Carlos Pacheco is a Tico that has been working as a tour guide alongside several biologists for as long as tourism has existed in the area. He has a very energetic personality and an evident appreciation for the amazing experiences that nature has provided him. In an environment as rich with life as what we have here, even Carlos is still experiencing new creatures daily and he loves the search.
Carlos previously worked for the oldest hotel in the area, Punta Marenco Lodge, which is is settled on Drake Bay’s largest coastal property. The lodge is Tico-family owned and rotating biologists were stationed at the location for years before it became open to the general public. After a career’s worth of honorable service, Punta Marenco Lodge gave Carlos a beautiful piece of their property. For many years Carlos envisioned building a tower so that visitors would have the ability to spend the night high up in the canopy. This was an experience that he found to be amazing and he knew that if others could do it safely, they would experience a similar amazement.
In 2013, Carlos’ dream became a reality. Located in primary jungle, a ladder reaches up and into the canopy of the property. After reaching the ladder’s top, one enters the platform through a horizontal hatched door. There are mattresses layed out on the floor, light foldable chairs, pillows, sheets, and a small basket of useful “in case you forgot or didn’t think of it” supplies. Of course, there is also a protective guard rail, but the best part of the experience are the spectacular 360 degree views. The bathroom is located on the ground below and the jungle is EVERYWHERE. If you are a member of the few visitors to Drake that have issues with bugs, spiders and/or other animals, this will not be your thing. This is more like comfortable camping than a night in a hotel.
There are multiple ways that people can build the canopy platform overnight into their individual schedule but I recommend combining it with the Rio Claro Floating tour as follows:
The adventure begins after dinner hours with a txi ride from the town center. Tourists are brought beyond the surrounding farm properties, and onward into the thickest jungles of Drake Bay.
A short night trek, and you’ll be at the ladder and solid metal foundation of Pacheco’s Canopy Tower.
Campers are given an overview of the surrounding area and facilities then left at the tower until morning. The surround sound of the best primary jungle outside of Corcovado National Park is intense. Forget counting sheep, just try and count how many individual noises you can hear!
After waking up to the sounds of birds and monkeys, Pacheco will arrive with breakfast in hand. From the tower, Pacheco guides guests through his primary jungle property until they reach the first waterfall. Pacheco then continues the guided tour into the river Rio Claro where guests float down the river, through the jungle, using life jackets.
Upon reaching the river motuh, snacks and drinks are offered along with a brief education about the Rio Claro Life for Life sea turtle conservation project. The adventure concludes with a quick coastal hike passing approximately 10 beaches, where another taxi will be waiting for the return trip to Drake Bay.