Find your ideal cycling holiday
26th January 2019 - 10th February 2019 (16 days)
Costa Rica’s reputation has grown markedly of late, not only as one of the most progressive and well organized countries in Latin America, but also as possibly the best destination in the world to enjoy remarkable fauna and flora in a pristine environment. Cycling on paved roads and unsurfaced tracks, this tour heads out up the central spine to Arenal, crossing the lake to the famous Monteverde cloud forest. It's character then changes as it swings north west, descending from Tileran to Bagaces and the awesome Rincon de La Vieja National Park. The tour ends on the Pacific coast at Tamarindo. With distances of 30-50 kms on hired lightweight off-road bicycles, and plenty of free days, the riding should not prove too taxing for the moderately fit rider.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager John Diederich
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 01871
Saturday 26th January
Fly from London Gatwick to San José on British Airways flight BA2237, departing at 0805 and arriving at 1340. Coach transfer to hotel. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 27th January
Coach transfer to Bajo Rodriguez, north of San Ramon. Cycle 36 km to La Fortuna. Stay 3 nights.
Monday 28th January
Tuesday 29th January
Cycle around head of Arenal lake via El Parque Los Chiles and Upala. 40 km.
Wednesday 30th January
Vehicle transfer to boat for crossing of Lake Arenal to Rio Chiquito. Cycle west to Tronadora. Coach transfer to Monteverde. Stay 3 nights.
Thursday 31st January
Friday 1st February
Cycle to Reserva Monteverde. Return to hotel by coach.
Saturday 2nd February
Coach transfer to Tierras Morenas (Tileran). Cycle 50 km to Bagaces, with much descending. Coach transfer to Rincon de La Vieja. Stay 3 nights.
Sunday 3rd February
Monday 4th February
Cycle to Rincon de la Vieja National Park and back. Approx 40 km.
Tuesday 5th February
Late check out. Coach transfer to Tamarindo. Alternatively cycle to Tamarindo on/off road. 80 km. Stay 4 nights.
Wednesday 6th February
Thursday 7th February
Organised cycle ride taking in the coast to the South of Tamarindo. Approx 50 km.
Friday 8th February
Saturday 9th February
Coach transfer (five hours) to San José airport for return flight on British Airways flight BA2236 to London Gatwick departing at 1530.
Sunday 10th February
Arrive London Gatwick at 0745.
Accommodation & Meals
Apart from the first night, hotels will be mainly in the countryside in well-equipped country lodges or resorts, sharing double or twin rooms. Breakfast is included every morning, and evening meals are included on the first eight nights. On the remaining six evenings, and during the day, meals are at the participants’ expense. Vegetarian meals are available, but please indicate what you do/don’t eat on the Booking Form.
On all moving on days two back up vehicles will support the group for transporting the luggage as well as riders and bikes when required.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid after the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they need a visa.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for foreign visitors although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A and B. Malaria is not a risk factor in the areas of Costa Rica visited on this tour. You should contact your doctor or a foreign travel clinic at least three months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers. Applications of insect repellent at times of greater risk, and good hygiene when eating, are effective ways of combatting diarrhoea and insect-borne diseases.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £2,990 is based on a minimum number of 16 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of CR Colones 1.35 to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published by FairFx on 2 March 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 17th November 2018, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- Return flights between London Gatwick and San José
- Transfers between San José airport and the hotel
- Backup vehicles to transfer luggage and bikes when required
- Boat across Lake Arenal
- 14 nights hotel accommodation, B&B basis, sharing rooms
- Evening meals on 8 nights
- Hire of bicycle
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Gatwick Airport
- Meals in transit
- Evening meals on 6 nights
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Additional activities or any entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £600 per person is payable upon booking, with an Interim Payment of £1,000 per person due by 6th July 2018. The final balance of £1,390 per person is to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 17th November 2018.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 6th July 2018
6th July 2018 to 16th November 2018
17th November 2018 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Costa Rica, with its two coasts, mountainous central spine and central belt containing the most populous towns, is a diverse country in terms of culture, climate and natural assets.
The area covered by this tour starts in the bustling capital city of San José, with its relatively cool climate. The tour coach leaves the Pan American Highway no.1 at the pretty town of San Ramón, and the cycling begins northward in spectacular fashion, ending west of la Fortuna. This will be our base of exploration for two days, before the tour crosses Lake Arenal and heads for Monteverde and its cloud forest. Home to frogs, howler monkeys, big cats (mercifully shy), birds such as the Resplendent Quetzal and the Three-Wattled Bellbird, exotic butterflies and flora, Monteverde is the largest remaining cloud forest of its kind anywhere, and as such merits three nights. If canopy tours, jungle treks and zip wires lose their appeal, a cocoa or coffee plantation tour could prove tempting.
The tour will feel quite different as it leaves the village of Tierras Morenas a short distance from the western end of Arenal lake; A long smooth ridge descent into the hotter, flatter area towards Liberia ends in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. To one side of our lodge is the Colorado River with its white water rafting, and rising majestically to the other side are volcanic peaks. Whether you cycle, walk or go horse riding into the park, you may see sloths, spider monkeys, tapirs, purple orchids, Blue Morpho butterflies…don’t forget your binoculars!
To recuperate from this stimulating schedule, four nights will be spent in the town of Tamarind by a Pacific coast beach. Although a group ride is offered on one day, there will plenty of time to relax, surf, swim, or visit Leatherback turtles nesting nearby on Playa Grande. Tamarind is a lively, medium sized resort with plenty to do and easy to get away from to explore the surrounding area by bicycle.
Rides & Rest Days
Most riding days will start at around 9 am after breakfast, and rides may take 4-5 hours depending on the number of stops and the terrain as much as the distances, which are relatively modest. A mechanic will be with us to service and maintain the bikes in addition to two bilingual guides and myself, so there should be no navigation problems. While taking into account the fact that everyone likes to ride at their own pace, the intention is essentially to ride as a group.
Main roads and some smaller country roads will be generally well-maintained tarmac. However, much of the rest of the road network consists of gravel and unsurfaced routes with little traffic, which are nevertheless pleasant to ride on. The tour uses a combination of these types of road.
Accommodation & Meals
Apart from the first night in San José, where the hotel is about 1.5 km from the city centre, accommodation will be mainly in the countryside in well-equipped country lodges or resorts. As accommodation is in double or twin rooms only, no single room accommodation is available.
Breakfast is included, and evening meals are included in the tour price on the first 8 nights only. On the remaining 6 evenings and at lunchtime, meals are at the participants’ expense. However, eating out is generally speaking relatively inexpensive in Costa Rica outside tourist hotspots, and the food is of consistently good quality.
There will be two vehicles provided on this tour: one to transport participants (‘Coaster’ type bus) and the other for transporting bicycles and equipment. The Coaster bus will always be on hand to ferry those not able to ride, as well as for carrying and handing out water, fruit and cereal bars, which are included in the tour price.
The maximum group size will be 19 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
The tour will take place in the country’s dry season, although passing showers are a distinct possibility, especially high up in the central region. Temperatures vary from daytime highs in the mid-20s for San José to 33C on the Pacific coast, with a night time low of around 22 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees in the capital. The climate is very pleasant, but high factor suncream and a hat are essential, and light waterproofs should be carried as a precaution. Light clothing for the tropics is the order of the day, with a light jumper advisable for evenings in the capital.
Cycles & Equipment
Cycle hire is included in the tour price. You are advised to bring your own helmet, pedals, shoes, gloves, eye protection and cycle clothing: Apart from that, everything else will be provided. Each participant will receive an Orbea or Specialised mountain bike with carbon frame, front suspension, 22 speed Shimano transmission and disc brakes. Tyres suitable for both track and road have been requested. Allocation of individual bikes with correct frame sizes will take place closer to the tour departure date. Tool kits, pumps and mechanical assistance will be provided. Helmets are advised, though are not mandatory; if you do not intend to wear one, please check that your insurance will cover you in the event of claim
Maps & Guides
International Travel Maps and National Geographic both produce good waterproof and tear resistant maps. As for travel guides, there is little to choose between the excellent Rough Guide and Lonely Planet guides to Costa Rica. GPS base maps for Costa Rica are available, but, it would appear, only as part of a package covering South America and half of Central America, which wouuld work out to be quite expensive
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
The local currency is CR Colones, useful for small transactions. ATMs are available in most towns, and will supply both Colones and US Dollars. Dollars are widely accepted, and I advise bringing a good supply of these, although credit cards can be used in most shops. With comparable prices to the UK in tourist areas, and appreciably lower outside these, $50 per person per day should cover lunches, drinks and sundries.