Is Costa Rica a good destination for cycling?
Costa Rica is one of the best cycling destinations in the world, mainly because of the geography of the country. With its mountains, jungle, and long stretches of coast, there are a variety of biking trips available with different levels of difficulty. Cycling trips are perfect for travelers interested in seeing more of the country at a pleasant, leisurely pace. Trips can accommodate travelers of all ages and abilities, as long as participants are reasonably fit.
What time of year is best for a cycling trip?
It can be run all year long. Of course, you are more likely to get wet during the rainy season but you shouldn't get wet, in terms of temperature is the same. depending on the area you are cycling you want to start early to rest in the middle of the day to avoid getting overheated. For more information, see Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica and our Costa Rica monthly travel guides.
Is cycling in Costa Rica safe?
Absolutely. Cycling is the second biggest sport after soccer in Costa Rica, and drivers are used to seeing people riding all over the country. Drivers give plenty of space when passing, often gently honking so cyclists aren't surprised. Costa Rica is also a great country for mountain biking, with many secondary dirt roads in great condition. Most importantly, locals are friendly and always willing to help.
Why go with a local guide?
A guide is required on all kimkim cycling trips. This ensures a safe and enriching experience for every traveler. Guides are extremely knowledgable, acting not only as navigators but also as educators, naturalists, and local experts. They are also crucial for making sure your trip runs smoothly—you won't need to worry about lodging or meal logistics, keeping track of weather conditions, or making sure your luggage gets from place to place. And all guides are First Aid, CPR, and Swiftwater Rescue certified, while Head Guides also have Wilderness First Responder certifications.
What kind of lodging should I expect?
Depending on the trip you book, expect a mix of hotels, lodges, and developed campsites, all clean and safe. Generally, it will be a mix of 2- and 3-star hotels and eco-lodges. All campsites have showers and flushing toilets. Let your specialist know your preferences and any special needs.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What should I pack?
Some items that you'll be glad to have with you include bike shorts with a padded seat, a water bottle that can be attached to your bike, helmet, bike gloves (which can also be used for paddling, if you're on a multi-sport trip), moisture-wicking shirts, a lightweight daypack, and a rain cover.
Cyclists can bring their own pedals and seats as well, though this is not mandatory. If camping, gear will be provided, but you should bring toiletries like soap, shampoo, and a towel. Your specialist will give you a more specific list of everything you need.
What are the road and trail conditions like?
You'll be cycling on a mix of main roads and secondary routes. Not all roads are paved—some are dirt, and the condition might change depending on the weather. Guides are always knowledgable about current conditions and will give instructions to participants, especially when navigating the tricky parts.
What meals are included?
Eating is one of the most wonderful aspects of traveling in Costa Rica. On a cycling trip, you'll experience a combination of sit-down restaurants, local specialties, and delicious meals prepared by the tour guides. For more on what you'll be eating on your trip, see this article.
Is transportation included?
All transportation according to your itinerary is included, starting with an airport transfer on the first day, transfer from San José to the starting point, support vehicle from one area to another during the trip, and your transfer back to the airport.
What will a typical day along the route look like?
Cycling days usually start with fresh coffee and breakfast around 6:30 am. We'll be packed and ready to go for our activity by 8 am. Activities will be done at a comfortable pace for everyone, set by the guide—you'll have lots of time for pictures, water breaks, and enjoying the scenery. Around mid-day, the group will stop for lunch at a local restaurant or enjoy a picnic lunch made by the guides. The group will finish the day around 3 pm with plenty of time to rest. Dinner is usually served around 7 pm, followed by a briefing for the next day.
How will my luggage be transported each day?
A support vehicle will carry your luggage each day. Travelers only need to carry essentials such as water and sunscreen during the day.
What kind of bikes will we use?
Trek 4300-4500 (27 shift) or similar. Every bike has front suspension and disk brakes. Participants can bring their own pedals, seats and/or accessories if they want.
Ready to plan your trip? Check out these great cycling Itineraries.
Costa Rica Cycling Adventure - 8 Days. Cycle from coast to coast on this epic adventure tour that will take you from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. See the real Costa Rica as you bike from village to village—past the farms, banana plantations, and sugar cane fields of the lowlands. Make your way towards the west coast, from jungle rivers and mountains to Costa Rica's famous coffee growing region. Celebrate the end of your trip on the beaches of storied Manuel Antonio National Park.
Multi-Sport Costa Rica Adventure - 12 Days. This adventure itinerary relies completely on human muscle power, a 154 mile (248 km) journey covered by mountain biking, hiking, white-water rafting, and kayaking. Starting from the Pacific Coast, you'll cycle past rural villages, coffee plantations, and mountainside scenery before crossing the Continental Divide and acres of virgin forests to end up on the eastern Carribean coast.