Costa Rica Coast to Coast Ride

14 days
from
£3,049
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Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
MUD
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
16+

Cycle stretches of the Pacific coastline and see the highlights of Costa Rica

Take in the variety of Costa Rica by bike, pedalling past rainforest, volcanoes and stunning sections of coastline. From San Jose we cycle south with vast Pacific views to the right and dense forest to the left. Crossing the 3400m Cerro de la Muerte pass into the Orosi Valley we ride past coffee plantations and volcanoes to arrive on the fertile Caribbean plains where banana plantations take over the landscape. We take a break from the saddle to explore the wildlife-rich rivers and waterways of Tortuguero before travelling to La Fortuna, a lovely spot located at the foot of Arenal Volcano.

Highlights

  • Cycle along the stunning coastal highway with incredible Pacific views and beaches 
  • Ride through ever-changing tropical scenery, alongside coffee farms, volcanoes, banana plantations and rainforest 
  • Hike in Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Explore the waterways of Tortuguero National Park in search of wildlife

Key information

  • 13 nights hotels all en suite
  • 12 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 97% tarmac, 3% unpaved tracks
  • Routes mainly follow quiet roads
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and staff. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Costa Rica

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour/Cycling leader and support team throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

12

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

 

Terrain:

Low altitude; 97% tarmac, 3% unpaved track

Day by day breakdown
Day 245.0km/28.0miles
Day 338.0km/24.0miles
Day 453.0km/33.0miles
Day 542.0km/26.0miles
Day 622.0km/14.0miles
Day 751.0km/32.0miles
Day 838.0km/24.0miles
Day 947.0km/29.0miles
Day 1038.0km/24.0miles
Day 1138.0km/24.0miles
Day 1222.0km/14.0miles
Day 1358.0km/36.0miles

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to use accommodations that are locally owned or at least employs local staff and uses local produce. Our small group size allows us to support smaller hotels and restaurants that do not usually benefit from mass tourism, bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region.

Costa Rica is well known for being dedicated to conserving the environment, having protected areas for conservation activity. Our visits to National Parks and protected areas, such as the Wilson Botanical Garden help to encourage and expand the ongoing effort to preserve and protect the environment. Our entry fees to Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park, go towards park maintenance, staff salaries, training programmes and the research and monitoring of the plethora of rich wildlife there.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

Expand all
San Jose (near to)
to
San Jose (near to)
  • Day 1

    Start San Jose.

    Those on the group flight land into San Jose and will be transferred to our start hotel in La Garita de Alajuela, around 15 minutes away. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel this evening.

    Hotel Rosa America (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Ride and transfer to Rio Tarcoles; boat tour; transfer to Playa Bejuco.

    After breakfast we have a briefing and spend some time adjusting our bikes before riding out on paved roads with very little traffic through small rural communities and a dry tropical forest. This initial stage will finish just outside Atenas, and then we have a short transfer (approx. 20 mins) to Orotina, where we will jump back on the bikes and cycle onwards until we reach the coastal highway. After lunch we will embark on our private, guided boat tour of the estuary. We hope to see crocodiles, waterbirds, shorebirds, and even Scarlet Macaws. After the boat tour, we transfer (approx. 30 mins) to our beach hotel at Playa Bejuco. If tide and sand conditions permit, we can get in another few kilometres of cycling and arrive at the hotel riding on the immense tropical beach.  

    (Extra 10 km for beach ride option) 

    Hotel Playa Bejuco (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio N.P.; to Playa Dominical.

    Today we start the day with a transfer (approx. 40 mins) to Manuel Antonio National Park. This is an outstanding region for wildlife and we will enjoy a 2 hour guided hike in the Park. The forest here meets the sea and iguanas and White-faced Capuchin monkeys can often be seen on the beach. Leaving the park, we have a short transfer (approx. 20 mins) to the coastal road outside Quepos, where we begin to cycle south to Playa Dominical. Tonight we will spend the night at Hotel Villas Rio Mar which is set within the lush rainforest. 

    Hotel Villas Rio Mar (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride to Ciudad Cortes.

    Today we continue cycling south along the coastal road, which includes a few hilly sections near Uvita and Ojochal. Off to our right is the Pacific, with some lovely, isolated beaches, and at Playa Hermosa we will stop for a quick refreshment break. Afterwards we cycle further until we arrive at Boca Coronado and stop for lunch at a restaurant which offers great views of the Rio Terraba estuary. After lunch, we have a short easy ride to our hotel for tonight, Las Palmas de Osa, set just outside Ciudad Cortes. 

    Hotel Las Palmas de Osa (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Osa Peninsula; ride to Puerto Jimenez.

    Our ride today takes us from Ciudad Cortes on to Palmar Norte, where we cross the Rio Terraba, Costa Rica's longest river, then to Palmar Sur, where we will stop at the central park for a look at some of the famous spherical rocks, made by a little-known ancient indigenous culture. Afterwards we will board the coach for a transfer (approx 1.5 hours) to La Palma, stopping for lunch on route. We will resume our cycling, passing through Puerto Jimenez en route to our beach hotel, set on the beautiful Playa Platanares.

    Agua Dulce Lodge (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ferry to Golfito; ride and transfer to Las Cruces; hike at Las Cruces Botanical Garden.

    We board a ferry this morning for a 30 minute journey across the Golfo Dulce to Golfito. Here, sometimes dolphins can be seen frolicking in the surrounding waters. Our cycle route heads to Rio Claro using a short but hilly biking stage. Following a 1 hour bus transfer across the steep mountains surrounding San Vito, we arrive at Las Cruces Biological Station. Las Cruces Biological Station is surrounded by the famous Wilson Botanical Gardens where we will enjoy a guided hike in the afternoon. 

    OTS Las Cruces Lodge (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Cycle to Paso Real; transfer to San Gerardo de Rivas.

    Back on the saddle we enjoy a fantastic ride from the hilly region near San Vito downhill to Paso Real, far below at the Rio Terraba. En route we pass through an indigenous area where villagers can sometimes be seen in traditional dress. We will stop in Buenos Aires to have lunch before boarding the bus for our transfer (approx. 2-3 hours) to San Gerardo de Rivas. We will pass the first of many pineapple plantations, which has now become Costa Rica's most exported crop. As our hotel tonight is located in the mountains it may be chillier than you expect.   

    El Pelicano Mountain Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Ride to San Isidro de Perez Zeledon; transfer across the Cerro de la Muerte pass; cycle to Orosi.

    This morning we start with a short downhill stage before jumping on the bus for a transfer that will take us over the infamous Cerro de La Muerte. At 3,541 metres above sea level, this is the highest point of the PanAm Highway in all of Central America. On this stretch we will drive through rainforest, up into the cloud forest before we start our descent back down towards the Central Valley. From here we will get back on our bikes for another downhill stage into the Orosi Valley. 

    Tapanti Media Lodge (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Cycle to Turrialba.

    After breakfast we start cycling from the hotel for perhaps one of the most beautiful cycling stages riding past numerous coffee plantations. With any luck, we will see some farmers using their colourful traditional oxcarts to haul the coffee to nearby processing facilities. Along the way we will stop to look at coffee trees and the tour leader will give an explanation on coffee and its part of the history of Costa Rica. As we continue our ride through the valley, we will ride around a hydroelectric dam before starting a section that involves some climbs. We will arrive at the little town of Tucurrique where will stop off for lunch. Afterwards we will cycle through lush scenery sugar cane plantations before a short transfer to our hotel for the night. Our mountain lodge this evening has excellent views of the surrounding region, including the coffee growing Orosi Valley and both the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes.

    Hotel Turrialtico (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Cycle to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, Cahuita N.P. hike and transfer to Puerto Viejo.

    After breakfast we will start cycling a hilly section with incredible views, followed by a fast downhill to the town of Siquierres, from where we will board the coach and take a transfer to the Caribbean coast. This afternoon we will enjoy a guided hike in Cahuita National Park. Here you can expect to see lots of wildlife including two and three-toed Sloths, Capuchin monkeys and also Iguanas. Afterwards we transfer (approx. 15 mins) to Puerto Viejo, a typical Caribbean town with lively reggae music / culture and spicy cuisine. 

    Hotel Escape Caribeno (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Transfer to Guacimo; cycle through banana plantations; transfer to La Pavona for boat trip to Tortuguero.

    Today is a very early start as we have a short transfer (approx. 20 mins) to the town of Cahuita for breakfast. Then we continue to the start of our backroads biking stage which takes us through several small towns set within the immense banana plantations of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. We will have lunch at a banana packing facility and we will get a chance to observe the harvesting and packaging process. Afterwards we transfer (approx. 30 mins) to La Pavona and board a boat which will take us into Tortuguero National Park along the wildlife rich rivers and canals used for transiting in this densely forested area. 

    Rana Roja Lodge (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Boat trip in Tortuguero; ride and transfer to La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano; visit thermal springs.

    An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We retrace our route by boat to the dock at La Pavona where we will start cycling through banana plantations, stopping for a brief explanation about the importance of these plantations to Costa Rica. Afterwards we have a transfer to just outside Guapiles for an early lunch provided by our Tortuguero lodge. After lunch we head towards La Fortuna and the imposing Arenal volcano. Following a massive explosion in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. En route we will take a break to observe the thriving pineapple operations in Costa Rica before continuing on to our hotel, set in the centre of town. This evening there is an included excursion to Volcano Lodge hot springs. 

    Hotel San Bosco (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Cycle to Bajo Rodriguez; transfer to La Garita de Alajuela.

    Following a short transfer, our final cycling stage starts with a ride through the dense rain forest surrounding beautiful Lake Arenal, with several spots to observe the volcano as we continue back toward La Fortuna. Departing Fortuna, we bike through tropical farmlands dedicated to exotic fruits and vegetables, then do a bit of climbing through forested hills up to the conclusion at Bajo Rodriguez. The last leg of our journey is completed by bus as we transfer (approx. 2 hours) back to La Garita de Alajuela. 

    Hotel Rosa America (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End San Jose.

    Our trip ends in San Jose (La Garita) after breakfast this morning and those on group flights will be transferred to the international airport for the return journey.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Tamarindo Beach Extension Costa Rica (MUD)

Extend your stay in Costa Rica with a few nights of rest and relaxation at Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tamarindo was discovered by surfers in the late 1980's and has steadily grown its reputation as one of Costa Rica's best beach destinations. Located in Guanacaste Province, known for its good weather and predictable sunshine, Tamarindo has a great mix of facilities and retains an authentic laid-back atmosphere. The town has accommodation catering to all budgets, from high-end boutique hotels to smaller, comfortable and characterful properties. Its big draw is the long expanse of beach, with a curved bay backed by palm trees, cafes and restaurants. The waves are strong and loved by surfers, with swimmers mostly staying to the shallow surf breaking on the shore. Facing west, the sunsets in Tamarindo are dramatic and not to be missed! There are plenty of excursions that can be organised locally if you want to discover the surrounding area. Or simply sit back and soak up the laid-back beach life, which is a real contrast from the other areas you will have visited in Costa Rica.  

We have hand-picked a selection of properties in Tamarindo and selected transport options to suit all budgets and group sizes - all that's left for you to decide is how long you want to go for, and we'll do the rest! 

ACCOMMODATION:

Please note that rates shown below are per room (not per person) and all hotels include breakfast 

Capitan Suizo Hotel: This beachfront boutique hotel is set in a privileged location to the south of the bay, with rooms surrounded by tropical gardens. Thoughtfully designed accommodation with excellent dining options, wonderful service and a friendly team waiting to welcome you. Just away from the main town, it has a lovely pool area and private loungers on the beach. Prices from £245 per room per night for a Superior Room.   

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel: This luxurious hotel is nestled in native trees and lush vegetation, just a short walk from the beach of Playa Langosta which is around the headland from Tamarindo's main beach. Consistently rated as one of the Top 10 hotels in Costa Rica by Trip Advisor! Elegant accommodation and surroundings with every need catered for, this is pure R&R. Prices from £225 per room per night for a Deluxe Room. 

Tamarindo Diria Hotel: Located right in the middle of the beach, this is one of Tamarindo's original hotels and has the most spectacular palm tree-lined view from its pool/dining areas. It is split into different areas, with the majority of rooms located away from the beachfront. Prices from £145 per room per night for a Standard Room / Tropicana Poolview.  

Wyndham Esplendor Hotel: One of the best infinity pools we've seen with extensive views across Tamarindo bay, thanks to it's hillside location above Tamarindo. Elegant rooms and facilities, but a fair walk from the beach and Tamarindo town - there is a free shuttle transfer provided at set times. Prices from £140 per room per night for an Ocean View Room.  

Arco Iris Hotel: A great option for value, with comfortable rooms surrounded by lush tropical gardens. A tranquil location set back from the street, around 500 metres to the beach. Prices from £100 per room per night for a Bungalow Room. 

Pasatiempo Hotel: A small, intimate property with real character and comfortable rooms. We think Pasatiempo is a hidden gem and it is our preferred choice if you are looking for great value and don't mind being located a short 5 minute walk to the beach. There are some great restaurants and shops nearby. Prices from £90 per room per night for a Standard Room or £95 per room per night for a Deluxe Room.  

How to reach Tamarindo

There are two options to reach Tamarindo from San Jose, depending on your budget and how much time you have:

Private transfer: If you would prefer to travel in your own vehicle (seating up to 6 people), or need transfers timed perfectly with your international flights, we recommend a private transfer for the journey. You can either take this as a return or for just one leg of the journey. By private transfer the journey takes approximately 4 hours. Prices from £280 for a private transfer seating up to 6 people, each way. 

Flight: Perfect if you are short of time, you can take an internal flight from San Jose to Tamarindo Airstrip. During high season (Dec-Apr) there are usually 4 flights during the day in each direction. Outside of high season there are usually 2 flights in each direction. Flights usually take under 1 hour. With this service we will also arrange a vehicle transfer between your Tamarindo hotel and the airstrip. Luggage weight and size restrictions apply (30lbs, 114cm). Prices from £170 per person, one way.

There is also the option to arrange your return flights from Liberia airport, around 1 hour 30 minutes from Tamarindo, with a private transfer to Tamarindo. Please speak to your Sales Consultant to discuss this option. 

We recommend visiting Tamarindo for at least 3 nights. Please speak to your Sales Consultant for more details, to check hotel availability or to make a reservation. You may need additional hotel nights in San Jose depending on the end date of your trip and your flight schedule. Also please note that some hotels in Tamarindo are not available in September. 

Essential Info

Visas

Costa Rica

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see here for more information. The same applies to travel via Canada which also requires an Electronic Travel Authority. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy. 

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners are included.

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day (13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners). Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style.  Expect to see a lot of the Costa Rican speciality 'gallo pinto' and a lot of rice, beans, fruit and grilled meats.

Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this holiday - please do inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so that our local team can be well prepared.

Weather

Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average annual temperature ranges between around 22ºC - 26ºC in the lowlands, dropping as low as 10ºC in the highest mountain regions. 

There is a rainy season from May to November when there are often downpours, although these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine. The typical weather pattern during this time of year is bright, sunny conditions up until approximately 1-2pm and then a build up of cloud from around 3pm resulting in late afternoon rain (most likely showers between 3-5pm). Usually the sky has cleared again by 6pm. Our cycling tours are scheduled to make the best of the weather and we aim to get going on the bikes early in the morning so that we have arrived at our overnight hotel prior to any rain. In our experience, the months of June, July, August are actually one of the most pleasant times to travel to Costa Rica – following rainfall, the vegetation will be at its most lush and green, and temperatures on the whole are more pleasant than at other times of the year. 

December to April is the driest period of the year and can get incredibly hot – on the Pacific side of Costa Rica temperatures may exceeed 37C. If passing through areas of dry tropical forest it can be hot, dusty and dry. You should however be prepared for some rain even during this time of year.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road.
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading.
Average daily distance: 41km (25 miles)
No. of days cycling: 12
Vehicle support: 100%
Terrain and route: 97% tarmac, 3% groomed dirt road with some moderate climbs. Routes mainly follow quiet backroads.
This tour covers some remote parts of the region. Though many of the roads are good you should expect some potholes and poor road conditions in places. Routes mainly follow quiet backroads apart from some sections on the Pacific coast, where only one road is available. 

Please note that in the region of Tortuguero and Cahuita the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

You will spend 13 nights in comfortable hotels with en suite rooms. Hotels are full of character and most have swimming pools. There are 3 nights in remote mountain lodges with lush gardens and superb views; one with a famous tropical botanical garden. All accommodation are well maintained, very clean and most are long-time favourites in Costa Rica.

We can arrange single rooms throughout the trip (subject to availability). Please check with your sales consultant for availability and prices.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

costa rica

You can’t deny there’s an inextricable link between happiness and travelling.

  • Reviewed May 2022

    Verdant Country with stunning flora & fauna - brilliantly viewed from both On and Off the Bike

    As with all Exodus cycle trips the cycling provides the foundation for a trip led by an expert guide and back-up team, in which you sample the best cycling terrain, food and drink and highlights of a foreign country. A group of strangers come together, bond remarkably quickly in this case, and leave two weeks later as friends. Costa Rica Coat to Coast was no exception. The highlights of Costa Rica are undoubtedly its flora and fauna. The estuary boat trip (Day 2), Manual Antonio NP (Day 3), ferry across Golfe Dulce plus Las Cruces Botanical Garden (Day 6) , and finally the fabulous Tortuguero NP (Day 11 & 12) are all must-see locations. Throw in the beautiful Central Highlands (Days 7-9), plus the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, and you have all the elements for a terrific two week trip though six of Costa Rica's seven provinces.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm no Attenborough yet was frankly in awe of the fantastic range, colour, sound and scale of the flora and fauna, and at such close quarters too. The designated highlights live up to their billing but is it often smaller moments that shine. Examples include a stop for fresh coconut at Playa Hermosa, walks along the beach on both coasts, a swim and beer near Puerto Viejo, the team riding formation and being overtaken by a local wearing flip flops, the serenity of the gardens by the ruined church where locals shared a Sunday picnic, & the bonding of the group - on and off the bike aided by beer, red wine and the occasional mojito. If I had to pick just one, it would be stopping mid ride in the Central Highlands, seeking a spot of shade sitting at a bus stop, and taking time to soak in the stunning views on both sides of the ridge. Picture postcard stuff. Wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Robert Aguilar was an excellent Leader in the best tradition of Exodus Tour Guides. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, an excellent communicator, strong rider, and responsive & flexible to traveller requests and requirements. He was ably assisted by Mechanic Paul and Driver Luiz. Paul rode strongly at the front making a good but not furious speed which kept the faster riders safely in check but not frustrated by pace. Mechanical matters were few but dealt with with aplomb. Luiz was the archetypal driver - silent but quietly effective - always on the right place at the right time with everything done. Altogether a superb team and tribute to both Costa Rica and Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Whilst there are climbs, largely in the Central Highlands, the cycling is not overly difficult and heat & humidity more of an issue than the terrain. You don't notice it whilst riding but certainly do when you stop. Regular sunscreen and fluids a must. 2. My wife and I wore arm screens as sun protection and these were such a big hit that we lent our spare ones to our fellow riders. A buff/snood can also be handy. 3. I tried my brand new SPD-cleat cycling sandals on this trip and there were a revelation - highly recommended. 4. Take a light rain top for the occasional (heavy though not cold) shower. 5. Food is plentiful and good quality, and you do develop a taste for rice with beans in varying permutations. Fish good and some excellent steak also. Fruit plentiful - pineapple, watermelon, papaya, banana & mango. 6. You can drink the water in most places and in the few where you cannot, bottled water is available/provided. In the alternative, Chilean red wine or the local ("Imperial") beer will do. 7. There are a couple of laundry opportunities mid-trip so resist the temptation to pack too much kit - both on and off bike. 8. You don't need any local currency (colones) as US Dollars in cash (though not GBP) plus credit cards suffice everywhere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I spent much off Week 2 chatting to Roberto about the Nicaragua/Costa Rica/ Panama trip, the hopefully re-launched new Guatemala/Honduras/El Salvador trip and the in-plan alternative Colombia trip. I have a feeling my wife and I will be returning to this part of the world.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Fantastic Trip

    What a wonderful holiday. Costa Rica is glorious and the trip leader Roberto and his colleagues Paul and Lois were great. Lots of fun and encouraging on the tough bits. A great balance between cycling and enjoying the awesome Costa Rican wildlife and plant life. My fellow travellers were really friendly and interesting which is lovely when you are travelling on your own. I can’t wait to take another trip to cycle in Central America

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the Botanical Gardens and the wonderful accommodation there Swimming in the Caribbean and Pacific was a treat as was our visit to Tortgero

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was brilliant Excellent leadership . Really well informed and great communicator

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Relax and enjoy The group leader and his colleagues will support you if any of the cycling gets tough and the organisation allows you to let go of any stress Plenty of sun cream is needed !!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Had a lovely lovely invigorating holiday. Lots of fun Thank you Roberto Paul and Louis
  • Reviewed April 2022

    You too can see a toucan, and sloths and monkeys from your bike

    This is a fantastic trip. In fact, its so fantastic that this was the second time I have been on it. I have also been on the Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama trip (again organized by the Costa Rican team). My experiences have been uniformly excellent. The trips have been well organized with knowledgeable and super helpful leaders, mechanics and drivers. The bikes have always been well-maintained. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with varied scenery and the Coast-to-Coast ride is carefully planned to allow you to experience the highlights. You will see spectacular birds and animals, hike in the rainforest, visit the lowlands and the mountains, check out Pacific and Caribbean beaches and of course, you will have fabulous cycling.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Slothful, but not in that way.

    A trip designed to show the diversity of Costa Rica whilst incorporating many good cycling days, and a range of activities. Busy, but there was a lot to squeeze in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I just love hummingbirds, so an otherwise ordinary lunch stop turned in to a huge photo opportunity as the restaurant had feeders just outside the window to attract dozens of the tweety little things. Other than that, taking a boat to our Tortuguera hotel, relaxing in volcanic hot springs (with a bar), passing and smelling (eeuw) a palm oil factory, learning about tiny honey bees, not running off the road on a ferocious tarmac downhill and meeting a lovely bunch of like minded "cyclists" and crew.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I've been on many guided cycling trips with various companies including several with Exodus, and have always been thankful for the input of the guide. On this trip, our guide, Roberto, surpassed them all. There was nothing which was too much trouble, and no issue which he could not effortlessly resolve. Friendly, understanding and able to keep the group together in such a way that there never seemed to be any element of competition. A sense of humour. Information supplied along the way - tested by a challenging quiz on the last day where everyone won a prize!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can, arrive a few days before as your sleep patterns will need a few days to adjust. Having said that, the few that arrived within hours of the start coped heroically. Better than me in fact, who had 5 days to acclimatise. Expect some early starts. If you have to fit in a boat ride before breakfast, some cycling, a few hours in the transport, lunch, more cycling and still have time to relax in the pool before evening meal, you'll understand.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Must mention the driver, and mechanic/peloton-shepherd. Both outstanding in their roles. Driver combined speed with safety, could guide the vehicle through the tiniest gaps and remain calm when other less careful road users got themselves in very sticky situations. Our mechanic was invisibly keeping all the bikes in perfect order, but on the road, came out of nowhere to offer support or encouragement. He fist-bumped all, even the (ahem) slowest of us.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    If a toucan can so can you

    This is a full-on roller coaster of a trip - early starts, fabulous wildlife, intense heat, torrential downpours, great food, expert guides, friendly people and the best pineapple you'll find anywhere in the world - all in the very safe hands of Roberto and his fantastic team. And there toucans!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's a tour made up of lots of moments - a two toed sloth with her baby; a three toed sloth; tiny scarlet poison dart frogs and multi coloured crabs; watching two crocs mate (blimey that was quick); cocktails overlooking the Caribbean; the first decent photo of a toucan - and of course the first two cans of Imperial at the end of every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We've done many of these tours and I can honestly say that Roberto is one of the best tour leaders that we've ever had. Nothing is too much trouble - knowledgeable, friendly, willing to flex the trip to accommodate the group and doing everything he can to give the best experience of Costa Rica. Along with Paul (guide, fixer of punctures and hoover-upper up of the back markers) and Luis (excellent driver and gatherer of best pineapple, papaya, mangos and melons for snacks) this is a dream team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can spare an extra day or two, get out a bit early and get over your jet lag before the tour starts. And with no rest days, packing cubes are a godsend. Other than that, do whatever Roberto asks, grab every experience on offer and sleep it all off on your overnight flight home!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica relies heavily on tourism and suffered badly from the pandemic - so go as soon as you can (two can?)
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Cycling Costa Rica

    Amazing trip! The wildlife, from monster crocs, toucans ( group joke!!) Sloths and turtles and the flora is just out of this world! March is hot! Roberto, Paul and Luis were a brilliant team. Go there to pedal hard, have great fun with the group and just take it all in!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many! I loved the biological research station as I'm mad about plants! But the boat trips were great, the guided walks, the wildlife ( I never got the sloth thing, now I do!!) Swimming in the Pacific and Carribean. And pedalling every inch of the trip!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto is just lovely! His enthusiasm and knowledge about his country is infectious. He's also very good at keeping a group focused , as in herding cats! Couldn't ask for a better team leader. Shout out to Paul our other rider and mechanic. The most lovely, smiliest and helpful guy and Luis our driver. Totally unflappable and finder of the best fruit!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy every moment!! It really helps to be cycling fit as it got to 43°C on several days! Take a decent camera, a phone just doesn't do the closeups, was so glad I did. Learn a few Spanish words! Mozzies weren't really an issue. Sunscreen is a must! I was glad I had a helmet with a visor! Your washing doesn't dry outside, it's too humid! Do it when you have a room with aircon! I took way too much luggage. Take half what you think you'll need. Meals were not quite as expensive as the Exodus trip notes suggest. Roberto paid for all lunches then billed us at the end. So much easier than faffing about individually and saved a lot of time. The first couple of days are really hard. Jetlag, acclimatising to the heat and a lot of busy roads. However, the traffic is totally bike friendly and you do get used to the heat fairly quickly!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it!!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Ups & Downs !

    Overall enjoyed seeing Costa Rica and its amazing wildlife, rivers and jungles. As 'newbies' to Exodus and this kind of cycling holiday, there were some disappointments for me that coloured the enjoyment of the trip somewhat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved Tortugero boat trips and generally the nature tours whether walking or on boat were the highlights. Staying in jungle environment, open to nature was great. Our 'twitchers' in the group rewarded us all with their expert bird spotting and in fact the group overall was great fun and we all got on well together. There was a scenic ridge ride with Costa Rica on one side and Panama on the other plus some great downhill runs and nice runs through villages in the second week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was excellent in his guiding and knowledge.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for heat and humidity. We were frequently riding in over 30 degrees C and it reached 39 degrees at one point. We were riding frequently in full sun. Don't bother with too many clothing items for cooler temperatures. And keep it simple, you're living out of a case or bag, changing hotels every day so you never unpack.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I agree with a previous reviewer re the first 2-3 days riding on the Pacific highway. This was frankly not great - we saw very little apart from open road and big trucks from the hard shoulder - really not what we expected at all. Could the trip have started elsewhere avoiding this highway ? Maybe we could have spent more time on the coasts enjoying beaches as well as cycling - we only had one ocean swim on Pacific side and one opportunity on Caribbean but it was cool and rainy. A couple of 2 night stays would also have been very welcome. There were 2 poor quality hotels located centrally where we were left in the early afternoon with literally nothing to do. One hotel had no water supply until mid evening and no pool. At the other the highlight was literally a walk to the ATM machine ! We would have loved to have had a mid-morning coffee stop on our rides and the lunch at a bus station didn't impress. I think there is a real need for changing these elements of the itinerary.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    What a fantastic way to see the country and its wildlife

    If you’ve not visited Central America and not sure what to expect, wow this country is amazing. Climate, scenery, wildlife, people, bikes, tour guide Roberto, his team of Paul and Luis all make this a must place to visit and if you enjoy cycling that makes it an even better experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to pick as we had so many outstanding experiences. From river safaris, guided walks in National parks, swimming in Pacific, cycling through the highlands away from traffic on excellent roads but one which does stand out for me is the amazing number of colourful birds not only on our guided tours but just in the gardens and car parks where we stayed each night. I shouldn’t miss out that we also saw sloths, iguanas, monkeys, crocs too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was very professional, kind, nothing was too much trouble and he made sure everyone had the best experience possible. He was well organised, one of the days we had rain and couldn’t do to walk in the afternoon but he worked hard to fill the rest of the day with offering us other options so we didn’t miss out. His passion for his country was shown in his commentary on and off the bike and bus. His team of Paul the mechanic and Luis the driver made the whole trip run like clock work.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it! It’s a full on trip as with all Exodus trips and if you’re going for the first time read the trip notes and reviews it will help with being organised as you have new accommodation every night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was good, lunchtimes usually stopping off at canteen style places and evening a good mix of restaurants, all reasonably priced.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    Excellent Trip

    Excellent trip, great cycling, great tour leader, terrific birds and wildlife, fantastic group of cyclists. All accommodation was a good standard

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing all the wildlife and colourful birds. The enthusiasm of the local staff and their knowledge of their country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was a fantastic group leader who went out of his way to make sure all members of the group were happy. He worked very hard throughout the trip to ensure everything ran smoothly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It gets very hot when cycling especially up some of the hills. Take a buff you can soak in water to put round your neck to keep cool. Take a camera and binoculars and maybe even a book of birds of Costa Rica.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the hills are long and it gets very hot, do a little training before you go. There is no problem though as the team are happy to put your cycle on the van at any time, if you want you could just ride the downhills!!!
  • Reviewed February 2022

    Absolutely brilliant

    Fantastic trip. The best of Costa Rica. Having previously cycled the Nicagura/Costa Rica/Panama trip with Exodus, my husband and I were keen to return to cycle Costa Rica coast to coast to see this beautiful country and its wildlife properly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was fantastic and offered a variety of places and activities not repeated from previous trip. Three river safaris, staying the rainforest, experiencing contrast of the Pacific and Caribbean coast were great. I feel as if I've seen this magnificent country in full and loved every moment of the itinerary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On arrival I was thrilled to see Roberto as our guide once again. An absolutely outstanding guide. Roberto attended to everyone's individual requests from enthusiastic bird watchers, priority of some keen cyclists, wildlife lovers, a great balance which suited everyone in our group. Roberto is excellent in demonstrating our routes on a map, went out of his way to not only ensure each individual personally got what they wanted from this trip, safety came first, created Whatsapp group to unite all members of our team, nothing was too much trouble, his knowledge and history of Costa Rica was superb. I can't rate Roberto highly enough and he will have my vote as Guide of the Year. Paul, Roberto's assistant and mechanic was also a huge credit to the team, going out of his way to support all levels of cyclists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate, just book.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have already cycled Nicagura/Costa Rica/Panama, I also recommend this trip to see Costa Rica properly.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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