In the year 1991, the Esquinas Rainforest at the Southern Pacific Coast has been declared a national Park – one of the last parts of lowland rainforest that remained unprotected in Costa Rica. However, the area was a private property, the government did not have the resources to buy it back from its owners. Michael Schnitzler, a famous Austrian violinist, founded the foundation “Rainforest of the Austrians” with the goal to collect money for buying the area. By 1999, about 13.000 Austrians had donated more than 1 million US Dollars that made it possible to my more than 25 km² of rainforest and like that effectively protect it. The land was handed over to the Costa Rican government as a gift and forms now part of the newly founded Piedras Blancas National Park bordering the mainland area of the Corcovado National Park.
A study by Austrian biologists recently revealed the diversification of tree species counted on different areas of 10'000 sqm. Each exceeds the variety of trees found in the Corcovado National Park which makes this area even more important to conserve.
Esquinas is located about 20 km (12.5 miles) southwest of Golfito.
Golfito is located on the northern side of the Golfo Dulce, at the foot of lush green mountains. The setting itself makes it one of the more attractive cities in the country, but Golfito also has a certain charm of its own. The city used to be an important banana harbor, but when the United Fruit Company left in 1984 a local economy crisis followed. As a compensation strategy, the Costa Rican government created a free trade area where Costa Ricans can buy duty-free goods up to a certain amount if they stay in the region for at least 24 hours.
The town still prides itself with the old United Fruit Company housing. Visitors find well-maintained wooden houses painted bright colors and surrounded by neatly manicured gardens. Toucans are commonly sighted. These old homes are experiencing a sort of renaissance, as they become small hotels catering to shoppers visiting the adjacent duty-free shopping center.
Tour Units: T21
- Esquinas Rainforest - 3 days & T21aw Rainforest Adventure Week - 7 days
The Golfo Dulce runs into a northern direction before turning towards the west. In the western part the village of Rincon is located, the village of Golifto can be found in the north. The bay separates the Osa Peninsula from the Costa Rican mainland. The Golfo Dulce area is characterized by secluded beaches and the breathtaking tropical rainforest with its lush flora and fauna. Nature lovers will be amazed by the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge which offers a private rainforest area. On the other hand, the Suital Lodge is located in the heart of the Reserva Golfo Dulce.