Mountain biking on a trail near Poás Volcano
Mountain biking on a trail near Poás Volcano

There are plenty of ways to explore the landscape in Costa Rica, but one of the most fun is on two wheels! I like to hop in a bicycle basket and enjoy the breeze in my face along the mountainside. Costa Rica is actually home to several very prominent regional and international races annually, so you know the terrain is top-notch here. While you won't want to venture on major roads, because they are very narrow and don't give cyclists much room to maneuver, there are plenty of options for you to traverse the landscape and take in the scenery! Since a bike allows you to venture through some hard-to-reach areas at a much quicker pace, there is no better way to get around.

Mountain biking at Ciclismo Earth Costa Rica
Mountain biking at Ciclismo Earth Costa Rica

Arenal, La Fortuna

If you want to bike in the vicinity of one of the most legendary volcanoes in Costa Rica, head to the Arenal area where mountain biking is superb. The region around Arenal Lake and the volcano itself winds through lush primary forest, past towering waterfalls and around diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for monkeys and sloths! In this region, you can choose from a half- or full-day bike trip that features unparalleled views of the Lake in Nuevo Arenal and the magestic Arenal Volcano. I'm just getting excited talking about it! Despite a volcano being in the vicinity, there are plenty of routes for beginners.

Mountain biking in the forest at Ciclismo Earth Costa Rica
Mountain biking in the forest at Ciclismo Earth Costa Rica

Las Catalinas

The Pura Vide Las Catalinas bike trail is one of the most pristine in the region. You'll have a much more secluded experience here than you would near Arenal, but you should have some experience mountain biking to venture to this path. The single-track trail offers stunning ocean views, and you'll cruise across various terrain that includes bridges, quick turns and hills. The trail extends for about 10 kilometers, and it's recommended that you get started early in the morning. After all, it gets pretty steamy here!

Turrialba

Want to know my favorite part about going for a bike ride in Turrialba? You not only get to take in the natural surroundings, but the trail allows you the chance to view archeological sites. This area features various types of terrain that include single track trails and deserted back roads, so you can experience both road and trail riding in the area. If you want to really break a sweat and travel through the region, you can bike to the Caribbean Coast from Turrialba, but it will take you about 16 hours one-way. Or you can head to the foot trails where dense forest will challenge you.

Trail on magestic Arenal Volcano National Park
Trail on magestic Arenal Volcano National Park

Manuel Antonio and Quepos

With jungles and mountains peppered across the landscape, there are few better places in Costa Rica to go mountain biking than Manuel Antonio! This is another great place for all skill levels, and the region is known for its great wildlife that you can watch in action as your peddling through the forest. You can go on a moderate two hour ride, full day adventure or even go biking at night time to watch the sunset and catch nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat.

There are more than 80 paths in Costa Rica for you to choose from, and you won't have any trouble finding a place to rent a bike. You'll find secondary roads, down-hill paths, uphill climbs, dusty trails and waterfront terrain throughout the country. If you want to really challenge yourself, the Central Volcanic Mountain Range and the plains and valleys along the coast tend to be a bit more rigorous. All you have to do is pack your camera, strap on a helmet and prepare to sweat!

Mountain Biking through rivers at Ciclismo Earth
Mountain Biking through rivers at Ciclismo Earth