Golfito, Costa Rica

Visit the Golfito Canton and enjoy the most incredible nature and its stunning Costa Rican beaches

Golfito, Costa Rica
© Roberto Fernández-Morales

The Golfito Canton is located in the far south-east of Costa Rica, in Puntarenas province. Its capital city is Golfito, which is located in a small bay in Golfo Dulce Gulf.

Golfito is a “linear city”, since it is located in a strip of land in the shore which is in between Golfito bay and a hill. To the north, there are a tax-free area, called Depósito Libre Comercial de Golfito (‘Golfito’s Free Commercial Deposit’), and the airport.

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Tourism in Golfito
Tourism in Golfito
© Roberto Fernández-Morales
Parish San Jose, Golfito
Parish San Jose, Golfito
© Roberto Fernández-Morales

The district itself has an extension of 345.60 km2. It is located through mountains and has paths that lead to the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, which is 505 m above sea level. As it is a mountainous area, it has some of the highest peaks of the jungle of Central America, in addition to being one of the most humid areas in the world.

During the pre-Columbian era, this area was occupied by natives from the Bruncas tribe. It was discovered in 1519 by sir Juan de Castañeda and sir Hernán Ponce de León. Three centuries later, in 1874, the first hermitage, in honor to Santo Domingo, was built in Puerto Jimenez city. The first school was constructed in the same city in 1912, and in 1934, the banana company of Costa Rica settled there, although the cultivation of the banana tree started two years later.

The arrival of the Bananer Company implied great cultural, geographic, economic and political progress for the place. Some changes were due to the immigration movement that took place there in order to cover the labor demand. People from Guanacaste, Nicaragua and Honduras arrived in and, with their settlement, they became the natives of this region.

However, it was in 1985 when the United Fruit Company, was obliged to shut down due to several factors which made practically unsustainable their operation in this area. African oil palms were planted where the banana plantations used to be, and this underwent great success.

It was not until the nineties decade when tourists started to visit this place and, during the mid-2000s, recreational fishing became the biggest attraction of the area, despite the fact that some of the most incredible and calm beaches in the country can be found in this region. Thanks to this sport, a great part of tourism in Golfito is based on it, and a whole new industry related to the same activity has been created, since country houses and hotels possess their own recreational fishing fleets. Also, Golfito beaches are perfect for trips or rides by yacht, as well as water sports like surfing, which is very popular there.

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Golfito Canton, Puntarenas province, Costa Rica.

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