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Coast to Coast Costa Rica Cycling
Take in the variety of Costa Rica, on this Costa Rica cycle trip, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning sections of coastline.
From San Jose you’ll cycle south with vast Pacific views to the right and dense forest to the left. Crossing the 3400m Cerro de la Muerte pass into the Orosi Valley prepare to ride past coffee plantations and volcanoes to arrive on the fertile Caribbean plains where banana plantations take over the landscape.
Take a break from the saddle to explore the wildlife-rich rivers and waterways of Tortuguero, before travelling to La Fortuna, a lovely spot located at the foot of Arenal Volcano.
- Cycle stretches of the Pacific coastline on this Costa Rica cycle trip
- Encounter Tortuguero’s legendary wildlife
- Descend through the Orosi Valley
- 13 nights comfortable hotels with en suite rooms Hotels are full of character and most have swimming pools
- 10 days cycling with 100% vehicle support
Want more information? Get in touch via the Enquiry Form and we’ll send the full trip dossier over to you so you can decide if this fantastic adventure is right for you.
Itinerary from the operator:
Arrive in San Jose.
Day 2 Ride to Rio Tarcoles
On the first day of this Costa Rica cycle trip, we have a briefing this and spend some time adjusting our bikes before riding out through small rural communities, followed by dense rainforest and dry, tropical forest with very little traffic on the paved roads. We descend to Rio Tarcoles and stop at a good restaurant near the river for lunch. Following a short half hour transfer we arrive at our lodge.
Day 3 Boat tour; ride to Parrita.
Following an early breakfast we transfer 10 minutes to Rio Tarcoles for a private, guided boat tour of the estuary where we hope to see crocodiles, water birds, shore birds and Scarlet macaws. A 20 minute transfer brings us to the outskirts of Jaco where we continue on this Costa Rica cycle trip and cycle to the small town of Parrita. From here we have a 30 minute transfer to Manuel Antonio, aiming to arrive in time for sunset on the beach. This evening we have dinner at a restaurant with sea-views where the seafood is a specialty!
Day 4 Wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio N.P; to Rio Savegre.
We start the morning with a 2 hour guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park, taking a short break on this Costa Rica cycle trip, an outstanding region for wildlife. The forest here meets the sea and iguanas and White-headed Capuchin monkeys can often be seen on the beach. A 30 minute transfer takes us to Rio Savegre where we begin to cycle on the Coastal Highway. This is a spectacular stretch of road, with dense forest and steep hills on the left and fantastic Pacific views on the right. In the late afternoon we visit the beautiful, isolated Pinuela Beach.
Day 5 To Osa Peninsula; ride to Puerto Jimenez.
Our biking route today takes us through Palmar Sur and onto Finca 6, where we will stop to observe some of Costa Rica’s famous spherical rocks, made by ancient indigenous cultures. The rocks were originally found in an area being cleared to make way for banana plantations but the land has since been declared a protected area. Continuing on this Costa Rica cycle trip, we cycle to the junction of the Pan-Am Highway, passing through palm plantations and stopping to observe the harvesting process on the way. A one hour 15 minute road transfer by bus takes us to the Osa Peninsula where we recommence our journey by bike, riding along planted fields bordered by rainforest to Puerto Jiminez. From our accommodation this evening there is an optional sunset kayak trip on the Golfo Dulce, where sea-turtles, dolphins and phosphorescent plankton are frequently seen!
Day 6 Free day.
Taking a break from this Costa Rica cycle trip, today has been left free to enjoy the beautiful region surrounding Puerto Jimenez. The coastline and beaches here are lovely and there are plenty of optional excursions to choose from; canopy/zip wire tours, kayaking, surfing, fishing, cacao plantation tour or hiking within Corcovado National Park. If you want to cycle this day there is a great off-road biking route out to Carate and back which will certainly fill up your day!
Day 7 Ferry to Golfito; ride/transfer to Las Cruces.
We board a private boat this morning for a 30 minute journey across the Golfo Dulce to Golfito, where dolphins can sometimes be seen frolicking in the surrounding waters. Back on the bike on this Costa Rica cycle trip, our route heads to Rio Claro, via a tropical garden where we will learn about the medicinal properties of indigenous plants and the history of the United Fruit Company in this region. Following a one hour bus transfer across the steep mountains surrounding San Vito we arrive at Las Cruces Biological Station, our lodgings for the evening.
Day 8 Hike at Las Cruces Botanical garden; cycle to Paso Real; transfer to Savegre Valley.
Las Cruces Biological Station is surrounded by the famous Wilson Botanical Gardens where we enjoy a guided hike this morning, once again taking a short break on this Costa Rica cycle trip. Shortly after that, we are back in the saddle, we take a different route downhill to the Pan-Am Highway at Paso Real, passing through an indigenous area where villagers can often be seen in traditional dress. We board our bus for the three and a half hour journey across the 11,000ft Cerro de la Muerte pass, arriving at Savegre by mid-afternoon. Savegre Valley is spectacular and said to be one of the best places in Costa Rica for spotting the shy quetzal. Our mountain lodge this evening has a wonderful ambience, set in a protected area of forest, with trout ponds and private trails to explore.
Day 9 Cycle in the Orosi Valley.
We transfer for two hours by bus to Paraiso and then start riding past coffee plantations and rugged mountains in the Orosi Valley. During harvest season we will visit a coffee plantation to see how coffee is grown, harvested and processed. The views today are incredible, as we ride past Lake Cachi, visit the Cachi Dam and see Turrialba and Irazu volcanoes.
Day 10 Ride to Siquirres; to Tortuguero N.P.
This morning we set off on bikes to the final ridge that separates Costa Rica from the coast and from here it’s a mostly downhill ride to the Caribbean plains. We transfer to isolated Pavon by bus and then board a river launch to take us on the final leg of our journey along wildlife rich canals and waterways to Tortuguero. Our lodge has direct access to the beach where nesting turtles come ashore to lay eggs (in season, July to October).
Day 11 Free day.
Another free day on this Costa Rice cycle trip. Spend today at your leisure exploring the natural wonders of Tortuguero. Optional activities include a guided boat trip along the canals in search of wildlife or a hike to the top of Cerro Tortuguero, the highest place for many miles along the coast. This area is rich in wildlife and it is common to see monkeys, caiman, iguanas, turtles, butterflies and many of the 309 bird species recorded here.
Day 12 To La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano.
We re-trace our route by boat to the dock at Pavon where we mount our bikes and travel along the quiet back roads that run through the huge banana plantations of the Caribbean plains. We’ll stop at one of the plantations to learn about the process of banana production right through from picking the bananas to them arriving on the breakfast table! At Guapiles we travel by bus for 2 hours to La Fortuna, a lovely little spot at the foot of Arenal Volcano. Following a massive explosion in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. We spend the night in a hotel in the center of La Fortuna which has observation decks with great views of the volcano, as well as pools and pretty gardens. This evening there is an optional excursion to Eco-Termales hot springs, by far the best in the area.
Day 13 Cycle to Bajo Rodriguez; to San Jose.
Our final cycling stage, we cover the lush region surrounding La Fortuna, as we cycle past tropical farmlands where exotic fruits and vegetables grow in the surrounding fields. This gives way to dense rainforest as we head towards Bajo Rodriguez, our lunch stop. The last leg of our journey is completed by bus as we transfer back to La Garita, travelling for around two hours with tropical views on the way.
Day 14 Depart San Jose
Depart to San Jose.
Additional Trip Notes:
Start point: San Jose
Finish point: San Jose
On this Costa Rica cycle trip, groups are made up of adults. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
For this Costa Rica cycle trip, you are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.
Hotels are full of character and most have swimming pools. There are 3 nights in remote mountain lodges with lush gardens and superb views; one with a famous tropical botanical garden. All accommodations are well maintained, very clean and most are long-time favorites in Costa Rica.
Breakfast – All
Lunch – 2
Dinner – 3
Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.
Vaccinations and Visa:
Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica – we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme.
There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes.Weather & seasonality:
Costa Rica is located 10degC north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10degC – 13degC in the highlands and from 22degC – 26degC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine, so midsummer is not necessarily a bad time. December to April is the driest period of the year and can be incredibly hot, be prepared for some rain even at this time of year.
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Prices: from 2,239 GBP per person excluding flights
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
- All accommodation
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour/Cycling leader and support team throughout
- London flights (if booking incl. flights)
- Airport transfers
What’s not included?
- Travel insurance
- Single accommodation – GBP335
- Visas or vaccinations
“If you’re looking for a company with experience you can’t beat these guys. This operator started life in February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.
For the company, and people who work for them “it’s all about adventure” which is what they were founded on and what they are still about today. Their trips take place all around the world where they help travelers to delve into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to a country’ unique identity.
We love that their groups and guides travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise the impact, to ensure that every holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.”
Coast to Coast Costa Rica Cycling
- Trip Code: AWA148
- Dates: Various
- Price: From 2,239 GBP
- Depart: San Jose, Costa Rica
- Arrive: San Jose, Costa Rica
- Length: 14 days
- Adventure: Take in the variety of Costa Rica, on this Costa Rica cycle trip, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning sections of coastline
“What a holiday and what a country! This trip more than lived up to our expectations and gave us a wonderful introduction to Latin America. We had a great crowd to travel with, the countryside was beautiful and varied from coast to mountain to rain forest, and the local people could not have been more friendly. All of this, coupled with great cycling, and plentiful food, made it a holiday that will remain long in the memory.”