Costa Rica continues to be a magnet for adventure racing, high-endurance extreme sports and triathlons. Top international athletes travel to Costa Rica several times a year for sport competitions and events.
The north Pacific Guanacaste region is one of the most popular zones for extreme endurance events. In early March 2014, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) will hold the 2014 Pan American Cup at Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. The XTERRA off-road triathlon race comes to Costa Rica also in March, staging their major international competition March 29 and 30 at Playa Conchal in Guanacaste. Costa Rica’s top triathlete Leonardo Chacon took first place at the XTERRA USA competition last year in Hawaii, and is looking to repeat his win this year.
Last year in December, Costa Rica hosted the 2013 Adventure Racing World Championships, in which 60 teams from around the world competed non-stop crossing the country 850km north to south and east to west. In June 2013, the North Face Endurance Challenge, involving 80k, 50k, 21k and 10k adventure runs happened at Hacienda Guachipelin at the rugged Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste.
Coming again in 2014 to Rincón de la Vieja is the second annual Rincón de la Vieja Challenge mountain biking endurance race – on Aug. 23. Held last year for the first time, the 100-mile (160 km) adventure race was the first of its kind in Costa Rica and Latin America to circumnavigate an active volcano.
Like in 2013, elite riders from all over the world will test their stamina and skill riding around the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, the largest in Costa Rica’s northwest at 6,286 feet tall. The route travels over roads of gravel, red clay, smooth white calcium rock, and on single track, river and volcanic rock trails – with a total elevation gain of 10,862 feet (3,311 meters).
“One of the interesting aspects of Rincón de la Vieja for adventure racing is its different terrain and microclimates,” commented Hacienda Guachipelin owner Jose Tomas Batalla. “There is savannah, tropical forest, desert, and cloud forest, and the weather changes as you go up in elevation.”
Explore Rincón de la Vieja on your own adventure at Hacienda Guachipelin eco-lodge. The first-class lodge, right next to the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, offers guests and visitors a complete adventure center with canopy ziplines, canyoning, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, nature trails, and natural volcanic hot springs.
Article by Shannon Farley