Coast to coast cycling vacation in Costa Rica

“This trip is a sociable group tour cycling long stretches of Costa Rica’s breathtaking Pacific coastline by day and kicking back in comfortable hotels by night.”

Highlights

San Jose | Rio Tarcoles | Parrita | Wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio National Park | Rio Savegre | Osa Peninsula | Puerto Jimenez | Golfito | Las Cruces Botanical Garden | Savegre Valley | Orosi Valley | Siquirres | Tortuguero National Park | La Fortuna | Arenal volcano | Bajo Rodriguez

Travel Team

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17 Oct 2020
US $4049
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21 Nov 2020
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19 Dec 2020
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09 Jan 2021
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23 Jan 2021
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06 Feb 2021
US $4199
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20 Mar 2021
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17 Apr 2021
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10 Jul 2021
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18 Sep 2021
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16 Oct 2021
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06 Nov 2021
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20 Nov 2021
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18 Dec 2021
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Our top tip:
Take a gel seat and some chamois cream - saddle soreness can really ruin a beautiful view.
Trip type:
Small group, 6-16 adults (min. age 16), plus tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
13 nights comforatble hotels with en suite rooms.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available.
Meals:
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners.
Included:
All accommodation, all transport, listed activities, tour leader.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Activity:
As a cycling vacation, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit within Costa Rica. Use of the bikes allows us to cover fairly large distances, while having very little adverse impact, like pollution and threat to wildlife. When we do use coaches for transfers, they come from a local business and run in compliance with Costa Rica’s strict anti-pollution laws, which require vehicles to be inspected biannually. Additionally, cycling also allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. We are able to raise local awareness for a kind of tourism which refuses to sacrifice the environment and real connections with people for financial gain.

Conservation:
Costa Rica is well known for being dedicated to conserving the environment, having long ago set aside protected areas for conservation activity. Our visits to National Parks and protected areas, such as the Wilson Botanical Garden, which is operated by the Organisation for Tropical Studies, help to encourage and expand the ongoing effort to preserve and protect the environment. Our entry fees for Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovado National Park, amongst other areas, go towards park maintenance, staff salaries, training programmes and the research and monitoring of the plethora of rich wildlife here. These funds also contribute towards the effort to expand the amount of land and sea given a protected status

Water:
Water is a really important issue on cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Water is safe in the regions we cycle through and there is a large water tank installed at the rear of the support vehicle for easy access.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation & Meals:
We spend our time in Costa Rica using small, locally owned hotels and lodges set in quite remote Southern areas. This provides direct employment for many locals who would otherwise need to migrate to San Jose in search of employment. Using small lodgings also allows for a better chance to meet the local residents; as the hotels tend to be family run operations, interaction between guests and staff is really encouraged. Where meals are provided, locally sourced ingredients are used as much as possible- for breakfast, this is usually fresh fruit, eggs and bread. Lunches and dinners are taken in locally owned cafes, restaurants and road stops, which offer the mutual benefit of local employment and a variety of authentic Costa Rican dishes e.g. Gallo pinto, seafood ceviche, plantain and tamales stuffed with meat and vegetables.

Community:
Leaders, guides, mechanics and drivers are all locals, thus benefiting the Costa Rican people, and offering guests direct contact with local knowledge of the country. During the itinerary, there is the opportunity to visit schools which would not routinely experience the benefits of tourism, due to their remote locations. A visit to an orphanage on the poorer, less developed Caribbean side of the country can also be included. Other optional activities include kayaking, canopy or zip wire tours, surfing, fishing, plantation tours or hiking in Corcovado National Park. Each of these excursions benefits local communities by creating local employment in a sustainable part of the tourism industry.

Local Crafts & Culture:
All supplies are sourced locally, and the staff will encourage guests to use local shops for purchasing goods and souvenirs. Following the final biking stage, we stop at Sarchi, a famous arts and crafts village, for a visit to the local arts co-operative, where proceeds more directly benefit the artisans. Also included is a visit to a coffee plantation which is in the process of converting to more environmentally benign practices, and one of the huge banana plantations of the Caribbean plains. We'll stop at one of the plantations to learn about the process of banana production right through from picking the bananas to them arriving on the breakfast table.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

2 Reviews of Coast to coast cycling vacation in Costa Rica

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 20 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Experiencing the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and being able to share the vacation with our cycling group.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If going in February don't take warm clothes options as it is either hot and sticky ( Carribean), very hot and sticky ( Pacific) or warm ( mountains). Also some of the hills are steep for cycling, especially the first few days. Fortunately, the back up bus is always there to pick up stragglers if necessary. Also, some of the cycling is on busy roads. Although most places take US Dollars it is best to have local Colones as well as some places charge Colones and then convert to dollars at a very poor rate.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


As we were cycling a good part of the time we still had a lot of bus travel so not particularly environmentally friendly. However, otherwise we felt that we contributed to the local economy and also appreciated the conservation efforts that were prevalent in Costa Rica.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation and would have no hesitation in recommending it to others.

Reviewed on 02 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Every day with new discoveries of Costa Rica, beautiful cycling experience, local tour leader Memo and his fantastic crew member Luís and Ronald, and variety of vacation experience in two weeks made this vacation the best I've ever been.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for rice and beans three times a day for two weeks ;)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, absolutely, in all the trips (including optional) I felt that local people were supported in their business, be it a local restaurant for a lunch stop, chocolate tour in sustainable farming or cycling, as a way to discover the country. It was very nice that the tour leader, as well as other two crew members were local, from Costa Rica.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Exceeding my expectations!

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