REV3 Costa Rica: Saving a few bucks

26 05 2010

Registration opened for REV3 Costa Rica yesterday!   Understanding that this is a MAJOR cash outlay for folks I thought I would throw out a few tips for getting there and staying a little cheaper.   (I am no travel expert and am just posting these things from my own experience in researching getting my own family there in Feb.!)

Flights:

Because the race is in Feb., which is the high travel season (but also the dry season, which I like much better than rain, rain, rain!!) flights are going to be a bit more than if you were traveling in Oct., but there still seems to be some $$ to be saved!    Liberia airport is very close to Guanacaste, but being the smaller international airport it is quite a bit more to fly directly into.   We will most likely fly into San Jose (we flew TACA airlines last time and had a very positive experience)  and either take a shuttle flight to Liberia OR make the trip from San Jose to Guanacaste part of our trip.  You can find tons and tons of tour companies that will drive you (very safely but on fairly scary windy roads) and stop along the way to show you different attractions.  You ride in little mini busses, ours had snacks and water waiting for us.  Our drivers were delightful and we learned a lot about the country just during our drive times.

Lodging:

If you are looking for a spa experience there are plenty of swanky places to stay.   The host hotel is not cheap, but out of the other two affiliate hotels one is pretty reasonable at around $150/night.  You can opt for an all inclusive rate and skip the cooking all together or just add on breakfast.  We found that eating out in Costa Rica wasn’t any costlier than eating out in the states.  I mentioned it before, but I found that eating gluten free in Costa Rica to be a breeze!!  Food was much more natural and in it’s real food form.  Spices were, well real spices – not flavorings meant to taste like the spices.  Every morning I ate eggs, gallo pinto (rice and beans) and fresh fruit.  I skipped the fried plantains – I’m not a big fan of plantains.

I think we are going the route of a rental this trip.  We stayed in the nice swanky hotels last trip, this time we will opt for a condo rental or house rental.  I was very surprised by the rates for rentals – they didn’t seem to be any higher than renting at the beach in the states and in many cases were cheaper.  A  beautiful 2 br. condo looks like it will cost you around $1000 / week.  I prefer to have a kitchen to cook my own meals when I am racing so we will have the option of grabbing some local food at the market, or eating out when we don’t feel like cooking.

Race Fees and Bike shipping:

In addition to being able to compete in one of the most dynamic races in the world, your entry fee also includes the following:

Race Shirt
$10.00 to our race charity
Race visor/hat
Long sleeve finisher shirt
Official REV3 sling bag
Finisher Medal

Prices:

Race Options

Price

Kids Rev – Ages 9-11 FREE
Kids Rev – Ages 12-13 FREE
Sprint Rev $165.00
Sprint Rev Relay $225.00
Olympic Rev $165.00
Olympic Rev Relay $225.00
Half Rev $250.00
Half Rev Relay $325.00

It’s not the cheapest race you’ll ever do, but you will get a lot of bang for your buck. Ways to save money on the race entry fees: Use code Trakkers113 for $10 off. I know it’s not a lot, but hey, that’s lunch! Volunteer at another REV3 race – volunteers at REV3 Quassy get $30 off an International race or $50 a half. That’s no chump change.
I am still looking at the bike shipping and how in the world to do this affordably. The first thing I’m looking at is a bike rental while there. I haven’t found much yet. The next choice is shipping via FedEx or UPS to a local bike shop rather than putting the bike on the plane with us. We have some friends that have bike cases so we will borrow those. Our last option will be taking the bike on the plane. If we do that we will subtly pretend that it’s not a bike in that big box, just a really big suitcase. It seems that you say the word BIKE and airlines start tacking on charges like crazy. Am I encouraging you to lie? No, but maybe just don’t offer the full truth! (in their defense, I have not checked with Sansa on their bike policy, they might be really reasonable and I might be worrying over nothing.)

Where we will splurge:

We will be doing some of the fun activities.   I will scrimp and save on eating out just to get to zipline along the tops of the rain forest trees again.  That was amazing.  The guided tours through the natural preserves were good.  I don’t think we would have found a lot of what we saw without them.   (although you could just walk behind a tour group and stop when they stop : )  I hope to go dolphin and whale watching this trip.  It is the right time of year (I think on the late side) so I’ll pay a little to go out on a boat and watch for some beautiful sea creatures.  I don’t think we will rent a car.  Taxis weren’t a whole lot and there are ways to make sure it is an official taxi – not just  a local with a car looking to make a few $$.    If I pay to ship my bike there I might just ride my bike around!!

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6 responses

26 05 2010
Rachelle

I’m not going to race, but I’m REALLY debating making this a vacation so I can volunteer. Decisions, decisions….

8 05 2014
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