"A+- a memorable family trip "
– Jim and Shauna M,
Costa Rica, December, 2010
* special pricing- spring break
** special pricing- Christmas week
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day.Call or email for details.
7 days/ 6 nights
San Jose/ Quepos
20-40+ miles daily
Land Cost (current year):
Bikes on this trip are Cannondale hybrid bikes, new in 2011
Trips by Destination
We first visited this region a decade ago, attracted by the beaches, warm weather, stunning scenery and ecological diversity. With the development of eco-friendly boutique hotels Costa Rica and the recent paving of formerly dirt roads, the country is now more appealing than ever. The cycling is on paved roads where you’ll ride through lush vegetation, past volcanoes, rainforests and waterfalls. With opportunities to raft, kayak, zip-line and or hike through jungle beneath the vaulting canopy of ancient rainforests, the temptations are many.
Only Great Explorations:
- Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
- A day you will never forget- boat cruise to start, cycling around Lake Arenal, lunch at Mystica, hot springs soak and dinner at Tabacon Resort- best day ever candidate?
- We take care to find the quietest roads with minimal traffic.
- Order off the menu at our idea of fusion restaurants such as Exotica in Ojochal, where the setting and food are Costa Rican, yet accent, cooking style, and service are French. It will be a favourite meal of your trip, promise.
- Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
- We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
We feel compelled to distinguish ourselves from companies such as the one that calls themselves ‘the world’s #1 active travel company’. In addition to having substantially lower prices (30% less when you factor in number of days/nights), here are some other differences you should note if comparing ours to others:
- Our drivers/guides speak fluent English, which we feel will substantially enhance your trip.
- We use Toyota HIACE newer model minivans, which are air conditioned, roomy and comfortable and much superior to the older, smaller vehicles other companies use.
- Our routes are all on paved roads and are the safest, most enjoyable to cycle in the regions of Costa Rica we travel; we tried riding the dirt roads that others do, and frankly found the inhalation of dust (except when muddy!) less than satisfactory. Compare trip photos and you’ll see what we mean
- Our group sizes are smaller
- We will be using new Cannondale hybrid bikes in 2011 (lighter and more suitable than mountain bikes)
- We stay in superior hotels (compare Si Como No to the Falls Resort for example and you’ll see what we mean).
- We include additional tours such as zip-line/canopy tour, and options between rafting, horseback riding, surfing instruction, kayaking, again, included.
- These are just some of the differences- call us to learn more...
San Jose: direct flights are available from a number of US cities including Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, LA, and Chicago. You will want to arrive the night before our trip departs; our meeting hotel is the luxurious Mariott in Alejeula, close to the airport and an exquisite colonial hacienda style hotel, on 30 acres of former coffee plantation.
Fortuna – We will meet after breakfast (9:00 am) in the lobby of the Mariott Hotel. Our trip begins with a shuttle to the village of Agua Zarcas, where we will begin cycling. Lunch is included on this day at a typical local restaurant, and afterwards, we continue to La Fortuna and our hotel. If time allows, stop to hike into the 75m waterfall near town, or head straight to the hotel to enjoy the heated swimming pool before dinner. Next day, we’ll take a boat cruise to Rio Chiquito and cycle a lake-side route around Lake Arenal, finishing the day with a visit to hot springs at Tabacon Resort. Activities D1: cycling- 40 km; D2: cycling- 40 or 68 km
DAY 3+4: Los Angeles Cloud Forest - From La Fortuna, we’ll ride to Bajo Rodrigues along roads dotted with fruit stands of enticing watermelon, mango, papaya and strawberries. After lunch and a swim, we’ll shuttle to our luxurious hotel, the Villa Banca, a hacienda style lodge with en-suite casitas and fine restaurant. Next day’s ride is on quiet rolling roads, finishing in the village of Palmares. In the afternoon, you can choose between a zip line and canopy tour, or a guided hike on trails to discover the secrets of the Cloud Forest where you’ll have the chance to encounter howler monkeys and birds. Activities: D3: cycling- 40 km; D4; cycling; 30 km; opt. hiking 2 hours or zip line/canopy tour- 2 hours
DAY 5+6: Cristal Ballena- we start the day with a transfer to the coast and start cycling along a road that not long ago was dirt but now is superb pavement with a good cycling shoulder. After stopping for lunch in Dominical, we will continue south to Ballena Park, named after whales that are often found here. We will stay at Cristal Ballena which has outstanding views, and a very large infinity swimming pool. Next day, on what will be a favourite cycling route, we ride a quiet road through traditional villages to Sierpe. Here we board a boat for a cruise down the Sierpe River through mangroves that are home to an incredible assortment of animals and birds. Our local naturalist will explain about the biodiversity and flora and fauna here. Late afternoon, we will return to the hotel for swim and then for a final night treat, we'll enjoy a superb dinner at Exotica in Ojochal, one of the top restaurants along the coast. Activities: D5: cycling- 20 or 40 km; D6; cycling- 40 or 60 km; mangrove boat tour- 2 hrs.
Extension Manuel Antonio: For those wishing to extend their vacation to Manuel Antonio Park, we offer a two day extension, staying at the wonderful Si Como No Hotel with breakfast daily; we will transfer you from Cristal Ballena, arriving in time for a walking tour with our expert naturalist guide. Spend the afternoon at pristine Playa Manuel Antonio. Next morning you will be provided options for kayaking, horseback riding, zip line tours or rafting (included). Departure from Manuel Antonio: We’ll time the shuttle to Quepos on day 3 to co-ordinate with your on-ward travel plans (flight cost Quepos-San Jose is $44 and takes 32 min). Cost of extension is US$595pp (single supplement is US$245). Includes transfers, hotel for two nights, park entry and naturalist guide, additional tour (choice of kayaking, horseback riding, zip line tour or rafting, when available).
Rough Guide describes Si Como No as follows: “Enjoy beautiful views of the Pacific and Punta Catedral from this award-winning architectural complex set high on a hill. The hotel has solar-heated hot water, a Jacuzzi, two pools, swim-up bar, waterslide, and a small cinema with nightly screenings free to guests.”
Extension Santa Teresa: Wishing to extend your vacation time and visit the Nicoya Peninsula? Santa Teresa offers the newest hip destination in Costa Rica. Extension includes two nights at a charming casual resort with the prime frontage on the best stretch of beach in Santa Teresa, swimming pool, yoga studio and Serenity Spa. We’ve included yoga sessions each day and surf board rentals with optional instruction from a gal, originally from France living here who will have you up on your board your first day! Cost is US$595 (single supplement is US$245). Includes transfer from Manuel Antonio including speed boat crossing to Montezuma and taxi transfer to resort. Departure from Santa Teresa: For transfer to San Jose airport your options are coach (6 hrs; $12) or flight from Tambor (25 min; $83).
Luxe Option-Santa Teresa: In Santa Teresa, we also offer a luxe option for your hotel stay, at the outstanding boutique hotel, Flor Blanca Resort. Cost is US$995 pp (single supplement is US$450) and also includes transfers from Manuel Antonio, yoga, surf board rentals and instruction. Meals other than breakfast are additional for extensions; we provide detailed travelogue with suggestions and additional activity listings.
Map of the Area
San José Weather
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
- Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- 6 nights lodging
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
- Entrance fees for selected tours including lake cruise, hot springs entry, zip-lining/canopy and others
- Detailed map and route instructions
- All baggage transportation
- All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604.730.1247
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