Por Tony Franco
The port town of Golfito is located in Puntarenas a province on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, near the border of Panama.
The town lies on a narrow strip of land between the eponymous bay and a hill and consist of two parts, the town proper and shopping area to the south, and a residential area near the port. Still further north are the duty-free zone and an airstrip.
From the northern section, which was the old United Fruit Company headquarters, trails go up to the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Golfito (Golfito Wildlife Refuge) on the hill, which extends across to the other side of the bay and is part of the National Parks of Costa Rica.
African palm oil plantations today have replaced all the old banana plantations and, due to its success, more and more land is devoted to grow this palm. A small flow of tourists began to arrive in the mid 1990s, and by mid 2006 sport fishing has become the most important tourist attraction. The Duty Free Shopping Centre (Deposito Libre Comercial de Golfito) (really 'lower tax') has attracted shoppers from other regions of the country, helping the local hospitality business.
Golfito Bay is within the larger Golfo Dulce, and separated from the open Pacific Coast by the famous Osa Peninsula. Frequent ferry boats cross the Golfo Dulce from Golfito to Puerto Jimenez, which is the primary access point for the Osa Peninsula and the splendid Corcovado National Park, one of the few remaining sizeable areas of lowland tropical rainforest in the world.
The beaches in the region are some of the most beautiful in the country. Calm water provides for many peaceful tourist activities, even during the tide fluctuation, which averages about 9 feet.
The town offers small marinas, yachting and boating services, sport fishing, anda destination for cruise ships. Much of the tourism in the Golfito area focuses on the sport fishing industry. Many of the lodges and hotels have their own sport fishing fleets and experienced boat captains. Yachting, boating, water sports and beach activities are also popular pastimes. The beaches south of Golfito — Playa Zancudo, Pilon and Pavones — offer excellent surfing. Easy and safe water approach make it a relaxing place to stop and check in or out of Costa Rica when sailing.
I spent a week in Golfito and I really enjoyed the town, its people, the beautiful beaches and my favorite place to stay "El Fogón de Doña Inés" in Cocal Amarillo, in Pavones a great place to stay with a private beach and beautiful sunsets as you can see in these pictures and a great place to surf. Pavones also has the world's second longest wave to the left for surfers to enjoy.