rgbif is an R package from rOpenSci that allows searching and retrieving data from GBIF. rgbif wraps R code around the GBIF API to allow you to talk to GBIF from R and access metadata, species names, and occurrences.
Installing the package in R is simple:
Once installed, rgbif allows you to easily
get data for single occurrences
retrieve multiple occurences
search for taxon names
generate maps of occurences, e.g. Coffea arabica