Great Explorations

(800) 242-1825
(604) 730-1247

National Geographic


"A+- a memorable family trip"

– Jim & Shauna M -
Edmonton, AB

Costa Rica

More testimonials


Trip Dates:

Jan 26- Feb 1

Feb 2-8

Feb 9-15

Mar 4-10

Mar 10-16

Dec 19-25

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day.Call or email for details.

Jan 25- Jan 31

Feb 1-7

Feb 8-14

Mar 3-9

Mar 9-15

Dec 18-24

Trip Size:

8-12 participants

Total Days:

7 days/ 6 nights


San Jose/ Quepos


Volcano Lodge, La Fortuna

Mystica Lodge, Arenal

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Spa

Cristal Ballena, Uvita

Extension hotels:

Si Como No, Manuel Antonio

Hotel Santa Teresa

Flor Blanca, Santa Teresa

Activity Level:

20-40+ miles daily


Land Cost (current year pp):
8+ pax - US $2450
6-7 pax - US $2650
4-5 pax - US $2950
2-3 pax - US $3450
Includes 7B/2L/6D

Single Supplement:
US $600

Bike Rental:
US $180
Please note the bikes may be either hybrid bikes or mountain bikes, depending on the road conditions

Extension Manual Antonio:

US $595
Single suppl: US $245
(see details on the detailed description below right)


Extension Santa Teresa:
US $595
Single suppl: US $245

or Luxe option:
US $995
Single suppl: US $450

(see details on the detailed description below right)


Additional cost:
Cristal Ballena flight (end of regular trip): US $44

Extension Manual Antonio flight: US $44
Extension Santa Teresa flight: US $83

map of Costa Rica


Costa Rica


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 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 ride you will never forget- around Lake Arenal
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.


Straight Talk: In Costa Rica, the bike routes are on paved roads wherever possible; being Costa Rica, road conditions change - you have to be aware of potential potholes (and iguanas)! For experienced cyclists, the traffic is not an issue on the roads we use, but the support van is always on hand, should you wish a lift at any time. Typical van transfer times (through scenic countryside) are as follows: D1- 2h; D2- n/a; D3- n/a; D4 - 1h; D5- 3h; D6 -1h.


Getting there:
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.

DAY 1:
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. Activities D1: cycling- 40 km;
400 m gain; 54 km; 450 m gain

DAY 2:
Mystica – Next day, we’ll cycle from La Fortuna to Lake Arenal, and then take a boat cruise to Rio Chiquito and cycle a lake-side route to Mystica, a lovely inn just above the west end of Lake Arenal. After lunch, spend the afternoon riding more, or relaxing at the hotel. Activities D2: cycling- 20 km
; 400 m Windsurfing possible on Lake Arenal (additional cost)


DAY 3: Fortuna - We continue riding around the lake to Nuevo Arenal and back to Fortuna, finishing the day with a visit to hot springs in town. D3: cycling- 40 km; 800 m gain; 52 km; 940 m gain


DAY 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 Blanca, an hacienda-style lodge with ensuite casitas and fine restaurant. There is a walking trail right from the hotel where you’ll have the chance to encounter howler monkeys and birds. Activities: D3: cycling- 40 km

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 well- paved with a good cycling shoulder. After stopping for lunch in Dominical, we will continue south to Ballena Park, named after whales that are often seen 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: D4: cycling- 20 or 40 km; D5: cycling- 40 or 60 km; mangrove boat tour- 2 hrs.


DAY 7:
For those departing, we recommend an early morning visit to the beach at Ballena National Park and then a transfer to the Quepos airport for the 11:05 flight (flight cost is $67+tax and takes 30 min).



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).
It includes transfers, hotel for two nights with breakfast daily, 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.”

Departure from Manuel Antonio: We’ll time the shuttle to Quepos on day 3 to co-ordinate with your onwards travel plans (flight cost Quepos-San Jose is $44 and takes 32 min).


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!
It 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.

It 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.

  • What's Included
  • Weather
  • Ride Info
  • Map

Map of the Area

Ride Info

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
  • 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 or by telephone at 604.730.1247



Need more details?
Download a detailed itinerary of this trip, which includes a day-by-day breakdown, activity level descriptions and other helpful information.

To receive a copy of this trip's itinerary, simply fill out the following form and the itinerary will be emailed to you directly. (Fields marked with an * are required.)


Are you a travel agent?*


Call Me


Have you travelled with us before?*