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I read once that in Costa Rica the best “all-terrain vehicle” for navigating the country is a horse. Costa Ricans love horses and their riding traditions – their equestrian roots coming from the Spanish who brought horses with them to Central America in the 16th century.
The heart and soul of Costa Rica’s equestrian life is the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Here, vast rolling plains run up into towering volcanoes and mountains of the Guanacaste Range. The sunny climate is dry and hot, creating the unique dry tropical forest habitat. For decades, Guanacaste has been dedicated to working the land, and cattle and horse ranching. Even though the region’s main economic activity is now tourism, the traditions of “sabanero” (cowboy) folklore, customs, music and dance are deeply rooted in the communities.
Settled in the golden savanna at the base of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Hacienda Guachipelin Hotel is a working horse and cattle ranch, in addition to being an active eco-tourism hotel. Originally founded in the 19th century, the immense Hacienda ranch once stretched from the tip of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Since 1975, Tomás Batalla Esquivel, a renowned cattle rancher and purebred Spanish horse breeder, has kept the ranching legacy alive with his family.
Today, the property measures nearly 3,400 acres. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin set aside 1,730 acres for the conservation of tropical dry forest, 1,025 acres are used as pastureland, and 625 acres are being reforested with endangered native tree species. Three rivers crisscross the ranch lands, creating an idyllic setting.
Hacienda Guachipelin offers seven different horseback riding tours riding the trusty ranch horses on scenic forest trails to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park or waterfalls or natural thermal springs. There is even a “Cowboy for a Day” tour, where you help out the real ranch cowboys in the stables and corral, milk cows, saddle and ready the horses, and ride out to herd cattle or other horses.
Hacienda Guachipelín Hotel is an ideal place to stay at Rincón de la Vieja Volcano to experience authentic Guanacaste culture and enjoy an active vacation. The first-class ecotourism lodge has a thrilling adventure center offering canopy ziplines, canyoning, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, horseback riding, nature trails, mountain biking and thermal springs. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelín is located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of Guanacaste’s main city of Liberia by the Pailas section of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
Article by Shannon Farley
Here’s a bit of a different Costa Rica vacation for you: Travel the entire country from coast to coast and north to south, but only under your own steam on mountain bikes, kayaks, rafts, zipline cables, and your feet. Sleep under the stars wherever you may be – mud, sand, grass field, rocky stream bed – but only for a few hours at a time. Brave the thrills of mosquitoes, venomous snakes, crocodiles, rain, boiling sun, and sweltering rainforest. Do that for about six days straight with three of your friends, but with the added adrenaline surge of trying to outrace 64 other groups like you all trying to get to the same final destination first.
Sound like fun? Maybe not for the average person, but if you are one of the world’s best endurance athletes, it’s right up your alley … or trail, as it were.
This unforgettable “vacation” is actually the 2013 Adventure Race World Championships (ARWC), coming to Costa Rica from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12. Sixty-five teams from 26 countries will compete for more or less 140 hours non-stop on adventure challenges, covering over 700 km from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and across Costa Rica border-to-border from Nicaragua to Panama. Teams of four competitors will traverse a wide variety of terrain, from long beach walks to high ascents over rugged mountains. They will raft, kayak (ocean and river), mountain bike, trek, climb and rappel, and cross canopy ziplines, among other events. Race organizers estimate that it will take the winning team approximately 120 hours in five to six days to finish. The race will be open a total of nine days (216 hours).
The epic adventure is also the fourth Adventure Race Costa Rica (ARCR), which joined the Adventure Race World Series (ARWS) in 2010. The AR World Series is an international circuit of premier adventure races that since 2001 culminate every year in the AR World Championships. To get to the ARWC, teams have competed all year long in eight adventure races in different countries, leading up to the finals in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is known for its beautiful beaches and rainforests, and is also gaining international fame for endurance sports. The “La Ruta de los Conquistadores” (The Route of the Conquistadors) top world endurance mountain bike race celebrated its 20th anniversary Oct. 24-26 in Costa Rica. Hundreds of the best mountain bikers and endurance racers have been crossing 192 miles (310 km) from the Pacific to the Caribbean over these three days.
In June, Hotel Hacienda Guachipelín, at the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste region, hosted the international North Face Endurance Challenge. Competitors ran 80k, 50k, 21k and 10k races over rugged ground at the volcano. The eco-hotel then staged the 100-mile (160 km) Rincón de la Vieja Challenge mountain bike race in August. The adventure race was the first of its kind in Costa Rica and Latin America to circumnavigate an active volcano.
Not an endurance athlete, but still looking for an adventure vacation in Costa Rica? Hacienda Guachipelín, a first-class eco-lodge, is a prime destination for adventure and nature lovers – offering canopy ziplines, canyoning, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, nature trails, and thermal springs – all on a working horse and cattle ranch. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelín is located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of Guanacaste’s principal city of Liberia.
Article by Shannon Farley
Costa Rica is a popular, easy and fun destination for Friends’ Trips, especially for adventure travel enthusiasts. Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party? A guys’ trip? Girlfriends getaway? Or simply looking for some place different to go with your group of friends? Costa Rica delivers all you could want for a no-stress exotic vacation.
Get your friends, get your tickets, and escape to Costa Rica!
Top 5 Adventure Tours for a Costa Rica Friends’ Trip
1. Canopy Zip-Lines
2. Rafting Trip
3. Waterfall Rappelling / Canyoning
4. Jungle Hiking
All five of Costa Rica’s top adventure tours can be enjoyed at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin at the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. Only 15.5 miles northeast of Guanacaste’s principal city of Liberia, the first-class ecotourism lodge is a leading adventure and nature tours vacation destination.
Article by Shannon Farley
Situado en la provincia de Guanacaste, en el Pacífico norte de Costa Rica, se yergue el Rincón de la Vieja. Es el volcán más grande en la región noroeste del país. Con una altura de 1.915 metros, la caldera posee 15 Km. de ancho. Es un sitio considerado como lugar místico y sagrado según la antigua tribu curubandé. Asimismo, el parque nacional circundante fue declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO en 1999.
Esta zona sirvió de escenario para la prueba de ciclismo de montaña «Rincón de la Vieja Challenge». En dicho evento deportivo, el representante de Portugal, Luis Leão Pinto, se coronó ganador. La competición inició desde el hotel Hacienda Guachipelín (en las cercanías del área protegida) y concluyó el pasado domingo 24 de agosto. En total, tuvo una distancia de 100 millas (160,9 kilómetros) y fue la primera de su tipo en América Latina. Según sus organizadores, es el único recorrido que da vueltas a un volcán activo.
En medio de este entorno, un grupo de ciclistas internacionales pusieron a prueba sus habilidades y resistencia, atravesando cinco tipos de microclimas. Recorrieron desde planicies áridas, bosques nublados exuberantes y ríos; hasta el famoso volcán Miravalles. Por ese motivo, se incluyeron pistas de tierra, caminos de barro rojo, senderos de roca volcánica y tramos en suave piedra caliza.
Pese a esas circunstancias tan complejas, Pinto aventajó a los demás concurrentes desde el primer momento de la competencia. Durante la mayor parte de la prueba el luso estuvo lado a lado con Deiber Esquivel. Sin embargo, luego de los primeros 15 kilómetros el portugués tomó la delantera, haciendo a un lado las dificultades climáticas y físicas que debió hacer frente.
En declaraciones al diario costarricense La Nación, el europeo declaró: «Sabía que había puntos claves en la competencia en donde podía hacer diferencia y a eso aposté, sufrí mucho pero sabía que iba más fuerte que él (Esquivel) y yo vine a ganar, para eso me preparé».
Finalmente, se hizo con el primer lugar tras obtener un tiempo de 6 horas, 38 minutos y 45 segundos. En segunda posición quedó Esquivel (6:47:37), el tercer puesto lo tuvo José Montoya (7:15:21) y el cuarto fue de Federico Ramírez (7:23:03).
En la rama femenina, la vencedora de este desafío fue Adriana Rojas, quien logró completar el circuito en 8 horas, 14 minutos y 57 segundos. Luego fue el turno de Nancy Amores (9:06:39); Milagro Mena (9:19:42) y Cinthya Coto (9:49:10).
Y es que Costa Rica ha ganado notoriedad internacional para competiciones y deportes de resistencia. En ese sentido, el hotel Hacienda Guachipelin también fue sede del North Face Endurance Challenge el 22 de junio, con trascursos de 80, 50, 21 y 10 kilómetros en la misma área.
El país también fue elegido como sede del Campeonato Mundial de Carreras de Aventura de este año. En este varios equipos internacionales harán lo propio para superar las 140 horas de duración de evento. Se realizará a partir del 29 de noviembre y hasta el 12 de diciembre de costa a costa y de frontera a frontera. En él se incluirán diversas disciplinas: carreras, senderismo, ciclismo de montaña, rapel, barranquismo, piragüismo, balsismo y «coasteering».
Claro está, que no se puede hablar de actividades extremas en Costa Rica sin hacer mención del antecedente más antiguo: «La Ruta de los Conquistadores». Es uno de los acontecimientos deportivos más importantes. Cada año reúne a cientos de ciclistas de todos los rincones del planeta. Los corredores de resistencia se dan cita en los terrenos más escarpados de esta nación centroamericana. Es un trayecto que cruza desde el Pacífico hasta el Caribe en solo tres días. Este año se desarrollará entre el 24 y el 26 de octubre y habrá celebraciones especiales por ser su edición número 20.
Por eso, los amantes de la adrenalina se sentirán muy a gusto en la zona de Guanacaste. Específicamente el hotel Hacienda Guachipelín es el lugar para alojarse en las cercanías de Rincón de la Vieja y disfrutar de unas vacaciones activas. Situado 25 Km. al noreste de Liberia, la capital de la región, resulta ideal para vivir la aventura en medio de la naturaleza. Las actividades son variadas aunque con un factor común: un ambiente propio de hacienda ganadera costarricense.
Por: Andrés Figueroa Vásquez.
La aventura en Costa Rica le está esperando con muchos de sus tours de un día en los alrededores del parque nacional Rincón de la Vieja
The adventure race on Aug. 24, 2013, is the first of its kind in Costa Rica and Latin America, and the only race in the world to circumnavigate an active volcano, according to race promotional material.
Riders from all over the world will test their stamina and skill riding 100 miles (160 km) through five microclimates – from the Northern Pacific dry plains of Guanacaste up over Costa Rica’s Continental Divide to lush cloud forests, across rivers, around smoldering cinder ash of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano to where it meets with the Miravalles Volcano.
Located in Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste plains, Rincón de la Vieja is the largest volcano in the country’s northwest region. Standing 6,286 feet tall, its caldera is 9 miles (15 km) wide. The Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and National Park were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999; the active volcano is considered a mystical and sacred place by the ancient Curubandé tribe.
The incomparable mountain bike race will travel varied terrain – gravel roads, red clay roads, river and volcanic rock trails, single track, and smooth white calcium rock road – with a total elevation gain of 10,862 feet (3,311 meters).
Costa Rica and the Rincón de la Vieja area are fast gaining popularity for endurance sports. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin recently hosted the international North Face Endurance Challenge on June 22, involving 80k, 50k, 21k and 10k rugged adventure runs at Rincón de la Vieja.
Costa Rica also has been chosen to host this year’s Adventure Racing World Championships 2013, which will see 80 teams from around the world competing non-stop for 140 hours on adventure challenges from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12.
The race course will run coast-to-coast from the Pacific to the Caribbean and border-to-border across Costa Rica from Nicaragua to Panama. Disciplines include: trekking/running, mountain biking, ocean and river kayaking, rafting, abseiling, coasteering, and canyoning.
And of course, there is the “La Ruta de los Conquistadores“ (The Route of the Conquistadors), Costa Rica’s premier mountain bike race and one of the most challenging adventure races in the world. Hundreds of the best mountain bikers and endurance racers from around the planet come every year to Costa Rica to cross the country’s most tempestuous terrain from the Pacific to the Caribbean in only three days. This year’s event from Oct. 24 to 26 celebrates the race’s 20-year anniversary.
The diverse terrain and varied climate of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano were the reasons organizers chose the location for the Rincón de la Vieja Challenge mountain biking race. Event headquarters will be at adventure eco-lodge Hacienda Guachipelin. Reservations and booking for the event can be arranged by contacting the hotel at 506-2666-8075 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of Guanacaste’s principal city of Liberia, Hacienda Guachipelín Hotel is the place to stay at Rincón de la Vieja Volcano for an active vacation.
The first-class ecotourism lodge is a center for adventure and nature lovers, offering canopy zip lines, canyoning, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, nature trails, and thermal springs – all on a working horse and cattle ranch.
By Shannon Farley
Nicoya geographically speaking was made of the lands located west from the Tempisque River to the Pacific Ocean, and then north of the river El Salto all the way into the river La Flor and Lake Nicaragua, which was the border with the Province of Nicaragua.
This territory enjoyed considerable autonomy, even in civil and administrative depended on Guatemala, the Captaincy. However, by the closeness with the Province of Costa Rica, specifically with towns of Puntarenas, Bagaces and Las Cañas, it established business relationships and closeness with the lifestyle of Costa Ricans.
Therefore, Nicoya, during the Colony, held a very special status. It was a territory that belonged neither to Nicaragua nor to Costa Rica. Commercially speaking, important links existed with Costa Rica.
In 1812 the Province of Costa Rica needed to send a deputy to the courts of Cadiz. Since the Costa Rican population was small, the Province had Nicoya joining temporarily, so that the minimum population required to appoint such a representative was achieved. With this union the priest Florencio del Castillo became the representative for the Province of Costa Rica in the Courts of Cadiz.
When independence was declared in Central America, on September 15, 1821, Nicaragua turned its interest in Nicoya. Since Nicaragua was a country with many internal problems, becoming a part of Nicaragua was not appealing to Nicoya, forcing Nicoya to make a decision as to what country to be a part of. Therfore, Costa Rica was the best option.
The relationship with Costa Rica favors the union made with this territory since commercial ties were very favorable and integration complemented the economic policy, which was developed years before that.
Under this situation , the inhabitants of Nicoya agreed to hold an open meeting to define their situation. They therefore decided to join the Province of Costa Rica on July 25, 1824, under the motto “From the Homeland by our will”, as they were the inhabitants of Nicoya who decided to annex the province of Costa Rica.
Therefore, it should always be the Annexation of Nicoya to the Province of Costa Rica, never the annexation of Guanacaste.
Rincon de La Vieja Challenge will be the first 100mile MTB race in Costa Rica and in all of Latin America. Actually, is the only race in the world going around a volcano. Luis Leao Pinto has confirmed his presence in this event.
The diverse terrain and the climate of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste, were some of the reasons to choose this location out of many possible locations.
The event is sponsored by Red Bull and Specialezed .
Hacienda Guachipelin will be the headquarters for the event. Reservations and booking for the event can be arranged contacting the reservations office at ++506-2666-8075 or sending an email to reservations+guachipelin.com .
For registration on this event, please click here
This past Saturday June 22 2013, the North Face Endurance Challenge took place at Rincon de la Vieja. Hacienda Guachipelin was designated as the headquarters for the event. The event had 4 categories, 80k 50k 21k 10k . The area was chosen because of of the diversity of terrain. As mentioned on the video, there is desert, rain forest, dry forest, volcanic areas and more.
Top Runners like Michael Wardian , Diane Van Deren , Helen Cospolich and Juan Carlos Sagastume partipated in the event.
All over the world, Certificate of Excellence winners, by Tripadvisor.com , are commemorating their success and Hacienda Guachipelin is no exception. Actually this is the fourth year that Guachipelin has been awarded this recognition. Our staff was introduced to costumer service and guest satisfaction by 2 great advisers, Daniel Chavarria and Mauricio Aymerich.
Our way to improve customer satisfaction has not been easy, neither to our advisers nor our staff, but our staffs effort in following the advise of experts and their dedication to this project, has redeemed good fruits. We still have a long way to go, but we permanently monitor what our guests are saying in on their reviews, in order to define areas of improvement.
TripAdvisor has been a great tool for us.
We hope to see you soon at Rincon de la Vieja.
This month of May, Hacienda Guachipelin offers a very special discount: 25% off the regular rate. Guests will also receive $25 resort credit that can be applied for tours or massage. May is the month of the transition from the dry season to the rainy season. Actually May has a very nice weather, not very rainy and not very hot, yet the sunsets are still the famous Guanacaste sunsets.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is 14, 161 hectares big. It was declared This national park is named after the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. The summit is 1895 meters high. The main attraction is Las Pailas trail, a 3+ km trail with fumaroles, hot springs, mud pots and a strong sulfur smell , that surrounds the area. There are other attractions in the trail, like the little volcano, a very active hole that bursts with steam and a very loud jet like sound.
The mountain has another volcano, the inactive one, Santa María Volcano, whic has an altitude of 1916 meters, the highest by the way. The area has other attractions like the summit, presently closed to visitors due to activity, and very nice waterfalls. The most famous is La Cangreja, which is another “Rio Celeste“. This is a phenomenon that happens around volcanoes and the water turns blue.
(This offer only applies for reservations through Trip Advisor and does not apply with other offers or promotions, valido for the month of May)