What to do and see in Golfito, Costa Rica: The Best Places and Tips

August 27, 2017 Nobuko Falco

The port town of Golfito (literally 'little gulf') 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.
Restaurants in Golfito

1. Tropical Escapade

Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Excellent
98%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 49 reviews

Tropical Escapade

From fishing snappers to marlins, going on a whale watching quest to a snorkeling journey in the Golfo Dulce, discovering lowland jungle paths to completely wild canyoning and horse riding adventures, Tropical Escapade offers all type of outdoor activities suitable for all ages in the Southern zone of Costa Rica.

Reviewed By ecofriend1

I took the extreme canyoning tour and it was so fun. I usually pride myself on my athleticism and grace from years of gymnastics, but this adventure had me falling all kinds! It was a great challenge that gave me a good scrape, bruise, and...MoreThank you for your nice review Amanda. We had a great time with you too. Let us know if you come back in the area!

2. Golfito Monkey Tours

Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Excellent
94%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
3%
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0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 26 reviews

Golfito Monkey Tours

Golfito Monkey Tours is the Only Tour Operator in Golfito, we offer different activities to do in Golfito such as Hiking Tours through the Golfito Rainforest, Horseback Riding Tours, Boat Tours such as Dolphin Tours, Mangrove Tour and whale watching Tours.

Reviewed By Hanzbeer - Kempten, Germany

This tour called monkey tour but everywhere in CR you will see more monkeys than in Golfito. I think the promotion is fake.

3. Piedras Blancas National Park

La Gamba, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica +506 8665 5705
Excellent
86%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 53 reviews

Piedras Blancas National Park

We offer different Guided tours to the Piedras Blancas National Park, expert guides will take you to an amazing adventure. Piedras Blancas National Park forms part of the Osa Conservation Area, included in the National Conservation Areas System. It has an area of 14 350 hectares. With the objective of protecting the last tropical rain forest in the Golfito sector including the Esquinas River basin, Piedras Blancas National Park was created in January of 1993. This bio-geographical area has acquired great importance, becoming a gathering spot for flora and fauna species coming from North America, as well as South America. It constitutes a high diversity zone of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The very humid tropical Forests seen here have tall evergreen trees, and are dense with large quantities of plants that live amongst the trees.

Reviewed By Jan H - Knokke-Heist, Belgium

Piedras Blancas NP is an untouched piece of jungle in the south of Costa Rica. It is almost inaccessible. We stayed at Playa Cavito Lodges, one of the few lodges bordering the park. This gave us access to this beautiful piece of jungle.

4. Golfito National Wildlife Refuge

Golfito, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica +506 8665 5705
Excellent
58%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
7%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 27 reviews

Golfito National Wildlife Refuge

Reviewed By barry m - bishops stortford

Golfito itself is a very small town and a walk reveals a good internet cafe and a rusting steam loco as the main highlights. Tours start from the harbour where the cruise ship docks and the trip to the National Wildlife Refuge commences on a small speedboat. Great opportunity to see dolphins and other fish but the boat did bounce up and down a bit. We knew it was going to be a wet landing and it was quite a difficult one for older and less able folk and the beach was stoney and sharp. Difficult to get on and off the boat. The refuge was interesting with a good description of the animals in there and staff who were dedicated and passionate about what they do. Watch out for the snakes was a warning but keep an eye on the monkeys as well since they get attracted to any sort of interesting items like hats, cameras etc. Lots of flowers and plants to admire and we went on to a garden after we finished at the Refuge Centre.

5. Costa rica peche Passion

Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Excellent
100%
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5 based on 4 reviews

Costa rica peche Passion

Welcome to Golfito, capital of giant sailfish and of the rooster fish.Since 2005 two French at Golfito Yves and Bernadette Harlepp welcome you and guide you and keep you company in your fishing trip. Our job is our passion, fishing

Reviewed By colaalessandro - Villasanta, Italy

Io e mio figlio siamo andati a Golfito per una battuta di pesca l'ultima settimana di Gennaio 2017. Ci avevano parlato bene del posto, ma non avremmo mai pensato di
trovare un' accoglienza tanto calorosa e simpatica ed un' organizzazione perfetta.
Yves e Bernadette sono stati semplicemente fantastici ! La casa di pesca è spartana ma sembra di stare a casa propria. La pesca è stata miracolosa ! in 4 giorni abbiamo preso e rilasciato più di 2 tonnellate di pesce di tutti i tipi e dimensioni, compreso un marlig nero di più di 300 kg. Abbiamo preso Vela, GT, Roosterfish, Ricciole, Tonni enormi, cernie, Parghi rossi ed altro. Il divertimento è stato unico. Il capitano della barca Irving eccezionale. Mangiato da Dio e coccolati al massimo dai padroni di casa.
L'anno prossimo torneremo certamente col altri amici. Grazie Yves, grazie Bernadette! Alessandro ed Alberto Cola

6. Bar La Bomba

Pueblo Civil, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica +506 2775 2149
Excellent
67%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
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0%
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4.5 based on 3 reviews

Bar La Bomba

Reviewed By Anja G - Germany

Die La Bomba Bar strahlt eine unglaubliche Gemütlichkeit aus, die zum Bleiben einlädt. Das ganze Ambiente wurde mit viel Liebe zum Detail gestaltet. Die schönste und gemütlichste Bar die ich bisher in Costa Rica besucht habe mit viel geschichtlichem Hintergrund und tollen Bildern.

7. Proyecto Aventura

Calle 14 | 14th Road, Golfito 60702, Costa Rica
Excellent
93%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 14 reviews

Proyecto Aventura

Canyoning, also know as Canyoneering, Abseiling, or Waterfall Rappelling, is the most exciting new adventure sport to hit the US, Europe, Japan, South Africa and now Osa Peninsula! Proyecto Aventura - Costa Rica Canyoning tour offers travellers the opportunity to explore some of Costa Rica’s most fantastic Waterfalls. With canyoneering certified and bilingual guides on hand, you will rappel down several gushing falls. An experience that you will never forget! Costa Rica Canyoning offers a great way to explore the hidden depths of this magical area of Costa Rica, while at the same time, enjoying the fun and adventure of this great water-sport. Whether we are jumping over cascades into crystal clear pools, wading, swimming, climbing or rappelling through Waterfalls, the excitement never ends. You'll put on a helmet and harness, then brace yourself for non-stop action. Imagine yourself surrounded by lush rain forest inside a spectacular canyon, full of tropical Waterfalls and thousands of years of architecture carved out by nature, with surprises each step of the way. Our awesome Canyons are located just a short distance from the town of Golfito. Prepare to get wet and experience the thrill of a lifetime. The tour begins with a 10 minute ride to La Purruja Village. Then, we will hike for one kilometre to the top of the hill, and to the Waterfalls. Once here, your guides will fit you with canyoning equipment and explain the proper way to descend the falls. When you’re comfortable with the procedure, you’ll begin rappelling down the first waterfall, divided into four sections (35 meters, 16 meters, 12 meters and 10 meters), at the base, the creek leads into a pristine canyon. From here on, there are six smaller Waterfalls to rappel down, a few swimming-holes and a couple short jumps. Once finished, your guides will help you back to the vehicles and you’ll head back to Golfito. This tour can be enjoyed by anyone in moderate/good physical condition. It is child friendly and NO experience is needed.

Reviewed By cb2367

I went on this adventure with a group from work. This was the first time I had ever done rappelling, so I didn't know quite what to expect. Prior to heading out, the guides explained that there would be three main phases of the adventure: walking along a trail and creek, then walking up the mountain, and lastly the rappel down the waterfall. It had rained the night before, which made the second phase very difficult. I kept losing my footing and sliding down the side of the hill. Fortunately, the guides were close by and helped me get back up. The guides ensured each person safely made it to the bottom of the waterfall. You'll definitely need good shoes for this adventure, as that will help make the rappel easier. If you're in good physical condition and are looking for an extreme adventure, then I would recommend this.

8. Zamia Wildlife Refuge

Golfito, Costa Rica +506 8409 5875
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
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0%
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

Zamia Wildlife Refuge

Reviewed By Stephanie S

The tour guide was friendly and awesome! We saw so many animals and such gorgeous scenery! Highly recommended!

9. Cataratas y Senderos Avellan

La Gamba, Golfito Golfito, Costa Rica +506 8633 4768
Excellent
100%
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5 based on 1 reviews

Cataratas y Senderos Avellan

Reviewed By CindyBoulanger - Golfito, Costa Rica

Los senderos están bien definidos y mantenidos. La caminata por el bosque es corta para llegar a la catarata así que es el lugar perfecto para niños y adultos mayores, y pueden bañarse en la catarata. También se encuentra una hamaca gigantesca en el bosque, que fue para mi lo más divertido, una vez ahí van a entender porque!

10. Exploring Golfito Tours

Golfito | Pueblo Civil, Frente al Supermercado Pearson, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Excellent
33%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
67%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 3 reviews

Exploring Golfito Tours

Tour Operator located in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica, we have more than 16 activities for you, come visit us and enjoy the nature, the adrenaline and the magic of Costa Rica

Reviewed By Mikesalter - Thornton le Moor, United Kingdom

Its difficult to write a negative review because it can have an effect on a business however i believe the purpose of Trip Advisor is for travellers to ensure we all get good service and value whilst working as a good source of feedback for businesses.
We had a loose day in Golfito and although Golfito is not really a tourist town there is Golfito tours and we decided to take a kyaking tour across the bay.
The young guide arrived at 7 am and after collecting life jackets from the marina we were staying in he hailed a taxi to take us to another marina where we collected the kyaks, three ageing but seemingly watertight boats. It was a bit chaotic but we set out paddling across the bay to an island where the guide disembarked with us, got a pineapple and a water melon out of a carrier bag, cut them up and handed us pieces. It was good fun and quite relaxed. The guide also explained a bit about the local area to us. Following this break we headed across the large bay towards a mangrove swamp, this involved a paddle of around 1km across open water and although my wife and I were struggling a little with the steering we made it across and into the swamp.
Paddling remained fairly easy however it became apparent that the guide had little knowledge of the local wildlife and where previous guides in CR had been knowledgeable this guide knew less than us and, rather than knowing where different species were likely to be, it seemed he hoped to chance upon them.
Things became more difficult when eventually we turned back, he suggested we went on a further 5 mins but we made the decision to turn back. When we started to go back it immediately became obvious that my wife was struggling with an incoming tide. The guide continued to hurry us, it turned out he had another tour immediately after our scheduled return and we were unlikely to make this because of our slow pace. Initially he was encouraging us but later he just went faster and left me to stay with my wife. He eventually went at least 200m from us and sent another guy who wasn't associated with the tour back for us. We eventually got back to the island where he was waiting and gave us more fruit for energy, he kept saying 'I'm tired too' but he was about 22 yeas old and we aren't, tired is different at our age! Following this break we had to paddle around 300m from the island to the home marina.
I feel this simple description explained why this is a negative review but to reinforce I think there were several key issues here, mostly associated with safety.
The guide didn't assess the fitness or competence of the people he was taking out and tailor the trip accordingly.
The guide didn't understand the tide times or currents thereby making allowance on how far he took us, when the tide was against us we were really struggling.
The guide left us and at one stage we were in open water but out of his sight at least 150m away from him.
When he had a client with fatigue he didn't really recognise this and had no plan on how to cope with it.
The guide had little wildlife knowledge.
The trip cost 75USD per person and as such was a cost we would expect for a top ranked guide.
Sad to give such a bad review but we accept that other people need to be forewarned.

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