"Running" in Costa Rica

Feb 24th, 2009, 07:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 194
"Running" in Costa Rica

We're planning a trip to Costa Rica in June. My daughter is 16 and an avid runner considering any vacation an unwelcome disruption to her training. That said, I try to schedule our vacations so that she has an opportunity to get a run in every day (6-9 miles). I realize we'll be hiking and doing lots of other exercise during the day...but this doesn't "count" for her.

At minimum, we plan to visit Arenal and Manuel Antonio. Any recommendations on accomodations in these areas that would have good (safe) trails for her to run or treadmills? She may be running alone. "Dad" tries to run with her sometimes but has a hard time keeping up.
awayfromitall is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 24
Just my two cents...

I would book a hotel with a gym (with a treadmill). A sixteen-year-old girl running by herself is an invitation for trouble in ANY location.

That said, enjoy your trip. We will be in the same areas March 19-24.

KerKo is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
The Arenal Observatory Lodge is at the end of a 9 KM light traffic road, and has several KM of trails on its property. I'm sure other places have trail systems too.

Manuel Antonio is a little trickier.
RAC is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 09:21 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,983
In Manuel Antonio, she could just run in the national park; there's a beach and a trail system. We stayed at the Lost Iguana in Arenal, and it had a nice section of trails. It's a huge property on a lot of land. That being said, if you can find a gym that would be better. The terrain is very uneven in CR and most places you go, folks will be trying to watch for wildlife and someone running might be disruptive. I'd be hesitant to have a 16-year old girl running by herself too. A lot of these places are isolated. I don't recall seeing treadmills at any of our hotels.
volcanogirl is online now  
Feb 24th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Yeah, running through the trails in Manuel Antonio Park is bound to irritate people and possibly disturb wildlife.

But, really, rest days won't kill her.
RAC is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 96
Isn't the 9km AOL road a little rough? I'd be concerned about sprained ankles.
motmot is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,536
I would just be concerned about a 16 year old who is that obsessed. I realize this is likely largely out of your control, but she needs to realize that 1) a couple of weeks break will never kill her, it's the all or nothing attitude that will do that, and 2) that hiking up steep slopes is at least as good exercise as a run.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 194
We all have our quirks and obsessions. I'm thanking my lucky stars that this is hers...and not a long list of much worse possibilities.
awayfromitall is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 96
Well, yeah, true. I don't think the purpose of this forum is to discuss the real or imagined problems of our children!

I do agree with other posters that she should probably not do the running by herself; the hiking trails are not good places to run (such as Manuel Antonio National Park); there are no running trails or hotel gyms to my knowledge; the roads and highways would be enormously unsafe.

If you were in town (San Jose) during daylight hours, I could envision her running up and down Avenida Central. But I don't see it happening at Arenal or Manuel Antonio, unless up and down the beach outside the park--seems like a possibility. We do see people running on the beaches here and there--especially those with firm sand following high tide.
motmot is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
The side of the road for the road to the AOL isn't bad. Just avoid the potholes in the middle.

Also, there are some nice paved trails inside the lodge's grounds.
RAC is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 96
Also, if you stayed at an All-Inclusive like Paradisus Playa Conchal (gorgeous beach), there are TONS of sidewalks good for running. Nice place to stay besides. . .
motmot is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 407
i really can't envision anyone running down Avenida Central in San Jose. Though it is closed to traffic, any time I have been there, it has been full of people.. In San Jose,many runners run on the trails in Sabana Park. We know someone who runs maratons and that is where he and others serious about running go.

In manuel Antonio, you will often see people jogging along the public beach, especially quite early in the morning. But I am not sure what your daughter thinks about running in the sand.

raquel_z is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
train 6-7 miles/day am an endurance triathlete...

in CR try to find upscale hotels

with jogging trails golf courses treadmills

like www.marriott.com

Los Suenos is especially nice

Read your state department consular advisories

for a heads up but young girls running solo

on open roads or beaches is extremely risky

buddy system for me...
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
The beach in Manuel Antonio has sand that's perfect for running. I'd run up and down the beach until I had my fill. It's a pretty long stretch. And I'd say she's safe doing it if it's not too early or late in the day and others are around.
Cimbrone is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 08:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Raquel. . .not on Sunday p.m.! Avenida Central, that is. . .

Sabana a good idea, but it is true few people plan to hang out much in San Jose. I've noticed several runners on Playa Flamingo as well. Playa Plantanares down at Puerto Jimenez. . .several beaches would make for good running on firm sand.
shillmac is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
I should add. . . p.m. refers to afternoon, certainly not night!
shillmac is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
We felt very safe in CR in all locations. That being said, I was hesitant to allow my 15 year old SON to ride a bike two blocks to the beach to take surfing lessons in Samara. I know that this is a stereotype, but under no circumstances would I allow a woman to go running on her own at any age in CR. Just don't do it. Do some searches ... there is a known serial rapist in Playa Chiquita (on the Caribbean coast near Puerto Viejo) that they cannot prosecute because he chooses tourists as his victims. He knows they will not stay in CR to testify against him, so he's avoiding prosecution. There are many articles about him in the Tico Times. See the article here also:


Again, we felt safe in Costa Rica. However we respect the fact that their laws are different and their justice system is different from ours in the US.

I'd put her on a treadmill at a hotel and still want to be in sight. Yes, I understand her desire to be independent and that this is her "thing." Better for her to be annoyed with you than in danger.

Just a mom's .02.
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 154
Just to pipe in that I can whole-heartedly relate. We're going to a different part of CR next month, and my DH is in his annual full marathon training mode. I am very proud of him for his dedication, and can tell that he's coming to terms with the fact that he may not be able to run like he's used to for 10 days. (I suspect that secretly he's still envisioning paths and finding running buddies). He planned way in advance so that it is an off week- trains hard for two weeks, then takes a "light" week.

Beach running can be ok first thing in the morning while the sand is packed and the crowds are few. If the roads aren't paved, it's just not worth the risk of injury. And wild traffic. If they are paved and it is safe!, it would be a good time to practice sprints and hills and crosstrain.

EmilyMB is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 255
On our 2nd trip to CR, my girlfriend that went with us is a tri-athlete (has done an iron man and did well...yikes!) She is in her 40's and did not run while we were there - she used it as her "light week/off week". My girlfriend has won her age division in most of the triathlons she has done, placed well enough in the NY marathon to get a return invite, etc. etc. She trains extremely hard but also reluctantly knows those light weeks here and there are important. That being said -

1- She was not comfortable running there on her own even though she "thinks" she can outrun anyone
2 - It was May and the heat was pretty significant in Manuel Antonio - her hubby actually got really overheated in MA when we were there to the point he was sick for a day
3 - Even if she did feel "safe" on her own, there really isn't anywhere to run other than the beach - that road in MA is wicked - even to walk - the locals drive crazy!

There is no way I would let a young girl run on her own anywhere in CR - I've been to CR several times and have had an occasion or two where the hair on my neck has stood up although 99% of the time I have felt safe. Yes, the same things can happen here in the good old US but as someone said earlier, foreign country - different laws, rules, etc.
To expand that, I wouldn't let her run alone in any of the Carib. Islands I've been to either!

Just my .02 as well....

steph270 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 124
I did see some people (solo women) power walking, and a couple people running, in Manuel Antonio along the beach (the beach outside of the park, that way she is not disturbing people in the park or paying an entrance fee). It is quite public and I can't imagine she would get into trouble there.

However as for along the roads in MA, the sidewalks are discontinuous and the roads are curvy - it would be dangerous for her ankles running on these roads let alone the possibility of being hit by a car.

As for Arenal, the main road between La Fortuna and towards the hanging bridges is paved but does not have a wide shoulder - however there is not an extremely large amount of traffic so if she did not wear headphones (music) she could move over whenever a car came by. That being said, I would also be uncomfortable running along there just because of the danger of spraining ankles.

I agree that running along the hiking trails (anywhere in CR) would be quite dangerous for sprains, strains, falls, because they are very uneven. I wasn't specifically looking for gyms, but maybe some hotels have them... there are so many hotels in both MA and Arenal some of them must have gyms!! Maybe you could try talking to someone directly who knows the hotels in the area better? Most people on this forum probably only have experience with 1 or 2 hotels in each area. I got lots of help from the website www.anywherecostarica.com ([email protected] goes to Alfonso who was very helpful) and we booked our hotels through that site and he doesn't charge any more than booking with the hotel directly.
Andrea_loves_travel is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Jul 14th, 2015 10:22 AM
Mexico & Central America
Jan 10th, 2015 03:34 AM
Mexico & Central America
Dec 9th, 2013 11:10 PM
Mexico & Central America
Nov 16th, 2011 01:46 PM
Mexico & Central America
Apr 17th, 2007 02:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:25 AM.