Costa Rica is a very mountainous country, which makes it perfect to practice mountain biking tours in the different places, from the beautiful beaches of the Pacific to the breathtaking forests of the high lands. Come and experience the amazing landscapes offered by the active volcanoes, numerous waterfalls, incredible biodiversity, small roads and trails connecting small towns and warm people of Costa Rica, while enjoying the diverse mountain bike trails. There are trails challenging enough for very experienced mountain bikers, to soft easy ones for beginners. It is safe to say that cycling is the second most important sport in Costa Rica, after soccer.

Costa Rica Biking Routes

Lake Arenal

The majestic Lake Arenal is located near the Arenal Volcano and it is the country's most spectacular lake. Lake Arenal is an artificial lake, created on the northern highlands of the country. It is a 33-mile long, man-made lake used to produce hydroelectric power for Costa Rica. In this lake, visitors may enjoy Standing Up Padling (SUP), kayaking, windsurfing and boat rides. The main road that communicates La Fortuna with Tilaran goes around the shores of the lake providing amazing views of the Lake and the Volcano.


Arenal Volcano

There are various ways of doing the Lake Arenal Loop tour and normally it is best done in two days. Lake Arenal is a manmade lake located close to the active Arenal Volcano and the National Park of the same name; it is one of Costa Rica reservoirs made a dam in 1979 and it has an extension of 87 km2. Bikers may begin the ride from La Fortuna, going around the lake about 65 km in paced road to a great small hotel to spend the night. The next day, bikers follow the road, this time gravel road, to the town of Tilaran, going pass Tronadora.

La Guaria Expert Loop is also a nice way to know the north part of Costa Rica by a mountain bike tour, passing by La Guaria, Monterrey, Linda Vista, Tanque and Guatuso, even making a detour to visit the Venado Caves located on the north of La Fortuna. The Venado Caves are a million year old caves located about 32 km from La Fortuna.

At the Arenal area, there are also smaller tours that can be done in half day, specially made for beginners and amateurs. That way you will get to know the area and have the biking experience at the same time.


 Arenal Biking route


Irazu volcano

Irazu Volcano is one of the 7 active volcanoes of Costa Rica; it last erupted in 1963 on the day that former US President John F. Kennedy visited the country. It is one of the seven active volcanos in Costa Rica and it is situated in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago. The Irazu National Park is very popular because its crater resembles a moonscape. It vast expanse of grey dust and rock with a green and blue lagoon at its center, is the perfect moon setting. It is a complex volcanic shield (500 km2) of an irregular, sub conic shape. The Irazu National Park is located only 25 km northeast of San Jose, and lies in the Central Volcanic Mountain Range in the Orosi Valley. The Turrialba Volcano, which lies very close and are called the Twins Volcanoes.



Turrialba Volcano

Turrialba is a charming little town located on Cartago Province. It has some stunning views of Costa Rica's rural countryside. It is known to be the white water rafting hotspot and base camp, since the main rafting rivers in Costa Rica are so close.

The town lies 53 km east of the capital city San Jose and from there you may visit the pre-Columbian ruins at Guayabo, or the rarely visited but lovely Turrialba Volcano National Park. The Turrialba volcano was dormant until few years ago, when it began an intense activity. From the summit of the volcano, you can on a clear day, see the Irazu, Poas and Barva volcanoes in the distance.

The Irazu Volcano and the Turrialba Volcano are both active volcanoes located in the Cartago Province. This ride is special for experienced mountain bikers although the exercise is moderate. It begins descending from Irazu Volcano National Park (11.260 feet above sea level) to the Turrialba volcano, enjoying the beautiful agricultural landscape of the province and the historical legacy of the area. The Irazu Volcano is known for its special location where in sunny days visitors may see both shores, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The descents around 23 km long and add another 12 km to the town of Volcan, though the dirt road that connect the Twin Volcanoes.


 Turrialba Volcano


Monteverde Ride

Monteverde is a famous location for most tourists. It is home of one of the most amazing Cloud Forest of the country. If you are an experienced mountain biker and like rough adventures, probably this ride is for you. Most bikers begin the ride from the town of Sardinal and uphill to the town of Santa Elena. It is a 30 km ride uphill, great for mountain biking. The scenery is just breath taking as you see the Nicoya Gulf and the Guanacaste Lowlands while surrounded by green lush forest.

The town of Santa Elena offers bike rentals for those who would like to try the sport in the surrounding areas. Also, every year there are various national competitions, among which is the EcoBike. Come join one of the best Costa Rica Adventure Tours.



Visit this area with Costa Rica Multi Sport Tour, or Customize your trip with Banana Adventure Tours.

Written by Caro Goodfellow

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