La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, Costa Rica

by Dahlia Nahome / Nov 05, 2012 / 0 comments

La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, Costa Rica. One of the hardest endurance events on the planet.


At 6am Thursday 1st November 2012 at the Hotel Marriot, Herradura, about
3.5 miles north of Jaco, Costa Rica was a hive of excitement with the
contenders in the 20th ‘La Ruta De Los Conquistadors’ beginning their
three day mountain bike race.


This is no ordinary race. It is the now, world famous coast to coast, three
day event that crosses rivers, thick jungle, hanging bridges, high mountain
passes, inactive volcanoes and sandy beaches, spanning a total of 240kms
and about 40,000 feet of endless climbing. This is about personal


La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, Costa Rica



The only race that traverses the breadth of the American land mass, from
Pacific to Atlantic is the utter test of endurance
and is featured as one of the top ten endurance competitions in the world, in Time Magazine:,29569,1869820


The grandfather of mountain bike stage racing was created by Roman
20 years ago.


“I had the idea of following the footsteps of Juan de Cavallon and
Perefan de Riberia (Spanish Conquerors of 1560) in their exploration of
Costa Rica. Instead of using horses we used our beloved mountain bikes to
tak us across this incredible country from the Pacific Coast to the


There are three elements to Roman’s idea for La Ruta: historical, athletic
and conservation
. It recounts a journey in history, that tests the human
spirit and hopes to raise consciousness & action about conservation.


The competition has a strong social responsibility message to participants
and spectators alike. They are enforcing a limit to the use of single use
plastics, offering recycling for all trash along the route and are working to
mitigate the races’ carbón footprint by using bio diesel for their vehicles.
They are also raising money for ALCCI shelter for kids with cancer, so
please visit their website and give your support.


Roman also told me that when the first race took place in 1992, there were
only four athletes taking part in the race that was to become the birth of
competitive endurance mountain biking around the globe. The race now has
500 competitors from 28 countries with over 200 international top riders
The elite group will see the US Olympian Todd Wells, returning to defend his
title but we wish all the best to the Costa Rican contender, Federico ‘Lico’
in his quest to win (again) The 2012 La Ruta De Los Conquistadors.
Fourth year veteran John Stimpson from Alabama, USA told me that “even
after three years, nothing prepares you for the first day nerves. Day one is
the challenge, once you get past that, it becomes much easier.”


For first time “La Ruta’ rider Dante Medri, its all about preparation. Not
being a biker myself, I was amazed at the various things you need to take
with you. As Dante explained, “I have packed three outfits one for each
day, a flat tyre repair kit, a special brush for cleaning the mud clogged chain
and pedals and the various energy capsules to mix with water to replenish
calories every hour or so, we burn between 6000 and 8000 over a course of
each day.”


When I asked what urged him to enter the race, Dante replied “this is about
exploring what your limits are.”


La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, Costa Rica



This personal challenge does indeed explore limits. La Ruta day one starts
from The Marriot Hotel and covers 110 kms bringing the tired riders to the
University para la Paz, San Jose. Day two sets off from Tres Rios Cartago
and ends at around 5pm at Turrialba, Limon. The final days race is very
special. To celebrate the 20th year of this epic race, the contenders have a
rafting section first thing in the morning down the Pacuare river followed by
the last section of the race from Squirres, finishing up in Limon 70 kms


For more information on La Ruta, please check out their website and give your support. Good luck!





Dahlia Nahome, the Costa Rica Editor for Wandering Educators, is a wife and mother of two who left the rat race of the London advertising world for the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. As well as running her rental business, & (a web radio station playing chilled music 24hrs a day & whats on Santa Teresa guide with her husband) she also enjoys writing about and raising the profile of the Nicoya Peninsula & Costa Rica and has work published on various travel blogs.
You may reach her at dahlia at costaricanvacation dot com.



All photos courtesy of La Ruta De LosConquistadores.