Costa Rica on Two Wheels

Costa Rica on Two Wheels

14 Days Starting and ending in San Jose

Visiting: San José, Tortuguero, Guapiles, La Fortuna, Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal, Parque Nacional Guanacaste, Canas, Miravalles Volcano, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

CCR

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Easy to Moderate

Age range:

16-

Special diets catered:

Vegans, Vegetarians

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Active

Interests:

Cultural, Wildlife Tours

Activities:

Cycling, Sightseeing, Walking

From: $4030 $3657 Operator discount: -$270 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$103

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

On this cycling tour of Costa Rica we discover a diverse land rich with nature, towering volcanoes and abundant wildlife. We start in the lush rainforest of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast before cycling through the ever changing landscapes of the interior past active volcanoes, lakes and cloud forest in the Arenal and Miravalles areas. Finally we reach the Pacific coast and beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio.

Highlights

  • Cycle Costa Rica - Discover the beauty and diversity of Costa Rica by bike from Caribbean to Pacific

  • Nature and wildlife - Spot sloths, monkeys and brightly coloured frogs, together with some of Costa Rica's spectacular birdlife

  • National Parks and volcanoes - Explore Tortuguero, Manuel Antonio, Arenal and Miravalles

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Tour San José

Location: San José

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: No Meals

Our journey begins in San Jose, Costa Rica's capital. Founded in 1738 and set in a fertile valley blanketed in a lush abundance of coffee and sugar cane plantations, the city lies at an altitude of 1150 metres and is one of the youngest and most cosmopolitan capitals in Central America.



The Tour Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in San Jose at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you will need to arrive into San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (airport code SJO) which is around thirty minutes from our hotel. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.



If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may choose to head out to explore the city - easy to navigate with a grid pattern of avenues and streets with a good choice of local eateries. The National museum (Museo Nacional De Costa Rica) is worth a visit.



No cycling today.

Day 2: Journey To Tortuguero National Park By Bus And Boat

Location: Tortuguero

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early this morning we leave the capital and head towards the Caribbean coast. Our destination is La Pavona Pier, around a three and a half hour drive away. The journey takes us through Braulio Carillo National Park and on arrival we'll board a boat and continue along the Tortuguero River, towards the richly diverse landscapes of the Tortuguero National Park. The first part of the cruise takes around an hour, before we stop off at the Visitor Centre for a brief orientation, after which we'll continue by boat to our lodge. After lunch, this afternoon is then free to explore your surroundings in a little more detail, with the option to rent a kayak, or just relax on the beach.

Day 3: Exploring Tortuguero National Park

Location: Tortuguero

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tortuguero's remarkably rich landscapes include rainforests, mangroves, swamps, beaches and lagoons and we'll spend this morning discovering something of its stunning natural diversity. After an early morning coffee, we'll head out on a guided boat tour along some of the park's canals and waterways, which provide home for manatees, crocodiles, Tropical Gar and an abundance of freshwater fish. Returning to the lodge for breakfast, we then set out on a jungle hike through the surrounding rainforest. These forest are home to sloths, three of Costa Rica's four species of monkeys and a huge variety of birdlife. After lunch, the afternoon is then free for optional activities.

Day 4: Boat And Bus To Guapiles. Afternoon Cycling

Location: Guapiles

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Leaving Tortuguero this morning we head back to La Pavona Pier by boat, a journey of around two hours. From here we then drive on to Guapiles, lying in the heart of the country's banana growing region, where we'll stop for lunch before driving on to the starting point of our cycling adventure close to Sarapiqui. After checking the bikes over and ensuring that they are properly adjusted we'll begin with a relatively easy introduction, riding along tarmac roads that take us through a rural setting of farmland and banana plantations. Our ride will be mainly on the flat today and afterwards we drive for about 1.5 hours to our hotel in the small crossroads village of Muelle de San Carlos.



Our total cycling distance today is approximately 20 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 50 metres, total accumulated descent 180 metres).

Day 5: Cycle To La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Beginning from the hotel today we cycle through a landscape of undulating terrain, passing through a rural scene of farms, cultivated fields and patches of tropical forest. Arriving in Muelle we'll stop and look for some of the huge iguanas that can occasionally be found here, before continuing on to La Fortuna. Weather permitting we may be accompanied by the spectacular backdrop of the Arenal Volcano and arriving at our next hotel by bike, this afternoon is free to explore a little of La Fortuna at your leisure. You may with to visit the local La Fortuna Waterfalls.



Our total cycling distance today is approximately 28 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 330 metres, total accumulated descent 150 metres).

Day 6: Free Day In La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

With no cycling scheduled, today has been left free to enjoy a number of other activities including canopy tours, zip lines and hot springs. The city's downtown area is dominated by the classic cone of Arenal Volcano, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and the itself town is blessed with a number of thermal springs where you can relax and unwind in the natural hot water pools.

Day 7: Cycling In The Arenal Volcano National Park

Location: Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

A short drive this morning brings us to the site of the impressive Lake Arenal, the largest man-made lake in Costa Rica. Beginning our day's riding at the base of the volcano, we'll follow the northern shore of the lake and negotiate our way through a landscape of rolling hills, rainforest and pastureland. Arenal Volcano lies at the heart of a stunning national park that covers some 9,884 acres and is home to 850 species of birds including the endangered resplendent quetzal. We'll enjoy some fine views of the lake and the volcano during our ride this morning, before finishing the rest of the journey by car after lunch. Our final destination is the small town of Tilarán, located in the hills overlooking the western shores of the lake.



Total cycling distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 830 metres, total accumulated descent 800 metres) with an extra optional 17 kilometre ride starting earlier in La Fortuna.

Day 8: Visit Viento Fresco Waterfalls (Optional). Cycle Across The Guanacaste Plains To Cañas

Location: Parque Nacional Guanacaste, Canas

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

We start our day with an optional excursion to visit the nearby Viento Fresco Waterfalls by bus where you will have the opportunity to swim and explore up to five waterfalls set in the rainforest. The order of events can changed on the spot by the Tour Leader according to conditions and in the wet access to the falls is not recommended and we would start today's ride after breakfast instead arriving earlier into Cañas. After returning to the hotel we get on our bikes at around 11am for an easy ride down towards the drier plains of Guanacaste today, enjoying some spectacular views of the Pacific coastline and the chain of volcanoes that lie to the north. Our ride ends at our hotel in the small community of Cañas. You have the option to continue cycling 15 km to Bebedero and the Tour Leader will be able to help arrange an optional boat excursion on the Corobici River for bird watching and to spot wildlife such as crocodiles and monkeys.



Total cycling distance today is approximately 22 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 300 metres, total accumulated descent 780 metres) with an extra optional 15 kilometres (+60m/-130m).

Day 9: Cycle Through The Foothills Of Miravalles Volcano

Location: Miravalles Volcano

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

An early start to make the most of the cooler temperatures, today provides us with our most challenging ride. Beginning with a short drive to Bagaces we'll start with a gentle uphill ride, heading north towards the Miravalles Volcano. The route is mainly uphill but the gradient is gradual, so the answer is low gears and a steady pace today. We'll make a number of longer stops too, making the most of the breathtaking scenery as we make our way to Yoko Termales, on the slopes of Miravalles Volcano. Finishing the day at the higher and cooler elevations of the slopes, we'll be rewarded this afternoon with a welcome dip in the natural hot springs.



Our total cycling distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 700 metres, total accumulated descent 200 metres).

Day 10: Explore The Landscapes Around The Miravalles Volcano

Location: Miravalles Volcano

Accommodation: Hotel

The Miravalles Volcano is the highest peak in the Guanacaste Mountains (2,023 m) and sits in the heart of the largest geothermal field developed in Costa Rica. Another day here affords an opportunity to relax and enjoy more of its unique attractions, with a three to five hour ride along the slopes of volcanoes and through the forest to Liberia (returning by vehicle), providing the perfect excuse for revisiting the hot springs. The volcano's verdant slopes form part of the area's protected zone, which is a lush haven of cloud and primary forest that provides shelter for coyotes, howler monkeys, peccaries and even pumas. For anyone not wanting to cycle there are other options available including hot mud baths or a walk to Las Hornillas, to visit its active volcanic crater.



Our total cycling distance today is approximately 37 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 490 metres, total accumulated descent 920 metres).

Day 11: Early Morning Loop Cycle From Hotel. Drive To Manuel Antonio N.P.

Location: Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Early this morning we will explore the local area further on a circular bike ride. After the ride you will have time to shower and change before we check out of our hotel in the late morning. We spend the rest of the day making our way by bus (4 hours) to the Pacific Ocean and onto our final destination at Manuel Antonio National Park. We will break the journey for lunch and at Tarcoles Bridge where we will hopefully spot a few of the gigantic crocodiles that regularly bask beside the river's edge, before finally arriving at our hotel later this afternoon.



Our total cycling distance today is approximately 20 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 200 metres, total accumulated descent 200 metres).

Day 12: Manuel Antonio National Park

Location: Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

One of Costa Rica's most popular parks, Manuel Antonio provides a wonderful mix of world class views and golden beaches along the country's central Pacific coastline. Today has been left free to make the most of this idyllic spot, with plenty of options available for sea kayaking, canopy walks, fishing or just relaxing on the beach. The national park is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna and a walk through its primary forest provides a chance to look for sloths, monkeys, iguanas and over 180 species of birds including toucans, parakeets and potoos.

Day 13: Free Morning. Afternoon Drive Back To San José

Location: San José

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

After a relaxing morning we'll drive back to San José after lunch, an approximate five hour drive that should get us back into the capital in time to enjoy a stroll through the centre of the city before dinner.

Day 14: Tour Ends San José

Location: San José

Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in San Jose.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from San Jose at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (airport code SJO), which is which is a thirty minute drive away.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

  • Fully Guided

What's Not Included

  • Country Entry Visas

  • Tipping and Gratuities

Why Book this Tour

Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes, we would be delighted to book extra nights before the start or at the end of your trip, please let us know your requirements at the time of booking.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    All customers that travel on a Explore group trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. This is a great way to start your travels, offering you that little extra peace of mind and comfort in the knowledge that there will be someone at the airport or station waiting to take you t

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Susan  

Costa Rica on Two Wheels

This was a wonderful trip, exceeding all expectati

This was a wonderful trip, exceeding all expectations and was very well organised with excellent accommodation. It comprised of aod balance between cycling and leisure , with the latter giving us time us to experience other activities. The guides were excellent - supportive, helpful, and caring as well as being great fun to be with. Their considerable knowledge of the flora and fauna resulted in making the trip a very informative experience. The highlights for me were cycling around Arenal Lake surrounded by stunning scenery, Tortugero National Park including the night boat ride, and the Hanging Bridge canopy walk. In terms of the cycling, I was surprised that it was graded easymoderate. Despite training for this trip, I found some of it very toughing indeed, primarily in relation to the length and steepness of the hills. It seemed a grading of moderate might have been more appropriate. In total, however, this trip was fantastic and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to others, perhaps with the added caveat to do plenty of hill training before you!

Mark  

Costa Rica on Two Wheels

Carlos Torres was superb. He explained everything

Carlos Torres was superb. He explained everything in detail and made sure that we were all safe and comfortable. He has aod sense of humour and with Fernando and Enrique became part the group.

Simon  

Costa Rica on Two Wheels

Again, just to highlight Daniel and Manuel who rea

Again, just to highlight Daniel and Manuel who really enhanced the trip.

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  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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