Golfito - City of Costa Rica
The port town of Golfito is located in Puntarenas 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. With some of the highest storied rainforests in Central America most of the coastal lowlands surrounding the town are characterized by tall evergreen forest.
In the mid 20th century, Golfito was a major banana growing region , but a combination of worker unrest, declining foreign markets, rising export taxes and banana disease led to the closing of the United Fruit Company in 1985. African palm oil plantations 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 has begun to arrive in the mid 1990s, and by mid 2006 sport fishing has become the most important tourist attraction. The Duty Free Shopping Centre area, 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, sportfishing, and a destination for cruise ships. Much of the tourism in the Golfito area focuses on the sportfishing industry. Many of the lodges and hotels have their own sportfishing fleets and experienced boat captains. Yachting, boating, water sports and beach activities are also popular pastimes. The beaches south of Golfito — Zancudo, Pilon and Pavones — offer excellent surfing.
The approval of permits for construction of a new big marina in Golfito has been a process that lasted over four years, not without controversy. Environmentalists and nationalists oppose this project because of environmental concerns.
COSTA RICA National Bird : Clay-coloured Robin