You’ll get to explore the past and present of Golfito while strolling around this Costa Rican town. In the ancient times, it was first inhabited by the indigenous population of the Boruca people. This small town never got much attention throughout the colonial era.
This fact might surprise many when they come to know that the Spaniards had entered Costa Rica through Golfito. The arrival of the Spanish people in this town dates back to the early 16th century. Until the late 19th century, it remained a small fishing village.
The United Fruit Company
In the early 20th century, this town witnessed a banana-growing spree. The activity went on so extensively that United Fruit Company moved their center of operations to Golfito. The bananas grown here were shipped out through the port that was established in the town.
In order to keep things running smoothly, the United Fruit Company developed the town’s infrastructure. As a result, many stores, hospitals, and a cinema came up in this part of Costa Rica. They addressed the needs of workers who had arrived in thousands. However, this came to an end in the 1980s because of several factors.
The main reasons were fruit disease, high taxes, and the workers’ strike. The United Fruit Company then relocated to Ecuador and this led to the town’s economic collapse. It was only after constructing the Deposito Libre Comercial that conditions improved.
A stroll through Golfito
While getting around in the town, you’ll come across the brightly painted homes. They’ll remind you of the days when Golfito had witnessed the banana-growing boom. Some of these homes once belonged to United Fruit Company’s wealthy executives. At the peak of the banana-growing business, Golfito had three divisions or zones.
The white zone was for the most senior staff of the company. Executives belonging to the middle management had their residences in the yellow zone. The gray zone was for the workers of the dock and plantation. In recent times, the gray zone is the center of the town. Upon venturing further north from the center of the town, you’ll be able to explore two grand villas.
They’re located in the area that was once the white zone. These villas belonged to the most senior executives of United Fruit Company. Today, this area is home to the duty-free shopping complex called Deposito Libre Comercial.
Shopping at the Deposito Libre Comercial
The Deposito Libre Comercial is an initiative that has its funding from the government. It was established after the town was in dire straits following the collapse of the banana-growing industry. You can have a wonderful shopping experience in Deposito Libre Comercial.
Overnight stays in the area provide the much-needed business for the shops, restaurants, and hotels. This shopping complex is definitely worth visiting if you’ve managed to come this far north. It would be a good change from the hustle-bustle of crowds.
Upon walking further 200 meters north, you’ll get to the town’s airport. It mainly comprises a tarmac strip that was cleared through the jungle. The terminal building appears to be nothing more than a shack. This would be a memorable sight for you, as very few people get to see such an airport.