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I started to get to know one by one the unspoiled beaches around here. I got my top 3 though… Cativo, El Santuario and Nicuesa.

Get to know here clear water unspoiled beaches around this area. Go snorkeling and discover spots out of this world.

I will not lie to you. I went to Golfito and came back with an oven and a fridge. How can be so cheap! That´s undeniable. The thing is that the visit to Depósito Libre (Free-tax Depot) was the very last stop of a trip which I discover the most transparent water I´ve ever seen, and 5 amazing beaches so unspoiled that it´s hard to believe they actually exist.

When a monkey swings on a tree close to the beach, a sea turtle shows up right next to our boat when it gets closer to the shore and a coral reef can be seen just a few meters from the shore… all of this is out of this world.

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I realized that I had not known Costa Rica as much as I thought. Just a few people know that you can take a boat from downtown Golfito and visit amazing beaches at Piedras Blancas National Park and Golfito Wildlife Refuge.

Piedras Blancas is the least visited National Park in Costa Rica. That is why it didn´t surprised me when Luis, the boat owner who gave us the guided tour, told me that I was the first tico that was paying for a tour to this unspoiled places.

Just a few weeks before, a Canadian hired the boat to take him to Dulce Gulf. Actually that is one of the best attractions around here. Imperceptible waves and the intense green near the shore are two things foreign visitors love about this area. Another attractions is fishing; there are
marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, roosterfish and sea bass.

Also in September and October whales get to this zone and find a noiseless and lonely place. Luis showed me a video with a Humpback whale passing under his boat; it was a huge shade under the waters.

To start the tour, I took a boat from “El Muellecito”, a dock located downtown Golfito.  From this place, boat sail with different purposes; tourism, artisanal fishing and people transportation to Puerto Jimenez which is a few miles away.

After 20 minutes on this journey, I started to get to know one by one the unspoiled beaches around here. I got my top 3 though… Cativo, El Santuario and Nicuesa. Yes, there are up to 8 beaches around this area, but I want to highlight these 3 spots. I cannot understand how they seem to be lost on the map.

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Cativo: This beach really stands out due to the water color. It is just like crystal; you can see your fingers clearly under the water. This beach´s shore is very short so you definitely need to visit this spot during low tide. Trees are really close to the sea and it makes you feel like in the jungle. This is the typical place foreign tourists look for when they visit Costa Rica: loneliness, nature, unspoiled and clean.

I was just about to get to this beach when a sea turtle showed up. I was able to see it from the moment it was close to the boat until it swam to the deep blue. I tried to take a picture but turtles are very fast in the sea.

El Santuario: Its name is quite self-explanatory (the Sanctuary). Here, just like in the rest of beaches around Dulce Gulf, waves are unnoticeable. El Santuario beach is surrounded by a mountain that protects it and makes it a truly unspoiled place. For those who love snorkeling, this beach is great, on a sunny day you literally can see everything under the water.

It was close to El Santuario where I saw the monkeys swinging on the trees.
If they happen to lose their balance, they would fall on the water. They feel so confident though…that they get really close to the last trees right in front of the shore.

Nicuesa: This beach stands out due to a small and old dock that gives the spot a nice touch. Unlike the other 2 beaches I mentioned, Nicuesa´s shore is a mix of sand and small white rocks.

A few miles from this beach, there is a coral reef that locals call “Tortuga”. This nickname re-confirms that sea turtles are common around here. Tour guides usually take tourists to this place to snorkel.

One-day tour around these beaches is not as cheap as buying a coffee maker at the Free-tax Depot. It is priced between $50 to $110, depending how many beaches you want to visit.

I can say that it totally worth it. It is all about getting to know Costa Rica. It is maybe a different kind of beauty, so unusual that people sometimes underestimate.

If you go to Golfito, I suggest you to visit these amazing beaches.

José Pablo Alfaro

José Pablo Alfaro

Journalist and nature lover. He likes boat trips, walking through trails and living natural experiences.