Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Golfito

Southern Costa Rica & Península de Osa

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 Golfito's center, a gravel road heads inland, past a soccer field, and winds 7km up to some radio towers (Las Torres) 486m above sea level. A very steep hiking trail (two hours), almost opposite the Samoa del Sur hotel, brings you out near the radio towers.

The reserve was originally created to protect the town’s watershed, though it also protects a number of rare and interesting plant species and attracts a variety of tropical birds, four species of monkeys and several small mammals. It is also home to several cycads, which are ‘living fossils,’ and are regarded as the most primitive of plants.