Global Adventures: Costa Rica
COVID-19 Vaccine Required!
This measure ensures we are doing everything we can to protect our runners, staff, and the communities who host us! Click to read more about our decision.
Click to read more about our decision.
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.
Each trip will be limited to 100 adventurers
January 8th-15th, 2022
Trip Meeting Time: Arrive at the San Jose Airport by 4:00 pm on Saturday. 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 return to San Jose by 12:00pm on Sunday. However, you may choose to depart any time starting Saturday at 10:00am. We will help coordinate shuttles to the airport.
This is an all-inclusive adventure! That means that ALL the details of planning your trip are taken care of for you by Vacation Races including:
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?
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 while on the trip is any souvenirs or additional food or drink.
Day 1: Saturday
Arrive in San Jose, CR
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: Sunday
Sueno Azul Waterfall 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: Monday
Sarapiqui Countryside Run & Rafting
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: Tuesday
Laguna Hule Run & La Fortuna Waterfall Swim
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: Wednesday
Arenal Volcano Run & Canopy Zip line
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 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!), or just hang out in town or go to the hot springs near our hotel.
Dinner tonight is at a fabulous restaurant in La Fortuna.
Day 6: Thursday
Madre Verde Run & Jaco Beach
Today we make our way from the inland rainforest to the arid Pacific coast and beaches. Our run 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 will be on your own as you explore the laid-back beach town of Jaco.
Day 7: Friday
Guacalillo Cliffs Run & Playa Blanca (White Beach)
Our final run of the trip! We'll wake up early because 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 the run, we’ll have some snacks before we head out to have some fun with our last activity, outrigger canoeing! This adventure includes lunch on a private island.
We’ll head back to the hotel where 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 we'll have our closing ceremonies for the trip where we look back on the memories we’ve made with new and old friends alike. (Also, optional karaoke.)
Day 8: Saturday
Morning Beach Time
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. You can go exploring in Jaco and get some last minute Costa Rica snacks or ice cream at Pops. There is even a rumor that the race director will take you surfing. (We’re not sure if this rumor is true, only the ocean knows for sure). In the evening, you'll be free to explore the area for dinner.
For those leaving today, we'll have a shuttle to San Jose Airport in the afternoon.
Day 9: Sunday
Departure to San Jose
All good things must come to an end - until the next adventure that is!
We'll have breakfast available at the hotel and two shuttles to the airport.
You're welcome to make an additional reservation at a hotel in San Jose or make other travel arrangements to depart.
Scenes from the Adventure
Get a sneak peak at some of the scenic views and runner smiles from our recent trips!
This is an adventure of a lifetime, and probably like no other race you've experienced before. Each location is diverse and provides a new experience every day...and I made new friendships that will last a lifetime! I can't wait for my next Vacation Races Global Adventures trip!
Teresa Jackson, 2020 Global Adventurer
Pricing and Deposit
$3,350 (Double Occupancy)
$4,100 (Single Occupancy)
Your registration fee includes everything mentioned in the itinerary.
A risk-free deposit of $500 is due at registration.
The remaining 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 an additional $750-800 (depending on your trip) to cover the additional hotel expenses.
Cancellation and Transfer Policy
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 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 taken out, which covers the cost of the hotel where we must guarantee rooms.
In order to keep everyone safe and account for still changing travel policies, we are requiring all travelers to have a completed COVID-19 vaccination in order to register for Global Adventures trips.
Do I really need a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes! As of June 1st, 2021 we will be requiring all Global Adventurers to show proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination upon checking into their event. This applies to ALL trips moving forward.
Yes, that includes countries without a vaccine travel restriction...
Yes, that includes US-based trips...
We care about the safety of our runners, staff, and the communities who host our trips. A vaccination is shown to be the best way to slow the spread of the COVID virus. This measure also helps us provide a more consistent experience, as country-specific travel regulations continue to shift.
How difficult are the runs and hikes? How good of shape do I need to be in?
Each day we’ll be running/hiking between 3-6 miles. Most of the runs will have a decent amount of elevation gain. Most everyone will be walking the uphills of our runs while running the flats and downhills. We expect runners to maintain at least a 20 minute/mile pace on these trail runs.
Do I have to run every day?
This is your vacation- you should do what you want! If you want to take a break for a day or two, then by all means do it. Our goal is to make sure you have the best possible experience on the trails, whatever that means for you.
Are there aid stations?
There are no aid stations in these trail runs. Most people will be either using a hydration backpack or carrying a water bottle in hand, along with a few gels or other snacks if needed. You are required to bring your own hydration system. We are partnered with Nathan Sports, which provide awesome hydration options: Shop Nathan Sports
What other adventures will we be doing?
Other adventures during the trip are scheduled to be: swimming and hanging out near waterfalls, whitewater rafting on the Sarapiqui River, plenty of beach time, and an optional canopy zipline tour or boat/kayak ride in Lake Arena.
Are there any discounts available to Global Adventures?
We do not offer any discounts on our Global Adventures at this time.
Are there options for a partner that doesn’t want to run?
If you want to bring a partner to the event that doesn’t want to participate in the runs, that’s totally fine. We will knock off $300 from your partner’s registration fee if you choose this option. Just sign up for the event as a regular participant, but let us know in the registration notes that your partner is not running. Your $300 will be refunded to you 6 months before the event.
What will the weather be like in Costa Rica?
We’re traveling to Costa Rica in the “dry” season where temperatures will range from the 70s or 80s in the jungle to the 90s on the coast. However, don’t be fooled about this being the “dry” season because it will almost certainly rain on us while we’re down there. After all, you don’t get the beauty of a rainforest without a little rain…
What are the accommodations like?
We have 3-star lodging booked for you. Rooms will be comfortable and clean and safe, but no frills; a place that you would feel ok relaxing in.
What about Vegan and Vegetarian food options?
There will be vegetarian options for our runners at all meals. Most meals will also have vegan options, but we can’t guarantee vegan options for all meals.
How much free time will we have?
Expect to have a few hours of free time each day, either exploring the towns we’ll visit or wandering around turquoise lakes and just taking in the grandeur of the place. Our goal is to have enough adventure to fill your days without feeling rushed from location to location.
How much money should I expect to spend?
The only additional expense that you absolutely need to plan on is your travel to and from San Jose, Costa Rica, plus a couple of meals (one lunch and two dinners), Apart from that, any souvenirs or additional food & drink (apart from your regular meals) would be at your own expense.
Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions for these trips. As long as you are comfortable with the runs and activities, we'll be glad to have you if you're 12 or 112 years old!
What about animals on the trails?
If you are lucky, you’ll get to see plenty of animals! Seeing wildlife in the Costa Rican jungles is a huge draw to this location. You’ll hopefully see all sorts of exotic wildlife (howler monkeys, toucans, macaws, iguanas, coatis, leaf cutter ants, etc.). We’ll have some expert guides from the area to provide tips on staying safe on the trails as well as give you information on the animals you see. As for mosquitoes, plan on bringing mosquito repellent!
Additional tips from previous runners
Words of wisdom from runners who joined us for the inaugural 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.