Adventure means never knowing what’s coming next. On my recent biking and hiking vacation in Costa Rica, that’s exactly what we got. It was a smooth mix of biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, zip-lining and rappelling.
At the beginning of the trip, we mounted fat-tire bikes and descended the Irazú Volcano through the thick cloud forest. As we swooped back and forth along mountain switchbacks, we peered into the rural life of Costa Rican farmers, passing fields of squash, potatoes, and tobacco. The farmers were outgoing and friendly shouting, “Pura Vida!” from a distance (the widely embraced Costa Rican phrase meaning “Pure Life!”).
Our bike shocks became increasingly necessary as the paved road gave way to steep rock and dirt. As we biked our way out of the cloud forest, we headed for the Orosi Valley – but not before stopping for a much-earned lunch. Leaning our bikes against an open themed café overlooking a beautiful lake, we got our first taste of el plato típico – the quintessential Costa Rican meal comprised of rice, beans, salad, tortillas, fried plantain, and cooked chicken, pork or fish – delicious!
The ride concluded with the biggest hill of the day leading to our mountainside hotel. Between the trees of the winding trail, I could see each biker peddling their way to the finish line. The gentle rain overhead was welcome, pattering light vibrations over the forest canopy.
One day down into our Costa Rica biking tour, we cheersed to the coming adventure over dinner before heading to bed. We needed our rest for the two-day overnight whitewater rafting adventure on the Pacuare River the following morning – Pura Vida!