Piedras Blancas

Tags: Costa Rica, Golfito, Piedras Blancas, sailing

Date: March 23, 2023

We arrived on a Monday morning to Golfito in Costa Rica. Golfito is a quite deep, very protected bay surrounded by hills and mountains. It is also the name of the town on the shore of the bay. Golfito is a sleepy town and tourists don't go there except if they're passing through on the way to one of the many Costa Rican nature reserves or if they have come in on a (small) cruise ship to spend the afternoon in a bar.

What does happen in Golfito is shipping out of vegetable oil, more precisely palm oil produced in the country, driven to Golfito in the trucks going back and forth on the main road day and night. The oil is pumped into large tanks along the road and transferred to vegetable oil tankers for export.

In the bottom right of this picture it is possible to see one of the large black tanks used for storing the oil while the large pier for the oil tankers is visible in the bottom left:

We stayed in Golfito for five days and spent most of the time getting all the bureaucracy sorted for our entry into Costa Rica. However, we did find the time to go on a hike in the nearby Parque National Piedras Blancas.

We took a taxi out of town and were dropped off at the side of the road next to a path leading into the park. The path was quite hilly at times. Here, Felicie is looking up at Bjarne before climbing up herself:

In some places the vegetation was very dense:

We crossed a few shallow rivers:

A flowering plant that looks exactly like something you would find as a potted plant in Europe:

Some parts of the path were make of crumbling rocks in an incredible blue-green color:

Most of the path was quite wide and in places the jungle was very open, making us wonder whether the National Park might have been a plantation previously and the paths maybe access roads in the plantation?

A flower that looks a bit like a passiflora but the colors are wrong:

It was a hot day, but at least we were walking in the shade of trees a large part of the way:

This climbing plant had its leaves almost glued to the tree trunk:

We found a small number of what looked like cocoa trees, here with a small immature fruit:

We also saw a small flock of large birds roaming the jungle floor. Maybe they're some kind of turkey or peacock:

Funnily enough, in Spanish turkeys and peacock share the same name: Pavo, except that peacocks are called pavo real (royal turkey).

At the end of the path we reached the ranger station.

Normally people enter the park from a town called Gamba and would probably pass the ranger station from there. For us this was the point where we turned around to go back the same way we came after chatting a bit with the two rangers present in the buildings.

Finally a few random sights on the way back. First a funny looking mushroom growing on a tree trunk. Notice how it's attached to the tree with a stalk:

A small frog on a leaf:

Some eggs laid by the side of the road:

We disturbed the parent bird guarding the eggs when we passed and took a picture before getting out of the way to let the bird come back and lay on the eggs.