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Costa Rica Coast to Coast Ride
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.
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration14 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance290.8 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance24.2 miles
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?
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.