Join the Adventure in Costa Rica

Jan 18-26, 2020

Feb 29 - Mar 8, 2020

Overview

What to expect on the trip?

Every day we will take you on a trail run through the varied terrain of Costa Rica. All runs will be around 5-10k in length and have some elevation gain. We use the term “trail run” loosely here, as lots of the time you will be hiking because it’s uphill, or because you just want to slow down and take in the scenery.

After our runs each day, we will eat lunch together, followed by either free time in the afternoon or another adventure such as whitewater rafting or a zip line tour. We’ll end the day with dinner and more relaxing.

New! Tips for those going in February/March!

Words of wisdom from runners who joined us for the January trip to Costa Rica:
• Practice running trails, lots of them. And hills!
• You aren’t supposed to throw toilet paper in the toilet, so start practicing now as it’s a hard habit to break.
• Add international data to your mobile phone, I blew through mine and had to add more because internet coverage wasn’t very good, even in the free WiFi areas. Even though it was a vacation, I still had some work to do.
• In Costa Rica, 1k could be 3k; 5 minutes could mean 15-20 minutes; and flat and easy could be 400 feet elevation -- somewhat joking but also serious, so prepare for all of it and be flexible. Embrace the change and the excitement. Everyone else is doing the same thing you are.
• Run with your phone or Go Pro….it’s the only way to get amazing photos.
• The staff/crew provides the best customer service anywhere. They were top notch for handling everything that came up. That includes VR team and the local guides.
What to pack that may not be on the VR packing list:
    -Carabiner, good for clipping your shoes together after the runs and either carrying them or clipping them to your bag. They will be wet and muddy.
    -Pack your post run dry clothing in a gallon storage bag or other bag, that way you have a clean bag to put your wet sweaty clothes into.
    -2 pair trail shoes. No need to bring road shoes, you won’t use them.
    -Baby wipes and a towel, you’ll need that post running.
    -At least 4 pair running outfits. Even if you plan to wash clothes and hang them up, most likely they won’t dry because of the humidity. We were able to do laundry which was wonderful, but plan ahead.
    -Long sleeve shirt as it was cool in the rainforest (to wear prior to running).
    -Rain jacket for hanging out (one day I ran/walked with it).
    -Portable phone charger.

This trip will be limited to 100 adventurers

Trip Dates

February 29th-March 7th, 2020

Trip Meeting Time: Arrive at the San Jose Airport by 4:00 pm on Saturday, February ​29th. From the airport you can take either take the airport shuttle or a taxi to our accommodations for the first night.

Trip Departure Time: We will have you back to San Jose by the afternoon of March 7th, where we'll have a hotel booked for you to spend your last night in the city.  

What's included?

This is an all-inclusive adventure! That means that ALL the details of planning your trip are taken care of for you by the Vacation Races Staff. Included in the trip are most meals, hotels, transportation within Costa Rica, park fees, and other adventures included in the itinerary below.

SWAG! Vacation Races always treats you right, but Global Adventures takes it up a notch. Apart from the awesome medal you'll get at the end of the week, you'll also get some great high quality gear and souvenirs that you'll cherish for years to come.

What's not included?

The main thing not included here is your airfare to and from San Jose, Costa Rica. All of your meals will be covered except for two dinners and one lunch, where you’ll get to explore the culinary options of Costa Rica on your own. Apart from that, the only thing you would be expected to cover is any souvenirs or additional food or drink.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica

You’ll arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica by Saturday afternoon and either take a taxi or airport shuttle to our hotel for the first night. We’ll check you in and get everyone oriented for what to expect throughout the week, as well as it's your first chance to meet your fellow adventurers! Dinner is included the first night.

Day 2: Sueno Azul Waterfall Run

Trail run: 5k; Elevation gain: 465 feet; Point-to-point run

We’ll wake up early and head straight to our first run of the week, which is a great introduction to Costa Rica. We’ll get you right into the jungle trails and have you finishing at a beautiful waterfall where you can take a dip in several different pools. We’ll eat a catered lunch at the waterfall before heading to our hotel to check in. In the evening you'll be treated to a cultural presentation in Pozo Azul where we will also enjoy a delicious Costa Rican meal.


Day 3: Sarapiqui Countryside Run & Rafting

Trail run: 9.5k; Elevation gain: 511 feet; Point-to-point run

Today is a day of contrasts. After breakfast, we’ll head to our run for the day which will take you through 3 distinct areas. First we’ll run through the countryside houses around Chilamate, after which we’ll get more remote as we get off the beaten path running through fields greener than you can imagine. The run then heads back into the rainforest canopy before finishing at the Sarapiqui River where we’ll relax and have a catered lunch. After lunch it’s river rafting time! Seeing the jungle from the water adds an entirely different element to your experience. For those who don’t want to go rafting, we’ll have some expert bird watching guides that can take you out to point out some of the local birds in the area. We’ll end the day with dinner back at the restaurant at our hotel.


Day 4: Laguna Hule Run and La Fortuna Waterfall Swim

Trail run: 8k; Elevation gain: 1,184 feet; Figure 8 loop run

While every day in Costa Rica is a chance to see incredible wildlife, today is possibly the best! Our run will take you around dormant volcano craters that have filled up with water and are now lagoons. When we scouted this trail we saw so much wildlife- Howler Monkeys, White Faced Capuchins, Coatis, Toucans, etc. After our run we’ll finish our drive for the day to the area of La Fortuna where we will eat lunch and then take you to the magnificent La Fortuna Waterfall, which is what all other jungle waterfalls aspire to be. For Dinner, you are free to explore La Fortuna tonight with your new best friends from the trip. We will be staying at our wonderful resort for 2 nights (don’t miss the butterfly garden).


Day 5: Arenal Volcano Run and Canopy Zip line

Trail run: 7.2k; Elevation gain: 696 feet; Loop run

Have you ever run on an active volcano before? Because today will be your chance to do it! Our trail name today is called the 1968 trail, because that was the year that the Arenal Volcano roared to life and began erupting again (the last eruption was in 2010, so we should be ok on our run). The run will take you through black lava fields which contrast spectacularly with the lime green vegetation. Keep an eye out for leaf cutter ants on the trail as you run today and you’ll probably spot a long line of these little bodybuilders carrying leaves back to their nest, just like you’ve seen on National Geographic. After our run and lunch in La Fortuna, you’ll have the option of doing a canopy zipline tour (with a 1 mile long section!), take a paddleboard or kayak on Lake Arenal, or just hang out in the hot springs of our hotel. Dinner tonight is at a fabulous restaurant in La Fortuna. 

Day 6: Madre Verde Run and Jaco Beach

Trail run: 7.7k; Elevation gain: 914 ft; Loop run

Today we make our way from the inland rainforest to the arid Pacific coast and beaches. Our run today will take you through most of the trail of the preserve, all singletrack inside the forest and then go out and finish running through coffee plantations with breathtaking views of the whole area. It can be a bit steep in some points, but worth the challenge and effort. Lunch will be catered after the run after which we’ll finish our drive down to Punta Leona, the beach side resort where we will be for the next two nights (make sure to look up in the canopy of our resort for the Scarlet Macaws!). Dinner tonight will be on your own as you explore the laid-back beach town of Jaco.

Day 7: Guacalillo Cliffs Run & Playa Blanca (White Beach)

Trail run: 8.5k; Elevation gain: 282 ft; Point-to-point run

Our final run of the trip! After a relaxing breakfast at the resort, our run will take you through very different terrain than you have seen so far on our trip. We will finish our run along two sets of cliffs overlooking the ocean as we take in everything that Costa Rica has offered us over the past week. After our run, have some fun with our last activity outrigger canoeing! After our run and lunch at the resort, you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy the beach and ocean. Go snorkeling in the turquoise water or just hang out on the beach and relax. Tonight will be our closing ceremonies for the trip where we look back on the memories we’ve made with new and old friends alike.

Day 8: Morning Beach Time & Back to San Jose

We’ll spend a lazy morning at the end of our trip eating breakfast, lounging around the pool, and soaking in the warm sun on the beach before heading back to San Jose around mid-day. Once we arrive back in San Jose in the afternoon, we’ll check into our hotel and you’ll be free to go explore San Jose for dinner.

Day 9: Depart from San Jose, Costa Rica

All good things must come to an end, until the next adventure that is! Depart from our hotel near the airport via the shuttle bus or a taxi.

Definitely a highlight so far this year

Standing in the middle of nowhere at 5 AM with almost 2000 other runners, watching the sky turn pink and waiting for this run to start, was definitely a highlight so far this year. Hope to do it again.

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Gary Anderson
Glacier Half Marathon Runner

Registration

Pricing and Deposit

$2,900 includes everything mentioned in the itinerary. Deposit of $500 is due at registration, after which the remaining $2,400 balance will be billed to you 6 months prior to the trip departure. Once the event is 6 months out, all remaining balance is due.

Based on Double Occupancy

This pricing is based on double occupancy of all hotel rooms. If you register with a partner, you will be able to stay with them. If you register as solo adventurer, we will pair you with someone else of the same gender in a hotel room.

Single Occupancy Pricing

If you prefer to have your hotel room to yourself, the cost will be $750 extra ($3,650 total) to cover the additional hotel expense.

Cancellation and Transfer Policy


Our cancellation policy is as follows:

The deposit of $500 is refundable up to 6 months prior to the event. Within 6 months of the event, the deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to transfer your registration to another participant.

The remaining balance of $2,400 is due 6 months prior to the event. If you choose to cancel within 6 months of the event, there are 2 options available to you.

Option 1: Transfer your registration to another participant if you are able to find someone willing to take your place.
Option 2: Receive a refund. If you choose to receive a refund within 6 months of the event there will be a hotel fee of $750 applied, which covers the cost of the hotel where we must guarantee rooms. 

Stunningly well organized race experience. Everything about the day was just beautiful and well executed. So inspirational and fun, I would like to come work for you. Of course, it didn't hurt that I won my age group so my opinion might be slightly biased. ;)

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Derek J Brouwer II
Yellowstone Half Marathon Runner

FAQs

How difficult are the runs and hikes? How good of shape do I need to be in?

Do I have to run every day?

Are there aid stations?

What other adventures will we be doing?

Are there any discounts available to Global Adventures?

Are there options for a partner that doesn’t want to run?

What will the weather be like in Costa Rica?

What are the accommodations like?

What about Vegan and Vegetarian food options?

How much free time will we have?

How much money should I expect to spend?

Are there any age restrictions?

What about animals on the trails?

Questions or Comments

  • Terri says:

    Is there any special consideration of deferment or refund policy given the Corona virus dilemma?

  • Yvette Rangel says:

    How do we access all the pictures the race crew took? I keep going to vacationraces.com/costapics and there are only pictures uploaded from a few people on the trip.

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      Yvette, any images in that album labeled with Salem Stanley’s name in the corner are from the photographers. There may be some additional photos added (I think the photographers just sent some new stuff over to us yesterday) but there are a few hundred in that folder.

  • Michael Hoffman says:

    The trip just completed, and I’m sad to be home! My mind will be reeling for months over how the Vacation Races staff was able to pull off such an amazing (“Super Awesome”) event! Runs in the jungle, in the mud, on the beach. Tons of post-race activities. Great food. And even when everything didn’t go as planned, they had Plan B’s at the ready and made it all seem easy. Cannot wait to do my next one!

  • Johan says:

    Hi
    Runner from Sweden here. I doing my second Grand Circle Trailfest i a couple of weeks and i love that you are expanding with Global adventueres. I would love to do the Costa Rica trip but right now my wallet tells me no. Do you know if Costa Rica will comeback in 2021?

    //Johan

  • ANGELA BROWN says:

    CAN YOU STILL REGISTER AFTER AUGUST IF YOU DONT HAVE THE 100 PARTICIPANTS?

  • Michael says:

    Is the $2900 per person, or is that the cost for a couple?

  • ANNE says:

    Hi I am registered and my husband also for the 2nd Costa Rica trip we have put the $1000 down I can’t remember if the rest comes out automatically on the 28th of August or do I submit the payment myself? Anne Langstaff/ Bill Schreiber. Thanks

    • Salem Stanley says:

      The system will automatically charge the card you registered with on the 28th. If it fails, we will contact you to figure out the payment.

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