Without a doubt, our country’s southern region is full of natural riches and spots that are worth exploring, one of which is the Golfo Dulce Reserve. It was created to protect the forested lowlands that surround the gulf. It also borders national parks such as Corcovado National Park, known for its incredible biodiversity, and the smaller Peñas Blancas National Park. The reserve extends over more than 149,500 hectares.
Since it is one of the country’s wettest regions, with over 200 inches of rain every year, the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve has some of Costa Rica’s highest and oldest trees, some reaching to 30 or 40 meters in height. Known for its biodiversity, this region is ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers, with a wealth of activities for both.
Golfo Dulce is a great place for birdwatching or just relaxing along one of its solitary beaches. With abundant swimming and hiking options, it offers travelers plenty of ways to see its wealth of fauna.
The area is home to animals such as spider monkeys, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and howler monkeys. There are also anteaters, coatis, jaguars, ocelots, oncillas, frogs, and more. There is also a wide variety of bird species, including the scarlet macaw, toucans, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and trogons.
Where the forest meets the sea in the river deltas, it forms impressive mangrove forests that are breeding grounds for many species, including dolphins, manta rays, eels, and fish that leap out of the water – not to mention the possibility of observing the arrival of the humpback whales with their calves between the months of July and October.
If you’re wondering when the best time is to plan your visit, you should remember that its dry season lasts from December to April, but precipitation varies from month to month. Its temperature generally stays between 25°C and 30°C. Remember that the area is very wet, meaning that you should pack comfortable and cool clothing. Some of the activities for you to tryout here include surfing its world-class breaks, sport fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, horseback riding, and more.
Although the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve does not have public facilities, it is open to visitors. It is recommended that you choose a guided experience with local tour operators.
Entry fees: Costa Ricans: ₡800 Foreigners: $10
Hours of operation: Seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: You can choose to travel by vehicle or by bus to the region. The bus route from San José to Golfito takes about 8 hours, and from Golfito you can drive or take another bus to the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve. You can also take a domestic flight to the Puerto Jiménez or Golfito airports.
Telephone number of the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA): +(506) 2775-1210