Golfito is known as a world-famous sport fishing destination and draws professional fisherman from around the globe year after year. But if fishing isn’t for you, don’t despair! This rough and tumble fishing port also offers plenty of non-fishing fun and relaxing things to do–if you know where to look.
If you do want to try your hand at sport fishing in Golfito Costa Rica, plan on spending between $800 and $1600 USD minimum for a day on the water. You can charter a fishing boat at Banana Bay Marina, King and Bartlett, Golfito Sport Fishing, or Roy’s Zancudo Lodge in nearby Playa Zancudo.
With a bit of luck, you might come back with a marlin.
Many sailboat captains set up shop in Golfito Costa Rica for a season or so to make extra money. If you love the romance of a sailboat on the open seas or the Golfo Dulce, check Los Gaviotas Hotel for an available charter.
If beach time is what you are after, Golfito Costa Rica is not the best place to look for it. The closest nice beach is Playa Cacao, a short boat ride away, but don’t overpay for the ride–$5 or so is a standard fare no matter how the boatman haggles. Playa Zancudo also has great beaches, and is not too far south.
Plant lovers and gardeners will enjoy a day trip to Casa Orquideas, a lush fruit and exotic vegetable garden located about 30 minutes outside of Golfito Costa Rica, and lovingly maintained by owners Rod and Trudy McCallister. During the two-hour tour, guests receive lots of fresh fruit to take home and sample, and get a closeup look at Central American flora, fauna, and farming practices.
The two-hour tour at Casa Orquideas costs just $5 USD. If a round-trip boat ride to the farm sounds like a relaxing way to see the area, that will run around $50 to $60 USD. Land Sea Tours runs a charter service that will take you right from Golfito to Casa Orquideas and back.
Costa Rica boasts more different species of tropical birds than almost any other nation on earth, and Wilson Botanical Gardens, which includes the Las Cruces Biological Station, is a great place to see many of them. Operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies, Wilson Botanical Gardens features over 7,000 varieties of tropical plants, and at least 330 species of birds.
Wilson Botanical Gardens is located just outside the small town of San Vito, about 40 miles northeast of Golfito Costa Rica. A full day guided walking tour of the gardens, including lunch, costs $34 USD, a half day guided tour $10. Staying the night is an option too, but call ahead and reserve a room for that, as space is limited.
Wilson Botanical Gardens is an easy drive south on the Interamerican Highway, then north at Cuidad Neily, but if you don’t have a car or don’t want to set off in search of the gardens alone, a round-trip cab ride from Golfito Costa Rica will only set you back about $40, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the scenery along the way.