Yesterday morning I got an email from my friend and publicist Rocio López announcing the opening of an new adventure activity center, at the heart of its own 500-acre reserve in Guanacaste , in the far northwest of Costa Rica .
(Rocio specializes in helping launch new adventure parks in Costa Rica, including the Veragua Rainforest Research & Adventure Park , near the Caribbean city of Limón , and more recently Hacienda El Viejo . in northern Nicoya . I’ve come to trust her. When she announces a new project, I’ve learned to sit up and take notice.)
Guanacaste is the Costa Rican capital par excellence for activity centers, most of them centered east of Liberia  around Rincón de la Vieja  volcano, while Miravalles  volcano is the setting for one of my favorite such centers—Las Hornillas Volcanic Activity Center .
The new center—Río Perdido  (Lost River)—was officially opened last week by Costa Rican Vice President, Alfio Piva Mesén, and Minister of Tourism, Allan Flores.
Río Perdido is named for its remote location near the hamlet of San Bernardo de Bagaces, in a previously unexplored river valley on the southern slopes of Miravalles, northeast of the town of Bagaces .
The center is set amid semi-deciduous forest in what its website describes as a “thermo-mineral gorge with natural springs.” The gorge is the Río Blanco canyon, framed by 150-foot soaring rock walls.
At its core is a super-sophisticated restaurant and spa, with stunning contemporary architecture and a magnificent setting offering panoramic views through a curvilinear floor-to-ceiling wall of glass overlooking a swimming pool—one of three that grace the property.
Río Perdido promises gourmet nouvelle dining (strongly influenced by traditional Guanacastecan cuisine), courtesy of Chef Andrés Flores, who is also a champion downhill biker. In fact, the center is billed not least as a “bike park.” Flores helped design the 12-mile network of dedicated bike trails that is a highlight of Río Perdido.
Use of the trails will be free for all visitors during 2012 (after that I guess a fee will apply). You can also rent bikes with advance notice via the website. Or sign up for a guided tour with such outfits as PuroMTB , based in San José, or the project’s affiliate bike-tour operator, Costa Rica Outdoor Adventures . Costa Ricans are fanatics about bicycling, by the way!
Visitors also get to thrill to whitewater rafting on the Río Blanco, or tubing on the Río Cuipilapa. And the canyon is a setting for adrenalin-inducing aerial slides and Tarzan swings.” Plus, take your pick from rappelling, horseback riding, and more.
The center’s coup de grace is probably its chic full-service spa, overseen by director Gabriel Saragovia.
The place looks gorgeous!
Check out Río Perdido's photos and plans, which include a stunning boutique hotel for 2013, on its Facebook  page
I’m really looking forward to visiting Río Perdido on my forthcoming six-week research trip to update my Moon Handbook Costa Rica  later this month.
For complete information about travel in Costa Rica, buy Moon Handbook Costa Rica 
If you're traveling only to San José and the Caribbean, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast  pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to the beaches of Nicoya, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula  pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to Arenal and/or Monteverde, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Arenal & Monteverde  pocket guide.
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker .
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker