Friday, March 18, 2011

Vuelta al Lago Bike Event Lake Arenal, Costa Rica



While living in Nuevo Arenal, my family and I experienced one of the most important events that passes through Arenal annually. It was the Vuelta al Lago mountain bike event which translates to “Around the Lake”. This year was the 20th year and annually it continues to attract riders from around the world. A friend of ours in Arenal, said that about 2,500 registered for the event this year.

The length of the event was 2 days with March 5 as the starting day. The bike circuit is 175 kilometers to ride around Lake Arenal. Many of the roads are gravel and steep which is difficult even for motorized vehicles to ride. Bikers who know the terrain come prepared with their hybrid and mountain bikes. Once the riders were geared up, they left Tilaran at 9 a.m. on March 5 and rode to Central Park La Fortuna. The following day bikers returned to Tilaran by taking the highway on the east side of Lake Arenal. The highway took the bikers right through Nuevo Arenal. I was ready with my camera as they came around the lake.


For the town of Nuevo Arenal, the event caused a lot of commotion with all the bikers passing, buses, locals watching, and even the transit patrol came for safety.


When lunch came around, these riders converted the local bus stop into their soda (Spanish for diner) hut!

Transportation Options in Costa Rica

Besides traveling by bicycle, people of Costa Rica have different ways to get to their destination. The majority of our neighbors as well as ourselves, use walking as their form of transportation. I thought it would be fun to share some other modes of transportation we have around town.

horse horse

In Costa Rica, it is not unusual to see Ticos (natives of Costa Rica) ride through town on horseback. The white horse is one of my favorites to watch as it showcases its fancy walking steps.

leading horse

Travel by motorcycle is another popular way to travel. I should know since they zoom past our home throughout the day! Motorcycles are now a familiar occurrence, but what I didn’t expect to see was a driver leading a horse as it sped by!

IMG_2563 red vehicle

When it comes to vehicles, some citizens have a more festive approach. These gas powered carts blend in with the tropical atmosphere of Costa Rica with their elaborate paintings. I wouldn’t mind taking one of them for a ride, though I prefer to walk.

four wheeler

For children, a four wheeler is the more exciting option when it comes to getting around! Children start riding four wheelers at a very early age.

IMG_2347land rover

When the travel distance is farther, a private or public bus is one of the more sensible options, but many choose to own their own private automobile. This antique Land Rover has seen many years in Costa Rica!

Elizabeth’s Traveling Tips: When a local water line broke, we had to be creative in finding a way to purify our water. We paired together a Tico coffee maker with an electric one to create a water purification system. First, we heated the water in our electric coffee maker and then strained in through the cloth coffee liner to remove the debris. This is a useful skill to apply when necessary.

coffee filter transformed

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