We thought we’d take a fresh look at this amazing country and discover just what is attracting so many of you to come and visit. This guide has been written by Skedddle.
Costa Rica has proven to be one of our most successful long haul destinations for more than eight years and is showing no sign of slowing down in popularity. The sheer beauty of Costa Rica is obvious and undeniable. With its pleasant climate, friendly people, rich culture and beautiful beaches, it has a lot going for it as a holiday destination. For cyclists, whether they be road or mountain bike inclined, it has additional charms. An ever-changing landscape crossed by quiet roads, which despite their reputation are generally smooth and ideal for road cycling and literally thousands of kilometres of dirt roads, trails and singletrack to keep the off road fraternity enthused. Costa Rica has everything to keep cyclists of every level happy and the country has a growing local cycling culture.
Road Cycling in Costa Rica
For such a tiny country, Costa Rica has an awful lot to offer road cyclists. Whilst not a complete “coast to coast” tour, our route takes us from the Caribbean side of the country, via vast swathes of lush green rainforest and cloudforest, right over the Continental Divide and down to the Pacific coast where the beaches are some of the best in the world. As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Costa Rica´s volcanoes are among the most mesmerising in the world.
Most Costa Rican volcanoes and their surrounding areas have been made into national parks. One of them is Arenal Volcano, listed among the 10 most active volcanoes in the world, and the days we spend riding in its vicinity are for many the highlight of the tour. Arrival at the Pacific coast on the golden sands of Samara and Playa Carrillo is a real treat and very few can resist a dip before we reach our destination hotel.
Mountain Biking in Costa Rica
Exploring by mountain bike allows us to reach parts of Costa Rica not possible by road, giving a completely different and more intimate perspective on its beautiful verdant landscape. Costa Rica is a real mountain bike adventure; we wade through rivers and visit beaches even 4x4s can’t access. Whilst not overly technical, the off-road tracks get us deep into the heart of Costa Rica, beginning with an exploration of volcanoes in the north before following trails into the rainforest and cloudforests where our riding is interspersed with visits to hot springs, waterfalls and swims in natural pools.
However, we save the best to last, finally finishing on the gorgeous beaches of the Pacific Coast. Where else but Costa Rica could you ride 10km along a deserted beach, reach a secluded bay and refresh yourself with the freshest mango and coconut straight from the palm
Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise and despite having an area equivalent to just 0.03% of the earth’s surface, it hosts more than 500,000 individual species. The country is considered to be the most densely biodiverse country on the planet and has several National Parks where it is possible to get up close and personal with animals in their natural environment.
The parks are very accessible and well worth a visit and many Skedaddlers have chosen to extend their time in the country, especially to experience the wildlife. But even without visiting the parks you’re very likely to encounter a wide variety of creatures, whether mountain biking or on the road.
Without going out of our way we usually see howler monkeys, sloth, iguana and other reptiles, coati, parrots, macaws and countless other varieties of birds as we ride across the country. We’ve also been lucky enough on occasions to see white faced capuchins, spider and squirrel monkeys, pythons and vipers, poison dart frogs, deer, raccoons and even, from a safe distance thankfully, some enormous crocodiles.
For more information about our trips in Costa Rica, call, email or visitwww.skedaddle.co.uk/costarica