By Lisa on Aug 20, 2013 with Comments 2
Ever wanted to feel like Tarzan flying through the forest dangling from nothing but a bit of vine? At La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo you can do just that (except you’ll be wearing a harness not a loin cloth).
Zip-lining, bridges, climbing and trekking. You can do all these activities at La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo in Mallorca. And that’s exactly what me and my gang did…
Step into my shoes and prepare for a different view of Mallorca: Adventure in Mallorca
La Reserva Park is located at the foot of the Galatzo Hill in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountain range; a UNESCO protected site which is taken care of by a team of park rangers who look after the grounds, the animals and the visitors that go there to enjoy a fun day out and spectacular views of the countryside.
What is La Reserva Park in Mallorca?
The park is a protected area in the Tramuntana Mountains which has been turned into an attraction for visitors as well as a sanctuary for the typical flora and fauna from the Tramuntana area.
La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo boasts 2.5 million square metres of natural woodland in the southwest of Mallorca near Puigpunyent.
The old coal roads winding through the park take visitors on a 3.7km hike to the very heart of the park where there is plenty to see and do, including the birds of prey demonstration, the outdoor picnic area and waterfalls with natural pools to swim in, not to mention the adventure activities on offer.
During the hike there is plenty to see too, as we pass numerous natural waterfalls and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding valleys.
Oh, and there’s also a cool play area for kids.
Animals at La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo
The animals that can by found at La Reserva include wild goats, ponies and bears. Yes, bears. Then there are plenty of birds of prey as well as peacocks and ostriches.
There is a birds of prey demonstration, which takes place in the clearing in the centre of park, during which the handlers demonstrate their skills and those of the birds.
The day that we went to La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo we took Henry with us and he was fascinated with the birds show.
Barbecue at La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo
Before any adventure in Mallorca begins, we need a satisfied stomach! Around the picnic area are barbecues for people to grill their own lunch. Those people who book the tour from the north of Mallorca with No Frills Excursions get their lunch included in the price so they are provided with a plate of sausages and meat and all they have to do is get grilling.
There has been a slight change to the lunch menu at La Reserva these past three weeks due to tougher government guidelines about flames in wooded areas after the wildfire that devastated nearly 2,000 hectares of countryside last month. The wildfire came dangerously close to La Reserva Park and there had been talk of evacuating the animals.
At the moment the lunch offered at La Reserva is paella. Whether this is a temporary change or a permanent one is unclear at the moment.
For Spanish people, this is great and is considered even better value than the barbecue. However, some visitors from other countries are not so keen on shellfish in their rice and unfortunately there have been some complaints from Brits who have not liked the food over the past few weeks.
It’s not the park’s fault that they have had to change the menu but providing a few simple sandwiches as an alternative to paella is a sensible option that seems to have been dismissed.
Adventure in Mallorca
In the sense of travel and independence I am certainly adventurous.
But in the outdoorsy kind of way I am not. When it comes to jumping out of things or off of things or into things I normally prefer to sit and watch. So the adventure at La Reserva was, for me, a big deal.
The only time I’d ever really done any physical adventure activities was when I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand and I was duped into going white water rafting! Now I think about it, that can be a story for next time…
The adventure activities at La Reserva were much tamer than that white water / white knuckle experience in Chiang Mai. Here in Mallorca we were in for zip-lining, puenting and climbing.
We were a big group and there was a lot of “I’ll do it if you’ll do it” talk and in the end we all found ourselves wearing heavy harnesses with scary-looking clamps attached to them.
The professional adventure guides from La Reserva were absolutely brilliant; they put the whole group at ease and made it clear that we were in safe hands.
We started off with the adventure bridges. This looks much easier than it is and even though we were only a few metres off the ground we were aware that one wrong step would leave us dangling like a puppet on a string.
Some of the bridges were real rope bridges like you’d imagine in the jungle and others were nothing more than stumps that we had to hop between whilst holding onto the line above us.
The name puenting comes from the Spanglish language, very common in Mallorca: Puente means bridge and adding the “ing” makes it an activity.
Next it was time to fly through the air like Tarzan, just as we had seen others doing above our heads throughout the day.
This was the part we were all most excited about and most apprehensive about.
We all behaved ourselves and took the plunge: there was no looking down from the platforms and changing our minds and having to climb back down the wooden ladders. Every did it and everyone loved it.
After the first zip-line we couldn’t wait to get onto the next one. We wanted to learn how to fly through the air facing forward like the pros that accompanied us instead of spinning out of control like a piece of washing on the line on a windy day.
Again, this is harder than it looks but it was totally exhilarating, flinging ourselves off 30m high platforms to glide gracefully through the trees, normally landing in a heap on the platform at the other end!
At La Reserva they have a climbing wall made of natural rock. You can climb up the easy route or the difficult route.
Personally I did not do the climb at all as I know that what goes up must come down and even though it was more years ago than I care to admit, I remember going on an adventure retreat at school and having to do abseiling. I was the 12 year old who would not trust the rope and just clung to the rock freezing in the frosty Lake District spring time until someone came to rescue me.
There were a few others who sat this out too as we were a bit pushed for time and the daylight would soon be disappearing.
If you are wondering why there is an elephant wearing a harness and a No Frills Excursions uniform in many of the photos, you can find the answer here.
Relaxing by the Waterfalls
If you do the adventure you still have a little time afterwards to relax by the waterfalls and swim in the lagoons. For those who don’t want to join in the excitement you can simply relax in this area for the whole afternoon.
Adventure in Mallorca – how to book
La Reserva del Puig de Galatzo is open all year round and if you have a car you can just buy the entrance ticket and turn up whenever you like.
For those in the north of the island, No Frills Excursions offers an excursion every Wednesday in the summer months, including transport.
Make sure you wear comfortable clothes, take a bottle of water and don’t forget your camera.
La Reserva Park is not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs or for people with walking difficulties.
More Adventure in Mallorca
Discover more adventure in Mallorca here.
What are your favourite adventure activities? Have you ever done any of the activities mentioned here?
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....