On the 5th March, a 20 strong team of us will be heading to San Jose to start our unique Costa Rica Challenge to help raise the capital to build Kids Village. We’ll be travelling across the country East to West by trekking, cycling, canoeing and rafting! We will be only the second ever group to complete this route. The group is made up of a really wide range of abilities, and it’s fair to say this is the first trip of this kind that any of us have attempted. The Costa Rica 2020 will be difficult for different reasons for different people. Obviously there’s the physical challenge of back to back days of trekking & cycling, but there’s also the camping in the jungle with spiders, snakes & monkeys! 

After arriving in San Jose on day 1, we will make our way to Cao Blanco to finish any preparations ready to start. Our first challenge is a kayak- we will travel 10km down the Pacuare River that is home to both crocodiles & bull sharks! Following the kayak, we will set off on our first section of cycling- this is around 35km & we’ve been warned that we will get out feet wet. Next we hit the jungle! After spending the night at Finca Parcuarito we will be trekking 18km through primary jungle.

Primary jungle are forests of native tree species, where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed.

We will be following a local guide who will be cutting down the path as we go! The next few days will follow a similar pattern of camping deep in the jungle and trekking through thick costa rican forest. Lots of the team are most anxious about this part of the challenge- the lack of home comforts is going to be hard. After waking up in El Nido del Tigre Camp we’ll take on the last trek towards a biking point where we’ll set off on the 70km to the Orosi Valley. The following day will see us take on another 70km cycle as well as a 7km hike- we’re warned that this day will be particularly challenging as it features some “cheeky hills” (that’s in the words of one of our leaders- Alan). Another few days of both cycling and hiking will lead us to the final day which is a 50km bike, 10km raft & another 15km bike!

So in total we’ll cover over 270km across the 10 day challenge. 

Kids Village (cyclists at the top of a mountain)

But don’t panic- we’re not doing this on our own. Alan Chambers and Wayne Hoyle are our experienced adventure leaders.

Alan Chambers MBE is a former Royal Marine with 16 years service. He is now an extreme adventurer. He’s been to the north pole over 15 times, successfully leading many groups who have included the likes of celebrities and business leaders. Alan is a sought-after motivational speaker and workshop leader on topics such as creating a vision, leading a team and building mental strength. At the request of Sir Clive Woodward, Alan delivered highly successful motivational presentations to the 2003 England World Cup Rugby winning team. And again in 2005 for the England Ashes-winning cricket team.

Wayne Hoyle has served over 25 years in the UK’s special forces and been involved in every major world conflict since the 1980s. He was awarded Queens Commendations for Valuable Service on two separate occasions for his role on operations. He was the first Royal Marines Officer to walk unsupported to the Geographic North Pole; he has returned on two further expeditions and  led teams on challenges across Vietnam, Cambodia, the Sahara, Central America and Africa. He established a new route on the North Face of Kilimanjaro in 2017; in the process, he has helped raise millions for charities.

So we’re in good hands!

This will be only the second time that a group has attempted to travel Costa Rica from East to West (the first group was also led by Alan and Wayne)

Wish us luck! And please help us achieve our target of £150,000!

You can check how we’re getting on by clicking ‘Follow our Journey’ on the home page. This will take you to a site built by Away Resorts – a company that support Kids Village. Three members of the Away Resorts team (Carl, Helen & Andy) are joining us on the Costa Rica 2020 Challenge. 

Kids Village (image of a waterfall in Costa Rica)
Kids Village (hikers in a forest)