Cycle Nicaragua & Costa Rica

Cycle Nicaragua & Costa Rica

From $ 1,875 AUD

Description

Central America is ripe with uninterrupted natural beauty. What’s more, it’s a part of the world that’s frequently overlooked – meaning you can often see it all without the tourist crowd. From the lakes and volcanoes of Nicaragua to Costa Rica’s forested surrounds, get to the heart of each of these destinations from the saddle. On this active 8-day adventure you’ll cycle past old colonial forts and small villages through serene Nicaraguan countryside, ancient rock carvings and cheeky monkeys on Ometepe Island, and orange groves, banana plantations, and other agricultural bounties in Costa Rica. Action-packed, though not without a good dose of relaxation, this cycling adventure through Nicaragua and Costa Rica delivers it all.

Trip Name
Cycle Nicaragua & Costa Rica
Last Updated
2020-01-21
Days
8
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Cycle across Central America, a land of mysterious Maya ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles
  • See the sights and engage in a wide range of activities across two different countries on this epic Latin adventure
  • Volcanoes, wildlife-rich rainforest, stunning beaches and ancient rock carvings – Ometepe Island has it all. You'll have plenty of free time to explore the island, set in beautiful Lake Nicaragua
  • Encounter Costa Rica's famous Arenal Volcano. Whether it's reflecting back at you in the lake or heating the thermal pools you're soaking in, the magnificent volcano always makes its presence felt

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 - Granada
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Nicaragua. Home intriguing volcanic landscapes, laid-back colonial towns, lush forests and gorgeous beaches, it’s no small wonder Nicaragua has flourished in recent years and is often a traveller favourite. Make you own way to the hotel, where your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Other than this important group meeting there are no activities planned for today. Cycling: none
Day 2 - Masaya/Granada
Avoid the heat today with an early cycle (approximately 4 hours) around Apoyo Lagoon. As you leave town, pass by the ‘Fuerte de Polvora’, a white Spanish colonial fort built in the 18th centu-ry. The route takes you off the beaten path, on dirt tracks and up slight inclines, through small settlements in the Nicaraguan countryside. Before arriving at Apoyo Lagoon, stop at a lookout in Santa Catarina and enjoy breathtaking vistas over Apoyo Lagoon and the distant Mombacho Volcano. There are some steep, cobblestoned hills leading up to this viewpoint but the effort is well worth it. Please note that if you are not comfortable with riding the steep hills to Santa Cata-rina you can always use our support vehicle. After soaking in the view, ride along the border of the lagoon before returning to Granada (a route that is mainly downhill). On return to Granada there is time to enjoy lunch at your leisure. Following lunch, hop aboard a tour bus to see the sights of this charming city. This includes a visit to the White Towns – an area where talented local artisans make clay pottery, bamboo baskets, up-cycled flowerpots out of old car tyres and much more. Stop for a quick visit at Masaya Market and then on to Masaya Volcano, where lava can often be seen. The day concludes on return to Granada, where you can take dinner at your leisure. Cycling: riding distance is about 37 kilometres/23 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of aprox. 645 metres/2,115 feet
Day 3 - Ometepe Island
Head out this morning on a walking tour with a local expert, who will point out traditional historic sites and reveal behind-the-scenes insight into life in Granada. In the late morning, catch a transfer to San Jorge, then take a boat across Lake Nicaragua to Moyagalpa, the main town on Ometepe Island. Formed by two impressive volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua, you will want to pay attention to views of this remarkable hourglass-shaped island during the journey. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time before starting your biking adventure around the north side of Conception Volcano. Stop and marvel at the many stone carvings of Altagracia – evidence of early, culturally developed indigenous tribes who inhabited the island long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. After another half hour in the saddle, arrive at Santo Domingo Beach in time for a swim and some well-deserved rest at the beach or hotel pool. Cycling: riding distance is about 23 kilometres/14 miles over 2.5 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 345 metres/11,30 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 4 - Maderas Volcano & San Juan del Sur
In the morning make a loop around the less populated Madera Volcano. The volcano itself is not active and its crater now contains a lake. Ride through secluded rural areas that are home to howler monkeys, a wide variety of bird species and small mammals. Stop and cool off with a visit to Ojo de Agua, a beautiful swimming spot where the water comes from deep within the Maderas Volcano. Take time to relax and enjoy lunch before transferring to Moyagalpa and boarding the boat back to the mainland. It’s a 2-hour journey (first by boat, and then by bus) to the laidback surf town of San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua’s south-west coast. Upon arrival, take an easy afternoon ride down to the Pacific beach in time for sunset. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 50 kilometres/30 miles over 4 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 580 meters/1,900 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 2 hours
Day 5 - Arenal
Say goodbye to Nicaragua and journey south to Costa Rica. Hit the road before 7 am and cross the border at the sometimes unpredictable Penas Blancas border crossing. Once on the other side, start cycling down and along the shores of Lake Fortuna. The lake sits at the base of the Arenal Volcano in the northern highlands of Costa Rica and is the country's largest landlocked body of water. There are quite a few rivers to cross, with Cano Negro being the biggest one. Most of the hotels in Lake Fortuna are located on the slopes of Arenal Volcano, so expect a little climb towards the end of the day. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles over 4 hours, on rolling terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 490 meters/1,600 feet (mostly towards the end of the ride) Vehicle Transfer: approx. 4-5 hours
Day 6 - El Castillo Area
Take breakfast with clear views of Arenal's gorgeous lake and volcano before saddling up for the day. Your destination is the El Castillo region, an area of great natural beauty, rich in orange groves, banana plantations, sugar cane and other agricultural bounties. Spend a full day exploring this lush and fragrant region before returning to Arenal. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 60 kilometres/37 miles over 6 hours, on hilly terrain with an elevation gain of approx. 625 meters/2,050 feet Vehicle Transfer: approx. 1 hour
Day 7 - Santa Rosa Pocosol
Cycle from Arenal to Santa Rosa where you’ll spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama, an agricultural community where you’ll have the opportunity to get to know local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals. Cycling: riding distance is approx. 45 kilometres/28 miles
Day 8 - San Jose
Today is a non-cycling day as you make your way by vehicle to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, where your adventure ends on arrival. San Jose is perhaps Central America’s most surprising capital, where an assortment of interesting museums, galleries, theatres, lively plazas and markets are set amongst glitzy modern shopping malls. Many of the most interesting buildings can be found near Avenida Central, including the Teatro Nacional, an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors. Should you wish to spend some extra time in this enchanting city, your booking agent would be happy to help you book an extra night's accommodation or two (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-01-201912-01-2019AUD $ 1,970-
26-01-201902-02-2019AUD $ 1,970-
16-02-201923-02-2019AUD $ 1,970-
09-03-201916-03-2019AUD $ 1,970-
30-03-201906-04-2019AUD $ 1,970-
20-04-201927-04-2019AUD $ 1,970-
10-08-201917-08-2019AUD $ 1,875-
07-09-201914-09-2019AUD $ 1,875-
12-10-201919-10-2019AUD $ 1,875-
02-11-201909-11-2019AUD $ 1,875-
23-11-201930-11-2019AUD $ 1,875-
14-12-201921-12-2019AUD $ 1,875-

Accommodation

Hotels (2 nights),guesthouse (4 nights),homestay (1 night)

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Boat

Map