We leave San José around 8:00 am, heading westbound on one of the major highways. After approx. 10 miles we pass the picturesque town of Ciudad Colón. Right after the city limits, we begin to climb a mountain range on a well maintained asphalt road. For the next 20 km, one curve ends where the next one begins as the road winds the mountains, giving us breathtaking views over the Central Valley and its volcanoes. Alternatively, we can take a technically demanding gravel road for this section of our tour.
At the highest point of our trip, we pass the town of Puriscal, located on a mountain rim at an altitude of approx. 4,500 ft. Shortly afterwards, the road changes from asphalt to gravel and the descent down to the Pacific Coast begins. From this point, we can take several routes for different skill levels. But even if we take the "easy" route, some off-road skills are required as some stages are fairly steep, others can get really muddy. We pass many different vegetation zones, from the windy mountain range down to the hot jungle of the pacific coast.
Once we reach the Pacific coast, we will head northbound on the coastal highway. Shortly afterwards, the road passes the famous Tárcoles river where will have our lunch break. From the bridge that crosses the river, you will be able to see one of Costa Rica's largest colony of wild crocodiles. Sometimes up to 25 reptiles are laying on the river banks or are swimming right underneath the bridge, some of them reaching up to 12 ft and more in length.
After lunch, we continue for another hour on the coastal highway northbound before we take the turnoff to Miramar. We cross this small town and take a small paved road that winds itself way up into the mountains of the Alberto Manuel Brénes cloud forest.
Our hotel for the night, the Hotel Vista Golfo, is located spectacularly on its own private reserve which comprises 27 hectares of cloud forest, lush jungle, rivers and waterfalls. From the hotels terrace, we will enjoy a breathtaking view over the Pacific coast and the Nicoya gulf and Peninsula.
After relaxing in the hotel’s own swimming pool, we can take a hike along the trails of the park, where we will discover many plants, flowers, a large number of different birds, as well as all kind of other wild animals (monkeys, iguanas, tapir etc.). Watching the sunset and a having nice dinner afterwards will end this day.
The day starts with a typical Costa Rican highlight, a wild Canopy ride through the cloud forest that surrounds the hotel. Attached to a steel robe (there are 11 cables running from tree-top to tree-top, including one of the world’s longest, single Canopy cable with a length of 700m), you will slide through the “roof” of the cloud forest, enjoying views, that no other way of traveling can offer.
After a good lunch we get back onto our bikes and return to San José. For this, we can take several routes. Either paved roads or, alternatively, scenic gravel trails winding along a mountain rim for a large part of the distance. We get back to San Jose in the late afternoon.
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