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Old 02-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
riderddonald OP
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Costa Rica 2012

Well after reading every ride report I could find on Costa Rica, buying a map, Lonely Planet guide, Costa Rica Spanish book and checking out all the bike rental places I just email Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours to confirm bike and hotels. Now just 275 freakin days to wait. My wife already said I'd be a basket case by then.

Some trip background, Company trip with about 80 people scheduled for end of Nov. so I told my wife we would go down early and ride around for a bit. Why I am going with Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours is we will be two up and I'm not spending 6 days on a DR650 or KLR. CRMT has BMW F800GS's which is as close as I can get to my DL650 I ride up here. Also letting them do hotels so it's one less worry. If I didn't have a pillion rider I would play it by ear but as it is she'll be happy. If she's happy I'm happy.

Have my destinations already planned for each evening but the route is open to suggestions. First night on road we will be at Manuel Antonio, second and third nights at Santa Teresa / Malpais. Fourth night Monteverde, and fifth night La Fortuna. Then back to San Jose. Then we catch a shuttle up to Playa Conchal for 6 days.

Already have some places in mind to see and ride but any suggestions by others who have been there are welcome. Prefer some gravel and dirt roads and don't mind river crossings. Just nothing too rough since we'll be two up.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
Yappei
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Sounds like a great idea. You will enjoy. I live in San Jose and have ridden nearly every rode imaginable on a Tiger 955i. If you have the time, a nice ride is down to Corcovado to the city of Karate on the edge of the National Forest. I have a good friend who has a great remote place to stay (Finca Exotica). Small rivers to cross, etc., etc., etc. I think I read your note correctly, did you say you will be riding here in November? If so, be prepared for serious, serious rains. Bring some good light weight rain gear. Boots need to be high and absolutely water proof. I ride here every day, in the rain, wind, or whatever. When you get to San Jose let me know and I'll buy the dinner and beers!!! While in San Jose one of my favorite rides is up to Irazu Mountain - a quick day drip but nice country. Another easy ride is from San Jose, Costa Rica down to David, Panama over to Bocas del Torro, Panama and then back up to Limon, Costa Rica and back to San Jose. If you got the Iron Butt pass it can be done in a day. Better in three days to take it easy and absorb the places. Another ride is up to Monteverde from the Guanacaste side - there are some spectacular views and great opportunities for serious photos.

David
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
Artlocks
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Yappei, when are the best months to ride there?
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
JDowns
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If you pick your bike up in San Jose and head out to Manuel Antonio, there are some great trails heading over the mountains. Not a great idea probably with a jet lagged wife on the back. Hmmm. Costanera Sur 239 is a nice road that winds through the mountains from San Rafael in the western suburbs of San Jose down to the coast. Or,if you have the whole day, you could ride up into the mountains on 2 and up over the pass. Beautiful fun twisty road that drops you down into San Isidro de General and you can cut down to the coast on a winding paved 243 that drops you down to Dominical and head up the coast to Manuel Antonio.

It's not far from there to Malpais if you take the ferry across the Golfo Nicoye. And the pacific coastal rivers will likely be running high in November, but there are plenty of nice places to see on the Nicoye penninsula. Maybe ride out to Samara and see what the coastal rivers are doing. Otherwise take the main road down to the end of the penninsula.

Other nice rides around Monteverde and Fortuna would be the loop around Lago Arenal, the road up to the Waterfall Gardens, riding up to the top of Poas Volcano, and as Yappei said the ride up to the top of Volcan Iraszu on the way back to drop off the bike.

It sounds like you will be riding two up with your wife. Corcovado and the Osa penninsula is beautiful as Yappei says, but probably a bit much for two up if its raining as there are some stream crossings that might be running high at that time of year. I haven't been in 2 years so maybe they have improved the roads but it wasn't two up country once you hit the steep climb around the penninsula towards Carate on the Pacific.


May to November is the rainy season in Costa Rica. I've only been riding through there twice and it was in Feb. and March and the weather was mostly nice. But lets face it, the tropics are nice, and even with afternoon rains it is still usually nice in the mornings. And if you are coming from the northern winter it is paradise. Lots to see and do in Costa Rica. And if you get bored at the beach for six days in Playa Conchal, there were little ripper bike rentals in Tamarindo last time I was through. So you can always leave your wife at the beach and go exploring down the coast away from the tourists.

Have fun!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
riderddonald OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
If you pick your bike up in San Jose and head out to Manuel Antonio, there are some great trails heading over the mountains. Not a great idea probably with a jet lagged wife on the back. Hmmm. Costanera Sur 239 is a nice road that winds through the mountains from San Rafael in the western suburbs of San Jose down to the coast. Or,if you have the whole day, you could ride up into the mountains on 2 and up over the pass. Beautiful fun twisty road that drops you down into San Isidro de General and you can cut down to the coast on a winding paved 243 that drops you down to Dominical and head up the coast to Manuel Antonio.


Other nice rides around Monteverde and Fortuna would be the loop around Lago Arenal, the road up to the Waterfall Gardens, riding up to the top of Poas Volcano, and as Yappei said the ride up to the top of Volcan Iraszu on the way back to drop off the bike.

It sounds like you will be riding two up with your wife. Corcovado and the Osa penninsula is beautiful as Yappei says, but probably a bit much for two up if its raining as there are some stream crossings that might be running high at that time of year. I haven't been in 2 years so maybe they have improved the roads but it wasn't two up country once you hit the steep climb around the penninsula towards Carate on the Pacific.


Have fun!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
First days ride's pretty much set, Down 2 to San Isidro across 243 to dominical and up to Manual Antonio for the night. Next day is up to Puntarenus to the ferry and over to Santa Teresa. If time permiting maybe we can hit 239 back to 137 and 27/23 up to catch the ferry. I'll check out your recomendation for the Monteverde, Fortuna area. Don't think we have time for Osa Peninsula..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappei View Post
Sounds like a great idea. You will enjoy. I live in San Jose and have ridden nearly every rode imaginable on a Tiger 955i. If you have the time, a nice ride is down to Corcovado to the city of Karate on the edge of the National Forest. I have a good friend who has a great remote place to stay (Finca Exotica). Small rivers to cross, etc., etc., etc. I think I read your note correctly, did you say you will be riding here in November? If so, be prepared for serious, serious rains. Bring some good light weight rain gear. Boots need to be high and absolutely water proof. I ride here every day, in the rain, wind, or whatever. When you get to San Jose let me know and I'll buy the dinner and beers!!! While in San Jose one of my favorite rides is up to Irazu Mountain - a quick day drip but nice country. Another easy ride is from San Jose, Costa Rica down to David, Panama over to Bocas del Torro, Panama and then back up to Limon, Costa Rica and back to San Jose. If you got the Iron Butt pass it can be done in a day. Better in three days to take it easy and absorb the places. Another ride is up to Monteverde from the Guanacaste side - there are some spectacular views and great opportunities for serious photos.

David
Like I told JDown I don't think we have time for Osa Peninsula and let's hope the rainy season is done by the end of Nov. As for two up my wife has about 80,000 miles of pillion riding behind me so she's ready for it. May take you up on offer, would be nice to spend first night there with a local.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
Yappei
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Rain or no Rain

As was previously said, the rains come from May through December. No problems except towards the end of the season from mid August, September and October when the rains are the heaviest. Otherwise the rains are principally in the afternoon for relatively short periods. Corcovado may be a little tough during the peak rain period when many of the rivers get a little challenging and only a 4 wheel truck can make it across but heck a little adventure never hurt . The roads have not improved in this area.

Regarding your question about other times of the year to ride in Costa Rica - I may be the wrong guy to ask this question to considering I ride every day. However, January through March is beautiful but the winds can be strong at times and steady at about 27 mph from the northeast. The mountain roads can be narrow and it never surprises me to find an 18 wheeler trying to negotiate the tight curves with strong cross winds weaving across lanes which adds a little excitement during the ride. May through the mid part of August is pretty nice and generally light rains in the afternoon actually keep the temperatures comfortable. High mountain crossings in the winter months can get pretty chilly with heavy wet clouds but liveable for the relatively short crossings if you have a nice jacket and gloves always help at altitude. Other than the highest mountain crossings the temperature is always perfect for riding.

Contact me just before you arrive and my wife and I would be glad to buy dinner and beers on your first night.

David
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