La Vuelta al Mundo
Route - Alajuela, Cuidad Colon, Puriscal, Turrubares, Orotina, “El Aguacate” (Summit ^^ Climb)
Atenas, La Garita, Alajuela
90 miles, 10,000 feet of climbing
Difficulty rating: 10
Be prepared for a long, challenging, scenic, and beautiful day in the saddle; This may be the single ride with the best views that you've ever experienced on a bike. The route is filled with microclimates and extremely diverse terrain. Your day will begin with a relatively flat warmup (by Costa Rican standards), and takes you through lush tropical mountain terrain, cigar and coffee plantations, low desert climate near the Pacific Coast, and one of the most famous climbs that Costa Rica has to offer, “El Aguacate”.
Before embarking on this world-class climb, you’ll have a late breakfast in the town of Orotina. The local cuisine of eggs, fresh tropical fruits, smoothies, rice and beans, plantains, and more will give you a much needed boost. The climb measures about 16km (10 miles), and is a famous training ground for local cyclists. As you ascend "El Aguacate" you'll hit some steep grades, and as you continue to pedal your way up the mountain you'll notice a few lookouts with amazing views. These are perfect spots to grab a photo or video or just catch your breath. There is little respite, so metering your output here will be important so you still have some legs left at the top.
After climbing “El Aguacate”, you’ll pass through the town of Atenas for a refueling break. Atenas boasts the world’s best climate according to National Geographic and is a picturesque mountain town. The day finishes with a grinding uphill climb back to home base for the last 15 miles. If you're feeling brave, you can empty the tank and race back to homebase, or save your legs for the next 3 days and cruise home at a comfortable pace.
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