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'll eat lunch together, followed by either free time in the afternoon or another adventure (e.g., whitewater rafting, zip line tour, etc.). We’ll end the day with dinner and more relaxing.
Each trip is limited to 100 adventurers
January 22nd-29th, 2022
Trip Meeting Time: Arrive at the Libera airport (LIR) by 4:00 pm on Saturday September 4th. 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’ll provide transportation back to the Liberia airport on Sunday. You can depart from the airport after 2pm. If you need to depart on Saturday we can help provide transportation earlier.
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 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're expected to cover while on the trip is any souvenirs or additional food or drink.
Day 1: Saturday
Arrive in Costa Rica
You’ll arrive in Liberia, Costa Rica (nicknamed the “white city”) and take a shuttle to the hotel. We’ll have dinner, orientation, and registration that first night and you’ll get to meet your fellow travelers. If you arrive early enough, the historic downtown is within walking distance of the hotel and definitely worth checking out.
Day 2: Sunday
Liberia to Monteverde
On our way from the flat open lowlands of Liberia to the forestry highlands of Monteverde, we’ll stop at Rio Perdido (“lost river”) for our run. This is a private protected preserve with a network of fun running and biking trails. We’ll run through open land and forest, and climb two (small) mountains for a 360 view of the three Guanacaste volcanoes: Miravalles, Rincon do la Vieja, and Tenorio. After our run, we’ll cool down in the pools and have lunch at the gorgeous resort.
After lunch, we’ll continue our drive to Monteverde. This drive is a newly paved road, which will make it easy going! It’s a very scenic, but also a winding road, as it follows the contour of the mountain and provides gorgeous views of the Pacific ocean and the cloud forest. Steep in some areas, we’re climbing 4,000 ft. Once we arrive, we’ll get checked in to El Establo Mountain Hotel. Each room provides amazing views of the cloud forest. We’ll have dinner together that night at the hotel.
Day 3: Monday
This morning we’re going on a challenging run in the hills of Monteverde. Expect a steep but rewarding run. We’ll spend the first 4k climbing straight up on a wide dirt track before heading down a single-track into the jungle. We’ll run a lollipop loop through thick jungle before heading back down the mountain we climbed earlier. This trail is muddy and rocky in places. We’ll finish the run at our hotel where we’ll eat lunch and clean up.
That afternoon we’ll drive a short distance to the famous hanging bridges. As we walk along several bridges suspended over a complicated and beautiful ecosystem, we’ll get to know the vegetation and animals of the cloud forest canopy from all their levels. We’ll also stop to explore the butterfly garden, one of the largest in all of the Americas and home to more than 30 native species.
You’ll have the evening free to explore downtown Monteverde.
Day 4: Tuesday
Monteverde to Rincón de la Vieja
After breakfast, we’ll drive back through Liberia to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where we run! This National Park is a humid forest containing three different microclimates. You’ll see an active volcano, thermals, boiling mud pits, and hot springs, as well as the coolest trees. Expect some stream crossing.
After our run, we’ll drive a short distance to our hotel where we’ll have lunch and get checked in. Today’s escapades involve zip lining through a canyon, repelling, swinging from a rope, and rock climbing. It’s high adventure and a day you won’t forget!
We’ll eat dinner together at the hotel.
Day 5: Wednesday
This morning we’ll run along the trails of the Hacienda Guachipelin. Originally a cattle ranch dating back over 100 years, the government tasked the family owners to create a park and geothermal energy plant.
On today’s run you’ll get to see an excellent example of sustainable development. There are two rivers that cut through the park, so no matter where you run you’ll see multiple waterfalls. The trail finishes back at the hotel where we’ll have a quick lunch before we bounce and go white water tubing on the Rio Negro. We’ll finish the day with a relaxing soak at the hot springs on the property and dinner together.
Day 6: Thursday
Sardinal to Playa Flamingo
Today we’ll depart the hotel and head west to the beach. We’ll stop at Sardinal for a refreshing morning run through the countryside. Wave to the Tico’s (their dogs and chickens) as you pass. The road is smooth and flat, so you’ll really get to stretch your legs.
After our run we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, then drive to our hotel on the beach. After getting checked in we’ll go on a sea kayaking adventure. That evening you’re on your own for dinner; take advantage of the great restaurants on the property or shuttle to the downtown area for a great meal.
Day 7: Friday
Today is our last run. We will go to Las Catalinas, for some of the most epic jungle-beach trails you will ever run. These famous and well-maintained trails host a lot of triathlons and xterra events. The single-track trail climbs to the cliffs above the beach and the trail continues to follow the shoreline of the ocean, before winding down onto the beach. We spend some time playing on the beach, eating lunch and looking at tide pools before going back to our hotel.
Once back at the hotel, you’ll have time to enjoy the pools, pool bar and beach. That night we’ll have dinner together at the hotel where we’ll celebrate running 55k (in one week!) and new friendships.
Day 8: Saturday
Shuttle to Liberia
All good things must come to an end. Today we’ll provide transportation back to the airport.
Scenes from the Adventure
Get a sneak peak at some of the scenic views and runner smiles from our recent trips!
We ran through rain forest, mud, lava fields, river crossings, countryside, volcanos, scenic cliffs and beach. It’s like we went away to summer camp and every detail was taken care of, from meals and transportation to afternoon adventures and lodging.
We signed up for this adventure to run and experience Costa Rica’s natural beauty, and received the unexpected gifts of friendship and community. Spending a week with like minded, down to earth, fun loving runners, gave us an incredible sense of community!
Sue Gibson, 2020 Global Adventurer
Pricing and Deposit
Your registration fee includes everything mentioned in the itinerary.
$4,300 /person (single occupancy)
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.
Double Occupancy Pricing
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, depending on your trip's hotel expenses
Cancellation and Transfer Policy
A 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 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.
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 vaccination?
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.