Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula is both isolated and spectacular. Called the most biologically intense place on earth by National Geographic Magazine, it is home to some of the most pristine coastal rainforest found anywhere in the world - half of which is protected in Corcovado National Park and private reserves. Join us as we explore this remote and scenic area by bike and on foot. You'll also enjoy beautiful white sand beaches, kayak in the Pacific, and snorkel in the warm, clear waters off Isla del Caño, an island renowned for its coral reefs and extensive variety of aquatic life.
Day 1: Tour begins in San José, Costa Rica
Highlights: Explore Costa Rica's capital cityWe gather at our base hotel in San José today, where you can explore Costa Rica's capital city. If you come early in the day, we'll suggest some of our favorite sights to visit. We'll meet as a group late this afternoon (5:00 pm) for a glass of wine and introductions. This evening you'll enjoy a traditional Costa Rican casado dinner complete with marimba music.
Day 2: Mountain biking in the Talamanca Mountains
Highlights: Pedal "route of the saints", coffee cooperativeAfter breakfast together in our hotel, we shuttle into the Talamanca Mountains where we switch to mountain bikes for a ride along the ruta de los santos, or "route of the saints." We pedal past coffee plantations to Santa Maria de Dota, one of the most important coffee production areas in Costa Rica. At the end of the bike ride we'll walk through a coffee plantation and visit a Cooperative Coffee Processing Plant (Beneficio). We spend the night at a private lodge surrounded by the cloudforest in the small farming community of San Gerardo de Dota. Distance 32 km / 20 miles
Day 3: Hike the Cloudforest
Highlights: Watch for Quetzals, Dominical BeachToday we'll begin with a hike into the cloudforest in search of the colorful Quetzal, a bird of great significance to both the Aztec and Mayan cultures. By late afternoon we'll be in the quiet coastal village of Dominical, where you can enjoy its beautiful beach and magnificent coastal scenery. Dinner is on your own tonight. Hiking time 2 - 4 hours
Day 4: Kayaking through the Terraba Mangrove Forest
Highlights: Look for monkeys while kayaking in the mangrove forestAfter breakfast together we'll head off to spend the morning kayaking in the canals and estuaries of the Terraba-Sierpe Mangrove Forest. Kayaking in this unique vegetation, with its network of interlaced aerial roots, allows us to silently approach aquatic birds, lizards and monkeys. As we enjoy a little upper body workout, we'll learn about the importance of this delicate ecosystem in maintaining the health of marine life. We'll delight in a scrumptious seafood feast tonight. Kayaking time 3 - 4 hours on flat water.
Day 5: Bicycling to Uvita
Highlights: Ballena Marine National Park and it's beaches: Uvita and Playa ArcoWe pedal a short stretch today stopping to visit the beach at Ballena Marine National Park. This Park was created in 1990 to protect the warm waters around Isla Ballena and south of Uvita. Humpback whales from North and South America come here to give birth and nourish their newborns until they are strong enough to begin the migration back to their feeding territories in colder waters. Still undiscovered by tourists, this area embodies all of the natural beauty of Costa Rica - mountains, rainforest, the Pacific Ocean, and abundant wildlife. By late morning we'll arrive at our accommodation for the night, a picture-perfect rural lodge with a great view of the ocean. This afternoon we'll offer an optional hike through the rainforest to the secluded beach at Playa Arco. Biking distance: 35 km (22 miles).
Day 6: Bicycle along the coast and inland to Sierpe
Highlights: Pedal to Sierpe; pre-Columbian stone spheres; coastal ride; boat shuttleWe pedal today to the nearby village of Palmar, known for the fascinating stone spheres made by indigenous people in pre-Columbian times. Your ride takes you along the coast first, then inland to cross the Terraba River (the largest in Costa Rica) and on to the village of Sierpe. We'll shuttle to our hotel in Corcovado by boat, following the Sierpe River all the way to the ocean. Biking Distance: 35 km. (22 miles)
Day 7: Nature Hike in Corcovado National Park
Highlights: Turtle nesting grounds, tropical lowland rainforestCorcovado National Park is home to the largest tree in Central America, a 77 meter (246') Silk Cotton tree. We'll do a long, guided hike in the rainforest stopping at a waterfall frequented by tapirs, macaws and other species of animals. After a picnic lunch on the beach we'll take a boat shuttle back to our hotel. Hiking time 3 - 5 hours
Day 8: Snorkel and tour Isla del Caño
Highlights: Snorkeling a Pacific coral reef, beach picnic on the islandWe've planned a tour of Isla del Caño today. Historically the sacred burial ground of the Boruca Indians, Isla del Caño is home to many ancient artifacts, including bolas, or curious stone spheres. If we're lucky, we may spot flying fish, dolphins or a humpback whale on the open ocean between Caño and the mainland. This morning we'll snorkel in the warm waters off the island. Enjoy the coral reefs and a tremendous variety of aquatic life. We'll have a special final dinner together tonight.
Day 9: Shuttle back to San José
Highlights:This morning after breakfast we'll provide a shuttle back to San José. Or maybe you'd like to relax for a few days somewhere on the peninsula? For those opting for the shuttle we will arrive in San José between 4:00-5:00 pm, so be sure to schedule any flights home after 8:00 pm. Or better yet, why not spend some extra time exploring San José? We hope to see you again soon.
HighlightsCycling, Hiking, Sea kayaking, Snorkeling at Isla del Caño, Tropical rainforests and Pacific Coast beaches
Includes9 days, 8 nights accommodation, group shuttle to San José at tour end, and all activities included in itinerary. 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners with beer or fruit drinks
Total Distance102 km (64 miles)
Daily Distance20-22 miles
What to ExpectShort bike rides with some steep climbs; varied activities. Warm and humid in coastal areas, cooler in the mountains.
Please call 1-800-685-4565 or e-mail us for the dates for this tour.
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
City (on route)
City (not part of route, provided for reference)
Fernando - excellent in every way! His knowledge of the flora, fauna, geography and culture was outstanding. His enthusiasm and customer care were outstanding.
Paul L., Fort Collins, CO
The tour was a great experience and it was cool to see remote places that not a lot of other people have visited...The food was spectacular every place we went. The scenery was unbelievable, and the tour leaders were very knowledgable and I enjoyed every person I met, from the drivers of the vans to the lodge owners. Great people to spend 10 days with!
And as a big plug for ExperiencePlus! vs many other bike tour companies I have dealt with ... 1) You take non US credit cards, 2) Your prices are clearly displayed on the website, 3) You are very helpful in e-mail correspondence, and 4) The [Osa Peninsula Multisport] trip I took last year to Costa Rica was everything and then some!