Hit the trails on a mountain bike

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

With its picturesque peaks and challenging terrain, the mountains of Costa Rica makes the country an ideal destination for adventurous travelers looking to go mountain biking during their vacation.

Mountain Bike

Mountain biking is a national passion in Costa Rica, and visitors to the country can take advantage of its miles of dirt roads and paths, whether they are recreational riders or hardcore bikers. Before they can hit the trails, mountain bikers need to make sure that they have all of the necessary equipment. Many towns throughout the country feature stores that rent standard 21-gear mountain bikes for small fees. These no-frills bikes tend to be ideal for people who don't take the sport seriously, as they are easy to use and can be rented at a minimal cost. Bikers should inspect these cheaper bikes before they ride, however, as they may have been heavily used and may not be in great condition.

More serious riders may want to rent their mountain bike through a reputable outfitter that organizes tours, as these outlets typically provide bikers with name-brand equipment as well as helmets, gloves and water bottles. Some travelers choose to bring their own bike from home, as this ensures that they have high-quality, familiar equipment. Before bringing a bike to Costa Rica, tourists should ask their airline about packing requirements and fees.

Repair Shops

If a bike breaks, travelers in Costa Rica can take it to a local repair shop. These shops are common throughout the country, and they typically offer basic necessities at a low cost. Many of these shops will also teach travelers how to do their own repairs so they do not get stranded if their bike breaks during a long ride.

Where to Practice

Many regions of Costa Rica offer excellent mountain biking, but the area surrounding the city of Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park has trails that accommodate beginners and experts alike. A bike ride through the Quepos region takes travelers through jungles and past waterfalls before they get to the top of the nearby mountains, where they can take in spectacular views of the Pacific coast.

Other popular mountain biking trails exist near Lake Arenal. One frequently used path goes from Arenal Dam to the entrance of Arenal Volcano National Park before it continues through the village of El Castillo. Another easier route uses the roads surrounding the lake, which allow bikers to admire the nearby volcano as they ride on the smooth, traffic-free streets.