Quepos Puntarenas, Costa Rica
The earliest interactions with the Quepo indigenous people of the peninsula took place in 1519, but it was not until Juan Vásquez de Coronado began his exploits in Costa Rica in 1563 that the Spanish conquerors got a foothold in the country.
By 1570 the first mission in the country had been created in nearby San Bernadino. Fortunes waned for the indígenas and the population declined rapidly and the mission closed in 1747.
Activity in the region recommenced with the small-scale planting of bananas in the area in the early 1900s, which was later adopted by the United Fruit Company who began plantation production in the 1930s. Development of the port and docks began at the expense of mangroves but sigatoka disease hit in the 1940s followed by Panama disease in the 1950s, which virtually wiped out the industry.
Partial economic recovery came with the introduction of African palms which produce the oil used in margarine and soap. The seeds of tourism were planted in the 1970s and early 1980s when a few isolated cabins peopled by a lucky few enjoyed the unspoilt beauty of the area. Add word of mouth, passing on news of the beauty of the place, and a few decades of development and the rest is now.