The Ultimate Adventure Medley: Costa Rica

Costa Rica Pacuare river White Water Rafting
Group Biking Pacific Coast Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wildlife Squirrel Monkey
Costa Rica group cycling on Pacific Beach
Costa Rica Arenal Volcano
The Ultimate Adventure Medley: Costa Rica
Duration:
9
Days
Priced from:
3199.00
USD

The Ultimate Adventure Medley: Costa Rica

Trip Overview

Washington%20Post.jpg(Biking, Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, and Zip Lining) This is our most popular Costa Rica adventure vacation. The goal is to traverse across Costa Rica on a series of trails, rivers, and backcountry roads while sampling a variety of outdoor activities.

We begin with a 2-day whitewater rafting experience on the Pacuare River. Here we stay overnight at a riverside jungle camp, enjoying delicious meals and surrounding wildlife. We move onward to the Arenal Volcano where we ride mountain bikes and take to the jungle canopy for a zip-lining tour.

After a full day of adventure, we have a soak in the thermal hot springs surrounding the volcano. Moving to the Pacific coast, we paddle sea kayaks to an island off Samara Beach and enjoy a lunch in the sun.

We conclude on our mountain bikes as we cycle on the hard-packed sands of Coyote Beach. Meals are served in carefully selected local restaurants or prepared by our guides. Our nights are spent in cozy hotel accommodation, offering private bathrooms and comfortable amenities.

No 2 days will be the same on the action-packed active adventure of a lifetime!

WOW FACTORS

  • Biking on abandoned white sand beaches on the Pacific Coast
  • Two days of whitewater rafting down the Pacuare River
  • Biking and canopy tour at Arenal Volcano

     

    For more Costa Rica WOWs, watch the video below. BikeHike began in Costa Rica, so this is where our heart lives in so many ways.

     

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

San Jose
Arrival
A BikeHike Adventures representative will meet you at the Juan Santamaria International airport in San Jose and transfer you to a comfortable hotel in town.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: none

Day 2

San Jose - Pacuare River
Whitewater Rafting
We begin with a scenic two hour drive along the foothills of the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes to our whitewater rafting "put-in" on the Pacuare River. Here we kick off for two days of adventure tackling 28 km / 15 mi of class III-IV rapids. The first day on the river is a short paddle day giving us plenty of time to explore this pristine river valley. Tonight we overnight at a luxury riverside campsite with tents mounted on wooden platforms, beautiful manicured gardens, an open-air dining room and kitchen, a washroom with flush toilets and sinks and lots of hammocks in a gazebo to relax in. There are also some short hikes accessible from the campsite if you still have some energy. 

Rafting Distance: 28 km / 15 mi Rafting
Rafting Duration: 1 – 2 hours
Accommodation: Glamping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Pacuare River - La Fortuna
Whitewater Rafting
We have another day of Pacuare adrenaline planned, plunging downstream through a dramatic landscape of rainforest, cascading waterfalls and fertile canyon walls. This section has non-stop rapids that are mightier and faster than yesterdays. We’ll stop along the way to do a side hike up to some waterfalls with natural swimming pools. We "take-out" near the town of Siquirres and after a shower we drive to the town of La Fortuna - closest town to the Arenal Volcano. 

Rafting Distance: 27 km / 17 mi
Rafting Duration: 3 – 5 hours
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Arenal Volcano
Biking, Zip-lining & Hot Springs
Up until now we've stayed on terra firma, but it's time to ascend to the rainforest canopy - a thrilling way to view the diversity of a Costa Rican rainforest. Secured in a harness, 30 / 100 ft off the ground, we'll traverse on cables between the trees, viewing the vegetation from the canopy. Afterwards we take to the trails on foot, hiking to a 36 m / 120 ft cascading waterfall. Wading below the powerful rush of water is absolutely thrilling. Late afternoon we jump on bikes, cycling amongst dense tropical forest and a few cattle farms. This route connects the Arenal Dam with the main entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park. Today there are opportunities to see howler monkeys, coatis and a lot of bird life including keel-billed toucans, snowy egrets and kingfishers. The Arenal Volcano is visible during most of our ride today and is a constant reminder of its active presence because of the frequent rumblings. The day concludes soaking in the Ecotermales Hot Springs, natural springs heated by the volcano. Overnight in a comfortable hotel. 

Biking Distance: 20 km / 12 mi
Ascent: + 200 m (660 ft)
Descent: - 400 m (1,310 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Arenal Volcano - Samara Beach
Sea Kayaking
Today we depart for the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. Our route is around the picturesque Lake Arenal and down to the cattle grazing plains of Guanacaste. This afternoon we paddle down the Nicoya coast exploring the pristine beaches and rugged rocky points. Keep your eyes peeled along the way as you may spot sea turtles basking in the ocean, flying fish darting through the air, or a glimpse of a playful dolphin. We land our kayaks on the palm fringed white sand beach in time for a cool drink at the Mirador viewpoint. At Playa Samara, the evening is free to play in the surf, walk along the beach, or relax by the hotel pool. 

Kayaking Distance: 6 km / 4 mi
Kayaking Duration: 2 hours
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Samara Beach
Biking
Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit today as we ride along some remote beaches with the opportunity for a dip or two into the ocean. Our cycle route today is 40 km / 25 mi, mostly on coastal dirt roads with some short sections of single track that get us to off the beaten track beaches and into small communities. We have a fun river crossing at Rio Buena Vista and there are great chances to see monkeys and maybe even crocodiles in some of the rivers. It’s an easy going full day of exploring. Lunch options include whole fried fish at a small local restaurant on the beach or fill up with fresh fruit bought along the way. We are back at our hotel in Samara in time for a shower and a chance to watch a spectacular sunset on the beach.

Biking Distance: 35 km / 22 mi
Ascent: + 400 m (1,310 ft)
Descent: - 400 m (1,310 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Samara Beach
Biking
Right after breakfast, we drive to the beaches of Coyote.  Here we spend another day exploring this spectacular coastline by knobby tire mountain bikes. An incredible playground of dirt roads, rolling hills, trails and hard-packed sand beaches await us.  After our day of biking, we will drive back to our hotel in Samara. 

Biking Distance: 36 km / 22 mi
Ascent: + 670 m (2,200 ft)
Descent: - 670 m (2,200 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Samara Beach - San Jose
Transfer
We have a free morning to enjoy the beach. After lunch we will begin our drive back to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. This evening is a chance to take in the sights and sounds of San Jose. Overnight at a comfortable hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel 
Meal:
Breakfast

Day 9

San Jose
Departure
You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. 

Meals: Breakfast

NOTE about Ascent/Descent numbers: 

The ascent/descent numbers are usually generated using Ride with GPS. The numbers are TOTAL ascent/descent for the day and these numbers do not suggest altitude. There are usually multiple small ascents and descents added up throughout the day to reach this total ascent/descent for the day. (While our numbers are generally consistent with Ride with GPS, depending on the mapping technology used, numbers may vary).

 

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), all internal transportation, Scott mountain bikes (26-29 shift with front suspension and disc brakes), 2-person tents, support vehicle, airport transfers and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare, airport departure taxes, gratuities, meals not included and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 2 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel: 7 Nights
Tent: 1 Night

Trip Facts

Weather in Costa Rica

Located just ten degrees north of the Equator, Costa Rica enjoys the advantages of the "perfect" tropical climate. The average temperature is 22°C (72°F) in the highlands and temperatures vary from mid 20’s to low 30’s °C (77°F to 95°F) in the lowlands. All year long the conditions are pleasantly moderate, with a rainy season from June to early November, and a dry season or from December through May.

Highlands (includes San Jose, Arenal and Monteverde)

November to April: Dry, especially January to end of April. Pleasant days, about 22°C to 25°C (72°F to 77°F). Nights drop to a comfortable 15°C (60°F).
May to November: Green season. Mornings are clear; and generally rain comes as afternoon showers. Wettest months are September and October.

Pacific Coast (includes the Nicoya Peninsula)

November to April: Dry season. Humidity is high.
May to November: Green season. Mornings are clear; and generally rain comes as afternoon showers. Wettest months are September and October.

Caribbean Coast (includes Cahuita and Parismina)

Can rain at any time throughout year. Wettest months are November to January. Lightest rain is February to April and September. Temperatures are hot year-round.

Travel Documents

To enter the country for a Costa Rica adventure vacation, you must hold a current passport valid for six months beyond your date of departure. Citizens of Canada, the US and the UK do not require a travel visa to enter Costa Rica. Visa requirements vary from country to country. Check with your local Costa Rican consulate for current requirements.

Food and Water

Some must-tries include gallo pinto (a dish consisting of rice, black beans and spices), empanadas (bread turnover stuffed with bread and cheese) and ceviche (seafood marinated in a lemon, onion, and garlic sauce). Water is usually safe to drink in San Jose, however bottled water is recommended when traveling in the country and is easily purchased at stores. If you are susceptible to changes in the water, you will find that fresh juices, soft drinks and beer are readily available.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “moderate” trip.

This trip includes 4-5 hours of physical activity throughout the day, with many breaks along the way. The biking portion is the most cardiovascular portion of the trip, but there is always a support vehicle available. During the biking section, you don’t have to carry anything on your back as backpacks can be carried in the support vehicle.  During the hiking portion of the trip, the most you would have to carry on your back is a daypack.

Has this trip been run before?

BikeHike Adventures has been operating since 1994. We began in Costa Rica so these trips are our strongest. 

The logistics of organizing tours to remote corners of the world can be very complex. Our trip development department spends long hours researching destinations, routes, ground operations and equipment. All itineraries are screened without clients before they are added to our growing repertoire of adventures. Nothing is untested. 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. This trip attracts one of our most diverse groups. A typical trip is comprised of men and women in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 40-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well.

This trip is marked as 'Family Focused.' Are all of the groups' families or do any others typically book this trip?

This label just means that this trip is quite suitable for families, but anyone can book it. In fact, the listed group dates usually fill up with a good mix of couples, friends and singles. When families book with us, they usually choose to customize the trip and choose private dates. Our group dates over Christmas are typically the ones the fill up with families.

Which airport do we fly in and out of for this trip?

San Jose, Costa Rica. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip and depart anytime on day 9.

What is the best time of the year to go on a trip to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is suitable year round. Located just ten degrees north of the Equator, Costa Rica enjoys the advantages of the "perfect" tropical climate. The average temperature is 22°C (72°F) in the highlands and temperatures vary from mid 20’s to low 30’s °C (77°F to 95°F) in the lowlands. All year long the conditions are pleasantly moderate, with a rainy season from June to early November, and a dry season from December through May.

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Many of our travellers (both men and women) join as singles. On average, BikeHike groups are 75% single travellers and 25% couples. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip child friendly?

While most of our trips are created with adults in mind, many of our itineraries are suitable for strong and active teenagers. This trip is generally good for older children (twelve or older) and teenagers. However, we do offer many Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children as young as six.

More about this trip...

Does it matter if I have never rafted before? What if I don’t swim?

During the rafting, there are up to 6 people plus one guide in a raft. Before the start of the rafting, you will be given a full safety briefing. When rafting, you must wear a lifejacket and a helmet. If the water levels are too high and the river is dangerous, the guides will come up with a plan B for the day.

It is not a problem if you can’t swim for the rafting. Everyone will be wearing a life jacket. Firstly, sitting in the back of the boat is the easiest place for the rafting, with less chances of falling out of the boat. If you are nervous about even the possibility of falling out of the boat, you can go down in our oar boat (equipment boat). It is also a raft, but with an internal frame. It is much more stable than a regular raft and the possibilities of it tipping are very remote.

What kind of bikes do you provide?

We use Trek 4500 and Scott Aspect 49er mountain bikes because of the rugged roads. All bikes have front suspension and disc brakes. The riding is not suitable for road bikes.

Does this trip have E-bikes?

Costa Rica does not have availability for E-bikes at this time.

What is the biking like on this trip?

The biking on this trip is varied. There is a stretch we ride on a hard packed sand beach, a few small rivers to cross, and a mix of dirt roads, gravel roads and paved roads. The biking distances are not far, However, please note that Costa Rica is very hilly, so you must expect a good deal of uphill climbs.

Is there a support vehicle?

Yes. The support vehicle will carry all the necessary equipment like bikes, drinking water and all our personal equipment. You will have access to the support vehicle throughout the trip.

What is the night of camping like?

The night at the Pacuare camp is a highlight of the trip for many. The camp has permanent tents (raised off the ground on wooden platforms), with foam pads, sheets and pillows in them. There is a dining area where the cooks prepare home cooked meals and a gazebo filled with hammocks. There are cold showers, flush toilets and sinks and the gardens are beautifully manicured in the rain forest. There is a hike to a great waterfall that you can swim in.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. This includes accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS

In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels, bungalows, and haciendas that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

CAMPING

Camping on this trip does not involve pitching your own tent. It is more "glamping" than camping. The location is a luxury riverside campsite with tents mounted on wooden platforms, surrounded by beautiful manicured gardens. You'll have access to an open-air dining room and kitchen, a washroom with flush toilets and sinks and lots of hammocks in a gazebo to relax in. This is an incredible experience as you'll be tenting in Costa Rican paradise! 

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

Adventure Dates

  • Nov 06 - Nov 14, 2022
  • Dec 10 - Dec 18, 2022
  • Jan 21 - Jan 29, 2023
  • Feb 25 - Mar 05, 2023
  • Apr 01 - Apr 09, 2023
  • Jul 01 - Jul 09, 2023
  • Aug 12 - Aug 20, 2023
  • Nov 18 - Nov 26, 2023
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
3199.00
USD
per person
3299.00
USD
per person at Christmas, Easter and US Thanksgiving

No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

Are You Organizing a Group Trip?
Discover our private group discounts

Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity
Duration
Distance Ascent / Descent Lodging Meals
1
San Jose
Arrival
— / —
Hotel
2
San Jose - Pacuare River
Rafting
1 - 2 hours
28 km
15 mi
— / —
Glamping
b,
l,
d
3
Pacuare River - La Fortuna
Rafting
3 - 5 hours
27 km / 17 mi
— / —
Hotel
b,
l
4
Arenal Volcano
Biking, Zip-lining & Hot Springs
20 km / 12 mi
+ 200 m (660 ft)
- 400 m (1,310 ft)
Hotel
b
5
Arenal Volcano - Samara Beach
Sea Kayaking
2 hours
6 km / 4 mi
— / —
Hotel
b,
l
6
Samara Beach
Biking
35 km
22 mi
+ 400 m (1,310 ft)
+ 400 m (1,310 ft)
Hotel
b,
l
7
Samara Beach
Biking
36 km
22 mi
+ 670 m (2,200 ft)
+ 670 m (2,200 ft)
Hotel
b,
l,
d
8
Samara Beach - San Jose
Transfer
— / —
Hotel
b
9
San Jose
Departure
— / —
b

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LH
Laura H
October 6, 2020
5

My family has traveled with BikeHike for 4 wonderful trips full of adventure, and I can't offer  enough accolades for the service and experience on each one!. Our first was a customized trip to Costa Rica. A highlight of this trip was a two-day rafting experience on the Pacuare River. Our river guide, Juan Carlos, was the perfect blend of fun and caution as we went through class 3 and 4 rapids, enjoyed picnic lunches and jumped off some cliffs. We overnighted at El Nido del Tigre Camp, which was magnificent. Stilted tents and an open-air kitchen below a tree house with hammocks made for an excellent way to enjoy the rainforest. The outdoor showers were heavenly!. We spent the next few days in the Arenal Volcano area where we biked, challenged ourselves with rappelling down waterfalls, ascending into the canopy to explore by zipline and swinging bridges, and soaked in natural hot springs. Our guide answered all of our questions, made sure we noticed so many birds and monkeys, and practiced Spanish with my teenagers. We ended the trips with a few days at the beach.

Skillman, NJ
BC
Bill C
February 13, 2019
5

You created a custom trips for us. I think what you were always best at was the guides and the customization. I remember that day in Costa Rica we rode the beaches for 20 miles... chasing sand crabs... eating fresh breaded fish at that restaurant and running into the surf... these are the moments of life. We love the unexpected, the real.

Canmore, Canada
LC
Laurie C
September 2, 2018
5

Overall the days were jam packed with adventure and I looked forward to each new adventure . Maurice was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about Costa Rica and also was able to coach us on each of the activities. He prepared amazing meals and anticipated our every need. He made sure we experienced everything that was available. So many adventures. I don't think we'll ever have another trip that could compare to this one. Everyday was jam packed with activities.

Calgary, Canada
BC
Bonnie C
August 18, 2018
5

My BikeHike trip in Costa Rica was an excellent experience! There is no better way to experience the rain forest then from a raft on the Pacuare River! And mountain biking the back country to take in views of volcanoes and the coast was awesome. The opportunity to learn more about the people, culture, landscape and economy of Costa Rica from the local guides made it a much richer experience. The food and accommodations planned by BikeHike were great – enabling a variety of local experiences and tastes. I will definitely plan another trip with BikeHike Adventures. Thank you!

Seattle, WA, USA
TR
Tim R
August 2, 2018
5

In 1998 my sweetheart and I took your 10-day ultimate adventure medley in Costa Rica. It was our first big date , and it turned out being one of our favorite memories of our beginning years (we celebrated 20 years in 2018). We loved the mountain biking, the rafting, and the hiking and exploration. Our guides, Jessica, Michi, and Ricardo, were top-notch, and ensured we had an outstanding experience. As we were waiting for our flight back to San Jose, my sweetheart said, “You know, Ticos could teach Texans about friendly!"

Helotes, TX, USA
KB
Kelly B
March 21, 2018
5

Our guide Maurice was fantastic, he made it a great trip. Also Aerial was a great addition to the team, we felt extremely safe enjoyed the adventures very much. I thought it was a privilege to be invited to Aerials family property. Maurice could not have been kinder or more helpful. Extremely professional and Aerial was a pleasure. The trip was completely over my expectations. Thank you so much.

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
MG
Marian G
April 2, 2017
5

More than they promised!!!! When I read the summary for Costa Rica - the Ultimate Adventure, I knew it was the trip that my sister and I were looking for; tropical location, lots of activity, challenge, fun..... but I could never have anticipated the hundreds of details that Bike/Hike has padded around the trip to make it such a warm experience, packed with people and moments to be remembered for a lifetime. It's the people that make the company great. From the opening e-mail to the amazing guides, drivers, assistants to the local contact (in case of any problem during the trip) Bike/Hike has polished its product to provide the gem that we experienced. If you're looking for a company you can trust - go with Bike/Hike. We'll be going back!!

Richmond, BC, Canada
DM
Douglas M
November 25, 2016
5

Besides getting what I was told I would get, having it be as much fun as I hoped, I thought our guide, Andres, was great. He was experienced, competent, accommodating, and fun. He was clearly familiar with all aspects of the trip. My first 2 BikeHike trips in Costa Rica and Venezuela were great. I was confident that my friend with high standards would be pleased. I was right.

Cheshire, MA, USA
BS
Brenda S
December 28, 2012
5

The white water rafting was my favorite. I very much enjoyed all of it actually, and being able to see the real Costa Rica from the back roads, on a bike was incredible. Juan Carlos, our guide, was absolutely wonderful with his high energy and positive, contagious personality.

Juneau, USA
CW
Cathy W
March 6, 2012
5

I liked everything about the trip. It was well organized with lots of variety and fun everyday. Jairo and Manriqui did a wonderful job of loooking after our group. I can't say enough good things about both of them. They are great representatives for BikeHike.

Ottawa, Canada
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