Golfito Port Guide

Golfito Port of call is located south of Costa Rica on a bay that is surrounded by the larger Golfo Dulce. This small bay’s water is often calm and is famous among local fishing sports aficionados. Over the last few years, this port town has slowly developed into a cruise port. Golfito cruise port is located on a strip of land bordered by the bay and a series of hills. Beyond and around this port town, there are protected rainforests and national parks, and long stretches of beach.

Golfito cruise terminal is located just a walking distance from the downtown area and a few minutes drive from the airport. A taxi boat is the commonly used local transport around the bay’s numerous beaches.


There is a supermarket just near the port that sells basic commodities. Shopping is best done at the duty free center located north of the town. Foreigners will need to present a passport while Costa Ricans may need to present their cedulas (i.e. national ID card). Before shopping, travelers need to familiarize themselves with the restrictions (dependent upon status of cedula). The duty free center sells electronics, clothing, toys, wines and liquors and household items among others.

Things to See

The beaches are the main attractions in Golfito. Pavones beach located south of Golfito near the entrance of Golfo Dulce is famous among surfers. The best time to surf is usually from April to October when the beach benefits from the best surfing waves of the Pacific. Pavones is just a two-hour drive from town.

The less adventurous traveler may visit the beaches of Cacao and Zancudo. Cacao is located in front of Golfito across the bay and accessible by taxi boat or by 4x4 vehicles during the dry season. Zancudo on the other hand, is located south of Golfito and can be reached by bus or boat depending on the tides. There are bars on both beaches so guests may get a drink while enjoying the beach.

There are hiking and sightseeing opportunities at the Refugio Nacioal Golfito, the protected wildlife area. Trails start from the town and may lead to several landings with scenic views of the ocean and the dense forest. There are no public facilities within the wilderness area.

Restaurants and Bars

For a small port town, Golfito has several dining choices. Restaurant Mar y Luna offers seafood dishes in alfresco dining with a view of the bay, Banana Bay Marina cooks seafood in American style, Rio de Janiero serves barbecue, Restaurant Los Maderos has a view of the forest, while Resturant Hong Kong serves Chinese food.

There is also a restaurant near the airport for travelers who want a quick meal before or after flights. Bar la Pista serves burgers, sandwiches, beer, casado (a Costa Rican rice plate) and homemade soup.

Drinks are served at Le Coquillage located inside the Samoa del Sur hotel building. In addition to the restaurant and bar, the place also has pool tables and dartboards.

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