The Orosi Valley

A few weeks ago, I took a Saturday morning to bike the Orosi Valley loop, a beautiful scenic road to the east of the greater metropolitan area (the San Jose capital and its outlying cities). It winds through lush green coffee fields, old colonial churches, follows the Reventazón river and crosses the dam, and passes through some beautiful small towns and some breathtaking overlooks.

Check out a mix of photos from different trips around the loop: the Ujarrás Ruins (1693), the Orosí colonial church (1743), photos from along the route itself, and some pictures with awesome people I made the trips with.

Biking the scenic Orosí Valley loop along the Reventazón River was another one of my goals to accomplish once back in Costa Rica. This is a beautiful drive I’ve done nearly a dozen times with visitors, friends, or occasionally just by myself if I want to get away from the city for a drive. The freshly-paved road winds through green mountains, coffee fields, along the Reventazón river, across the Cachi dam, and through several beautiful places to stop. Many of the most interesting parts of the drive are free to explore, such as the beautiful park around the ruins of the oldest church in Costa Rica (Ruinas de Ujarrás), the oldest church still in use in Costa Rica (Iglesia de Orosí), a towering waterfall (El Salto de la Novia), and two beautiful public parks overlooking the entire valley.

There are other interesting commercialized goodies along the way, including naturally heated pools along the route, whitewater rafting, La Casona del Soñador, a pedestrian suspension bridge crossing the river, and several charming places to stop and eat, including a dude by the dam who sells cups of crawdad-ceviche (see the photos).

It’s always looked like a beautiful route to bike, except the grueling ascent out of the valley required on either the Ujarrás or Orosí side. A few weeks ago, though, I went to bed on Friday night deciding next morning was the day to try it out. I threw the bike in the back of my car the next morning and drove an hour to the village of Orosí. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the ride was very relaxing – except, as I had predicted, the steep ascent on the narrow road up out of the valley.

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