Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica is a gulf located south of Puntarenas. This is an inlet (narrow strip of water) going from the from Costa Rica's Pacific Ocean side into the mainland, extending slightly northward then turning west and ending at Rincon. This bay waterway separates mainland Costa Rica and Osa Peninsula.
Golfo Dulce is famous for the Piedras Blancas National Park - located in its northeastern part. The park covers a total area of 140 km2 (54 ml2) of protected rainforest plus a protected marine area (needle-fish). Nature lodges (inside the park) are accessible only by boat / ship.
Piedras Blancas National Park
This Costa Rican national park is part of the Osa Conservation Area. It is located in the country's southern part and near La Gamba. This is a protected rainforests (dense evergreen forests) and also features the beautiful beaches near Golfo Dulce.
The landscape is marked by rugged mountains and the rivers Esquinas and Piedras Blancas. The area is home to several rare tropical trees and also to many species of mammals, reptiles and birds. In the past, logging and hunting were serious issues. Most of the park's land now is state-owned (over 80% public ownership), to which contributed several companies and foundations purchasing private properties in Piedras Blancas and donating them to the government.
- The list of mammals that can be found in the Piedras Blancas National Park includes around 100 species, among which raccoons, coati (coatimundi / hog-nosed coon), kinkajous, olingos (Bassaricyon), skunks, grisons, tayras (weasel), opossums, also wildcats (jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays), monkeys (white-face capuchins, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys).
- The park also has 53 different bat species, most of which are fruit eaters.
- Among the reptiles are colored frogs, basilisks, iguanas, also snakes (coral snake, vine snake, pit viper, Boa constrictor / red-tailed boa). Crocodiles can be seen in the park's rivers and in the mangrove swamps.
Golfo Dulce cruise terminal
Most cruise ships to Golfo Dulce dock (anchor) at Golfito - port town on the gulf's central-eastern coast. However, after its inauguration in 2019, the new Golfito Marina resort will be a destination of itself, attracting smaller-sized cruise ships and mege-yachts to Golfito Bay.
Golfito Marina Village and Resort
Golfito Marina Village and Resort is a new USD 42 million leisure project. Construction works started in 2016, with completion scheduled for 2019. This world-class resort complex is located in Golfito Bay and features:
- safe harbor, deep-water marina (with a total of 132 yacht slips), fishing pier
- boat servicing facilities (shipyard, fuel dock, 88-boats dry storage, sewage treatment plant)
- commercial area (named "Fisherman’s Village") consisting of a 54-room hotel, 57 private villas (with 2 to 6 bedrooms), floating restaurant, yacht club, separate accommodations for captains and crew, open-air spa, gift shop, 3 car parking areas (total capacity 129 vehicles), Customs and Immigration Office.
This destination is also attractive as Golfito Bay is the only government-approved drop-off / pick-up area for yacht transporting vessels on the Pacific coast of Central and South America.
The marina resort is Golfo Dulce’s biggest development project. When completed, it will completely transform this Costa Rican location to a top-luxury, super-yacht destination where rich travelers can dock up to 350-ft (107-m) mega-yachts. Besides world-class yachting, the resort will be also popular for its sportfishing and eco-tourism activities, as well as an opportunity for purchasing luxury resort accommodations in a prestine travel destination.
The marina resort's construction was planned in 3 phases:
- Phase 1 (completed in 2016) cost USD 10 million and included 50 boat slips, the commercial area, sewage treatment plant, fueling dock, boat dry storage (13 boats) and car parking (26 vehicles).
- Phase II (completed in 2017) cost USD 16 million and included 132 boat slips, the 54-room hotel, an floating restaurant (sized 1100 m2 / 11840 ft2), commercial area (sized 1500 m2 / 16150 ft2), boat dry storage (34 boats), car parking (68 vehicles).
- Phase III (completed in 2019) cost USD 16 million and included building the 57 villas, boat dry storage (41 boats), the spa, the souvenir store, and the 3rd parking area (35 vehicles).