Golfito Domestic Airport, South Puntarenas

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The paved landing strip among a green field may not look like much, but what Golfito Domestic Airport lacks in size, it makes up for in affordability and close proximity to the port of Golfito. Costa Rica's southernmost port town, Golfito is the top choice for sports fisherman and water enthusiasts alike. Once a booming banana port, today the area is a duty-free port that offers plenty of activities for tourists and locals alike.

Enjoying the Water

If you love the water, you can't miss visiting Golfito in the Southern Puntarenas province. Among amazing sailing and sea kayaking opportunities, you'll find plenty of places to relax and catch some of the area's most impressive fish. In the mood for to catch some waves? Pavones Beach is nearby and offers some of the best surf breaks in the area. Playa Zancudo is also nearby and considered one of the best beaches in the country. Swimming, surfing, sports fishing or even just relaxing on the sand are all enjoyable in the area.

Corcovado National Park

Animal lovers won't want to miss Corcovado National Park. The gorgeous natural beauty features several hiking trails, 13 major ecosystems and more than 20 miles of shoreline. It's no wonder it's the country's largest park and considered to be the country's crown jewel of its park system. Spanning nearly 104,000 acres, the park features a virgin lowland rainforest that is home to the country’s largest population of macaws. Altogether, Corcovado National Park is home to 140 animal species, 116 amphibian species, 6,000 insect species, 400 bird species, 40 fish species and 220 butterfly species. You'll also more than 400 different types of trees. The park does allow camping, so don't be afraid to take the two- to three-day hike across the entire park and be sure to stop at the lake or the La Llorona Waterfall.

Caño Island

Water sports enthusiasts won't want to step away from Caño Island. The island, which sits 20 kilometers off the shore of Drake Bay, is the perfect spot to go diving, snorkeling or kayaking. The archeological locale also serves as a biological reserve that protects artifacts from before Columbian times. This includes the spherical stones that are a mystery to scientists. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the island was a pirate refuge and now holds the artifacts to prove it. The dive sites around the island make it possible view artifacts as well as coral reefs, sea turtles, whales, dolphins and manta rays.

Piedras Blancas National Park

Piedras Blancas National Park spans more than 14,000 hectares and is one of the last places that wild jaguar live in Costa Rica. Tropical forests and hundreds of indigenous plants and wildlife make the area popular among tourists. Expect the possibility of coming across anything from a howler monkey to toucans if you visit this park, which is considered one of the places to bird watch in the country.

Beach Towns

In addition to excellent surfing, the area's many small beach towns provide horseback riding, yoga retreats and much more. Do you love to stop? Don't forget to stop for souvenirs! Costa Rica shopping in its small business towns means finding deals on everything from local fashion to large appliances. Even better, purchasing the things you love from small businesses keeps the area's local economy thriving. Don’t forget to stop for lunch at an authentic Costa Rican restaurant along the way.

Getting Around

While you can get to Golfito and the surrounding area via car, it is important to note the roads are bumpy and paved with dirt, so the trip may not be pleasant for everyone. For this reason, many people who check it out decide to fly. Nature Air and SANSA both offer affordable flights that take under an hour. Once you land, you can take a taxi, which costs less than a dollar, to your hotel or other local attractions.