Cycle Costa Rica & Panama

Cycle Costa Rica & Panama

From $ 2,025 AUD

Description

From the deep rainforests of Panama to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, witness all the natural splendour of Central America from your unique vantage point in the saddle. Costa Rica and Panama are the epitome of Central American and Caribbean living, with a diversity of wildlife and rich local cultures waiting to be discovered. This cycling adventure takes you off the beaten path for a journey that’s not restricted to the mainland, with voyages to tropical archipelagos and isolated islands surrounded by active volcanoes.

Trip Name
Cycle Costa Rica & Panama
Last Updated
2019-09-18
Days
8
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Cycle through Central America, a land of mysterious ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles
  • See the sights and engage in a wide range of activities across two different countries
  • Chill out with Caribbean vibes in Puerto Viejo, a lively village with great food and even better music
  • Cycle the Panama Canal and marvel at the leviathans sailing through the water

Itinerary

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - San Jose
Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. You'll meet the rest of your group at 6 pm this evening, but if you arrive early there's plenty to do in town. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, where artisan booths are common, or at the Gold Museum containing an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. You could also hit the outdoor market in Plaza de la Cultura or the popular Central Market. Once you've met the other travellers, maybe join them for a group dinner or otherwise dine out by yourself. Remember, this is a cycling trip so carb-loading is absolutely encouraged.
Day 2 - Puerto Viejo
Depart San Jose early this morning on a long driving day (approximately 230 km / 4 hours). The group will make their way to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a taste of the Carribean: think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches. Once known only for the legendary Salsa Brava surf break, this town maintains its laid-back vibe while being the departure point for a range of activities like snorkelling, chocolate tours or the popular Jaguar Rescue Centre. Stop en route at the famous (and supposedly haunted) Cartago ruins. On arrival in Puerto Viejo, check into the accommodation then stretch your legs with a relaxed ride along the coast to the small beachside town of Manzanillo, returning to Puerto Viejo in time for a sunset beer.
Day 3 - Puerto Viejo
Cycle away from the beach this morning and follow the peaceful Sixaola River that forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Enjoy a longer ride, passing rolling green farmland and the Gandoca Manzanillo National Park before returning to Puerto Viejo for a free afternoon. Hit the surf, rest your riding muscles on the beach or grab a cold drink at one of the town's bamboo bars.
Day 4 - Boquete
Board a support vehicle this morning and cross the border into Panama, arriving in Caldera some 4 hours later (245 km). The area is home to beautiful pine forests, river valleys and streams, with the Baru Volcano serving as a stunning backdrop. Jump back in the saddle for a hilly ride with nice descents and amazing scenery. Once you reach the town of Caldera, board a special all-terrain vehicle that will take you up to the Boquete area, the spectacular mountain town serving as your home for the next two nights. Your hotel is located at nearly 1700 m above sea level, and the 7 km incline to the hotel door may be an appealing challenge for the more energetic cyclists in the group. Cycling: riding distance is approximately 30 km / 3 hours on hill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 530 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 3.5 hours.
Day 5 - Boquete
Take advantage of a free day to stretch your legs and take part in an optional activity, like a coffee tour or a visit to the nearby hot springs to soothe your muscles. Alternatively, take it easy and just enjoy the serentity surrounding this mountain gem. If you're keen to get back in the saddle, optional rides in the area can be arranged with your leader.
Day 6 - Baru Volcano & Panama City
Transfer to Los Portrerillos for today's ride along the slopes of Baru Volcano, an active stratovolcano. There are some undulating sections before a long, fun descent on rarely-used roads and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. Freshen up at the bottom before boarding your transfer to Panama City. Cycling: Riding distance is approximately 32 km / 2 hours, on undulating then downhill terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 270 m. Vehicle transfer: approximately 7 hours.
Day 7 - Panama Canal & Gamboa Rainforest
See the highlights of Central America's glitziest capital on a short ride along the Panama Canal. Set out from the hotel, close to the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, and  transfer by bus (approximately 15 minutes) to the Miraflores Locks. Entrance to the Visitor Centre is included featuring a large interactive museum, multiple viewing platforms and a delicious buffet restaurant with views of the canal. Departing Miraflores, ride into Soberania National Park, which spans almost the entire width of the country along the east side of the canal. Take a quick side trip down the plantation trail deep into the jungle. Afterwards, continue to Gamboa, a town which was left deserted following the completion of the Panama Canal. See the remains of the town before ending your ride at the truly spectacular Rainforest Discovery Center, a non-profit organisation. One of the main attractions is a tower way above the canopy where it's possible to observe up to 14 species of hummingbirds. You may also see other other animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, coatis and butterflies. Enjoy lunch at the Discovery Center before heading back to town for some free time. Perhaps explore Casco Viejo, the historic old town of Panama City. This evening you have a special farewell dinner to celebrate the end of this cycling adventure.  Cycling: riding distance is approx. 20 km / 3 hours, on mostly flat terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 190 meters Vehicle transfer: approx. 1.5 hours
Day 8 - Panama City
You can depart at any time as there are no activities planned for today. Cycling distance: none

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
12-01-201919-01-2019AUD $ 2,025-
02-02-201909-02-2019AUD $ 2,025-
23-02-201902-03-2019AUD $ 2,025-
16-03-201923-03-2019AUD $ 2,025-
06-04-201913-04-2019AUD $ 2,025-
27-04-201904-05-2019AUD $ 2,025-
17-08-201924-08-2019AUD $ 2,025-
14-09-201921-09-2019AUD $ 2,025-
19-10-201926-10-2019AUD $ 2,025-
09-11-201916-11-2019AUD $ 2,025-
30-11-201907-12-2019AUD $ 2,025-
21-12-201928-12-2019AUD $ 2,025-

Accommodation

Hotels (3 nights),guesthouse (4 nights)

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle

Map