Craving a slice of nature? Then Costa Rica will tick all the right boxes for those desperate to experience the great outdoors at its very finest. Beautiful rainforests, national parks, volcanoes, beaches are all on offer, plus there is the added allure of half a million diverse species who call this wonderful country home. Costa Rica protects a quarter of its wildlands by law and this commitment to protecting nature, plus an additional dedication to sustainable tourism makes a cycling tour here that much more special.
There are countless must-ride locations in Costa Rica, but a notable spot is an ascent into the hilly surroundings of Lake Arenal where you can marvel at breathtaking views, including those of the lake itself and Arenal Volcano. Lush agricultural land gives way to the thick rainforest on this glorious ride before you embrace a thrilling descent into the popular tourist town of La Fortuna. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, toucans, and mesmerizing neon-blue Morpho butterflies.
Fortunately, La Fortuna is also renowned for its beautiful hot springs and this is a perfect place to rest your legs and enjoy a nice soak. Costa Rica does relaxation perfectly and you will often find the locals saying ‘pura vida’ (or pure life in English). It is used in a positive sense and you will catch people saying it everywhere.
This upbeat mindset is evident everywhere, particularly in rural areas when riding through the exquisite Orosi Valley towards Turrialba. This beautiful route leads you past fragrant coffee plantations, where you may catch farmers using their traditional colorful oxcarts. Naturally, you must stop en route and learn about coffee plantations, plus taste some to power up, so you can ensure you catch some glorious sunset views of the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes.
Costa Rica is also renowned for its water-based activities - surfing is world famous here - and taking to the water also offers rich rewards for animal spotting. For instance, the Tenorio River is a pure haven for tropical birds, crocodiles, howler monkeys and so much more.
And it is no different on land. Hiking wonderful national parks such as Manuel Antonio and Cahuita will have you reaching for your camera to snap the likes of sloths, monkeys, and iguanas. After leaving the former, it is well worth grabbing your bike to pedal the coastal highway to Playa Tortuga where dense forest and spell-binding Pacific ocean views flank you.
The town of Cahuita is also worth lingering in a little longer as it is renowned for its excellent reggae music, spicy food and zest for life. But the same can be said for so many spots in Costa Rica and wherever you point your wheels, you will be rewarded with an adventure that is the definition of ‘pura vida’.