Coasting Costa Rica

  • Itinerary Summary

    This relaxing cycling trip gives you time to explore the unique wildlife and forests of Costa Rica on leisurely rides around spectacular Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. Explore the easygoing lifestyle of rural villages on the San Carlos plains, and get high on a canopy tour through the trees tops. Two-night stays require less packing.

    ***Extend this bicycle tour 3 more days for just $530 per person and end at a beach on the Pacific Coast. Check out our Coasting Costa Rica Plus! Sabaneros and Beaches Tour Details page here.***

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    1. Day 1: Bienvenidos to San José, Costa Rica

      Highlights: Hotel surrounded by the rainforest, welcome dinner

      We'll provide a shuttle from our recommended accommodation in San José, departing at 2:00 pm, to our tour starting hotel, tucked away from the road in a beautiful valley on the edge of a private rainforest reserve. In the afternoon we'll fit bikes and enjoy the beautiful pool before gathering for a welcome drink. We have a special dinner planned tonight.

      Hotel Features: An environmental and pet friendly hotel, located in a hidden valley on the edge of a protected cloud forest with walking trails and a Canopy Tour.

    2. Day 2: Bike the "llanuras de San Carlos"

      Highlights: Rural country side, iguanas

      After a hearty Costa Rican breakfast we'll head off into the San Carlos plains, one of the richest agricultural areas of the country. Our "out and back" ride takes us through sugarcane and pineapple plantations. Don't forget to look up occasionally as you ride today: the trees along the river are full of iguanas basking in the sun! Our hotel tonight is located in the center of a family-run farm. We'll have a traditional Costa Rican dinner together in the open-sided "casona" of the old farmhouse. Distance: 33 km (21 miles).

      Hotel Features: Peaceful riverside bungalows nestled in lush tropical gardens with exotic fruits, flowers, birds and butterflies.

    3. Day 3: Ride to La Fortuna and rainforest hike

      Highlights: Hike in the rainforest, night views of Arenal Volcano, Eco Termales Hot Springs

      Today we'll do a short ride to the village of La Fortuna, located at the base of Arenal Volcano. We'll ride through papaya and yucca plantations, pasturelands recently turned into reforestation projects and a few small villages. In the afternoon we'll hike in a Rainforest Preserve accompanied by our naturalist guide. The hike ends at the Arenal Volcano lookout point where we'll have a night-time view of the mountain, and if we are lucky we'll see "fire rocks" cascading down its side. We'll finish the day with a visit the famous Eco Termales Hot Springs and dinner together.

      Hotel Features: Family run hotel in the center of the town. Very close to restaurants, post office, banks and pharmacy.

    4. Day 4: Ride to Chachagua

      Highlights: Small rural villages and farms

      There's no need to pack this morning. Our loop ride out of La Fortuna takes us into the countryside past small rural villages, beautiful rivers, and rich agricultural land. This evening we'll suggest one of our favorite restaurants in town. Distance: 32 or 48 km (20 or 30 miles).

      Hotel Features: Family run hotel in the center of the town. Very close to restaurants, post office, banks and pharmacy.

    5. Day 5: Bicycle around Arenal Volcano

      Highlights: Great views of Arenal Volcano, Rainforest Zip Line Canopy Tour

      Arenal Volcano dominates our ride this morning - and what a sight! You may even see and hear it erupt as you ride around its base, from a safe distance of course. We'll stop on the way to do the exciting Zip Lines Canopy Tour. As you approach Lake Arenal, keep your eyes and ears open for the distinct sounds of howler monkeys and the comic antics of coatimundi, as well as other wildlife that call the lake home. Tonight we'll stay at a very special and small resort overlooking the lake. Tropical/European dinner together tonight. Distance: 22 to 38 km (14 to 24 miles).

      Hotel Features: beautifully decorated cottages with mural paintings, king sized beds, sitting areas, dresser and private terraces overlooking Lake Arenal.

    6. Day 6: Bike to Nuevo Arenal

      Highlights: Lake Arenal

      Today we continue our spectacular ride around the north shore of Lake Arenal. The road gets closer to the water today and we'll suggest a perfect picnic spot where you can take a refreshing swim before riding back to our hotel. Enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the most beautiful lakes in the world before our final dinner together tonight. Distance: 30 to 60 km (19 to 37 miles).

      Hotel Features: beautifully decorated cottages with mural paintings, king sized beds, sitting areas, dresser and private terraces overlooking Lake Arenal

    7. Day 7: Shuttle to San José


      Our bicycle adventure comes to an end today. We'll also provide a shuttle back to San José and the airport, arriving around noon, for those needing to get home. If you plan to depart today, be sure to book a flight that leaves no sooner than 3:00 pm. Pura Vida!

    • Highlights

      World famous Eco Termales Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano at night, Bike around Lake Arenal, Monkeys, iguanas and more, Zip line canopy tour
    • Includes

      7 days, 6 nights accommodation, 5 dinners with beer or fruit drink, 4 breakfasts, group shuttle to San José at tour's end, and all activities included in the itinerary. plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Costa Rica
    • Begin/End

      San José
    • Arrive/Depart

      San José / San José or Liberia
    • Total Distance

      136 - 196 km (85 - 122 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      22-60 km (14-37 miles)
    • Rating

      201 Varied terrain: long flat stretches on two days, other days with several short climbs. Lots of extra mileage options.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Costa Rica 2009 Update

      Mario Cordero, who coordinates our bicycle tours in Costa Rica, tells us about the roads, a new bicycle tour, and the political situation

    • Interview with Mario Cordero

      Mario has been leading tours and coordinating our trips in Costa Rica since 1993. We recently took a few moments to catch up on his life in Costa Rica.

    • Tales from the Road in Costa Rica

      One story of a local encounter while bicycling in Costa Rica.

    • I just want to let you know what a fabulous time we had in Costa Rica. Our trip was wonderful! I have taken several tour groups in the past and this by far was the best. Mario and Jose were incredible guides. We really enjoyed ourselves and I look forward to doing more trips in the future. It was a great value and a great time. Thank you!

      Suzanne R., Mount Pleasant, SC
    • It was a wonderful vacation!

      Nancy S., West Newton, MA
    • I could not have asked for a better tour leader han Mario. He is knowledgeable, organized and very helpful and friendly. I enjoyed having him join us each night for dinner for other valuable information on what to expect each day. I enjoyed the day we did the canopy tour followed by the ride to our last hotel. I also enjoyed the rafting trip. It was nice to change things up a little and not bike all day long every day.

      Carol A., Calgary, Alberta Canada
    • The trip was great, and the leaders were outstanding!

      Mary Jane G.
      Avon, CT
    • The tour leaders did an outstanding job in the organization and execution of the tour. Really enjoyed the hotels used, some of the best I have been in and the hot pools in Fortuna were the best.

      Sonny L.
      Aurora, CO
    • This was, without a doubt, the best vacation of my life. I'm down for the Puglia tour in May with two friends I made in Costa Rica.

      Marty V.,
      Plymouth, IN
    • I had a fabulous time and the tour leaders were stellar. I also loved the hot springs.

      Sheila S.,
      Woodside, NY
    • I loved, the tour, had a fabulous time, it was an outstanding group of people, the leaders were wonderful, the hotels were great.

      Mandy F.
      Annapolis, MD
    • My favorite thing...our guides and the cultural information they brought to the trip.

      Betsy B.,
      Palo Alto, CA
    • Our tour leaders were absolutely wonderful. We were soooo impressed with the level of detail they went through to make the trip perfect. We had a fantastic trip (honeymoon!) and will definitely be doing more ExperiencePlus! tours in the future. We are HIGHLY recommending ExperiencePlus! to all of our friends and relatives. Thank you!!!

      Renita D.,
      St. Paul, MN
    • Just a short note to let you know that Susan and I had a wonderful trip! Our special compliments to Mario, Carla, Fernando, and all the staff. They were SUPER! This is our first trip with "EP", and we are looking forward to doing many more with "EP"!

      Sue & Jeff C.,
      Key Biscayne, FL

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