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E-bikes are not available on this trip. Please click here to view bike options.

Costa Rica Highlands to Coast Multi-Adventure Tour - For Families with Older Teens & 20s

Cloud Forest, Waterfalls, Volcanoes & Beaches

One or more kids 17+ required (siblings 14+ ok)

Family — Older Teens & 20s

6 days 5 nights

Activity Level: 1-2

Premiere Hotels

From: $4,499 - $5,049 pp dbl occ

Plus $650 - $700 internal air

($1,100 for sgl occ)

Pura vida! Not just a greeting in Costa Rica but a way of life. Pure life. Enthusiasm for adventure. Seize it all, from cloud forests and jungles to rain forests with hidden hot springs and plummeting waterfalls. Howler monkeys and iguanas. Zip lines, white-water rafting, biking, hiking and hammocks. Bring your family and embrace the pure life in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Highlands to Coast Family Multi-Adventure Tour map
Costa Rica Highlands to Coast Family Multi-Adventure Tour map

Costa Rica

Start/End San José

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.


  • Hike through a cloud forest to Costa Rica's largest waterfall, Catarata del Toro, which plunges into an ancient volcano crater
  • Raft the white-water rapids of Río Sarapiquí, looking for toucans, iguanas, sloths and other unique jungle dwellers
  • Bike along Lake Arenal and gaze at majestic Arenal Volcano, rising dramatically from the lush green rain forest
  • Indulge in local specialties prepared by an expert chef in a Costa Rican cooking class.


Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
6 Days Premiere Hotels*
Accommodations may vary based on departure.
Days 1-2

Welcome to the cloud forest, one of the world's most precious and captivating tropical ecosystems | Start your family adventure with a walk on the grounds of the Espíritu Santo Coffee Estate | Learn about the coffee-making process, from planting to tasting | Luxuriate at an eco-retreat set in a 500-acre reserve | Hike to Catarata del Toro, the largest waterfall in Costa Rica, and watch the water crash into an ancient volcanic crater | Visit a local home and discover the secret to perfect handmade tortillas.

El Silencio
El Silencio
Bajos del Toro
| Premiere Hotel

"When you're sitting on a lookout deck with a whirlpool, perched high above the forest, it's a blissful reminder of how precious el silencio can be," said Travel + Leisure about this 500-acre sanctuary. (spa)

Day 3

Buckle up for a white-water rafting excursion on the Río Sarapiquí | Watch for playful monkeys, gentle sloths, green iguanas and colorful toucans | Vacation at our rain forest retreat situated at the base of legendary Arenal Volcano | Enjoy a Costa Rican cooking class and learn how to make a guaro mojito.

Exterior of Arenal Kioro
Arenal Kioro
La Fortuna
| *Casual Hotel

Take in majestic views of Arenal Volcano while soaking in your suite's private whirlpool. (pool, spa)

Days 4-6

Cross Lake Arenal by boat, then explore its lush jungle surroundings by bike | Ride through a vibrant landscape colored by palms, ferns, fig trees and bromeliads | Soak in a natural hot spring hidden in a forest oasis | A private plane whisks us to the Pacific coast ​Explore some of Costa Rica's most stunning beaches and hidden trails | At our oceanfront resort, opt to ride horseback, take a surf lesson, enjoy a complimentary yoga class or lounge on the beach.

Aerial view of Hotel Punta Islita
Hotel Punta Islita
Punta Islita
| Premiere Hotel

This eco-friendly resort is tucked away between an ocean cove and the forest on the pristine Nicoya Peninsula. (pool, spa)

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.

Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy in USD.

Looks like you’re traveling with a smaller group

Our Private Trips are best for groups of 6 or more. We suggest joining a scheduled trip.

Please Select a Group Size

Group size is required to show per-person pricing. Your group size can be approximate and can change.

Activity Level: 1-2

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.

Route notes

On this trip, our routes are designed to be easygoing, with relatively little elevation gain or loss. However, rough terrain, heat and humidity can make biking in Costa Rica more challenging than the mileage may suggest. Liberal van shuttling is incorporated into the itinerary to facilitate our activities and mileage is kept moderate to enable you to spend more time exploring on your own.

Daily Route Options

* Includes shuttle.
Day 1
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles | 300 ft. gain
Level 2 | 3 miles | 700 ft. gain
Coffee Plantation Visit (1 hour)
Day 2
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 1 miles | 300 ft. gain
Level 2 | 10 miles | 1000 ft. gain
Traditional Ox-Cart Painting Class (2 hours)
Day 3
on Río Sarapiquí (half day)
Cooking Class
Costa Rican Cooking Demonstration (3 hours)
Day 4
Level 1 | 10 miles* | 1000 ft. gain
Boat Cruise on Lake Arenal (1 hour)
Shuttle & Flight to Punta Islita (45 minutes)
Hot Springs Visit (1 hour)
Day 5
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 1 miles | 100 ft. gain
Hot Springs Visit (1 hour)
Yoga (1 hour)
Day 6
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles | 100 ft. gain
Beach Bar Mixology Class (1 hour)

What's Included

Available Bike Options

The key to a stellar day's ride is a bike that's perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Please note that bike requests are subject to availability and prioritized based on the date they're submitted.

Click the arrow to see all bike options.

Backroads Touring Bike
Backroads Touring Bike
Touring Bike

Included in your trip price

A proven classic, this custom-designed titanium bike is suited for a wide range of cyclists. It features a comfortable ergonomic seat and a long wheel base that add to the bike’s control and stability.

Also Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

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.


On this trip we travel by air to reach the exclusive areas this destination has to offer. We will be flying by charter with Sansa Airlines aboard turbo-prop planes that seat 10-12 passengers. These flights occasionally experience delays or cancellations due to inclement weather. In the rare instance a flight is cancelled we are prepared to travel by land.

Terrain & Climate

Costa Rica is a world-renowned destination for numerous eco-adventures. However, due to its tropical climate and under-developed infrastructure, road maintenance is a continual challenge and options for bike routes are limited. Be prepared for unexpected potholes (huecos—pronounced "waycos") and sections of rough roads. Also note that these Tico roads were not designed with a shoulder, and if you are traveling over busier holiday periods, there may be more traffic than expected.

Shuttle Time

In order to bring you to diverse and unique regions, we spend more time shuttling on this trip than on many other Backroads trips. Our time in the shuttles will allow us to experience the incredible variety of ecosystems, scenery and activities that Costa Rica has to offer.

Service Standards

“Pura vida”, or “pure life”, is not just a Costa Rican greeting – it’s a state of mind. While Costa Rica’s tourist industry is well accustomed to welcoming foreign visitors, you may still notice that service here can lack a sense of urgency, reflecting the slower pace and relaxed approach to life that is typical throughout the region. As such, patience and a sense of humor are always recommended when traveling in Central America. Rest assured that your Backroads leaders will be close by to ease the way.

On-Your-Own Activities

During the trip there's time for you to enjoy some of Costa Rica's favorite activities, such as zip-lining, horseback riding and surfing. These activities are often a highlight for those who choose to do them, but due to liability issues and because they're not to everyone's liking they're not included in the cost of the trip and participation is at your own risk.

Peak Season

The holiday and spring break months are a great time to travel; however, with days off and the desire to escape for sunshine many others have the same idea. While we always aim to get off the beaten path, during certain times of the year crowds and delays are unavoidable.

Ask a trip expert

Have a question and need expert advice? Our team of Trip Consultants is here to help! You can also visit our Help Center.