29 Tips to be prepared for your Costa Rica Cycling trip!
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Costa Rica Cycling trip is a great experience, but you do consider that it needs also some planning to get the most out of it.
When planning your trip you may get overwhelmed with all the social media available not all of it may be correct. We love to help you out to get the right information.
These tips we have gathered over the years, are all given to get the most out of Costa Rica especially cycling!
1 Enjoy the nature.
Costa Rica a small land bridge between the north and South of Americas with an abundance of green and 25% of the country conserved in either national parks or private initiatives.
The different little microclimates, between the Pacific and Caribbean seas give Costa Rica its remarkable flora and fauna
2 Keep in mind the hills!
Costa Rica will be a challenge, it is rather hilly so you will not easy ride a long stretches as you might be used to. The mountains and the heat will slow you down. Do not exhaust yourself and adjust if necessary your travel plans.
3 Travel light!
A few waterproof panniers, and as les luggage as possible wil do. You do not want to take a lot with you and if you need anything on your way you might just buy it at the moment. Would you like to travel even lighter rent a bicycle with us this may be cheaper and easier than taking your own.
4 Talking the language
Costa Rica has a great touristic infrastructure and a lot of people talk English being on the road it is always nice to know some Spanish words to have a small conversations with the locals.
5 Enjoy the Costa Rican people
One of the things you really need to take your time, is to learn to know the Costarican people. With their big hart, and most friendly way of welcoming you. It’s amazing how patient the Costarican are and how they can enjoy the small things in live. They will be very sympatic to you as a cyclist and help you out wherever they can.
6 Find accommodations on the go!
Costa Rica is one of the countries with a great touristic infrastructure. We have about 2500 hotels in Costa Rica from which more than 1500 are small hotels and lodges with less than 20 rooms. Of course you can find the big all-inclusive 5 star resorts hotels if you are in to that.
For a more personalized experience you might want to check out the smaller lodges and hotels managed and owned by their more often than not passionate owners, who made their dream come true in the service, the give their guests!
7 Take a ride.
If you had a rough day or you have a boring stretch up ahead. You might want to consider taking a taxi or even the public bus. Just ask the driver of the bus if he will take you and more often than not they will.
8 Get lost
Is the best part of your experience, do not worry to much getting yourself a expensive GPS Costa Rica is easy to travel we do not have a lot of roads. Just a map will do perfectly.
9 Get the Costa Rica experience!
Do not haste yourself and take your time in special places, spoil yourself with a nice lodge and stay a few days. So you can recover a little and relax at the same time.
10 Watch the road.
Costa Rica isn’t known for its great roads, please be aware of holes in the road and use your helmet at all times. A small climb can change suddenly in a steep downhill!
11 The find the best photo spot ever!
Costa Rica doesn’t only have the Arenal volcano as a perfect picture. Costa Rica provides also the opportunity to make the photo which has been chosen as the one who describes our vacation and tropical fantasies in the best possible way is still the jungle- beach-blue sea in one picture one!
12 Don’t forget the tools.
Our bicycles have a mechanical emergency kit, which should have at least an inner tire, a multi tool, tire reparation kit. You also might consider some oil to clean your chain now and then
13 Eat fresh fruit
In Costa Rica you can find it everywhere the best fruit you can find a banana enjoy it it is cheap and a great snack, just what you need.
It is nice to keep the memories, photos, social media or just writing a journal will be a great memory of your journey. How many kilometers was your ride how much did you climb and all the adventures you had.
15 Maintain your bike.
Be aware of your bike, and keep in shape it is the thing you depend on. A quick chain cleaning and checking the brakes is already enough to get you back on track.
16 Start in the early morning
Most hotels and lodges have an early breakfast, enjoy and start before 7 am so you are out of the heat at midday and may enjoy the day not only on your bike. If breakfast isn’t served you can always pickup one on the way in one of the many sodas or small restaurants.
17 Use waterproof panniers.
We have rain in Costa Rica and it is important to keep your stuff dry. We rent also ortlieb panniers if you do not have them.
18 Be aware of the sun and the heat!
We are at the equator and that means that the sun is burning keeping in mind also that you are in the mountains you have to keep in mind protecting yourself with sunscreen or long sleeve T shirts.
19 Get off your bike
Visit a coffee plantage!
Costa Rica got his richness in the early 1900 out of a bean, the coffee bean. It still has a big coffee agriculture and burning industry. Driving true the mountains you will see plantages pop up everywhere. Some if you ask them, they even lead you around to let you appreciate the passion of these coffee farmers. Proud and experts in their field the will show you how it’s done in a sustainable way. In every little restaurant or coffee stop you may find the finest coffee of the world for you to enjoy.
And only a few people leave our country without a pound of coffee in their luggage.
20 Eating and drinking
Costa Rica has a kitchen filled with all the different cultures you may find? Not only Cariban or Latin food but also Asiatic, European dishes will be on the menu. And I do have to say that except that every restaurant has its own specialty and style. I never ate anything bad in Costa Rica. Remember it’s also a country you do not have to worry about water washed lettuce or ice cubes because of the water quality. The water quality is actually good, because of the high mountains and the running rivers our drinking water is surprisingly good!
Most used in the most affordable dishes, fish and chicken. A bit more expensive of course sushi but also good meat is an expensive product in Costa Rica.
21 Be aware of your gear!
Keep your bike in sight at all times, even in your room or lodges lock them. Keep your valuables with you and do not take to much cash with you!
A shirt and nice padded trousers are of course necessary, keep it easy going so when visiting a sight you are dressed for the occasion. There are various kind of cycling clothes which are not all that sporty look at the MTB part of your cycle shop.
23 Don’t be afraid to adjust!
Plans are made to adjust. If you are tired, the road is closed or it is raining all day adjust and try to fully enjoy your Costa Rica Experience.
24 Share your experiences
If you meet cyclist on the road, trust me there will not be many like you. Ask them about there experience drink a beer with them and learn from them or share your experience with them.
25 Leave your comfort zone!
Yes of course it will be exiting and of course you will head off in the great big unknown. But don’t worry we can help you out to put your mind at ease. Do not worry about what others think, you will be great and best of all super proud of yourself once ended your cycling adventure in Costa Rica. Keep in mind it is one of the toughest most beautiful countries you can cycle. All the information you need you will find in our E book Cycling Costa Rica
26 Your physical condition should be…
Normal do not worry to much if you have a good physical condition and are able to ride 60-100 km on flat and normal road in a day you will be ok here in Costa Rica. At the end of your vacation you will have the strength to be proud off!
27 discover our desolated beaches
Its amazing how many different and hidden beaches you will find at the Costa Rican Coast lines. With big waves, small waves, black sand, almost white sand. Beaches with a lot of people or completely desalted, spilled with all forms and shapes of wood. Beaches who will drop off right into to see or where you can walk half a mile before the water rises to your middle.
Beaches which are easy to find. Or would you like to see the beaches which are a little bit more the hidden treasures the kind that is difficult to get and hard to leave. What would you like most, find your own perfect beach!
28 Enjoy the best of everything
Costa Rica apears in various best off lists.
Not only the happiest people, the greenest, the most sustainable but also as the one time personal favorite of a lot of travelers. I am sure if you ask anyone in your surroundings have you been to Costa Rica or do you know anyone who they will all have some great story to tell you!
29 Learn and embrace Pura Vida
Pure life, great, okay, thank you, good day, are all meanings of this line Pura Vida which you will hear everywhere in Costa Rica. It’s an old line form one of the most famous actors of Latin America in the fifties Antonio Espino who used it in a movie. From there one this popular saying was adopted in Costa Rica. This phrase expresses great gratitude or joy when used.
Pura Vida is a phrase hard to explain but well understood by locals and tourists, understood in every language because of its profound sincerity!