Golfito: Pristine Beaches on Costa Rica's Last Frontier

The south pacific coast of Costa Rica is an enchantingly beautiful part of our country

The Golfito area is in the far south of Costa Rica and is known as its last border. A remote region of the country. The south of Costa Rica is a very sparsely populated zone, where services are basic, but there you can experience something different compared to the rest of the popular destinations in the country.

Pure Isolation

A typical trip from San José to Golfito, the main town in the south, can take 8 hours or more. However, if you want to arrive by air, there is the Golfito Airport that is 4 km north of the town center with regular flights with Sansa and Nature Air airlines.

Golfito Airport, Puntarenas Sur

A paved airstrip within a Greenfield may not seem like much, but what is lacking in size at the regional Golfito airport has plenty of economic potential and proximity to the port of Golfito.

Flora and fauna

With an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, the magnificent Piedras Blancas National Park is an important natural reserve and wildlife refuge located just north of Golfito. Sportfishing is also another important feature in southern Costa Rica, with many sport fishermen using Golfito as their base while they catch Pacific sailfish. The best season for this is from November to May.

Its Awesome Beaches

Golfito was an important southern port until the mid-1980s. Golfito was the center of this growing banana region. The United Fruit Company was based here in the north of the city. Since its closure, this city has suffered great economic losses and unemployment, but with the arrival of tourism, this community is in slow reconstruction.

It is a rustic and quiet place with plenty of hotels and accommodations, many people use Golfito as a stopover before heading to the stunning beaches of Playa Zancudo, Pavones, and Piedras Blancas National Park.

Playa Zancudo

Considered by many to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Zancudo is a glorious black sand beach located 20 km south of Golfito in the province of Puntarenas. An ideal place to spend a relaxing holiday, it offers backpackers, surfers, and families, a beautiful place away from the hyperactivity and bustle of other beaches in Costa Rica. With intact landscapes and completely natural surroundings, this beach is heaven for those who want a quiet holiday.

Playa Zancudo is a relatively calm beach; it is believed to be the best for swimming in the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. However, what people don’t know is that this beach is also an excellent point for surfing and fishing. Located on the south bank of the Rio Coto Colorado, it is also close to the swampy mangroves with great opportunity to observe much of the site’s wildlife. There are many birds, monkeys, and crocodiles that live here. With a strip of 6 km of almost all flat beaches, the crystalline waters of the Pacific calmly enter the shore of the beaches creating gentle waves ideal for everyone to enjoy and relax.

While the northern part of the beach is calmer, the southern part has much more intense waves enough for surfing. For those who enjoy bodyboarding the central part of Playa, Zancudo beach is ideal. With its spectacular sunsets, this beach becomes a magical starry kingdom at night, with the phosphorescent marine life, illuminates the waters of the beach to present a unique spectacle.

During the day this beach has awesome views along the Golfo Dulce within the bay. An ideal backpacker’s refuge due to its excellent surfing. Playa Zancudo has inexpensive accommodations, excellent food, several bars, restaurants and discos and a casual atmosphere with friendly inhabitants making it the ultimate for a holiday break.

Here, the Pacific Ocean is your amusement park where you can enjoy a variety of water sports including scuba diving, sport fishing, snorkeling, water skiing, horse riding, kayaking or tours to the nearby Coto Colorado River. For nature lovers, you can also visit the Orchid House Botanical Garden or walk the trails near the river.

You can reach Playa Zancudo by bus from Golfito or take a water taxi from the docks. If you opt for the boat trip, be sure to take your camera as you will have countless opportunities to take fabulous photos along this magnificent coast.


Known as a paradise for surfers, Pavones is a small community located along the southern Pacific coast. Pavones is not just another ordinary surfing destination; it is home to some of the best and longest waves in the world. Getting to this remote place can be a challenge, but certainly, the long trip is worth it. Pavones is also surrounded by a diversity of wildlife in the lush rainforest nearby.

SOURCE Osmary Torres
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