Costa Rica: land of volcanoes, national parks, beautiful beaches and very nice people

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Costa Rica is a “garden country”, where Nature has developed in an unique way. Its people, the “ticos, are very appreciative and protective of its biodiversity. They are an extremely nice people. 27 % of Costa Rica’s territory is a protected area and there are 25 national parks. It’s a very tempting invitation to a nature loving cyclist!

We offer a selection of national parks, volcanoes and sea coast areas. This is a trip with lots of cycling emotion, some stretches require effort and provide excitement. Pleasurable and relaxing beaches. Constant sightings of wild animals

1 Apr 2015
Photos of the last travel in Costa Rica: land of volcanoes, national parks, beautiful beaches and very nice people

Day 1 –San Jose:
Arrival at San Jose de Costa Rica airport, transfer to the hotel and introduction dinner.
Lodging: hotel

Day 2 – Cartago, Irazu volcano (3432m)-Fortuna:
Transfer to the Irazy volcano crater. From there we descend on dirt roads –over 2400m positive level difference – and secondary paths. We will also ride in the foothills of the Turrialba volcano, where we might have the possibility to take a detour –weather permitting to Guapiles-.
Distance: 45 km (30 km of dirt and paths), mostly on a descending slope.
Level difference: 2850m + 250m Maximum altitude: 3347 mosl Minimum: 660 mosl
Lodging: cabins in Fortuna or Guapiles.

Day 3 –Lago Arenal (10 km from Tilaran)-Mystica:
Similar itinerary to the one around lake Arenal. If the weather is good we will ride dirt roads; if not, pavement roads.
Distance: 79 km (60 km on dirt road to Tronadora)
Level difference: +731-252 Maximum altitude: 1191 mosl. Minimum: 818 mosl
Lodging: lake-view cabins 10km from Tilaran.

Day 4-Lago Arenal-Parque Nacional Tenorio:
Day off –lunch and dinner not included-, with the possibility of a trip to the volcano. Suggestion: bike ride to Bijagua and then transfer to the Tenorio National Park and a trekking to the Rio Celeste waterfall.
Distance: 35 km (from Mystica to Bijagua there are 20 km on dirt road)
Level difference: +435m, -735m
Lodging: same place we stayed last night.

Day 5 Playa Grande (Tamarindo):
We start with a transfer and then we ride our bikes in Sardinal, doing the “Route of the Monkeys”. It is ups and downs through a very thick forest. We will then ride past the beaches of Bahia Potrero and Brasilito. We will finish in the Las Baulas Marine National Park.
Distance: 46 km (road and dirt)
Level difference: +340m, -382m
Lodging: cabins

Day 6 – Pelada Beach (Nosara)
We will ride by some solitary beaches: Avellanas, Negra and Junquillal and across Ostional, a small village located inside a wildlife refuge. We will finish the day in “Rancho Suizo”, with the choice of enjoying Playa Pelada, the swimming pool or the Jacuzzi.
Distance: 76 km, some ups and downs (dirt).
Level difference: +610m, -590m.
Lodging: cabins

Day 7 San Miguel Beach or Playas del Bejuco:
We will ride past the small Garza Beach and the frequented beaches Samara and Puerto Carrillo. There we will start a stretch with 3 important ups and downs. Islita and its beautiful beach and towards near Playa Bejuco or San Miguel.
Distance: 62 km. Some river crossings and steep ascents and descents (dirt).
Level difference: +750m.
Lodging: cabins

Day 8 –Santa Teresa (Mal Pais):
We ride past cattle ranches and small villages (San Francisco), until we reach Punta Coyote (km 30). In order to reach Manzanillo Beach we will have to ride some kilometers on the beach, taking into account the tides. Then it’s on to Santa Teresa, doing some riding and walking as well.
Distance: 52 km (dirt and sand)
Level difference: 410m
Lodging: cabins

Day 9 – Montezuma-Quepos:
We start riding on one end of the peninsula and then we go across the other side. We will finish the stretch on the well-known Montezuma beach. We will transfer (aprox. 150 km) on a minibus to Quepos (lunch not included), ride on a ferry and then arrive at Punta Arenas.
Distance: 16 km on dirt.
Level difference: +240m
Lodging: cabins or hotel.

Day 10 –Manuel Antonio National Park
We visit the Manuel Antonio National Park, doing some trekking in its paths and beaches. Possibility of watching indigenous fauna.
Dinner not included.
Lodging: same as last night.

Day 11 – Uvita
We will ride the first 45 km on our mountain bikes to Dominical, across palm tree fields. Then we continue by the coast until we reach playa Uvita, inside Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. This park has a coral reef and also all the species of mangrove that there are in Costa Rica. There is a peculiar phenomenon that takes places in Punta Uvita: when the tide rises, water comes from both sides of the sea.
Distance: 72 km
Level difference: +180m, -250m
Lodging: cabins

Osa Peninsula:
This peninsula is the most virgin place in Costa Rica and is considered the world’s national park, and the one with the richest biodiversity.

Day 12 –Sierpe-Drake-Rincon-La Palma-Finca Kobo:
Transfer to Sierpe (65 km). The magnificent route to Drake will be on a boat down the river Sierpe and among the mangroves. The trip is 1h30m and it finishes in Drake Bay. From there we will ride 40 30m and it finishes in Drake Bay. From there we will ride 40 tough km to Puerto Escondido. We will go through the Golfo Dulce Protected Forest and across nice little villages. We will stay at a rural estate where they farm cacao and several organic produce too.
Length: 46km
Level difference: +840m
Lodging: Finca Kobo

Day 13 – Cabo Matapalo:
We will ride a short and flat stretch to Pto. Jimenez. Then we will continue to Cabo Matapalo. There we will stay at a cabin compound with thick vegetation and near the sea. Rest of the day off and dinner not included.
Distance: 39 km (20 km by land) in a 95 % flat terrain.
Level difference: +70m
Lodging: cabins

Day 14 – Cabo Matapalo – Carate – Cabo Matapalo:
Day off, in order to make the most of and enjoy the wilderness. If someone wants to extend the adventure, you can go to Carate (entryway to Parque Nacional Corcovado) and ride a very uneven and wild stretch surrounded by very dense vegetation.
Distance: 53 km
Level difference: +690m
Lodging: same as last night.

Day 15 – San Jose de Costa Rica
Return to San Jose by minibus –lunch not included-. Final dinner.
Distance: 350 km
Lodging: hotel

San Jose, Cartago, Volcan Irazu (3432m), Volcan Turrialba, Volcan Arenal, Lago Arenal, Volcan Tenorio, Travesia de la Peninsula de Nicoya: Ruta de los Monos, Playa Grande, Avellanas, Ostional, Cabo Blanco. Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Peninsula de Osa: Drake, Puerto Jimenez, Cabo Matapalo, PN Corcovado.

630 km (mostly on dirt roads). Stage average: 52 km

daily average riding is 52 km for 12 stages. 85 % of the trip is on dirt road. There are some ups and down with quite a slope. Level difference is 5500m. The biggest difficulty in this trip is the hot weather and humidity.

  • full time guide assistance
  • support vehicles to transport equipment and people who want to and all the food
  • Transfers mentioned in this schedule and trips in boats and ferries
  • Every lodging in hotels and cabins
  • Optional: insurance on personal accidents

  • airfare
  • bicycle rentals
  • national parks entry tickets
  • alcoholic drinks and extras
  • meals described in this schedule as “not included”