Join the Adventure in Costa Rica

Jan 18-26, 2020

Feb 29 - Mar 8, 2020


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.

This trip will be limited to 100 adventurers

Trip Dates

January 18th-26th, 2020

Trip Meeting Time: Arrive at the San Jose Airport by 4:00 pm on Saturday, January 18th. 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 January 25th, 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.


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: 300 feet; Loop 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 will will also enjoy a delicious Costa Rican meal.​

Day 3: Sarapiqui Countryside Run & Rafting

Trail run: 7k; Elevation gain: 400 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: 9k; Elevation gain: 500 feet; Point to point 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 or Boat Tour

Trail run: 5k; Elevation gain: 400 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: Ruta de los Heroes Run and Jaco Beach

Trail run: 8k; Elevation gain: 200 ft; Point to point run

Today we make our way from the inland rain forest to the arid Pacific coast and beaches. Our run today follows the Ruta de los Heroes (Route of the Heroes), where 159 years ago the Costa Rican army marched on its way to fight two battles to defend itself against foreign armies. The run goes near coffee plantations and ends at another waterfall (are you sick of waterfalls yet??) where you can swim and even slide down a natural waterslide into a refreshing pool. Lunch will be catered at the waterfall, 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 Cliff Run and Playa Blanca (White Beach)

Trail run: 7k; Elevation gain: minimal; 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 long 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 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.

By far the best race and National Park I have ever been to

The Half Twisted Runners brought 33 runners to this years event and looking to bring more in 2018. This is by far the best race and National Park I have ever been to. You dont have to take my word for it........come check it out for yourself.

Eric Sorenson
Glacier Half Marathon Runner


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. ;)

Derek J Brouwer II
Yellowstone Half Marathon Runner


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

  • Jacki McGuire says:

    Will everyone be running 8 minute miles or will be OK to run 14 minute miles? My husband and I are not as young as we used to be, but we still participate in lots of outdoor activities.

  • Ginny Turner says:

    Will there be a bib/medal/shirt for participating in this Global Adventure? Vacation Races medals are among the favorites in my collection.

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Ginny- YES there will be all of those things in Costa Rica. I’ve updated the website to better show what the SWAG situation is like. But to answer your question, everyone will get a beautiful medal (you can see what the medal looks like above in the “What’s included” section), along with some gear and other souvenirs to make the trip unforgettable.

  • Jennifer says:

    Is there an age requirement for this trip? Can a runner bring a minor? In that case can we have 3 people in a room

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Jennifer, there is no minimum age for the trip. As long as you are comfortable bringing the minor along for the trip, they are welcome to join! About the hotel- that shouldn’t be an issue having 3 people in a room, provided that you’re ok with 2 queen beds. We could probably offer a hotel discount for the 3rd person as well. Let me look into this and I’ll send you a message. Thanks Jennifer- hope you can make it!

      • Yvette Rangel says:

        Curtis, I am also curious about 3 people as right now I, my husband and my daughter who is 19 are seriously considering this trip. We would like to stay in the same room if possible.

      • christine says:

        Hi Curtis, My friend and I are super fit 60 year olds. Will this trip be mostly young people??any demographic info? Thanks! We are ultrarunners so would probably like to do more mileage, is this possible?

        • Curtis says:

          Hi Christine! Based on the surveys we’ve done, I would expect the bulk of our runners on this trip to be somewhere between 35 and 55. I know for our Banff trip we have at least 3 of our 20 runners who are over 60. Plus, you’re badass ultrarunners! There’s always opportunity for more mileage! We’ll have 5 Costa Rican guides with us who are ultra runners themselves and know the local trails very well. One last thing, we’re looking into adding an optional half marathon trail run during the week for anyone who is interested. Feel free to email me at if you have more questions. Hope to see you there!

  • Edell says:

    How many runners will there be openings for? I got so excited about Baniff and registration was full before it opened. ☹ I don’t want to look forward to this one and not have the slightest chance of getting to go.

    • Curtis says:

      HI Edell! There are significantly more spots open for Costa Rica. We’ll have at least 100 spots. You’ll be able to register on March 11th. Banff was a very small test trip we’re doing to test out this format before offering it to more people. We hope to see you in Costa Rica!

  • Kristie Levy says:

    Don’t want to miss out. How will we register? And what time (and zone) on the March 11th does registration open? Thanks!

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      Hi Kristie, we’re excited to have you join us. Registration will open at 8am Mountain Time on March 11th. We’ll update the link at the top of this page at that time.

  • Susan says:

    Are we based in the city of San Jose for the duration of the trip?

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      Just the first and last night are in San Jose. The other 6 nights we’re traveling around Costa Rica. 3 different locations (Sarapiqui, La Fortuna, Jaco), 2 nights in each location.

  • Liz says:

    Outside of our running & hiking gear what kind of other gear will we be expected to bring? Also, the hikes appear to be day hikes, so I’m assuming day packs are acceptable?

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      Your gear list for a trip like this is similar to any other trip you’d take to a tropical location. The extra gear we expect you to bring is obviously your running gear. We recommend 2 pairs of trail running shoes as there’s a chance a pair will get wet. You’ll also need a hydration backpack since there are no aid stations.

      We’ll send out a detailed packing list to each of our runners once you are registered for the adventure.

      • Kelly says:

        Hi! I’m registered and super excited. Is there any way we can get those gear lists? I’m interested in spreading out any costs I’ll have, so would love to have a sense of what I’ll need.

        • Cherie Santiago says:

          Global Adventures Packing List

          ID & Passport
          Boarding pass

          Hydration Pack
          Headlamp +Batteries
          Trekking Poles
          Music (download a playlist ahead of time so you’re not depended on service)

          Rain Gear
          Shirt / Tanks
          Buff / Headband
          2 pairs of Trail shoes

          TRAVEL GEAR
          Hydration Pack
          Coffee Mug
          Stretch / Roller / Stick / Ball
          Travel Towel
          Nail Clippers / file
          Book / Kindle / ipad
          Power adapter / Charging Cables
          Wet Gear bag

          NUTRITION (use what you trail with)
          Salt tabs
          Energy Bars
          Flip Flops
          Beanie & or Hat
          Compression Socks
          Change Voicemail (out of office )
          Notify Credit Cards
          Set up email auto-response

  • Carri Smith-Marshall says:

    Hi Curtis, I am sooo excited to travel with VR globally. My question is: What if the person I want to travel with cannot do each race/walk each day. Could he pick and choose which morning to walk/hike and if he cannot do it, get a ride to the finish area?

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      You can participate in as many or as few of the daily runs as you’d like. We’ll have busses/cars to take people to the end of each run. We just won’t have anything in particular planned for non-runners to do during the run.

  • Jamie says:

    Airfare is separate correct? Also wondering if 3 to a room as our daughter might come.

    • Ryan Jenkins says:

      Yes you’ll setup your own airfare and meet us at the rendezvous point in San Jose.

      Having 3 people in a room shouldn’t be an issue, provided that you’re ok with 2 queen beds. We could probably offer a hotel discount for the 3rd person as well. Curtis can reach out to you with more details.

  • Nancy says:

    What is the registration website?

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Nancy, this is the registration website! Once registration opens at 8:00 AM MDT on Monday, March 11th, there will be a link at the top of the page where you will be able to click and register. Hope you can make it!

  • Julie says:

    How many years has this event been held?

  • Kamryn Cline says:

    Hello, my mother is very interested in the Costa Rica run and I would like to join her but not do the runs. I was wondering if there was a package where that is available? Please let me know, have a great day!

  • Mary says:

    Hi There! Are the Military Discounts able to be applied to this race?

  • Amanda says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if this is the kind of trip that I can take alone? I love meeting new people and visiting new places, but none of my friends want to go with me.

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Amanda- Yes there are LOTS of people joining this trip as solo travelers! That’s actually a big part of what we hope to offer people on this trip- a chance to come and make new best friends whether you come by yourself or with a group of people. About a quarter of our travelers for Costa Rica are coming by themselves.

  • Jeff says:

    I want to register me and a guest. What is the best way to pay for both of us since I don’t know who it will be yet?

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Jeff! Go ahead and register for yourself and then for your guest, please just use “Jeff’sGuest” as the first name of your guest. Then once you have your guest decided on, just send me an email and I’ll get everything sorted out on our registration.

  • Anne J says:

    What are the meals that are being provided? Can you give examples on what to expect? I follow a special diet of low sodium, no dairy( dairy allergy) and have allergies to food preservatives. So I am not use to eating processed food.

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Anne!

      For the meals this is an idea of what you should expect. Breakfast will take place at our hotels each morning, where there will be a buffet where you can expect plenty of fruit, breads, rice, beans, eggs, juice, etc. Lunches and dinners will also have plenty of fresh food options: veggies, rice & beans, fresh meat, etc. I don’t think you’ll have a hard time finding food that works for you down there. Please feel free to call me if you’d like to talk over this more! 801-628-2048

  • Janet says:

    Does the $2,900 cost include all taxes and fees?

  • Diane says:

    How do I cancel if I change my mind ? I’m on waitlist.

  • Catherine says:

    Do you have Vacation Races buffs? I feel like we’re about to go on a Survivor adventure!

    • Curtis says:

      Hey Catherine! I actually just got out of a meeting where we’re planning the SWAG for this adventure and buffs are a great idea! Maybe you’ll just have to find out when we get to Costa Rica… can’t wait for this!

  • Justin Zuiy says:

    What all does the 2900 include?

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Justin- 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. 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.

  • Catherine says:

    Can we make payments from now until the balance is due?

    • Curtis says:

      Hey Catherine! Unfortunately our current payment processor can’t handle payments until the balance is due for Costa Rica in July. We’re currently looking at options for using a different payment processor in the future that can handle these types of payments.

  • Karen Sigler says:

    Looking at air fare and meet up in San Jose. Is the first and last night in San Jose, does the Hotel also provide an airport shuttle? If we have to arrive later or stay longer to coordinate arrival and departures is that possible?

    • Curtis says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, there is a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and back. We’ll give you more specific information on getting to and from the hotel once we get closer to our travel dates. And you are more than welcome to book nights at the Irazu Best Western in San Jose, where we’ll be staying for our first and last night in Costa Rica.

  • Karen Sigler says:

    If we arrive early or stay later due to flight arrangements, will we be able to book additional nights at the Hotel/resort in San Jose?

    • Cherie Santiago says:

      Hello Karen, We’ll be staying at the Best Western Irazu in San Jose on Saturday, Jan. 18th. The hotel recommended booking directly on their site for the best rates, and then when you check-in, let them know you have a reservation with us on the 18th so they can keep you in the same room.

  • Melanie says:

    I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make this trip so wanted to see if there will be more trips like this for 2021. Also, will there be trips to other locations as well?

    • Cherie Santiago says:

      Yes, we will have new adventures in new places revolving. for 2020 we plan Costa Rica, Iceland & Alaska. 2021 Banff, Ireland and another adventure. Make sure you are on our mailing list to keep informed on updates.

  • Maliha says:

    I am a sports centered masseuse upgrading my professional and personal portfolio with a few months in the philippines where i am taking workshops in massage. I would like to offer whole body massage for the athletes post race and pre-race please get back to me regarding that.

  • Janet Phillips says:

    How do I cancel my Costa Rica registration and receive a refund for my deposit?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Janet – Please email He handles Global Adventures and will be able to help you.

      • Janet Phillips says:

        Hi Kaelee – I sent a message to Curtis a week ago at the email address you provided but have not heard back from him. The refund deadline is approaching so I’m anxious to get the cancellation confirmed. Thank you!

        • Kaelee Clifford says:

          Hi Janet – Curtis was on location preparing for our Banff trip but is back now and will be getting back to you.

          • Janet Phillips says:

            Still waiting to hear from Curtis regarding my cancellation request. I have reached out to him again by email and text.

          • Kaelee Clifford says:

            Hi Janet – I apologize for the delay. Curtis abruptly quit yesterday and we’re working on covering any questions and emails he was receiving. Salem Stanley, Vacation Races’ founder, is answering his emails but is currently focused on the Banff trip, as it begins this weekend. He will get back to you as soon as that event is over. Thank you for your patience!

  • Megan Sanger says:

    Do we have to use the same payment method as the initial deposit for the balance? I notice in the email I received it said the ‘balance will be billed to you 6 months prior’.

  • Allison Garcia says:

    As a non-runner, would I be able to walk a portion of the trails with a guide or other guests? Would be transported to meet up with the runners for some of the extra curricular activities? Any mountain biking options?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Allison – Biking will not be allowed but walking or hiking parts of the trails will be. You will be able to take the same transportation as the runners.

  • Paige Cline says:

    Are all the breakfasts provided?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Paige – Yes, breakfast is provided each day. Depending on the schedule it will be grab and go or breakfast at the hotel.

  • 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.

  • Michael says:

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

  • ANGELA BROWN says:


  • Johan says:

    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?


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