Golfito is Costa Rica’s most southern port town; it located across from the Osa Peninsula on the Golfo Dulce. Golfito has long been know to surfers as the gateway to Pavones, just to the south, and to sport fishermen as the year round sport fishing meca. Golfito has a history of being known as a run down port town, but the nature that surrounds this area is stunning and untouched. The most incredible waterfall repelling tour in the country is hidden behind the hills of Golfito, and some of the most lavish jungle lodges in Costa Rica can be accessed from the docks of Golfito.
Golfito National Wildlife Refuge
Seen from the duty-free shopping spot popular among native Costa Ricans is the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge boasts a diverse collection of wildlife, with thousands of bird, animal and plant species in this natural tropical paradise. With hiking trails, sightseeing and camping also available, nature lovers won’t want to miss a visit to this stunning gem near Costa Rica’s southwestern coastline. Due to its border forest qualities, the Golfito Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places on the Osa for bird watching. It is very common to spot Toucans and Fiery Billed Aracaris.
The Golfito National Wildlife Refuge almost completely surrounds the town, with one goal behind its initial creation of protecting the water supply. Several local trails lead up from Golfito’s northern district into the refuge, and from within city limits you can spot its tall forests. Together with Piedras Blancas, the two sanctuaries form protected zones for the region’s biodiversity, shielding its flora and fauna.
The history of Golfito is an interesting one and the city is now on the rise again due to tourism and not bananas. Golfito used to be thriving banana port for many years (from about 1938-1985). Golfito fell from the thriving port town in 1985 due to rising export taxes and labor disputes. When United Fruit company who had the major presence moved south to Ecuador it left Golfito in a state of poverty and lifelessness. Shortly after United Fruit’s departure the Costa Rican government opened Golfito up as a Duty Free Zone in an effort to bring the city back to life. Today Golfito is a popular destination for Tico's (Costa Rican’s) who are looking for a bargain on large appliances and electronics.
Map of the Osa Peninsula: