Coasting Costa Rica Plus! Sabaneros and Beaches

  • Itinerary Summary

    This relaxing cycling trip gives you time to explore the unique wildlife, forests and beaches 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 and enjoy a wildlife float trip. We end at a beautiful beach on the Pacific Coast. Several two-night stays require less packing. This trip has it all!
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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, 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: Biycle 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

      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. Dinner is on your own in town tonight.

      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, Eco Termales Hot Springs

      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 for dinner. 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: Bicycle Downhill to Sunny Guanacaste Province

      Highlights: Fertile plains of western Costa Rica, hotel in the dry forest

      Ready for a change of pace? You will get your chance today as we pedal for the Pacific plains, Costa Rica's version of the Wild West. Birds, monkeys, and sabaneros ("cowboys") on horseback are some of the things you are likely to see. This is the Guanacaste province, one of the few areas in the world where you can still find primary tropical dry forest. We'll enjoy a Guanacaste-style grill tonight for dinner. Distance: 62 km (38.5 miles).

      Hotel Features: Colonial style accommodation in the middle of the Costa Rican Dry Forest with traditional Costa Rican restaurant, swimming pool, and walking trails full of wildlife

    8. Day 8: Boat Ride and Viewing Wildlife on Bebedero & Tempisque

      Highlights: Boat tour on the Bebedero and Tempisque rivers, traditional dance show with marimba music.

      Early this morning we'll bike 15 very flat kilometers (9 miles) to Bebedero where we'll board the boat that will take us across to the Nicoya Peninsula. River banks are prime feeding areas for a wide variety of animals, so this is a great opportunity to see monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles and other wildlife. After getting off the boat we'll pick up our bikes and ride to our hotel located just outside the old town of Nicoya. Take a dip in the pool before going to our special dinner featuring the traditional dances of the Guanacaste region. Total distance: 51 km (31 miles).

      Hotel Features: A modern hotel outside the colonial city of Nicoya. New rooms with air conditioning, cable TV and two double beds. Swimming pool, bar and restaurant.

    9. Day 9: Bicycle to the Pacific Coast

      Highlights: Beach hotel with swimming pool, seafood dinner together

      The beach awaits today, and what a beach it is -- nestled in a quiet cove along the Pacific Ocean. We'll bike the rolling hills from Nicoya to Samara. If you arrive at our hotel early, you can choose to enjoy the beach or the pool for the afternoon. Or you can just relax with a cool drink and enjoy the ocean breeze. We'll celebrate the end of our journey this evening with a final dinner of local fresh seafood. Distance: 37 km (23 miles).

      Hotel Features: Deluxe hotel with ocean views of Playa Carrillo one the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

    10. Day 10: Shuttle back to San José

      Highlights: Tour ends with a complimentary shuttle back to San José

      After breakfast this morning, we offer a free shuttle back to Alajuela or San José. We'll arrive between 2:00 and 3:00 pm, so if you are departing today, be sure to book your flight for no sooner than 6:00. There are daily flights from a local airport to San José as well, if you would like to spend some extra time on the beach or explore more of Costa Rica. Pura vida!

    • Highlights

      World famous Eco Termales Hot Springs, Night time views of Arenal spewing lava, Bicycle ride aroung Lake Arenal, Wildlife river float trip, Sabaneros, or cowboys, of the Guanacaste Region, Pacific Coast beach hotel, Rainforest zip line canopy tour
    • Includes

      10 days, 9 nights accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 8 dinners with beer or fruit drinks; shuttle to San José; wildlife float trip; zip line canopy tour; Eco Termales hot springs traditional marimba dance show plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Costa Rica
    • Begin/End

      San José
    • Arrive/Depart

      San José
    • Total Distance

      182 - 235 miles (296 - 381 km)
    • Daily Distance

      14 - 38 miles (23 - 62 km)
    • Rating

      201-301 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

    • It was a great tour- loved every minute. The people with ExperiencePlus! were so kind and helpful and would do anything to maximize the experience.

      Peg B., Columbus, OH
    • Hard to pick from the many wonderful experiences. The last day, may have been my favorite. The particular road we took to the coast was beautiful, rural, and pleasant to ride. Getting to the beach, and riding on it for several kms was wonderful. Having the time to hang out at the beach topped off the day. We loved it! Had a great time with the group on the tour...that really enriched the experience. Costa Rica is a great destination.

      Bill B., Spokane, WA

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