The adventure park La Reserva Puig de Galatzó, near Puigpunyent, is one of the most interesting recreational parks in Mallorca. It is located just outside the village of Puigpunyent in a small, remote mountain valley on the southeast slope of the Puig de Galatzó, in the southwest of Mallorca. Due to its location at Puig de Galatzó, it is sometimes called Galatzó Park. The location of the park, in the middle of the idyllic landscape of the southern Tramuntana mountains, about 17 kilometres from the capital Palma de Mallorca, makes it specially attractive. In contrast to the numerous other recreational parks in Mallorca, it was not built near the holiday resorts, but rather incorporated into the landscape at the foot of the Puig de Galatzó. The park has successfully tried to change the natural mountain landscape as little as possible. The individual attractions of the park have been designed in such a way that the natural conditions are used as well as possible.
Most of the terrain of the 3.7-kilometre-long circular trail has remained completely untouched. The network of paths was also not reconfigured. These are the old footpaths on which the inhabitants of the surrounding villages at the foot of the Puig des Galatzó travelled until not too long ago. Only the many small waterfalls are artificial. This part of the idyllic landscape is man-made, since there are no constant watering streams here or anywhere else on the island. However, all the waterfalls are fed exclusively from natural sources. Here you can find a rather atypical dense, lush vegetation, rock walls with impressive half-caves as well as traces of historical farming such as charcoal burners and lime kilns. Since it is designed as an educational trail, all peculiarities that you can find on the way are marked with informative panels (also in English). The trail doesn't have any shortcuts, meaning you have to complete the circular path.
On the circuit you can also admire a number of enclosures with emus, wild asses, deer and traditional pet breeds. Owls and birds of prey are kept in aviaries. These birds demonstrate their skills in a daily flight show. The overall impression of the animal keeping in the park seems a little dismal and La Reserva has often been criticised for this. Children can enjoy a petting zoo with sheep and goats, which they can also feed with the special food provided at the entrance. Some of the animals, such as peacocks and geese, can roam freely around the park, so that you can encounter them in the most surprising places.
Far more interesting than the animal enclosures and aviaries are the swimming possibilities: you can cool off in small swimming pools under artificial waterfalls that have been designed with nature in mind. The most adventurous guests can prove their courage in a climbing garden with a high-ropes course, Tibetan bridges and zip lines (“tirolinas”) under professional guidance and always well secured. These tours are not included in the standard entrance fee, but the surcharge is quite moderate. Groups can also book complete tours including archery, climbing and zip lines.
The circular trail takes approximately an hour at a comfortable pace. However, if you use the bathing facilities or participate in one of the other activities, you can easily spend the whole day in La Reserva. At the end of the circuit there is a large rest area with barbecue facilities, picnic benches and a small bar. There, you can buy drinks, sandwiches and other snacks, as well as baskets with bread, wine and raw meat to grill.
A combination of beautiful nature and a recreational park; this concept is unique in Mallorca and appears to be quite successful in La Reserva Puig de Galatzó, near Puigpunyent. The artificial touches are minimal, since the park was designed with a desire to leave the original terrain as untouched as possible. Here, you won't find the usual hustle and bustle of such places, but the amenities are not particularly wide-ranging. Moreover, the prices are quite steep. Making the trip to the secluded park is only worthwhile if you want to use the bathing pools and climbing garden it is too expensive just for a walk, because you can this experience of nature free of charge with a hike elsewhere on the island.
La Reserva is 18 kilometres from the capital Palma de Mallorca and it takes around 30 minutes to get there by car. A secondary road branches off at the village of Galilea from the main road to Puigpunyent. From here, it is still about four kilometres on a bumpy road to reach the entrance of the park. The distance from the resort of Peguera on the bay of Cala Fornells is more or less the same. You can also get to the park quickly and easily from the holiday resorts on the Platja de Palma via the motorway ring of Palma. The holiday resorts on Mallorca’s east coast, such as Cala Figuera, Cala Llombards, Cala d'Or or Cala Ferrera, are a bit further away.
La Reserva is easily accessible from the holiday resorts of the south coast and southeast coast of Mallorca and is ideal for a full-day trip. A visit to the park can also be incorporated into tours through the Tramuntana mountains. However, public buses from Palma do not go directly to the park, since they only reach Puigpunyent. Some tour organisers also offer bus tours to the Tramuntana region which include a visit to the park.