Mountain Bike in Costa Rica
Mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular throughout Costa Rica with numerous trails from expert downhill tracks to easy, rolling dirt roads through the countryside. There is something for everyone no matter the riding ability or fitness level.
With the Ruta de los Conquistadors becoming increasingly known as one of the toughest races in the world it’s any wonder the local scene is exploding with mountain bike enthusiasts. Near the capital, San Jose, there is any number of roads, tracks and volcanos to climb or downhill from. The central valley through to Monteverde and Arenal are full of back roads only known by local farmers and provide some challenging but rewarding terrain to cover by bike and the beaches all along the Nicoya Peninsular provide some light relief to cycle along at low tide.
Mountain Biking in Costa Rica has become so popular there are now dedicated tours solely for that purpose and it is becoming increasingly common for cycle tourists exploring the country. But why the fuss? What reasons do these people have to mountain bike in Costa Rica? Here are just a few –
As I mentioned above there is a track to suit everyone. From technical downhills, to washed out 4 x4 tracks, to gravel back roads, beach rides and brand new footpaths. No matter what type of ride you’re looking for there is a trail to suit all abilities and levels.
Not all mountain biking has to be bunny jumping logs and navigating berms as you speed downhill dodging trees. While that can be fun it’s not for everyone so riding along beaches at low tide and exploring dirt roads leading to secret coves can be just as rewarding.
Travelling by bike allows you to see and experience more of nature rather than speeding through it in an air-conditioned capsule. Every time I hear a Howler Monkey I still stop and listen and have seen countless snakes, lizards, monkeys, birds and other wildlife on my many rides. Having the ability to easily stop and encounter these animals is a huge draw for mountain biking in Costa Rica.
Costa Ricans are known to be some of the friendliest people and riding through their communities and townships you can see why. Everyone is ready with a smile and a “Buenos Dias”, maybe a friendly wave and a “Pura Vida” but experiencing how the locals live can be one of the more rewarding reasons to mountain bike through Costa Rica as you won’t get those interactions from looking out a car window.
Costa Rica only has two seasons – the green (rainy) season and the dry season. During both seasons the mornings are warm and mostly dry though there may be some humidity. In the wet season expect an afternoon shower which can make for some muddy riding trails the next day. In the dry season expect strong winds and higher day time temperatures. Both seasons mean you never have to worry about it being too cold so it’s always a good day for a ride.
So if you are a mountain biking enthusiast looking for a fun and challenging vacation or if you have never tried it before and are keen to see what all the fuss is about definitely book at least a days mountain biking during your time in Costa Rica.
I run Tamardino Mountain Bike Tours and can taylor a ride to suit your ability and fitness level. If you are looking to explore other parts of the country contact me for other providers.
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I’m Anna Kernohan, a Travel and Adventure Coach. I use my 16 years of travel experience and my Safety Manager background to provide professional travel companion services to those wanting to travel but not in a tour group or alone. You’ll never have to worry about being alone in a foreign country again.