The Southern peninsula of Costa Rica is a rugged and vastly unexplored portion of this adventurer’s playground. Fractured by the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range and surrounded by high produce-yielding plantations, this region boasts some of the highest storied rainforest in Central America, as well as some of the most best-kept-secret beaches in the country.

The only Costa Rican city situated within a declared protection area, Golfito’s claim to fame was its role in producing 90-percent of the country’s banana exports during the 1950s. Today, it is better known and operated as the gateway to the surrounding area’s outdoor pursuits: hikers stop here en route to Corcovado National Park, one of the few remaining sizeable lowland tropical rainforests in the world; surfers pass through on their way to Pavones, a tiny surfer-paradise pueblo notorious for the left point break that runs the entire length of the village; and sport fishers and off-the-beaten-track enthusiasts take the ferry to the Osa Peninsula, a primitive hideaway of monkey-saturated rain forests, empty beaches, and exploits in gold-panning.