Take in the variety of Costa Rica by bike, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning sections of coastline. From San Jose we 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 we ride past coffee plantations and volcanoes to arrive on the fertile Caribbean plains where banana plantations take over the landscape. We 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 along the stunning coastal highway with incredible Pacific views and beaches
Ride through ever-changing tropical scenery, alongside coffee farms, volcanoes, banana plantations and rainforest
Explore the waterways of Tortuguero National Park in search of wildlife
Hike in Manuel Antonio National Park
Hotel Rosa America (or similar)
Those on the group flight land into San Jose and will be transferred to our
start hotel in La Garita de Alajuela, around 15 minutes away. Those on land
only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel this evening.
Ride To Rio Tarcoles.
Cerro Lodge (or similar)
We have a briefing this morning and spend some time adjusting our bikes
before riding out through small rural communities followed by dry, tropical
forest with very little traffic on the paved roads. This initial stage
concludes outside Atenas, then we have a 20 minute transfer to a scenic lunch
stop. In the afternoon we'll have a second cycling stage, passing mango
orchards and cattle ranches. Following another short half hour transfer we
arrive at our lodge for the night.
Boat Tour; Cycle To Playa Bejuco.
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
Hotel Playa Bejuco (or similar)
Following an early breakfast, we transfer 20 minutes to Rio Tarcoles for a
private guided boat tour of the estuary. We hope to see crocodiles, water
birds, shorebirds and Scarlet macaws. A 30 minute transfer brings us to a
quiet backroad heading to Guacallillo where we return to our bikes and cycle
to Cascajal. From here we will have a short transfer to our lunch stop. After
lunch depending on the tide, we will get back on the bikes for a short ride
on the beach to Playa Bejuco, our destination for tonight.
Wildlife Hike In Manuel Antonio N.P; To Ciudad Cortes.
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
Hotel Las Palmas de Cortez (or similar)
We start the morning with a 2 hour guided hike in Manuel Antonio National
Park, an outstanding region for wildlife. The forest here meets the sea and
iguanas and White-faced Capuchin monkeys can often be seen on the beach. A 20
minute transfer takes us to the coastal road outside Quepos where we begin to
cycle south to Playa Dominicalito, where we will have a lunch at a scenic
restaurant. This is a spectacular stretch of road, with dense forest and
steep hills on the left and fantastic Pacific views on the right.
To Osa Peninsula; Ride To Puerto Jimenez.
Agua Dulce Lodge (or similar)
Our ride today takes us from Ciudad Cortes on to Palmar Norte, where we cross
the Rio Terraba, Costa Rica's longest river, then to Palmar Sur, where we
will stop at the central park for a look at some of the famous spherical
rocks, made by a little-known ancient indigenous culture. Afterwards we will
board the coach for a transfer (approx 1.5 hours) to La Palma, stopping for
lunch on route. We will resume our cycling, passing through Puerto Jimenez en
route to our beach hotel, set on the beautiful Playa Platanares.
Ferry To Golfito; Ride To Rio Claro; Transfer To Las Cruces.
OTS Las Cruces Lodge (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We board a ferry this morning for a 30 minute journey across the Golfo Dulce
to Golfito. Here, sometimes dolphins can be seen frolicking in the
surrounding waters. Our cycle route heads to Rio Claro using a short but
hilly biking stage. Following a 1 hour bus transfer across the steep
mountains surrounding San Vito, we arrive at Las Cruces Biological Station.
Las Cruces Biological Station is surrounded by the famous Wilson Botanical
Gardens where we will enjoy a guided hike in the afternoon.
Cycle To Paso Real; Transfer To San Gerardo De Rivas.
San Gerardo de Rivas
El Pelicano Mountain Lodge (or similar)
Back on the saddle we enjoy a fantastic ride from the hilly region near San
Vito downhill to Paso Real, far below at the Rio Terraba. En route we pass
through an indigenous area where villagers can sometimes be seen in
traditional dress. We will stop in Buenos Aires to have lunch before boarding
the bus for our transfer (approx. 2-3 hours) to San Gerardo de Rivas. We
will pass the first of many pineapple plantations, which has now become Costa
Rica's most exported crop. As our hotel tonight is located in the mountains
it may be chillier than you expect.
Cycle To Perez Zeledon; Transfer To The Orosi Valley; Cycle To Tapanti Media.
Cerro de la Muerte
Tapanti Media Lodge (or similar)
This morning we start with a short downhill stage before jumping on the bus
for a transfer that will take us over the infamous Cerro de La Muerte. At
3,541 metres above sea level, this is the highest point of the PanAm Highway
in all of Central America. On this stretch we will drive through rainforest,
up into the cloud forest before we start our descent back down towards the
Central Valley. From here we will get back on our bikes for another downhill
stage into the Orosi Valley.
Ride To Turrialba.
Hotel Turrialtico (or similar)
After breakfast we start cycling from the hotel for perhaps one of the most
beautiful cycling stages riding past numerous coffee plantations. With any
luck, we will see some farmers using their colourful traditional oxcarts to
haul the coffee to nearby processing facilities. Along the way we will stop
to look at coffee trees and the tour leader will give an explanation on
coffee and its part of the history of Costa Rica. As we continue our ride
through the valley, we will ride around a hydroelectric dam before starting
a section that involves some climbs. We will arrive at the little town of
Tucurrique where will stop off for lunch. Afterwards we will cycle through
lush scenery sugar cane plantations before a short transfer to our hotel for
the night. Our mountain lodge this evening has excellent views of the
surrounding region, including the coffee growing Orosi Valley and both the
Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes.
Cycle To The Caribbean Side Of Costa Rica.
Paseo Surf Side
Hotel Escape Caribeno (or similar)
After breakfast we will start cycling a hilly section with incredible views,
followed by a fast downhill to the town of Siquierres from where we will
board the coach and take a transfer to the Caribbean coast, stopping for
lunch on route. On arrival near the coast we will start a second biking stage
through an isolated backroad and as we arrive at the Rio Banano Junction,
the traffic can get really heavy so we will board the coach again for a
short transfer (approx. 15 minutes) to our hotel in Puerto Viejo, a
typical Caribbean town with lively reggae music/culture and spicy cuisine.
La Baula Lodge (or similar)
This morning we will start by riding to Cahuita National Park for a guided
hike. During this hike you can expect to see lots of wildlife including two
and three-toed Sloths, Capuchin monkeys and also Iguanas. At the end of the
hike we will transfer to Guapiles where we will stop for a quick lunch before
getting on the bikes for today's cycling stage. Concluding our biking, we
transfer out to tiny La Pavona, where we board a boat which will take us out
to Tortuguero along the wildlife rich rivers and canals used for transit in
this densely forested area.
Boat Trip; Ride And Transfer To La Fortuna Near Arenal Volcano.
Hotel San Bosco (or similar)
An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and
fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of
day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert
guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and
many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We retrace our route by boat to
the dock at Pavon where we will start cycling through banana plantations,
stopping for a brief explanation about the importance of these plantations to
Costa Rica. Afterwards we have a transfer to just outside Guapiles for an
early lunch provided by our Tortuguero lodge. After lunch we head towards La
Fortuna and the imposing Arenal volcano. Following a massive explosion in
1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it
entered a resting phase. En route we will take a break to observe the
thriving pineapple operations in Costa Rica before continuing on to our
hotel, set in the centre of town. This evening there is an included excursion
to Eco-Termales hot springs, by far the best in the area.
Cycle To Bajo Rodriguez; To La Garita De Alajuela.
Hotel Rosa America (or similar)
Following a short transfer, our final cycling stage starts with a ride
through the dense rain forest surrounding beautiful Lake Arenal, with several
spots to observe the volcano as we continue back toward La Fortuna. Departing
Fortuna, we bike through tropical farmlands dedicated to exotic fruits and
vegetables, then do a bit of climbing through forested hills up to the
conclusion at Bajo Rodriguez. The last leg of our journey is completed by bus
as we transfer back to La Garita de Alajuela, travelling for around two hours
with tropical views on the way.
Our trip ends in San Jose (La Garita) after breakfast this morning and those
on group flights will be transferred to the international airport for the
We spend 13 nights in characterful hotels, most of which have swimming pools. There are three nights in remote mountain lodges with lush gardens and superb views, one with a well-known tropical botanical garden. All accommodations are well maintained, very clean and most are long-time favourites in Costa Rica. Below are a few of the standout accommodations on this trip.
Dominical: Villas Rio Mar
In a beautiful rainforest setting, Villas Rio Mar is a slice of Costa Rican wilderness but with plenty of amenities. There’s a large palm tree-wrapped swimming pool, tropical gardens, and a rainforest trail to explore. There’s also a focus on ecofriendly practices, with solar power running the air conditioning in the bungalows, vegetables for the restaurant grown in their greenhouse, and a monthly clean-up of Playa Dominical beach (which is just a 10-minute walk away).
Near San Vito: OTS Las Cruces Lodge
Unleash your inner natural historian with a stay at Las Cruces Research Station. It’s a hub of science and nature, which brings together researchers and wildlife lovers from across the planet, with accommodation for up to 100 people. During our time here, we enjoy a guided walk around the Wilson Botanical Garden, which surrounds the property and is home to an extraordinary collection of tropical plants and more than 400 bird species.
Tortuguero: Pachira Lodge
Five minutes from the main entrance to Tortuguero National Park and hugged by scenic canals, this 94-room resort has a prime location. When it’s time to relax, there’s a turtle-shaped pool (this is green turtle country, after all), a buffet restaurant serving Costa Rican-Caribbean cuisine, and a bar. But the real draw is the other residents. You may spot sloths, howler monkeys and white-faced monkeys and, if you’re lucky, an otter or manatee in the surrounding waterways.
All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners are included.
In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day (13
breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners). Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet
style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure
of any special dietary requests. Expect to see a lot of the Costa Rican
speciality 'gallo pinto' and a lot of rice, beans, fruit and grilled meats.