Top things to do

Top Choice Nature Reserve in Pavones

Tiskita Jungle Lodge

Set on a verdant hillside between Pavones and Punta Banco, Tiskita Jungle Lodge consists of 100 hectares of virgin forest and a huge orchard, which produces more than 125 varieties of tropical fruit. Trails wind thr…
Top Choice Italian in Pavones

La Bruschetta

A couple of kilometers along the beach road to Punta Banco, this cheerful place decked out with fairy lights is the most happenin' spot in town. The lovely owner serves ample portions of homemade pasta, wood-fired p…
Top Choice International in Zancudo

Gamefisher Restaurant

This terrific open-sided restaurant inside the Zancudo Lodge prides itself on its commitment to super-fresh produce and creativity, and it shows – in the best fish tacos for miles around, the tuna smoked in-house an…
Top Choice Costa Rican in Golfito

Restaurante Buenos Días

Rare is the visitor who passes through Golfito without stopping at this cheerful spot opposite the Muellecito (Small Dock). Brightly colored booths, bilingual menus and a convenient location ensure a constant stream…
Gardens in Playas San Josecito, Nicuesa & Cativo

Casa Orquideas

This vibrant botanical garden can only be reached by boat and is well worth the effort. Expats have been lovingly maintaining it for more than 40 years, and it features some truly magical plants including a variety …
Nature Reserve in Golfito

Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Golfito

This small, 28-sq-km reserve encompasses most of the steep hills surrounding Golfito, though it's easy to miss. There are no facilities for visitors, save some poorly maintained trails. About 2km south of the center…
Beach in Golfito

Playa Cacao

Just a quick trip across the bay, this small beach offers a prime view of Golfito, with the rainforest as a backdrop. It's a pleasant spot to spend the day, and there are a couple of tasty seafood shacks where you c…
Costa Rican in Pavones

Soda Doña Dora

This long-standing family-run spot serves up huge breakfasts of gallo pinto, eggs and toast; banana pancakes; casados with fresh seafood; burgers and fries; and cheap beer. Look for the Bar La Plaza sign just inland…
International in Golfito

Banana Bay Marina

Haunted by (mostly) American yachties and expat duty-free shoppers, the open-air restaurant at the marina specializes in humongous plates of American, international and Tico dishes. Come with a supersized appetite t…
Cafe in Pavones

Café de la Suerte

Filling breakfasts, omelets and veggie dishes dominate the menu, the chef makes her own hummus, and there's usually a daily special (veggie burgers, lasagna) – all to be washed down with a tropical-fruit smoothie. I…