We love a good riding adventure, but when Larry Larrabure from MotoAdventures called and told us about big changes to his Costa Rican trail riding tour, it really got our attention. For over two decades, Larry has been guiding dirt bike riders through the hills and small towns of Costa Rica, and he’s built a legendary reputation for providing an excellent experience. If there was a chance to experience it first-hand, we would be all over it!
TRAILS for 2 or 4 WHEELS
Larry was excited to tell us that MotoAdventures had expanded their rides by adding Polaris RZRs to the rental fleet. With the popularity of off-road tourism growing hand-in-hand with Side x Sides, expanding into two passenger vehicles made a lot of sense. Now MotoAdventures would offer guided tours to families, couples, or groups on vacation and waiting for them would be beautiful Costa Rican towns, villas, banana plantations, and awesome coastal views. Larry had crafted a complete package with the best of what Costa Rica offers for the vacation of a lifetime.
Recognizing that few riders are as hard core about their riding as he is, Larry designed his tours to allow plenty of time for stops along the way to experience local dining, shopping, drinking in the scenery and snapping photos. The trip can be practically as long or as short as you like, and all you need to do is tell MotoAdventures what you would like to see and experience, and they’ll custom plan an adventure for you. Since it is HIGHLY unlikely you’ll be bringing your own Side x Side or ATV to Costa Rica, MotoAdventures will fix you up in a Polaris 900XP or 1000XP. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can tackle the trails on a dirt bike! All you need to bring is a taste for adventure. MotoAdventures strongly encourages you to bring your own riding gear such as helmet, pants & jersey, boots, etc., and we agree. It’s never fun to put your head in somebody else’s helmet.
Our trip to Costa Rica would be a five day riding adventure covering about 80 to 100 miles a day. Most of the trails were scenic and with enough challenges to keep it interesting. Along the trail you’ll find plants and wildlife you’ve likely never seen before along with incredible views. MotoAdventures even designs the trips to meet your experience level. Besides the riding, MotoAdventures can help you experience all there is to see in Costa Rica such as great surfing, bicycle tours, and even a plane ride over an active volcano! You’re sure not going to get that anywhere at home! Support vehicles carry your gear to the next stop each day so it is there when you arrive. Our five day adventure went like this:
Day 1: Arrive at SAN JOSE, JUAN SANTAMARIA airport where we are picked up and transported to the Holiday Inn San Jose Escazu. This is in the tourist district with shopping, craft breweries which host the Microbrewery Beer Festival each April, and great restaurants. Everything you need to unwind is nearby. We decide to have a nice dinner, check out a few breweries and shops, and get ready for the next morning.
Day 2: Off to the Polaris dealership to pick up our RZR. This will be our ride for the next five days. We begin our ride from San Jose to Aserri through the Central Valley and on fun mountain roads and trails that overlook the city of San Jose with spectacular views that traverse pine forests, and coffee and banana plantations. In Aserri we stay at the beautiful Colinas Alta Vista Hotel at over 6,000 ft. overlooking the beautiful Central Valley and the mountainous regions of the historic area of Los Santos. Candlelight dining is at the La Victoria Restaurant at Alta Vista. The villas are lovely with full accommodations including living room, dining room, and some include a Jacuzzi. It’s particularly beautiful at night. Gardens surround the facility and everything is impeccably landscaped and maintained indoor and out. There is a solarium with indoor pool, game room, and a Jacuzzi.
The menu at La Victoria Restaurant offers national and international cuisine with a flare of French, American and Italian dishes, including local cuisine. We very much enjoyed their hearty breakfast and evening meals with fish and pork, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We were very impressed! www.colinasaltavista.com
incredibly scenic. The mountains are rugged and require a more skilled driver, but Rick handles the RZR well. Some areas have wash outs, but most riders will take a little more time and still make it through. It’s worth the incredible views, and gives us a sense of the real beauty of Costa Rica. It’s what we came to see! River crossings are common, but at this time of year flooding is not a problem. There is abundant wildlife everywhere. We pass fisherman, people picnicking, and farms with cattle. Wild horses running free, and Herons and other birds are everywhere. These are the memories of a lifetime!
Day 4: On to the famous Hermosa Beach! This area is part of the international 2 day Enduro. We find lots of mountain riding which has great scenery and a mix of rain forest trails and many river crossings. Reaching Hermosa takes a good day of trail riding. The weather is hotter here, and becomes dusty and dry, reminding us Costa Rica is a country with two coasts and they are vastly different. This day is easily our biggest challenge with more time riding and more aggressive trails. Again Rick and the Polaris RZR get us through! We arrive hot and parched but with a feeling of accomplishment. What we meet at Hermosa Beach Resort makes our jaws drop! Hermosa Beach looks like a tropical post card! The resort is beautiful and waves crash on the beach made of black volcanic sand. A breeze keeps us cool and plants and scented flowers sway in the ocean breeze. After a long day’s ride, we have tomorrow off to explore the area. We eat and drink well and as part of Larry’s MotoAdventure tour, we even get price breaks, but it is all affordable either way. Friendly, small lizards scurry off the path and are everywhere.
Day 5: We ride back to San Jose, crossing Carara National Park on a trail which is much like a natural motocross track thru the reserve. The scenery is beautiful and very mountainous. Colorful birds and wildlife again mark the trail. Returning back to San Jose with our RZRs, we are once again greeted with enthusiasm and warm welcoming waves by the pedestrians in town. Even mothers walking small children to parochial schools wave. We have not seen any RZRs besides ours in the small towns we have passed through and it seems it makes us a bit of a celebrity. Our entire trip has felt like a safe place to visit.
Our Costa Rica trip was over way too soon. It’s a trip you can do too though, and Larry and his crew at MotoAdventures will take care of all the details. They’re riders like us and they know exactly what it takes to make the riding adventure of a lifetime.
For booking consult Larry Larrabure.
USA PHONE: 440-256-8508
Championship Profile: Larry Larrabure of MotoAdventures.
Larry Larrabure didn’t begin life in Costa Rica. He grew up in Peru, but he was always a motorcycle enthusiast. Riding was his life, but a visit to Costa Rica in 1988 for a chance to surf left him with the desire to come back someday. He returned to his native Peru with the idea that he would one day make his way back to Costa Rica and make a living in this beautiful country. All it would require was a profession, and what would be better than doing motorcycle tours? He had the idea, the determination, and the dedication to make it all come true. Before that day though, as a top motorcycle racer, Larry spent years on the international racing circuit, traveling through the Americas and Europe racing, including the internationally prestigious ISDE (International Six Days Enduro), a brutal test of both man and machine that stretches over 6 days of competition. It takes immense skill and determination to be invited to compete at the ISDE, and Larry had both in abundance. As his racing career wound down, his dreams never faded and it was time to follow the next trail in his life that crossed through the mountains and towns of Costa Rica.
Years of reading trails and the perfect line on race courses served Larry well when he began studying and even creating trails through the Costa Rican back country. Before long Larry had met the local distributor of Husqvarna motorcycles and he proposed the crazy idea of providing tourists with a different twist on getting to see this beautiful country. Larry knew what all off-road lovers know; you never get to learn much about a country from the pavement.
In 1991 MotoAdventures was open for business, enjoying great success from the start. The first fleet of rental bikes was mostly the trusty Husqvarna 610’s, but the big bikes were a handful to many. As they worked through the replacement rotation, eventually the Honda XR400 became the best rental bike. The XR400 Honda had enough power to thrill almost every rider without almost killing them first, they handled well, and were reliable. A trend was happening in the industry, though, and ATVs were quickly bringing new customers eager to explore the trails. Then the sporty Polaris RZR came along and really kicked open the door. With a new Polaris dealership opening in San Jose, it was an opportunity for Larry to expand MotoAdventures once again.
Today MotoAdventures is known as the premier tour for any motorcycle or off-road enthusiast. Many world class riders and champions from the racing world, and international celebrities, have taken Larry’s MotoAdventures tour, and they usually come back. MotoAdventures has been recognized as the #1 Enduro tour by magazines world over. Larry even has a group from France that love to ride his trails!
Larry attributes his years of success with off-road touring to his knowledge of the terrain, trails, and the country as a whole. You can do no better than to have an ISDE rider as your tour guide! You can still ride the trails on two wheels with Larry’s MotoAdventures tour, or from the comfy seat of a RZR like we did. Costa Rica has been good to Larry, but he’s been good for Costa Rica as well by creating a whole new branch of back to nature tourism for the beautiful country. Just like Larry, his dream has been a winner too!
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