Bicycling Costa Rica
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 Bicycling Costa Rica Plus! the Pacific Tour Details page here.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Bienvenidos to San José, Costa Rica
Highlights: Rural country side, iguanas, welcome dinner.
We'll provide a 2:00PM shuttle from our recommended accommodation in San José, to our first hotel on the banks of the San Carlos River. In the afternoon we'll fit bikes and go for a test ride. Enjoy the beautiful pool before gathering for a welcome drink. We have a special welcome dinner planned tonight. Distance: 22 km (13.7 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Tilajari
Day 2: Biycle the "llanuras de San Carlos" into La Fortuna
Highlights: Traditional farming, Arenal Volcano in the distance, La Fortuna
After a hearty Costa Rican breakfast we'll head off into the San Carlos plains, one of the richest agricultural areas of the country. We ride to the village of La Fortuna, located at the base of Arenal Volcano, passing papaya and yucca plantations, pasturelands recently turned into reforestation projects and a few small villages. An optional extra ride climbs to the village of Monterrey and offers some of the best views of Arenal. This evening we'll suggest one of our favorite restaurants in town for dinner on your own. Distance: 27 or 48 km (16.8 or 30 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Monte Real
Day 3: Loop ride to Chachagua
Highlights: Rural countryside and small villages, Arenal Volcano Hot Springs
There's no need to pack this morning. Our loop ride out of La Fortuna takes us into the countryside past sleepy rural villages, beautiful rivers and rich agricultural land. In the evening we'll enjoy a soak in the famous thermal springs followed by a traditional dinner with home made tortillas. Distance: 32 or 52 km (20 or 32 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Monte Real
Day 4: Arenal Volcano and Boat ride on Lake Arenal
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 an exciting Zip Lines Canopy Tour.
Our bike ride ends at the Arenal Dam where our boat-restaurant will be waiting to take us for a gentle ride on the lake, all the way to our hotel. Tonight we'll stay at a very special and small resort overlooking the lake. Tropical/European dinner together. Distance: 22 to 38 km (14 to 24 miles).
Lodging: Hotel La Mansion Inn
Day 5: Bike around Arenal Lake and Hike in the Rainforest
Highlights: Lake Arenal, El Silencio Rainforest Preserve
Today we continue our spectacular ride around the north shore of Lake Arenal. We'll ride to El Silencio Rainforest Preserve where we'll hike accompanied by our naturalist guide. In the afternoon we'll suggest a perfect picnic spot where you can take a refreshing swim in the lake before biking back to our hotel. Enjoy a great sunset over one of the most beautiful lakes in the world followed by our final dinner together.
Distance: 41 km (25.5 miles) and 2 hours hiking.
Lodging: Hotel La Mansion Inn
Day 6: Shuttle back to San José
Highlights: Tour ends with a complimentary shuttle back to San José
Our bicycle adventure comes to an end today. We'll also provide a shuttle back to 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!
HighlightsWorld famous Eco Termales Hot Springs, Bicycle ride around Lake Arenal, Zip line canopy tour, Monkeys, iguanas and moreKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Includes6 days, 5 nights accommodation; 4 dinners with beer or fruit drink, 1 lunch, 3 breakfasts; group shuttle to San José at tour's end, and all activities included in the itinerary. plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartJuan Santamaria Int'l Airport, San José (SJO)
Total Distance144 - 201 km (88 - 124 miles)
Daily Distance22 - 52 km (14 - 32 miles)
Rating201 Varied terrain: long flat stretches on two days, other days with several short climbs. Lots of extra mileage options.
TermsTerms & 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.
Book Review: Guides to Birds of Costa Rica
ExperiencePlus! co-founder Rick Price reviews two guide books
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.
The birds of Costa Rica
Mario Cordero, ExperiencePlus! Costa Rica country coordinator, describes birds and biodiversity of his country.
Maps of Costa Rica
The MapCR.com site is a resource for travel information in Costa Rica. This site also sells waterproof, high quality Costa Rica maps that you may find helpful planning your vacation before and after your ExperiencePlus! tour.
- Book Review: Guides to Birds of Costa Rica