Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama

Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama

Biking
15 days
Medium
Transfer, Equipment, Accomodation
Friends, Individuals, Couple
2020

Sat, Jan 25

Sat, Feb 08

€2,495

Still available

Book
More available dates (8)

Overview

  • From the deep rainforests of Panama to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, witness all the natural splendour of Central America from your unique vantage point in the saddle.
  • Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are the ultimate trifecta of Central American and Caribbean living, with a diversity of wildlife and rich local cultures waiting to be discovered.
  • This cycling adventure takes you off the beaten path for a journey that's not restricted to the mainland, with voyages to tropical archipelagos and isolated islands surrounded by active volcanoes.

Price Includes

Accommodation
  • Hotel (11 nights), Mountain Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (1 night)
  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline.
  • On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation.
  • A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Meals
Transportation
  • Bicycle, Support vehicle, Boat
Group Leader
  • This cycling trip is accompanied by one of our cycling leaders.
  • The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible.


Bike
Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is a must for this trip.
  • Please take care of your insurance, before joining the tour.
Bike Helmet
  • Please, bring your own, as you can't join the group without a biking helmet.
Border Crossing Fees

Why we love it

  • Cycle across Central America, a land of mysterious Mayan ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles

Itinerary

Day 1Granada
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Nicaragua. Home intriguing volcanic landscapes, laidback colonial towns, lush forests and gorgeous beaches, it’s no small wonder Nicaragua has flourished in recent years and is often a traveller favourite. Make you own way to the hotel, where your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Other than this important group meeting there are no activities planned for today. Cycling: none
Day 2Masaya/Granada
Avoid the heat today with an early cycle (approximately 4 hours) around Apoyo Lagoon. As you leave town, pass by the ‘Fuerte de Polvora’, a white Spanish colonial fort built in the 18th century. The route takes you off the beaten path, on dirt tracks and up slight inclines, through small settlements in the Nicaraguan countryside. Before arriving at Apoyo Lagoon, stop at a lookout in Santa Catarina and enjoy breathtaking vistas over Apoyo Lagoon and the distant Mombacho Volcano. There are some steep, cobblestoned hills leading up to this viewpoint but the effort is well worth it. Please note that if you are not comfortable with riding the steep hills to Santa Cata-rina you can always use our support vehicle. After soaking in the view, ride along the border of the lagoon before returning to Granada (a route that is mainly downhill). On return to Granada there is time to enjoy lunch at your leisure. Following lunch, hop aboard a tour bus to see the sights of this charming city. This includes a visit to the White Towns – an area where talented local artisans make clay pottery, bamboo baskets, up-cycled flowerpots out of old car tyres and much more. Stop for a quick visit at Masaya Market and then on to Masaya Volcano, where lava can often be seen. The day concludes on return to Granada, where you can take dinner at your leisure. Cycling: riding distance is about 37 kilometres/23 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of aprox. 645 metres/2115 feet
Day 3Ometepe Island
Head out this morning on a walking tour with a local expert, who will point out traditional historic sites and reveal behind-the-scenes insight into life in Granada. In the late morning, catch a transfer to San Jorge, then take a boat across Lake Nicaragua to Moyagalpa, the main town on Ometepe Island. Formed by two impressive volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua, you will want to pay attention to views of this remarkable hourglass-shaped island during the journey. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time before starting your biking adventure around the north side of Conception Volcano. Stop and marvel at the many stone carvings of Altagracia – evidence of early, culturally developed indigenous tribes who inhabited the island long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. After another half hour in the saddle, arrive at Santo Domingo Beach in time for a swim and some well-deserved rest at the beach or hotel pool. Cycling: riding distance is about 23 kilometres/14 miles over 2.5 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 345 metres/11,30 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 4Maderas Volcano & San Juan del Sur
In the morning make a loop around the less populated Madera Volcano. The volcano itself is not active and its crater now contains a lake. Ride through secluded rural areas that are home to howler monkeys, a wide variety of bird species and small mammals. Stop and cool off with a visit to Ojo de Agua, a beautiful swimming spot where the water comes from deep within the Maderas Volcano. Take time to relax and enjoy lunch before transferring to Moyagalpa and boarding the boat back to the mainland. It’s a 2-hour journey (first by boat, and then by bus) to the laidback surf town of San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua’s south-west coast. Upon arrival, take an easy afternoon ride down to the Pacific beach in time for sunset. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 50 kilometres/30 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 580 metres/1900 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 2 hours
Day 5Arenal/La Fortuna
Say goodbye to Nicaragua and journey south to Costa Rica. Hit the road before 7 am and cross the border at the sometimes unpredictable Penas Blancas border crossing. Once on the other side, start cycling down and along the shores of Lake Arenal. The lake sits at the base of the ever-steaming Arenal Volcano in the northern highlands of Costa Rica and is the country's largest landlocked body of water. There are quite a few rivers to cross, with Cano Negro being the biggest one. Spend the evening in the charming town of Fortuna in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano and enjoy a coffee (or a well earned beer) at one of the many small cafes and bars in town. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles over 4 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 490 metres/1600 feet (mostly towards the end of the ride) Vehicle Transfer: approx. 4-5 hours
Day 6El Castillo Area
Take breakfast with (hopefully) clear views of Arenal's volcano before saddling up for the day. Your destination is the El Castillo region, an area of great natural beauty, rich in orange groves, banana plantations, sugar cane and other agricultural bounties. Spend a full day exploring this lush and fragrant region before returning to La Fortuna. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 60 kilometres/37 miles over 6 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 625 metres/2050 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 7Santa Rosa Pocosol
Cycle from La Fortuna to Santa Rosa where you’ll spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama, an agricultural community where you’ll have the opportunity to get to know local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles
Day 8San Jose
Today is a non-cycling day as you make your way by vehicle (approx. 3hrs) to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this intriguing city until a group meeting at the hotel at 6pm. San Jose is perhaps Central America’s most surprising capital, where an assortment of interesting museums, galleries, theatres, lively plazas and markets are set amongst glitzy modern shopping malls. Many of the most interesting buildings can be found near Avenida Central, including the Teatro Nacional, an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors. If you'd like something more organised than just wandering the city why not try one of our Urban Adventures - ask your leader for more information.
Day 9Puerto Viejo
Depart San Jose early this morning on a long driving day (approximately 230 km / 4 hours). The group will make their way to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a taste of the Caribbean: think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches. Once known only for the legendary Salsa Brava surf break, this town maintains its laid-back vibe while being the departure point for a range of activities like snorkelling, chocolate tours or the popular Jaguar Rescue Centre. Stop en route at the famous (and supposedly haunted) Cartago ruins. On arrival in Puerto Viejo, check into the accommodation then stretch your legs with a relaxed ride along the coast to the small beachside town of Manzanillo, returning to Puerto Viejo in time for a sunset beer.
Day 10Puerto Viejo
Cycle away from the beach this morning and follow the peaceful Sixaola River that forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Enjoy a longer ride, passing rolling green farmland and the Gandoca Manzanillo National Park before returning to Puerto Viejo for a free afternoon. Hit the surf, rest your riding muscles on the beach or grab a cold drink at one of the town's bamboo bars.
Day 11Boquete
Board a support vehicle this morning and cross the border into Panama, arriving in Caldera some 4 hours later (245 km). The area is home to beautiful pine forests, river valleys and streams, with the Baru Volcano serving as a stunning backdrop. Jump back in the saddle for a hilly ride with nice descents and amazing scenery. Once you reach the town of Caldera, drive up to the Boquete area, the spectacular mountain town serving as your home for the next two nights. Your hotel is located at nearly 1700 m above sea level, and the 7-km incline to the hotel door may be an appealing challenge for the more energetic cyclists in the group. Cycling: riding distance is approximately 30 km / 3 hours on hill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 530 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 3.5 hours.
Day 12Boquete
Take advantage of a free day to stretch your legs and take part in an optional activity, like a coffee tour or a visit to the nearby hot springs to soothe your muscles. Alternatively, take it easy and just enjoy the serentity surrounding this mountain gem. If you're keen to get back in the saddle, optional rides in the area can be arranged with your leader.
Day 13Baru Volcano & Panama City
Transfer to Los Portrerillos for today's ride along the slopes of Baru Volcano, an active stratovolcano. There are some undulating sections before a long, fun descent on rarely-used roads and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. Freshen up at the bottom before boarding your transfer to Panama City. Cycling: Riding distance is approximately 32 km / 2 hours, on undulating then downhill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 270 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 7 hours.
Day 14Panama Canal & Gamboa Rainforest
See the highlights of Central America's glitziest capital on a short ride along the Panama Canal. Set out from the hotel, close to the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, and  transfer by bus (approximately 15 minutes) to the Miraflores Locks. Entrance to the Visitor Centre is included featuring a large interactive museum, multiple viewing platforms and a delicious buffet restaurant with views of the canal. Departing Miraflores, ride into Soberania National Park, which spans almost the entire width of the country along the east side of the canal. Take a quick side trip down the plantation trail deep into the jungle. Afterwards, continue to Gamboa, a town which was left deserted following the completion of the Panama Canal. See the remains of the town before ending your ride at the truly spectacular Rainforest Discovery Center, a non-profit organisation. One of the main attractions is a tower way above the canopy where it's possible to observe up to 14 species of hummingbirds. You may also see other other animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, coatis and butterflies. Enjoy lunch at the Discovery Center before heading back to town for some free time. Perhaps explore Casco Viejo, the historic old town of Panama City. This evening you have a special farewell dinner to celebrate the end of this cycling adventure.  Cycling: riding distance is approx. 20 km / 3 hours, on mostly flat terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 190 meters Vehicle transfer: approx. 1.5 hours
Day 15Panama City
You can depart at any time after check out as there are no activities planned for today. Cycling distance: none

Related Photos & Video

Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313

Meeting & Finish Points

  • B&B Hotel La Estación (meeting)
  • Hotel Centroamericano (finish)
Select date
Please provide a valid email address.
Book now
Please provide a valid phone number. Like: +31636363634
Safe bookingPay later · No card needed
Do you have a question?
Your question should be between 5 and 2000 chars.
Send

Finish Point

  • Hotel Centroamericano is 600 m from Panama City Yacht Club and a 10-minute drive from Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport.
  • The hotel offers 24-hour reception, free Wi-Fi and free parking. The modern air-conditioned rooms feature flat-screen cable TV and a laptop safe.
  • There is a desk and a wardrobe, and the private bathroom comes with a shower, hairdryer and toiletries.
  • A laundry and dry cleaning service is offered.

Difficulty

  • This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness.
  • While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort.
  • It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
  • As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it.
  • This is a new trip - we have researched the itinerary and accommodation extensively but there is the possibility of some last minute changes if improvements can still be made.
  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed).
  • Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.
  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain of Central America is naturally hilly with a warm, humid climate.

Important Information

  • A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exception of Day 7 (Homestay).
  • Please ask your booking agent for more information.
  • Bicycle hire is included in your trip price.
  • Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
  • Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
  • Border crossing fees are not included in the trip cost.
  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

Map

Packing List

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips.

  • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case.
  • Padded bike shorts
  • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates.
  • Quick-dry socks
  • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall.
  • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road
  • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor.
  • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier.
  • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea.
  • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun
  • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding.
  • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike
  • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

Transport Notes

  • While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport.
  • On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day.
  • These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.
  • Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle
  • Due to border restrictions and having to change bikes in each country, on this trip we use a variety of different makes and models (including Giant, Specialized, Scott, and DBX) – the appropriate bike will be selected for you based on your height.

Climate

  • Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur.
  • The provider monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Visas

  • Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller.
  • Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information.
  • Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas.
  • Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
  • Nicaragua - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
  • For some nationalities, a Tourist Card must be purchased upon entry. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nicaragua for the most up to date information. Under the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4), foreigners may travel between Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and for periods of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities once per year.
  • This period begins at the first point of entry to any of these countries.
  • There is a new procedure to enter overland into Nicaragua which requires information about your group to be sent to immigration a week prior to the border crossing.
  • Apart from sending details such as head count, dates and reservations, your leader will ask for your occupation and a copy of your passport to include. Costa Rica - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
  • Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information.
  • To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket.
  • Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica.

Find more about the region

Price Includes

Accommodation
  • Hotel (11 nights), Mountain Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (1 night)
  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline.
  • On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation.
  • A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Meals
Transportation
  • Bicycle, Support vehicle, Boat
Group Leader
  • This cycling trip is accompanied by one of our cycling leaders.
  • The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible.


Bike
Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is a must for this trip.
  • Please take care of your insurance, before joining the tour.
Bike Helmet
  • Please, bring your own, as you can't join the group without a biking helmet.
Border Crossing Fees

Why we love it

  • Cycle across Central America, a land of mysterious Mayan ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles

Itinerary

Day 1Granada
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Nicaragua. Home intriguing volcanic landscapes, laidback colonial towns, lush forests and gorgeous beaches, it’s no small wonder Nicaragua has flourished in recent years and is often a traveller favourite. Make you own way to the hotel, where your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Other than this important group meeting there are no activities planned for today. Cycling: none
Day 2Masaya/Granada
Avoid the heat today with an early cycle (approximately 4 hours) around Apoyo Lagoon. As you leave town, pass by the ‘Fuerte de Polvora’, a white Spanish colonial fort built in the 18th century. The route takes you off the beaten path, on dirt tracks and up slight inclines, through small settlements in the Nicaraguan countryside. Before arriving at Apoyo Lagoon, stop at a lookout in Santa Catarina and enjoy breathtaking vistas over Apoyo Lagoon and the distant Mombacho Volcano. There are some steep, cobblestoned hills leading up to this viewpoint but the effort is well worth it. Please note that if you are not comfortable with riding the steep hills to Santa Cata-rina you can always use our support vehicle. After soaking in the view, ride along the border of the lagoon before returning to Granada (a route that is mainly downhill). On return to Granada there is time to enjoy lunch at your leisure. Following lunch, hop aboard a tour bus to see the sights of this charming city. This includes a visit to the White Towns – an area where talented local artisans make clay pottery, bamboo baskets, up-cycled flowerpots out of old car tyres and much more. Stop for a quick visit at Masaya Market and then on to Masaya Volcano, where lava can often be seen. The day concludes on return to Granada, where you can take dinner at your leisure. Cycling: riding distance is about 37 kilometres/23 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of aprox. 645 metres/2115 feet
Day 3Ometepe Island
Head out this morning on a walking tour with a local expert, who will point out traditional historic sites and reveal behind-the-scenes insight into life in Granada. In the late morning, catch a transfer to San Jorge, then take a boat across Lake Nicaragua to Moyagalpa, the main town on Ometepe Island. Formed by two impressive volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua, you will want to pay attention to views of this remarkable hourglass-shaped island during the journey. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time before starting your biking adventure around the north side of Conception Volcano. Stop and marvel at the many stone carvings of Altagracia – evidence of early, culturally developed indigenous tribes who inhabited the island long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. After another half hour in the saddle, arrive at Santo Domingo Beach in time for a swim and some well-deserved rest at the beach or hotel pool. Cycling: riding distance is about 23 kilometres/14 miles over 2.5 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 345 metres/11,30 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 4Maderas Volcano & San Juan del Sur
In the morning make a loop around the less populated Madera Volcano. The volcano itself is not active and its crater now contains a lake. Ride through secluded rural areas that are home to howler monkeys, a wide variety of bird species and small mammals. Stop and cool off with a visit to Ojo de Agua, a beautiful swimming spot where the water comes from deep within the Maderas Volcano. Take time to relax and enjoy lunch before transferring to Moyagalpa and boarding the boat back to the mainland. It’s a 2-hour journey (first by boat, and then by bus) to the laidback surf town of San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua’s south-west coast. Upon arrival, take an easy afternoon ride down to the Pacific beach in time for sunset. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 50 kilometres/30 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 580 metres/1900 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 2 hours
Day 5Arenal/La Fortuna
Say goodbye to Nicaragua and journey south to Costa Rica. Hit the road before 7 am and cross the border at the sometimes unpredictable Penas Blancas border crossing. Once on the other side, start cycling down and along the shores of Lake Arenal. The lake sits at the base of the ever-steaming Arenal Volcano in the northern highlands of Costa Rica and is the country's largest landlocked body of water. There are quite a few rivers to cross, with Cano Negro being the biggest one. Spend the evening in the charming town of Fortuna in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano and enjoy a coffee (or a well earned beer) at one of the many small cafes and bars in town. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles over 4 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 490 metres/1600 feet (mostly towards the end of the ride) Vehicle Transfer: approx. 4-5 hours
Day 6El Castillo Area
Take breakfast with (hopefully) clear views of Arenal's volcano before saddling up for the day. Your destination is the El Castillo region, an area of great natural beauty, rich in orange groves, banana plantations, sugar cane and other agricultural bounties. Spend a full day exploring this lush and fragrant region before returning to La Fortuna. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 60 kilometres/37 miles over 6 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 625 metres/2050 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 7Santa Rosa Pocosol
Cycle from La Fortuna to Santa Rosa where you’ll spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama, an agricultural community where you’ll have the opportunity to get to know local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles
Day 8San Jose
Today is a non-cycling day as you make your way by vehicle (approx. 3hrs) to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this intriguing city until a group meeting at the hotel at 6pm. San Jose is perhaps Central America’s most surprising capital, where an assortment of interesting museums, galleries, theatres, lively plazas and markets are set amongst glitzy modern shopping malls. Many of the most interesting buildings can be found near Avenida Central, including the Teatro Nacional, an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors. If you'd like something more organised than just wandering the city why not try one of our Urban Adventures - ask your leader for more information.
Day 9Puerto Viejo
Depart San Jose early this morning on a long driving day (approximately 230 km / 4 hours). The group will make their way to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a taste of the Caribbean: think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches. Once known only for the legendary Salsa Brava surf break, this town maintains its laid-back vibe while being the departure point for a range of activities like snorkelling, chocolate tours or the popular Jaguar Rescue Centre. Stop en route at the famous (and supposedly haunted) Cartago ruins. On arrival in Puerto Viejo, check into the accommodation then stretch your legs with a relaxed ride along the coast to the small beachside town of Manzanillo, returning to Puerto Viejo in time for a sunset beer.
Day 10Puerto Viejo
Cycle away from the beach this morning and follow the peaceful Sixaola River that forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Enjoy a longer ride, passing rolling green farmland and the Gandoca Manzanillo National Park before returning to Puerto Viejo for a free afternoon. Hit the surf, rest your riding muscles on the beach or grab a cold drink at one of the town's bamboo bars.
Day 11Boquete
Board a support vehicle this morning and cross the border into Panama, arriving in Caldera some 4 hours later (245 km). The area is home to beautiful pine forests, river valleys and streams, with the Baru Volcano serving as a stunning backdrop. Jump back in the saddle for a hilly ride with nice descents and amazing scenery. Once you reach the town of Caldera, drive up to the Boquete area, the spectacular mountain town serving as your home for the next two nights. Your hotel is located at nearly 1700 m above sea level, and the 7-km incline to the hotel door may be an appealing challenge for the more energetic cyclists in the group. Cycling: riding distance is approximately 30 km / 3 hours on hill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 530 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 3.5 hours.
Day 12Boquete
Take advantage of a free day to stretch your legs and take part in an optional activity, like a coffee tour or a visit to the nearby hot springs to soothe your muscles. Alternatively, take it easy and just enjoy the serentity surrounding this mountain gem. If you're keen to get back in the saddle, optional rides in the area can be arranged with your leader.
Day 13Baru Volcano & Panama City
Transfer to Los Portrerillos for today's ride along the slopes of Baru Volcano, an active stratovolcano. There are some undulating sections before a long, fun descent on rarely-used roads and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. Freshen up at the bottom before boarding your transfer to Panama City. Cycling: Riding distance is approximately 32 km / 2 hours, on undulating then downhill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 270 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 7 hours.
Day 14Panama Canal & Gamboa Rainforest
See the highlights of Central America's glitziest capital on a short ride along the Panama Canal. Set out from the hotel, close to the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, and  transfer by bus (approximately 15 minutes) to the Miraflores Locks. Entrance to the Visitor Centre is included featuring a large interactive museum, multiple viewing platforms and a delicious buffet restaurant with views of the canal. Departing Miraflores, ride into Soberania National Park, which spans almost the entire width of the country along the east side of the canal. Take a quick side trip down the plantation trail deep into the jungle. Afterwards, continue to Gamboa, a town which was left deserted following the completion of the Panama Canal. See the remains of the town before ending your ride at the truly spectacular Rainforest Discovery Center, a non-profit organisation. One of the main attractions is a tower way above the canopy where it's possible to observe up to 14 species of hummingbirds. You may also see other other animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, coatis and butterflies. Enjoy lunch at the Discovery Center before heading back to town for some free time. Perhaps explore Casco Viejo, the historic old town of Panama City. This evening you have a special farewell dinner to celebrate the end of this cycling adventure.  Cycling: riding distance is approx. 20 km / 3 hours, on mostly flat terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 190 meters Vehicle transfer: approx. 1.5 hours
Day 15Panama City
You can depart at any time after check out as there are no activities planned for today. Cycling distance: none

Related Photos & Video

Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313
Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama #fc78b662-a631-499c-b30a-dd8137c87313

Meeting & Finish Points

  • B&B Hotel La Estación (meeting)
  • Hotel Centroamericano (finish)

Finish Point

  • Hotel Centroamericano is 600 m from Panama City Yacht Club and a 10-minute drive from Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport.
  • The hotel offers 24-hour reception, free Wi-Fi and free parking. The modern air-conditioned rooms feature flat-screen cable TV and a laptop safe.
  • There is a desk and a wardrobe, and the private bathroom comes with a shower, hairdryer and toiletries.
  • A laundry and dry cleaning service is offered.

Difficulty

  • This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness.
  • While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort.
  • It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
  • As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it.
  • This is a new trip - we have researched the itinerary and accommodation extensively but there is the possibility of some last minute changes if improvements can still be made.
  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed).
  • Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.
  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain of Central America is naturally hilly with a warm, humid climate.

Important Information

  • A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exception of Day 7 (Homestay).
  • Please ask your booking agent for more information.
  • Bicycle hire is included in your trip price.
  • Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
  • Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
  • Border crossing fees are not included in the trip cost.
  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

Map

Packing List

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips.

  • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case.
  • Padded bike shorts
  • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates.
  • Quick-dry socks
  • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall.
  • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road
  • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor.
  • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier.
  • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea.
  • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun
  • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding.
  • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike
  • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

Transport Notes

  • While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport.
  • On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day.
  • These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.
  • Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle
  • Due to border restrictions and having to change bikes in each country, on this trip we use a variety of different makes and models (including Giant, Specialized, Scott, and DBX) – the appropriate bike will be selected for you based on your height.

Climate

  • Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur.
  • The provider monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Visas

  • Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller.
  • Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information.
  • Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas.
  • Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
  • Nicaragua - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
  • For some nationalities, a Tourist Card must be purchased upon entry. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nicaragua for the most up to date information. Under the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4), foreigners may travel between Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and for periods of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities once per year.
  • This period begins at the first point of entry to any of these countries.
  • There is a new procedure to enter overland into Nicaragua which requires information about your group to be sent to immigration a week prior to the border crossing.
  • Apart from sending details such as head count, dates and reservations, your leader will ask for your occupation and a copy of your passport to include. Costa Rica - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
  • Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information.
  • To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket.
  • Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica.

Find more about the region

Time until next start
127
days
00
hours
:
41
min
:
58
sec

Prices from

€2,495

Duration

15 days
2020

Sat, Jan 25

Sat, Feb 08

€2,495

Still available

Book
More available dates (8)
Select date
Please provide a valid email address.
Book now
Please provide a valid phone number. Like: +31636363634
Safe bookingPay later · No card needed
Do you have a question?
Your question should be between 5 and 2000 chars.
Send
Overview
Price Includes
Why we love it
Itinerary
Related Photos & Video
Meeting & Finish Points
Finish Point
Difficulty
Important Information
Packing List
Similar Treks
Transport Notes
Climate
Visas
Find more about the region
Book this for
Saturday, Jan 25
Book now
Share this trek on