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 email@example.com.
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