Playing in Paradise: Peninsula Papagayo Sports New Recreation Complexes

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It doesn’t take the experience of a globe trotter to know that Costa Rica is famous for its breathtaking biodiversity and thrilling recreational experiences. Nestled between two oceans and home to many tropical forests, the little country’s geography makes it a natural sensation and the perfect spot for exploration. Peninsula Papagayo, the site of a budding recreational complex, is just this. 

Peninsula Papagayo is comprised of multiple luxury residences including The Four Seasons Residences, the new Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the Andaz. Trailblazing beyond the scope of traditional amenities, the resort at Peninsula Papagayo boasts the November launch of an adventure outpost as well as a robust sports complex coming in early 2024. These thrills will be found in Palmares Preserve, called the jewel of the peninsula by Miguel Sanchez, manager of Papagayo Explorers. And it’s no wonder why: the preserve supports several microclimates, making it ideal for the diversity of tropical dry forests, mangroves, and exotic animal species like yellow-naped parrots and trogons. If somehow these wonders alone don’t satisfy, the coming amenities offer a variety of options for exploring these natural delights with the kick of action-packed entertainment.

At the heart of this endeavor is the mission to connect: with oneself, loved ones, and nature; that’s why there’s truly something for everyone. “It's really about creating more unique opportunities to step into nature right here on the peninsula, have fun, learn new things, and reconnect to yourself and others,” says Sanchez. Whether it’s a guided nature walk with family, a zip-line with colleagues, or a waterpark romp for the kids, the additions to Palmares Preserve will offer lifelong memories for all ages and types, from quiet bird-watchers to the most courageous adrenaline junkies. 

The adventure outpost, exclusive to Peninsula Papagayo residents and resort guests, will feature an interconnected web of recreational experiences for guests to choose from. Spanning a forest of Guanacaste, Ceiba, Sura, Cenízaro, and Ficus trees, the unique network was created by renowned designer and adventure park virtuoso Victor Gallo, with both form and function in mind. He highlights the array of flora and seeks to protect it as well. “We work with professional arborists to ensure minimal impact to the ecosystem,” Gallo explains.

With confidence in conservation, guests can enjoy the course alongside Papagayo's Explorers team of knowledgeable guides and environmental experts. The scenic circuit offers 21 obstacles: the log bridge, snake, Heebie Jeebie, and wave are just a few. To wrap things up, guests take in the vast forest views from an observation platform, accessible by scaling a Ficus tree equipped with hand and foot holds. For the many not fond of heights, the outpost will offer 12 miles of forest trails, home to animals like turquoise-browned motmots and fishing bats. 

The highly anticipated sports complex will keep the action going with familiar fun in an exotic setting. Centered around community, the complex will include a multi-purpose green perfect for playing lawn games with family, savoring a meal from the nearby food trucks, or relaxing after a visit to one of the many sports facilities. Staples like yoga and pickleball are sure to be hits, but less conventional additions like the wave surf simulator, complete with settings for beginners and pros, are what set the coming complex apart. “The surf pavilion will be where all the action is,” says Craig Stoner, principal of the design firm behind the project. “The simulator will also light up for nighttime activity and there’s plans to host competitions, which will be fun to watch.”

For travelers seeking an elevated adventure, the complexes at Palmares Preserve will be hidden treasures amongst Costa Rica’s many gems. “Adventure is at the heart of any trip to Costa Rica,” says Stoner, “and now there will be even more of it located right in Peninsula Papagayo’s backyard.” 

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