical setting. La Purruja Lodge, located 4 kms before you reached Golfito, Hotel Bay Marina, where sports’ fishing is offered, with a view over the ocean, and hotel Golfo Azul, for those who enjoy their comfort. There are many restaurant to choose from as well, amongst which the Pizzeria Alery, the Restaurant Hotel Corcovado, incidentally a good hotel too, Mar y Luna, all to do with seafood. Rio de Janeiro offers lots of meat with Filet Mignon, BBQ Ribs, etc. and Samoa del Sur, with its wonderful open-air restaurant Le Coquillage, has a whole range of international cuisine, pastas, pizzas, and seafood. There are pool tables and dart boards, and it is also a place to just drop by to have a drink!
Because it takes so long to drive there, most people choose to fly to Golfito, but it is possible to go by car or bus, the ride takes between 6 and 8 hours.