Heredia -> Vara Blanca (by car) -> Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui -> La Trinidad (and back to Puerto Viejo by boat) -> La Virgen -> Rio Corinto -> Puerto Limon -> Cahuita -> Puerto Viejo de Limon
411 km and approximately 500 meters of elevation gain by bike
This was our only east coast tour. A couple of the highlights were the whitewater rafting trip on the Sarapiqui river, Cauhita national park and the Jamaican influenced Caribbean cuisine.
Half way through this tour we were going to meet some friends on the road, jump in their car and head to their beach house on Punta Cocles, south of Puerto Viejo de Limon. We had to time it so we wouldn’t be 150 km away the morning we were going to meet. We ended up abandoning the plan almost immediately, but had a great time anyway.
Our friend Quincho insisted on giving us a ride out of Heredia in his car so we started this ride from Vara Blanca, east of Poás Volcano. It was nearly all downhill to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. We took our time but still covered the 55 km in less than two hours.
At lunch they were having a two for one special on Heiniken and it was a good thing we didn’t have to ride any further that afternoon because we forgot that Tico’s take two for one quite literally, and ordered two beers. Of course they brought four. The food took a while to arrive and with our metabolisms in high gear from the exercise we were looped by the time we started eating.
There are several tour operators in Sarapiquí who will take you on the Rio Sarapiquí to see the wildlife. It’s about $40 – $60 per person for a couple of hours. We wanted to get to the Nicaraguan border at La Trinidad where the Sarapiquí joins the Rio San Juan at the edge of the Barra de Colorado wildlife refuge.
The tour boat operators wanted around $140 for that trip. We splurged for a lot of things but that seemed a little steep so we found the local “water bus” service instead. It’s the same type of boat but the ride is about $5 for two.
We thought we might miss seeing $135 worth of wildlife because we wouldn’t have a guide, but it turned out that as usual the Tico’s in the boat were very proud of their country and very friendly. We had half dozen guides who had all grown up in the area. When they spotted a crocodile basking they got the driver to maneuver in so we could get a photo. Sometimes it pays to be cheap.
The Trinidad lodge is one of about six buildings in the area called la Trinidad. It is on a small working cattle ranch surrounded by rainforest. It is quite rustic (electricity for a couple of hours in the evening from a generator etc.) but very friendly and beautiful and the meals that are included still make my mouth water.