Arriving at the recreation area’s modern bamboo basecamp, guests are greeted by a specialized team of Papagayo Explorers guides and naturalists. The nearly three-hour circuit commences with a pulse-quickening zipline through the tree canopy on seven different cables ranging from 50 yards to 150 yards and two 100-foot bridges. “It’s an exhilarating feeling to fly through the trees over more than 30 feet off the ground,” explains Gallo.
The zipline segment culminates with the opportunity to climb a massive Ficus tree using vertical tree roots and branches for hand and footholds along with the security of a harness and auto belay system. The observation platform can also be accessed by a suspended cable stairway for those who’d prefer not to climb, but would like to enjoy sweeping views of the forest.
The aerial trekking course provides the ultimate challenge with 21 obstacles arranged in circuits of increasing difficulty. “The physically and mentally demanding obstacles will definitely get people out of their comfort zones,” says Sanchez. “With numerous ways to move through the course, guests can choose their own adventure.”
Obstacles like the log bridge, snake, giant steps, Heebie Jeebie, and wave are great for family bonding and team building. Adrenaline junkies can leap from the course’s 40-foot tree jump for a quick freefall rush before landing softly on the ground thanks to an auto descent system. “Most people return wanting to conquer an outstanding challenge,” says Gallo. And with plans to expand the course in the future, there will be plenty of ways for guests to continue testing their mettle.
Adventurers who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground can explore 12 miles of wilderness trails in the company of a naturalist guide. “Our team is so knowledgeable about endemic flora and fauna,” Sanchez explains. “It really adds to the richness of the experience.” Day walks are ideal for close encounters with hummingbirds, turquoise-browed motmots and long-tailed manakins, while nocturnal creatures like fishing bats, boas and silver foxes are spotted on nighttime expeditions.
Purpose-built mountain biking trails extending all the way to Palmares Beach are designed for riders of all levels. Premium full-suspension mountain bikes, including electric-assist mountain bikes, make for pleasant pedaling through the area’s scenic forests, estuaries and mangroves.
“Palmares is right in the peninsula’s backyard,” says Sanchez, “but it feels a world away from civilization.”