Golfito National Refuge for Forest Wildlife
It has an extension of 2.810 hectares and was initially created to protect the Golfito basin, and includes almost all of the high hills that surround the city, there is a good number of botanical species, among them an Asian species Caryodaphnopsis, which does not exist in other areas of Central America, as well as species of Zamia, that belong to the cicadae family. This last species are called “living fossils” and belong to the primitive plant group. There were many before the dinosaur period, but very few species have survived. The vegetation attracts a large variety of birds such as parrots, toucans, tanagras, trogones, humming birds and red macaws. You will also be able to see peccarys, pacas, raccoons, coyotes and monkeys.
The address for the refuge can be found at the Osa Conservation Area office in Puerto Jiménez. You can camp in the refuge but there are no installations.
How to arrive and leave
Some 2 km to the south of the center of Golfito, before you get to Hotel Las Gaviotas, a gravel road leads inland, the road that you need to take is shown in INVU, on the other side of the football stadium and ends at one of the radio towers called Las Torres, 7 km and 846 meters above sea level. It is a good road with access to the refuge. Another route would be to take the highway to Gamba and to Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. This road begins a couple of kilometers to the northeast of the Tax Free area and crosses over a part of the refuge. A local bus takes you to the beginning of the highway, where the buses arrive, it is some 10km to Gamba, where you will be able to walk and birdwatch. There is also a very steep footpath, which comes out almost opposite the Hotel Samoa. You will need to walk for at least two hours to get to the highway and to the radio towers.