Visiting Golfo Dulce
As we awake this morning we are sailing inside Golfo Dulce and making a final approach to the small town of Puerto Jimenez. Formerly known as Mina de Oro, the town was settled by Gold Rush enthusiasts during the late 19th century and, later, became a successful area for banana cultivation.
The spotlight is now the biodiversity of the area and there’s an option this morning to take a hike in a nature reserve that forms part of a biological corridor towards Corcovado National Park. Dawn and Elliott head off with guests to explore! The rest of us decide to have a wander around town. There is a supermarket, two banks, a chemist, post office, souvenir shop and a few cafes and bars. Also the obligatory football pitch. A school and a church. And some nice Almond trees. We are rewarded with Scarlet Macaws in the trees and flying too. They are beautiful.
During lunch, Captain Andreas sails Variety Voyager around Golfo Dulce and we’re able to have a closer look at the forests before anchoring near the CASA ORQUIDEAS BOTANICAL GARDENS. The gardens are only accessible by boat and are owned by a wonderful American couple, Trudy and Ron McAllister. We zodiac ashore for a wet landing on a pebble beach. Trudy meets us and we’re treated to a wonderful escorted tour. The gardens boast numerous tropical plants, orchids and many birds, including tanagers and toucans. Ron does a good trade in the tiny souvenir shop. Everyone agrees it is a wonderful place to visit. Needless to say it is difficult to drag us away!
Late afternoon we sail to the town of Golfito. This is where we complete customs and immigration formalities to leave Costa Rica waters and enter Panamanian waters. Dawn and Richard call a surprise drinks reception and we sit on the open deck sipping cocktails, wine and gin and tonic, and nibbling canapés. Life is jolly good.