Costa Rica mountain biking is spectacular, and arguably one of the best ways to see this beautiful country. The breathtaking landscapes you pass through on your mountain bike are all the more peaceful without the drone of a car engine in the background. Another plus is that wildlife is not spooked, offering you a better chance of seeing that flock of toucan or basilisk lizard.
Outfitters from the USA can organize a Costa Rica mountain bike tour, or you can go with a Costa Rican company. Either way, you can choose single or multi-day trips that range from the beautiful beaches to the lush highlands. However, US companies usually require you to bring your own bike and equipment.
The pace of your tour is usually as tough or easy as you like, with no pressure to keep up with the Lance Armstrongs of your group. Despite this, it’s still a good idea to check mileage and terrain before booking a tour. Quality tour companies provide a support van, or sag wagon, which follows the group to drop off or pick up those who wish to take a break, or only bike a certain section of the route.
Experienced bilingual guides will be with you the whole way, able to help out with any mechanical or physical problems you may have, or just to offer an encouraging word on a particularly steep section.
International airlines usually allow you to check a properly boxed bike as one of your pieces of luggage – package your bike well, as it is likely to have a rough journey. Some airlines charge a small fee, so it’s best to check ahead of time and shop around with various airlines.
Bring a mountain bike, not a road bike. Local road conditions with swimming pool sized potholes are not kind to touring bikes.
Not interested in a booking a tour?
Bike rentals are available in most tourist towns, though equipment quality varies. It’s a good idea to bring your own helmet and water bottle. Be careful of bad drivers and rough roads, but other than that there are some great little rides like along the Caribbean coast from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo in just an hour. You will surely enjoy your self while on your Costa Rica mountain biking adventure.