Port of Golfo Dulce
Far less visited than Peninsula de Osa, the relatively untouched Golfo Dulce port is visited by just a few ships sailing Costa Rica and Panama Canal itineraries each year. However, for passengers who do disembark in this relatively quiet region, it often becomes a favorite stop -- especially for those seeking an experience in the rainforest.
Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, a jaw-dropping portion of rainforest, is located on the peninsula as are tribes and villages that are home to some of Costa Rica's few remaining indigenous populations. You'll find thick mangroves and quiet golden beaches, and there's a range of activities for cruise passengers to indulge in during the six- to eight-hour stop.
Cruise ship shore excursions vary, with many visiting the Piedras Blancas National Park for yoga and paddleboarding on pristine Paradise Beach; kayaking through the canals and verdant mangroves; or simply boating around the region to spot dolphins. It's the Costa Rica that many overlook in lieu of bigger beaches and larger towns.
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Currency & Best Way to Get Money
Although Costa Rica does boast its own currency, the colon, U.S. dollars are widely accepted (and encouraged). Check www.xe.com for current exchange rates if you're using the local currency. There are a few banks and ATMS in the town of Puerto Jimenez. However, depending on the tour you decide to take from your boat, you may not stop in the town, so it's advised to bring enough cash with you before you depart your cruise ship.
As a part of Costa Rica, the main language of Golfo Dulce is Spanish. English is also widely spoken and understood. However, it's advised to learn a few key words and phrases in the off chance you are separated from your group or are traveling alone.