Stop and be captivated by the wildlife of Costa Rica
Ride through some captivating landscapes
Saddle up and enjoy the sea views fly by
Join a group guided tour and experience camaraderie and fun exploring together
Discover a wonderful land by bicycle
Explore, cycle, connect and sightsee
Stay in and discover the picturesque town of La Fortuna, close to the dramatic Arenal volcano

Costa Rica Coast to Coast Ride

Duration
14 days
Site savings
$91
From
$4,444 USD

Cycle stretches of the Pacific coastline and see the highlights of Costa Rica over 14 wonderful days. Take in the variety of Costa Rica by bike, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning sections of coastline. From San Jose you'll cycle south with vast Pacific views to the right and dense forest to the left. Crossing the 3400m Cerro de la Muerte pass into the Orosi Valley you'll ride past coffee plantations and volcanoes to arrive on the fertile Caribbean plains where banana plantations take over the landscape. You can take a break from the saddle to explore the wildlife-rich rivers and waterways of Tortuguero before travelling to La Fortuna, a lovely spot located at the foot of Arenal Volcano.

  • Category
    Solo
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    14 days
  • Culture Level
    Adventurous
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Coastal
  • Distance
    290.8 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    24.2 miles
operated by
Exodus Travels
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    The tour starts and ends in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Fly in/out of Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

  • How long is the tour? How many cycling days?

    The tour is 14 days long with 12 days of cycling.

  • What's the tour like?

    This trip is classified as Road with an activity Level: 3 (Moderate). The average daily distance: 39km (24 miles) with 100% vehicle support.

    Terrain and route: 80% tarmac, 20% groomed dirt road with some moderate climbs. Routes mainly follow quiet backroads.

    This tour covers some remote parts of the region. Though many of the roads are good you should 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.

    Please note that in the region of Tortuguero and Cahuita the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach.



  • Do I have to wear/bring a helmet?

    Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in this cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire.

    Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

    Recommended Cycling Clothing

    Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

  • Should I have travel insurance?

    Yes. It is a condition of joining this holiday that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

  • What's the weather like?

    Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10ºC - 13ºC in the highlands and from 22ºC - 26ºC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine, so August, for example, is not necessarily a bad time to visit as the temperature can be pleasant. December to April is the driest period of the year and can get incredibly hot, be prepared for some rain even at this time of year. August offers moderate temperatures.

  • Are there any travel documents needed?

    Passport

    All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit.


    Visa


    Costa Rica

    Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - it's suggested that  you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them.


  • Are any vaccinations required?

    There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

    The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

    Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

    Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.


    Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

    The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

  • Please read here for the tour operator's message regarding Covid-19:

    Before you travel
    We recommend that your travel insurance policy includes COVID-cover so that your costs will be covered until you are able to return home should you test positive (subject to conditions). When comparing travel insurance providers, please ensure you read each PDS carefully so you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

    On your trip
    Your tour leader will provide the latest local guidance, and let you know if any extra safety precautions such as face coverings may be needed in certain locations.
    Should you fall ill, our team knows the most suitable medical care facilities for each point on the trip and will work in tandem with your leader to get you any medical attention, should you need it. If official travel advice changes during your trip, your leader will work closely with our customer operations team to reroute or help with repatriation if required.

    In the unlikely event that your group needs to self-isolate, your local team will offer support throughout. We will help arrange accommodation and food and help to organise medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that your tour leader contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately.

    Returning home
    Should there be a requirement to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival back to your home country, we have built time into our itineraries for this. On guided trips your leader will assist with this and if needed, will take you to the most appropriate local testing facility.

    If, through no fault of your own, your test result is delayed, we will cover your accommodation costs until you are able to travel and rearrange your flights (for flight inclusive customers).

    Small Healthy Groups
    We keep group sizes small to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 10 guests in each group. It may not always be possible to socially distance, but as a precautionary measure, we encourage travellers to limit physical contact with others where possible.

    Exodus COVID-Clear Policy
    For extra peace of mind, Exodus requires all those travelling on group holidays to have had a vaccine or negative COVID test – known as ‘COVID-Clear’ status. Please ensure that you understand this policy and can comply with it before you travel with us. All customers will need to have one of the following in place prior to travel:

    1. Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last dose having been administered no less than two weeks prior to travel. The total number of doses must have been given, as required by the vaccine manufacturer (in most cases this is two doses).
    • You will need to obtain the Australian-issued International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). Please visit Smart Traveller for how to obtain your certificate

    2. A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 72 hours of travel.

    If you are travelling to a country where one of these is an entry requirement, you do not need to provide Exodus with proof of your COVID-Clear status prior to travel; you can expect this to be checked by your airline and by immigration officials when you arrive in the destination country.

    If you are travelling within your home country, or there are no entry requirements of this nature in the destination country, please email a copy or photo of your documents to support@roaradventures.com at least 2 weeks before departure.

    With our COVID-Clear policy in place, we will no longer require you to complete a ‘self-declaration’ prior to travel, which was required for travel during 2020. Your tour leader however will remind you of any regional or national COVID rules or guidelines which apply, and as needed, the latest policy requirements from Exodus.

    Approved Destinations

    All of our destinations will be required to pass a 5-stage approval process, which includes all relevant government authorities advice and assessment of additional destination information by Healix, a leading independent Global Travel Risk Management company.

    Our 5-stage approval process
    We will only travel to a country where the following criteria has been met:
    • The Australian Government does not advise against travel to your chosen country.
    • COVID infection rates are under control.
    • Entry requirements are reasonable and local restrictions do not significantly impair the itinerary.
    • We have access to a list of approved emergency medical services.
    • Our local partners can meet our COVID safety requirements.

    We use Healix, a leading Global Travel Risk Management company to ensure we have correct, consistent and up-to-date information about all destination risks.

    How do I know if my trip is going ahead?
    We review all upcoming departures on a rolling, week-by-week basis, to assess whether we can safely travel to the destination country.

    11 weeks before you depart: At this point we will either confirm that we believe there is a good chance of the trip running, or we will cancel the departure. All clients will be written to in either case.

    7 weeks before you depart: We will make a final decision on running the tour and will contact you to advise if your trip is scheduled to travel or not. We will issue updated Trip Notes and ask you to read and confirm you understand the requirements to protect yourself and other group members, including our ‘COVID-Clear’ policy.

    Up to the date of travel: We will continue to monitor all destinations and will notify clients immediately should the status of their departure change.

    Clean & Safe
    Enhanced cleanliness and hygiene safety measures have been introduced in our accommodation, transport, meal locations and venues, and our local teams will visit each one in advance of travel.

    Exodus Travels has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with additional assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.

Overall Rating:
4.9/5
Trip of a lifetime
Vanessa Greenaway
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Our first trip with [the tour operator], and first adventure on the bikes. This trip with Roberto and Jeyson guiding and Luis driving exceeded all of our expectations. We are hooked on this type of trip now and cannot believe we haven't found you before. We packed in so many wonderfully different terrains, views and wildlife experiences, it will be hard to replicate. The bikes were great, the cycling was the perfect amount for reasonably fit older adults. The first cycling stop where the water container was opened and we had the vision of perfectly arranged fresh pineapple and papaya was when I knew we would love it. This was the perfect time of year no rain, occasionally a little too hot but no need to carry excessive cold weather baggage. The tour guides at the national parks were exceptional and our tour guide Roberto had done all the upfront work to make our travel and experience of these phenomenal sites as smooth and streamlined as possible. We are truly grateful for a magnificent experience in difficult times pura vida!


What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
There are a few inspirational moments. Firstly finding that we had a great mixed group to share our holiday with. Some couples, singletons, siblings and lifetime friends, many who had been on previous trips and had advice and experiences to share from those. In particular, two wonderful 70 old ladies who often headed up the group on our way up the hills gave me hope for another 15 years of these type of holidays. Along with the wildlife which was exquisite and varied I found the vegetation to be awe inspiring. I loved the Wilson Botanical gardens and the rides through the mountains as we descended from that area. Seeing the various different plantations from pineapple to coffee and bananas was fascinating. And finally our beautiful afternoons by the the beach first the Pacific at Agua Dulce and then the Carribean for our impromptu swim, which Roberto realised was a necessary addition to the itinerary.


What did you think of your group leader?
Roberto is an excellent locally based leader , who is fluent in English, with the skills to manage and rearrange the itinery to suit the group requirements and the ensuing pandemic that we sadly were having to contend with. He was prepared to manage finances for various meals to enable us to get the best out of our time in the country, a truly experienced and skilled leader. He patiently repeated his instructions when asked, and pulled us into line when needed. His knowledge of the country and the wildlife was exceptional and he sets the standard very high for all our future trips. His helper Jeyson was also a delightful young man, who is a valuable addition to the team. With Luis and his exceptional driving they are a formidable group.


Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
As we were new to this style of trip, we hadn't thought through how it would work, it did perfectly but here are the things we learnt. Moving accommodation every night was an organisational challenge and being very prepared for this in your packing would help. 'Packing cubes is a recommendation I will take home from another guest'!! We set up early a group whatapp which enabled us to share photos and co-ordinate meeting in a timely manner this was essential. We had a fair degree of bus time and these journeys were made much more fun by having an inclusive group vibe, where everyone was helpful regarding possessions and spotting bathroom opportunities. Each person, couple is looking to get something slightly different out of the experience if everyone in the group is mindful of that it works brilliantly, as it did for us.


Is there anything else you would like to add?
We were somewhat anxious about various different aspects of this type of trip, even before the coronovirus effect. However within a very short space of time our fears were allayed. we weren't sure that our cycle level would be ok, but with the back up of the bus that becomes irrelevant, so long as you are comfortable covering the required distance at the pace that is recommended if you want to have bus break time that is no problem. We felt under a little pressure the first couple of nights, as we had missed our connection in Madrid ( do not book flights with only 2 hours connection window) due to French air traffic control!!!! It took us a while to settle in but having a positive attitude to dealing with hiccups helps and it was no big deal. A night in Madrid gave us a chance to practice Spanish in a plaza, and I had a couple of hours reading by a pool. We have loved our hotel based activity holidays for many years especially as the children grew and we had busy work lives. This more immmersive experience of travel though will suit us for many years to come.

Lifetime Adventure
Shona Baird
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

This was our first [tour operator] Holiday, it did not disappoint. Very well organised trip from all the information prior to our trip to all the hard working ground staff in Costa Rica. Nothing was too much trouble. The scenery ,mountains, beaches, flora, fauna, wildlife all amazing. My wishes to see sloths, Tucans and green eyed frogs all came true and so much more. The cycling was varied , very hot some days but the bus was always there to provide refreshing fresh pineapple or watermelon along with energy drinks and water. Some hills , some flatter rides and an 8mile beach cycle. We had such fun and good laughs with all our group who gelled well together. This was facilitated by our guides and support team . Our guide Guillermo was a wildlife expert and was knowledgeable about all areas of his country, this was delivered in a very witty and humourous style. Loved it all


What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
cycling through banana plantations seeing wildlife in their own habitats


What did you think of your group leader?
well organised, hard working, extremely knowledgable about his country from history, geography and wildlife. His sense of humour was ace.


Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Its a full on trip, but well worth the effort


Is there anything else you would like to add?
Book now !

Colourful Costa Rica Cycling
Jayne Cordingley
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

A superb holiday in a wonderful country: jaw dropping scenery, brilliant cycle routes, unbelievably beautiful and abundant wildlife, friendly locals and a really professional and dedicated guide and his team. I would recommend this trip to anyone who loves cycling, nature and great company. I would not hesitate to go back to this awe-inspiring county.


What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Cycling through the Orosi valley with its lush vegetation and beautiful views, along with experiencing fantastic wildlife so close up in its natural habitat, that has inspired me to see and learn more in the future. Not to mention, casually riding or driving by several of the country’ s volcanoes ( Arenal, Poas, Turrialba and Irazu) peeping out of the clouds was stunning.


What did you think of your group leader?
Andres and his crew were always helpful, patient ,informative, had a high regard for safety and were just generally good fun. Andres’ knowledge of wildlife was second to none. He inspired us all. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he always maintained a professional manner at all times. It was no coincidence the group ‘ gelled’ so well together from the first instance - instead that was credit to Andres and his personal and helpful nature. He is an excellent, yet modest cyclist too. He was always encouraging people up the hills and trying to keep the group together at all times.


Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take more warm clothes for the low season as there was around three much cooler mountain evenings ( not cooler necessary for cycling though in the daytime ), plus a good few pairs of decent cycling shorts and a hairdryer to dry them off last minute as it’s very humid! Take lots of DEET and a decent camera, SLR or compact. There is no need to take your own snacks or rehydration tablets for cycling as there was always ample supply in the minibus during frequent stops. Roads are good quality tarmac with few potholes, there is little traffic on the planned cycle routes and the drivers are courteous often given a friendly ‘pip’ to cheer you on.


Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is my 4 th [tour operator] trip and it won’t be my last. It was the best so far. The holiday began my proper education in wildlife and has inspired me to research more. Costa Rica is such a unique, beautiful and unspoilt country and one everyone should visit at least once, although somehow I don’t think once is enough. Do not hesitate to book this fantastic holiday.