Costa Rica: Challenging Bike Tour


Guided Dates: By request. Add your own dates (learn more).

Best months: January - April

See Costs tab below for more details.

Route Description:

A ride of myriad challenges, from a start downhill on gravel roads, to a long paved ride on day three, and a second half with beachfront rides and some hilly, rough, challenging sections. Mountain bikes are required. Note that most people will need at least some van support. We rise before dawn on days 5-7, to begin cycling in the cool early hours. Breakfast is served enroute, and there will be time to enjoy an afternoon siesta at your destination.

“The fruit was fantastic (so fresh), and all the meals were excellent…John was a superlative guide…It was really the best trip ever!”
– Janet & Leo L. 


Seven nights; six days of challenging cycling from the Monteverde Cloud Forest to the empty beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula on the west coast.

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  • Itinerary
  • Description
  • Costs
  • Before & After
  • Reviews



Start: Liberia airport, 12:00, day one.
Finish: Liberia airport, 11:00, day eight.

Day 1: Arrival 
Noon hour pickup in Liberia for transfer to Monteverde and your hotel, in time for dinner, where you can get to know your co-adventurers and guides. D(Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only) 
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens or Hotel Las Orquideas, Monteverde
Upgrade: Hidden Canopy Hotel; add $100-$150 per person per night, depending on season and room category

Day 2: Coffee plantation, canopy tour and hiking 
Start with a two-hour tour of a fascinating coffee plantation, learning about the process and the culture, supporting the local growers, and tasting a variety of Arabica roasts. After lunch, flora and fauna admirers can take a canopy tour with treetop walkways, while adrenaline junkies can test their nerves on ziplines, including one of almost 1km, and the optional “tarzan swing” - not for the faint of heart!  This afternoon there may be time to choose from other independent options including a visit to the butterfly garden, a bat jungle, an orchid garden, horseback rides, waterfalls, or a cheese factory. Unless one of these particularly grabs you, we recommend you consider soaking up the ambience in the village of Santa Elena. Before dinner you can take a night-time jungle walk, which reveals many nocturnal animals and insects. BL
Same lodging

Day 3: 46km (29miles) Cycle across Nicoya Peninsula to Malpaís.
Start with a downhill transfer (or rough ride for advanced riders) to the port of Puntarenas, where beautiful views across the Gulf of Nicoya form the backdrop for a vibrant waterfront. Ferry across the gulf, and ride through Playa Tambor toward the adventurous villages of Mal País and Santa Teresa. This can feel like leaving civilization and arriving at the frontier, where the beating heart of tropical forest marries the serene spirit of the ocean surf. BD
Milarepa Hotel or Hotel Tropico Latino or Beija Flor Resort, Mal País 
Upgrade: Florblanca; add $120–$220 per person per night, depending on season and room category

Day 4: 23 or 38 km (14 or 24miles) Challenging ride into Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve or enjoy beach activities and waterfalls at Malpaís.
The longest-standing natural reserve in Costa Rica, the Cabo Blanco area is home to a large variety of animals; white-tailed deer, pacas, armadillos, anteaters, howler, spider and capuchin monkeys, collared peccary, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons and coatis. With a keen eye you can find traces of ocelots, jaguarundis or margay cats. The ride takes you up and over a mountain - a wonderful, quite challenging mountain bike ride, with amazing views. Other independent options include swimming, surfing, hiking, and waterfall exploration. B
Same lodging

Day 5: 65km (40miles) Cycle to Punta Islita
Pre-dawn start today! The ride to Punta Islita is one of the nicest rides we know of! From Mal País, you ride through Santa Teresa, then along the beach to Ario. You will cross a few rivers and ride through highland ranchlands and agricultural areas. You will stop for lunch at beautiful, isolated Punta Coyote, a seldom visited beach known for white sand, nesting turtles, and tranquil waters. 
We normally recommend taking the van transfer after lunch, to allow you plenty of time to fully enjoy your accommodation - one of the finest and most highly acclaimed resorts in Central America. BLD
Hotel Punta Islita, Punta Islita

Day 6: 20 or 35km (12 or 22miles) Cycling along beaches and inland climbs to the bustling beach town of Samara
Pre-dawn start today! Savour the tropical delights of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches as you make your way from Punta Islita to Sámara. This is rural Costa Rica at its finest. You may encounter people. You will be tempted by alluring beaches, and will enjoy the solitude of unusually quiet roads. BL
Villas Kalimba or Hotel Samara Beach, Samara

Day 7: up to 70km (43miles) A lengthy ride along the hilly coast to Playa Junquillal
Pre-dawn start again! This is spectacular riding on rough roads with very minimal traffic. Stop in the cowboy town of Nosara for lunch and take any opportunity to swim as you ride past numerous beaches. We recommend a visit to Playa Garza after the first 15km this morning, where an offshore reef protects the crescent bay with its broad, white-sand beach. Take a break under the palm trees and have a refreshing plunge in the sea before tackling some more amazing riding. Your destination, Playa Junquillal, is well known for its active waters and is a top surfing destination in Costa Rica.BLD 
Villa Serena or Hotelito Si Si Si or Hotel Guacamaya Lodge or Hotel Iguanazul, Playa Junquillal

Day 8: Farewell
Return to Liberia this morning for returning flights, or optional transport to San Jose. B

Costa Rica sets the pace for a wonderful active holiday. The climate is perfect for cycling and swimming; the people are educated, friendly, and beautiful; and there are heavenly places to rest at night. This bicycle tour combines the unusual contemplative and adventurous experiences in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with the best tropical beach ride in Costa Rica on the Nicoya Peninsula. A smorgasbord of active delights, it includes abundant wildlife sightings, beautiful rides on quiet roads, opportunities for zip-lining, surfing and horseback riding, and rests at exquisite lodges. You will visit absolute biological reserves, butterfly gardens, coffee plantations, deserted beaches,and tropical surf on the enchanting beaches of the north Pacific coast. The riding includes some challenges on rough and hilly roads which help make the destinations quiet and superbly untrammelled. We start very early, and van support is available, both of which contribute to an early finish by the pool or at the beach, during the heat of the day. 









Start: Liberia airport, 12:00, day one.
Finish: Liberia airport, 11:00, day eight.
Guided Cost: US 2945 C 3695 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, vehicle transfers, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes)
Self-guided Cost: US 2545 C 3195 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, necessary vehicle transfers, luggage handling, maps and route notes)
Single Occupancy: US 680 C 855 (higher with upgrades)
Bicycle Rental: Mountain Bike: US 255 C 320

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.




















  • Rent a car in Liberia and visit Costa Rica’s many National Parks
  • Explore Arenal Volcano National Park and hike to the magnificent La Fortuna Waterfall.
  • Visit Manuel Antonio National Park.



























"We loved the incredible variety of birds and wildlife that were so close to us and if not visible, then audible. One of my favourite wildlife moments was watching female howler monkeys traversing a path from tree to telephone lines to another tree, one at a time, many with their babies on their backs, right above our heads."
– Janet & Leo Lefebvre

“The fruit was fantastic (so fresh), and all the meals were excellent…John was a superlative guide…It was really the best trip ever!”
– Janet & Leo Lefebvre, Costa Rica

"...such a lovely trip has seriously whetted our appetite for more travel." – Janet & Leo Lefebvre, Costa Rica

“...thank you profusely for really the best trip ever... It was really just a perfect combination of adventure...the tropics...lots of physical exertion, variety of great stuff to do...we really couldn't go wrong!
– Rob & Sally Simpson

“I was extremely pleased with your staff, both in the office with their help in planning and with the guides on the two rides.  In all cases, they exceeded my expectations, as did the actual rides.  I have made a total of 14 organized rides in Europe and Costa Rica in addition to Canada, and yours are among the very best.”
– Carl Nielsen 

















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