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Costa Rica Bike Tour
Costa Rica Bike Tour

Your wedding day, graduation, the day you got that promotion. What are some of your best days? Well, make space for these five days in Costa Rica. You'll follow undulating routes on road bikes, spinning past scenery so enchanting you're instantly smitten. Be greeted by farmers - and howler monkeys! Soak in hot springs, hike in the cloud forest and gaze at that majestic volcano. Love the riding and those papaya batidos. By the end, you'll know these five incredible days will never be forgotten.

Straight Talk
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Accommodations & Service Standards

While our casual accommodations on this trip are the best options available in these remote locations, they may not offer the level of customer service you might expect. Service can seem slow and laid-back. Your best bet is to be patient, keep a sense of humor and appreciate the cultural differences that abound here.

Traffic & Terrain

Costa Rica is known for its rugged topography. In order to provide you the most outstanding road biking experience, we’ve carefully crafted this itinerary to feature the highlands, which offer a temperate climate and the country’s best scenic paved roads.

Our routes are designed so you’ll encounter as little traffic as possible, though you may experience some busy sections. We’ll flatten some of the hills with strategic shuttles to give you a boost (and to bypass busier areas), but you need to be comfortable with some steeper hills or with hopping in the van.

Costa Rica’s excessive rain and humidity, while ideal for the cloud and rain forests, make road maintenance a continual challenge. Be prepared for the occasional pothole and gravel or dirt road during the trip. Please keep in mind that the humidity, heat and elevation gain can make biking feel more challenging, so conditioning is particularly important.

On-Your-Own Activities

During the trip there’s time for you to enjoy zip-lining, one of Costa Rica’s favorite activities. This activity is often a highlight, but as it’s not to everyone’s liking it’s not included in the cost of the trip and participation is at your own risk.

Day 1 Jump-start the day with a coffee plantation tour, learning about - and sampling - grano de oro (golden bean) java  En route to the Los Angeles Cloud Forest, bike beautiful undulating roads past prolific coffee plantations, small villages, brilliant orange poró trees and friendly farmers Commune with nature at the eco-friendly Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel.

Day 2 Ride past thriving rain forest and breathtaking waterfalls, listening to toucans call and howler monkeys roar - a particularly challenging option takes you up and over the Continental Divide!  An interpretive walk through the cloud forest reveals an incredible variety of flora and fauna  The mountain town of Zarcero invites you to explore its charming century-old pink and blue church  Taste some of Costa Rica's mind-boggling array of tropical fruits - fresh guanabana, anyone?

Day 3 Soak in hot springs amid palms, bromeliads and ferns  Pedal rolling roads flanked by plantations of papaya, pineapple and yucca to La Fortuna  The afternoon is yours to do as you choose - a zip-line flight through the jungle canopy or a visit to the spa, perhaps?

Days 4-5 Take in views of majestic Arenal Volcano on a scenic boat ride across Lake Arenal  Bike part of the Vuelta del Lago race route - at your own pace of course Listen for the call of howler and white-faced monkeys as you leisurely stroll along a network of hanging bridges high in the lush rain forest canopy  Pedal through scenic ranchland to Proyecto Asis, where we explore a wild animal rescue center and learn about the community conservation project.

Trip Highlights
  • Road bike past thriving rain forest, breathtaking waterfalls and captivating villages 
  • Commune with nature at the tranquil eco-friendly Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
  • Ride in the shadow of imposing Arenal Volcano  
  • Soak in hot springs in a jungle oasis
  • Proximity to Costa Rica's beaches - why not extend your trip? We make it easy!
big map

Casual & Premiere Inns

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel (1 night): This eco-conscious boutique hotel features charming casitas, each with a splendid view of the cloud forest. (spa)

Tilajari Hotel Resort (1 night): Spot caimans and iguanas from this welcoming retreat overlooking the San Carlos River amid 35 acres of rain forest and manicured gardens. (pool, spa, tennis)

Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens (2 nights): Arenal Volcano is on display at this tranquil oasis, whose spacious bungalows each offer a private deck with whirlpool tub and a secluded outdoor shower. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)

Routes For All Abilities

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 10* 1000 22 2500
Coffee Estate Tour (1 Hour)
Hike into Villa Blanca (2.9 to 4.6 Miles)
2 14* 300 23* 900 36* 1500 55 4700
Cloud Forest Hike (1.5 Miles)
3 19* 1800 30* 2300 35 2600
Zip-Lining or Walking in La Fortuna
4 14* 1400 23* 1900 40* 2900
Boat Cruise on Lake Arenal (30 Minutes)
Hanging Bridges Walk (2 Miles)
5 21 200

There is less than 5% of riding on hard-packed dirt on this trip. Since the overwhelming majority of the trip is paved, we've elected to use standard road bike tires on our titanium road bikes. Most guests find this to be the right answer. If you prefer to skip the dirt, a shuttle is always a possibility.

* Includes a shuttle

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.

Pricing for Private Trips

  • 8 - 9 guests $3,498 pp dbl. occ.
  • 10 - 11 guests $3,198 pp dbl. occ.
  • 12 or more guests $2,598 pp dbl. occ.

For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.

Guest Trip Reviews

Another outstanding biking trip! This is the very best way to visit the diverse environments of Costa Rica and relax at the end of the day in outstanding accommodations. Bravo Backroads!
William Miller - Fort Collins, CO

What can I say but fantastic! Our support drivers were SO crucial to our good time. They kept us hydrated, fed and happy. Since my first travels with Backroads 11½ years ago, I have been constantly talking about the company with other people. I have never had such great vacations as I have had with Backroads.
Amanda Riggs - Fort McMurray, AB

Great bike rides, wonderful people, excellent staff (both leaders and drivers), incomparable food and accommodations - what's not to like? The local drivers were fun, enthusiastic, and clearly part of a successful team with the leaders. Great trip! The friends we made were icing on the cake.
Wayne Lindstrom - Ann Arbor, MI

As usual, we had a great time on our Costa Rica trip. The leaders were real cheerleaders for the country and the places we visited. We feel very fortunate that we were able to see and experience places in the country not frequented by the ordinary tourist. The lodging was extraordinary and each place had its own unique quality. We admire your ability to search out the unusual for your guests. Our leaders made us feel like real champs and that's a good way to feel.
Harold Holden - Franklin Lakes, NJ

This was the most incredible vacation I have ever taken, and I have been promoting Backroads since returning home. Each day brought wonderful and unique experiences. Never having taken a trip like this, I did not know what to expect and now cannot believe I waited this long to try a group trip like this one. My husband and I plan to take many more trips with Backroads in the future.
Gail S. - Cherry Hill, NJ

This was a great trip from top to bottom. The leaders and van support were just terrific. Thank you for the beautiful birthday party and the gift that our leaders arranged. It was beautiful. Our whole family had the time of our lives.
Ken Benjamin - Los Gatos, CA

We loved the whole experience, it really met all our expectations, we're still dreaming about it!
Linda Dibble - Ann Arbor, MI

Great trip, wonderful guides far beyond my expectations. I am excited to take my next trip with my grown children so they can have this experience. It was the perfect start to my husband's retirement. Thank you.
Edith Otto

Backroads was everything I wanted and more!!! I loved my first Backroads trip.
Patricia O'Sullivan - Clifton Park, NY