Bicycling 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 Bicycling Costa Rica Plus! the Pacific Tour Details page here.***

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    1. 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

    2. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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

    5. 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

    6. 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!

    • Highlights

      World famous Eco Termales Hot Springs, Bicycle ride around Lake Arenal, Zip line canopy tour, Monkeys, iguanas and more
    • Includes

      6 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"
    • Countries

      Costa Rica
    • Begin/End

      San José
    • Arrive/Depart

      Juan Santamaria Int'l Airport, San José (SJO)
    • Total Distance

      144 - 201 km (88 - 124 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      22 - 52 km (14 - 32 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

    • 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 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.

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