A great way to experience the Costa Rica!
Drinking partying and tanning on the beach is your way to enjoy than this article probably won’t interest you. When you are not faint of hart, just a little bit more adventures , interested in culture and nature then this is something to read.
What about traveling Costa Rica by bicycle! This will be a great experience, where you will feel, taste and enjoy in a most pure way the best of Costa Rica. Using normal common sense you will get the best experience ever.
Climbing in to mountains, eating in small family restaurants, and being treated friendly where ever you go, able to stop at the best hidden places will ad great value to your Costa Rica experience. Learning to know the friendly Costarican people, while they amaze themselves over your appearance, appreciating your effort to actually learn to know them. Not like the 99% of the normal tourists, instead of driving around in a Rental car, or a group’s bus just stopping when dictated by your “guide” or travel itinerary. You will learn to see the real Costa Rica!
I am an experienced cyclist in Costa Rica, as a hotel owner of Hotel Rincon de San Jose we receive since year’s guest who had this amazing experience before you. Cycling MTB or racing is getting more and more popular in Costa Rica, gaining popularity for daily commuting discovered as a cheap and comfortable way of transport. Bicycle shops are popping up in almost every village.
Traveling Costa Rica by bike will be amazing when you keep a few traveltips:
- Learn the Pura Vida, slow down, do not forget to enjoy yourself take it by the day!
- Be prepared
- Know your bike and your own physical condition
- Mountain bike or tour bike is recommended
- A good physical condition will help you to enjoy more!
- Travel light, take as less as possible use the laundry service when needed
- Use watertight biking bags (know brand is Ortlieb)
- Taking your own bike by plane can be very costly; you might want to consider renting a bike and buy a cheaper ticket. We rent bikes 29er “Specialized” aluminum frame, hydraulic brakes as of $ 25,- a day.
- Are you used to an eating patron during your biking adventures you might want to consider to take some with you.
- Eat and drink well during the day, a breakfast with our great Callo pinto lunch with casadas and a fresh banana as a snack will give you the right energy. These meals are easy to get and mostly the best cooked and a great budget saver. You will find it in every little restaurant and hotel you will enter.
- In Costa Rica we do have a lot of choice these days but not all bikes and brands are available it is little different than the huge range of possibilities they have in Europe or North America.Trek, Specialized, Orbea, Giant, Scott are the most commune brands.
- Keep in mind that frame sizes mostly are the smaller sizes and wheel size mostly 26”
- In the central valley and the bigger cities you will find bicycle stores for spare parts when you need them. When you have special wheel sizes like 28” or special tires please do not forget to take a spare.
- Racing bikes will not do the job, especially when you want to take luggage with you.
- You do have a better sight sitting up you are better prepared for the sometimes tough roads. And you will have more change to take this one hole in the road!
- Mountain bike or hybrids will be best suited
- A helm and a reflector vest are obligated also during day time.
- Get triple blade and minimal 7-9 gears at your rear wheel.
- Climbing hills can go up to 15% easy
- Costa Rica is different so what we call,
– “Flat” would be about 3% average you can find roads like this at pacific and Caribbean coast
– “ Normal” would be about 3-5% average, cycling a route of about 50 km you would have this as an average on the lowland
– “Hilly” would be between 5-7% average, cycling in the central valley area around the Arenal area 50 km would have this average
– “Steep” 7-10% average when you are really going for it and please do! Going up the Poas, Irazu, Rincon de la Vieja, Sierra de la muerte all roads which are absolutely doable especially if you take it easy and keep yourself in mind.
Cycling every day is something you should be prepared for, keep in mind that the heat and the height can affect your state of condition. If you feel weak please rest a day, enjoy the Pura Vida!
Some comments of our guests:
- A young couple!
It was great! We cycled a lot, France, China, Vietnam and all by bike but this was really different. There are no flat roads what so ever!
- 6 ladies with 55 year average:
We had a lovely time, beautiful mountains and lowlands Costa Rica is nice and compact easy to travel. When we did had some problems we just send for a taxi.
- Father and daughter
Costa Rica is really easy going, after a few flats we needed new tires. We went to the local bicycle shop. The helped great us to get our spare parts so we could continue our trip.
- A middle aged couple
Our route description wasn’t always correct but just asking was enough. At one time we were a little lost. We encountered a man smiling with his daughter on a bike. Can I help you he asked of course we do you know this lodge? No problems follow me and he brought us right to the doorstep of our lodge. Later on we learned that the nice man was also the owner!