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Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile:  Medium.  Though many of the roads are good, expect some potholes and poor road conditions in places. Routes mainly follow quiet backroads apart from some sections on the Pacific coast, where only one road is available. This tour also covers some remote regions. Please note, the sea has very strong rip currents in Tortuguero and Cahuita and is not suitable for swimming from the beach.

Distance: 482 km

Travel Season: Departures 2023:  April 1; July 8; September 9; September 23; October 14; October 28; November 4; November 18; December 2 and December 16, 2023
Departures 2024: January 6; January 20; January 27; February 3; February 10; February 24; March 2; March 30; July 6; August 10; October 12; October 26; November 2; November 16 and December 14, 2024


You will spend 13 nights in comfortable hotels with en suite rooms. Hotels are full of character and most have swimming pools. There are three nights in remote mountain lodges with lush gardens and superb views; one with a well-known tropical botanical garden. All accommodation are well maintained, very clean and most are long-time favourites in Costa Rica.

Take in the variety of Costa Rica by bike, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning coastline. From San Jose, we cycle south with vast Pacific views to the right and dense forest to the left. Crossing the 3,400 meters Cerro de la Muerte pass into the Orosi Valley, we ride past coffee plantations and volcanoes to arrive on the fertile Caribbean plains where banana plantations take over the landscape. We take a break from the saddle to explore the wildlife-rich rivers and waterways of Tortuguero before travelling to La Fortuna, a lovely spot at the foot of Arenal Volcano.


Day 1

Start San Jose

We gather at our start hotel in La Garita de Alajuela, around a 15 minute drive from the airport. There’s nothing planned today, so take time to relax and prepare for the exciting adventures ahead.

Day 2

Ride and transfer to Rio Tarcoles; boat tour; transfer to Playa Bejuco 45 km + 10 km

After breakfast, we have a briefing and spend time adjusting our bikes before riding out on paved roads with very little traffic through small rural communities and a dry tropical forest. This initial stage will finish just outside Atenas, and then we have a short transfer (approximately 20 minutes) to Orotina, where we will jump back on the bikes and cycle onwards until we reach the coastal highway. After lunch, we embark on our private, guided boat tour of the estuary. We hope to see crocodiles, waterbirds and even scarlet macaws. After, we take a roughly 30 minute transfer to our beach hotel at Playa Bejuco. If tide and sand conditions permit, we can fit in more cycling and arrive at the hotel riding on the immense tropical beach.

Day 3

Wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio National Park; to Playa Dominical 38 km

Today we start with a transfer (approximately 40 minutes) to Manuel Antonio National Park. This is an outstanding region for wildlife, and we will enjoy a two hour guided hike. Here, the forest meets the sea; iguanas and white-faced capuchin monkeys can often be seen on the beach. Leaving the park, we have a transfer (approximately 20 minutes) to the coastal road outside Quepos, where we cycle south to Playa Dominical. We spend the night in the rainforest at Hotel Villas Rio Mar.

Day 4

Ride to Ciudad Cortes 53 km

Today we continue cycling south along the coastal road, which includes a few hilly sections near Uvita and Ojochal. Off to our right is the Pacific, with some lovely, isolated beaches, and at Playa Hermosa we will stop for a quick refreshment break. Afterwards, we cycle further until we arrive at Boca Coronado and stop for lunch at a restaurant with great Rio Terraba estuary views. After lunch, we have a short easy ride to our hotel for tonight, Las Palmas de Osa, just outside Ciudad Cortes.

Day 5

To Osa Peninsula; ride to Puerto Jimenez 42 km

Our ride today takes us from Ciudad Cortes to Palmar Norte, where we cross the Rio Terraba, the longest river in Costa Rica, then to Palmar Sur, where we stop at the central park to see spherical rocks formed by a little-known ancient indigenous culture. Afterwards, we board the coach for a transfer (approximately 90 minutes) to La Palma, stopping for lunch on the way. We then resume cycling, passing through Puerto Jimenez en route to our beach hotel on beautiful Playa Platanares.

Day 6

Ferry to Golfito; ride and transfer to Las Cruces; hike at Las Cruces Botanical Garden 22 km

We board a ferry this morning for a 30 minute journey across the Golfo Dulce to Golfito, where we sometimes spot frolicking dolphins. Our cycle route heads to Rio Claro on a short but hilly biking stage. Following a one hour bus transfer across the steep mountains surrounding San Vito, we arrive at Las Cruces Biological Station, which is surrounded by the Wilson Botanical Gardens where we take a guided hike in the afternoon.

Day 7

Cycle to Paso Real; transfer to San Gerardo de Rivas 51 km

Back on the saddle, we enjoy a fantastic downhill ride from the hilly region near San Vito to Paso Real, far below at the Rio Terraba. We pass through an indigenous area where villagers can sometimes be seen in traditional dress. We stop in Buenos Aires for lunch before boarding the bus for our transfer (approximately two to three hours) to San Gerardo de Rivas. We will pass the first of many pineapple plantations, which has now become Costa Rica's most exported crop. Our hotel tonight is in the mountains, so it may be chillier than you expect.

Day 8

Ride to San Isidro de Perez Zeledon; transfer across the Cerro de la Muerte pass; cycle to Orosi 38 km

This morning we start with a short downhill stage before jumping on the bus for a transfer that will take us over the Cerro de La Muerte. At 3,541 meters above sea level, this is the highest point on the PanAm Highway in Central America. On this stretch, we drive through rainforest, up into the cloud forest before descending towards the Central Valley. From here, we get back on our bikes for another downhill into the Orosi Valley.

Day 9

Cycle to Turrialba 47 km

After breakfast, we leave the hotel for one of the most beautiful cycling routes on this trip, past numerous coffee plantations. With any luck, we will see farmers using their colourful traditional oxcarts to haul their crop to nearby processing facilities. Along the way, we stop at coffee trees and learn more about coffee and its role in Costa Rican history from the tour leader. As we continue through the valley, we ride around a hydroelectric dam before starting a section that involves some climbs. We then arrive at the little town of Tucurrique for lunch. Afterwards, we cycle through sugar cane plantations before a short transfer to our hotel for the night. Our mountain lodge has excellent views, including over the coffee growing Orosi Valley and both the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes.

Day 10

Cycle to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, Cahuita National Park hike and transfer to Puerto Viejo 38 km

After breakfast, we will start cycling a hilly section with incredible views, followed by a fast downhill to the town of Siquierres, where we board the coach and transfer to the Caribbean coast. This afternoon, we enjoy a guided hike in Cahuita National Park; expect to see lots of wildlife including two and three-toed sloths, capuchin monkeys and iguanas. Afterwards, we transfer (approximately 15 minutes) to Puerto Viejo, a Caribbean town with lively reggae music and culture and spicy cuisine.

Day 11

Transfer to Guacimo; cycle through banana plantations; transfer to La Pavona for boat trip to Tortuguero 38 km

Today is a very early start as we have a transfer (approximately 20 mins) to the town of Cahuita for breakfast. Then we continue to the beginning of our backroads biking stage, which takes us through several small towns within the immense banana plantations. We have lunch at a banana-packing facility and have the chance to observe the harvesting and packaging process. Afterwards, we transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to La Pavona and board a boat to Tortuguero National Park along the wildlife-rich rivers and canals used for transiting in this densely forested area.

Day 12

Boat trip in Tortuguero; ride and transfer to La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano; visit thermal springs 22 km

An early morning boat trip allows us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero. At this time, wildlife is usually at its most active. With the help of our expert guide, we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300-plus bird species here. We retrace our route by boat to the dock at La Pavona where we will start cycling through banana plantations, stopping for a brief explanation about the importance of these plantations to Costa Rica. Afterwards, we have a transfer to just outside Guapiles for an early lunch provided by our Tortuguero lodge. After, we head towards La Fortuna and Arenal volcano. Following a massive explosion in 1968, Arenal was the most active volcano in Costa Rica until recently when it entered a resting phase. En route, we will take a break to observe thriving pineapple operations, before continuing to our town-centre hotel. This evening there is an included excursion to Volcano Lodge hot springs.

Day 13

Cycle to Bajo Rodriguez; transfer to La Garita de Alajuela 58 km

Following a short transfer, our final cycling stage starts with a ride through the dense rainforest surrounding beautiful Lake Arenal, with several spots to observe the volcano as we continue back toward La Fortuna. After, we bike through tropical farmlands of exotic fruits and vegetables, then do a bit of climbing through forested hills to the conclusion at Bajo Rodriguez. The last leg of our journey is completed by bus as we transfer (approximately two hours) back to La Garita de Alajuela.

Day 14

End San Jose

Our trip ends this morning after breakfast.



    • All breakfasts, four lunches and two dinners
    • All accommodation
    • All transport and listed activities
    • Tour/cycling leader and support team throughout
    • Local bike rental

    Not Included:

    • Travel insurance
    • Personal expenses
    • Meals not specified in the itinerary
    • Gratuities

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