History of Golfito
The port town was founded in the late 1930s by the United Fruit Company. Within a short time it was built into a prosperous trade center. Golfito was the most important port in southern Costa Rica.
Golfito suffered an ecomomic depression after the United Fruit Company moved it's headquarters out in 1985 and allowed their real estate to return to the Costa Rican government. The following year the government established the Golfito Reserve or Refugio National de Vida Silvestre - establishing a kind of limited national park or wildlife refuge area.
In April 1990 a duty-free shopping zone was opened in Golfito which attracts ticos (native Costa Ricans) as well as resident foreigners from all over the country. The tourism resulting from the duty-free shopping zone and the Eco-tourism industry developing around Golfito are helping to revive the region and boost the struggling local economy.
Increasingly, visitors are being attracted by the area's national parks, wildlife reserves and botanical gardens. Boat tours in the pristine Golfo Dulce (Sweet Bay) and rivers such as the Rio Coto, Rio Sierpe and Rio Esquinas are also popular for viewing marine animals and wildlife along the rivers.