Golfito is a thriving Pacific waterfront town in Southern Costa Rica, near Panama.
Golfito is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the hills of the Piedra Brancas National Park.
It is surrounded by nature.
Golfito has its own wildlife reserve (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre) and nearby, at the top of the Osa Peninsula, the impressive Corcovado National Park.
Golfito is also the major town in the region.
Golfito is the Focal Point Of The Region
Golfito not only has many amenities itself, but it is conveniently located to many others.
- 2 airports (in Golfito and Punto Jimenez)
- Location of the region’s major governmental offices, banks, medical care, and more.
- Popular Duty-Free zone in town
- Great sport fishing and nearby fishing lodges abound
- A ferry boat ride away from Puerto Jimenz.
- Near the Osa Pensinsula and Corcovado National Park region
- Easy access to Playa Zancudo and Pavones
Golifito has an interesting and unique history.
Like Puerto Armuelles in Panama, the town was created by the United Fruit Company.
The United Fruit Company later changed its name to Chiquita. In Golfito, locals called the company, Mama Chiquita.
Chiquita ruled Golfito from 1938 until 1985.
The company put a unique stamp on the town’s look and housing. It also transformed it into a prosperous town.
One of Chiquita’s remnants is Golfito’s Zona Americana.
The Zona Americana (American Zone) is a residential neighborhood that Chiquita built for its executives. The housing style is reminiscent of Key West’s architecture.
Many of these homes have been bought and renovated in recent years.
We have a few houses for sale in Golfito’s American Zone.
Click Here To View American Zone Homes For Sale .
Chiquita left Golfito in 1985.
Again, much like Puerto Armuelles, after Chiquita left Golfito suffered a major economic depression.
However, Chiquita left Golfito almost 20 years before abandoning Puerto Armuelles.
2 Developments Helped Golfito’s Economy Recover
1) Created the Golfito Wildlife Reserve (Refugio National de Vida Sivestre). After thier departure, Chiquita’s lands reverted to government ownership. Costa Rica did a wonderful thing with that land. The next year, they created the Golfito Reserve or Refugio National de Vida Sivestre.
The reserve is only a short walk on paths from town. The reserve is home to butterflies as large as dinner plates and many other interesting insects and animals.
2) Created a Duty-Free Zone. In 1990, to assist in the revitalization of its economy, the government created a duty-free shopping zone, called the Deposito Libre Comercial de Golfito.
Deposito Libre Comercial, is a large plaza with shops selling all sorts of electronics, appliances, and housewares.
This duty free shopping draws both Ticos (native Costa Ricans) and foreigners from all over Costa Rica. Shoppers can save up to 50% on the cost of a wide variety of products.
These products are taxed much lower (but not tax-free, as the name implies) than anywhere else in Costa Rica.
However, the catch is a complicated ticket system. Visitors must buy an entrance ticket to the Desposito the day before. This means visitors must stay overnight in a hotel.
There is a “sneaky” way around this overnight requirement. Buy your tickets from one of the many locals who make a living reselling tickets outside the Deposito entrance.
However, be prepared to bargain hard.
One potential and profitable business is to cater to these over-night visitors.
In fact, a small hotel that caters to these duty free shoppers is for sale now,
Click Here For Hotel Details.
These two developments, the wildlife reserve and Duty-Free area, allowed Golfito to take full advantage of Costa Rica’s growing tourism in the 1990s and continuing to the present.
The result is that Golfito has fully recovered from its post-Chiquita economic slump.
Golfito is thriving and needs no further assistance from the Costa Rica government.
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Have you been to Golfito?
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