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Costa Rica

Volcanoes and Valleys

Guided Family Bike Tour




12 days

Prices from

$3,895 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
With an incredible abundance of wildlife, stunning scenery and quiet trails, Costa Rica makes the perfect destination for an exciting family cycling holiday. Costa Rica's mix of beautiful coastline, rainforest and lofty volcanic peaks give it a diversity which is hard to match anywhere in the world and this holiday gives you the chance to experience all of the best bits for yourself.
Our trip starts with a visit to the edge of Volcan Irazu's crater from where, on a clear day, you can see the Pacific Ocean in one direction and the Atlantic in the other. From here we jump on our bikes to see who will be the first to spot a capuchin monkey or tapir as we cycle though the Trapanti National Park. As the forest thins out and makes way to sugar and coffee plantations we reach Pacuare River where we can swap our pedals for paddles to enjoy some whitewater rafting.
Our expert guides are on hand to ensure everything is both safe and fun for everyone. This is also an excellent opportunity to observe more of Costa Rica's indigenous wildlife with several species of monkey, hundreds of varieties of birds and even jaguars! We also get the chance to see another side of the country with a visit to a local school and farm before our journey takes us on to the Pacific coast and the spectacular beaches of Samara, a great place to try out some of the watersports or just relax after a rewarding week.
If one of our standard dates doesn't suit you, or you want something especially for your family, contact us and we can help put together the perfect trip for you in what has to be the one of the best destinations for a family adventure anywhere in the world.


  • Peering in to a volcanic crater
  • Running the rapids on the Pacuare River
  • The hundreds of varieties of wildlife which call Lake Arenal home
  • Arriving at the Pacific paradise of Samara beach
  • Enjoying typical Tico hospitality while learning to make delicious tortillas
  • Monkey spotting as you cycle along

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This was definitely one of our best holidays ever, and we love our holidays! Full of variety and excitement.

Rachel, UK


Day 1
Non-Riding Day

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in San Jose (transfer time 30 mins approx.).

Day 2
Irazu Volcano to Orosi
11 Miles / 18 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

The adventure begins with a drive up to the nearby Irazu Volcano. At an altitude of over 3400 meters it is Costa Rica’s highest volcano. Its craters resemble a moonscape: a vast expanse of grey dust and rock with a green lagoon at its center. One of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes, Irazu infamously erupted in 1963, raining ash clouds on Cartago, San Jose and most of the Central Valley for nearly three years.

Following the visit to Irazu we transfer down the volcano to the Orosi Valley for our first ride of the journey. On a quiet road, close to the town of Orosi, we fit bikes to the group, make any adjustments needed and give everyone a safety briefing. The ride will get the group warmed up and ready for the days of biking to come. We spend the night in the town of Orosi.

Day 3
Tapanti National Park
Up to 19 Miles / 30 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This morning we take a short drive to the town of Purisil where we unload our bikes and begin the ride to Tapanti National Park.

The park is home to 260 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 28 species of reptiles and a large insect population that includes the thysania agrippina, the largest butterfly on the American continent. After registering at the park entrance we continue riding along a gravel road that gently climbs up through the park alongside the Rio Grande de Orosi. While riding in the park we are treated to incredible vistas of waterfalls and endless kilometers of virgin rain and cloud forest.

We stop along the way for lunch and a swim in one of many natural pools that are perfect for a refreshing dip. The road in the park is about 12km long and the further along we get – the more fun we will have on the way back down! We return back to our hotel in Orosi for the evening.

Day 4
Reventazon Valley
Up to 19 Miles / 30 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today we leave the Orosi Valley and head east through the Reventazon River Valley towards the Caribbean side of the county. In the town of Tuccurique we begin the day’s ride along dirt roads through coffee and sugarcane fields.

A stop at a swimming hole on the Pejibaye River for lunch will give us plenty of energy for the afternoon’s ride to La Suiza. Here, we will have a chance to walk around town before transferring up to a mountain lodge hotel in Turrialba for the evening.

Day 5
Pacuare River
Up to 16 Miles / 25 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Following a mostly downhill 20km ride to our rafting launch point on the Pacuare River we trade bikes for rafts and continue down river. We will run a total of 10 kilometers of Class II-III rapids while exploring the magnificent valley and some of the most dramatic scenery only accessible by river.

The Pacuare takes us through virgin rainforest, cascading waterfalls and river carved canyons. We maneuver through the exhilarating rapids and point out the intricacies of the rainforest at the river’s edge.

In the afternoon we arrive at our comfortable riverside camp – “El Nido del Tigre” which nestles between the rainforest and the river. There is plenty of time to settle into the camp and make it your home, exploring the lush environment first hand, looking out for toucans overhead, observing the local iguanas or simply relaxing in a hammock to the rush of the river as it passes on its journey to the Caribbean.

Day 6
Back roads of Arenal and La Fortuna
12 Miles / 20 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This morning we begin the day with a 1.5 hour hike through the rainforest from El Nido del Tigre Camp to our vehicle for the transfer to the Arenal Volcano area. This hike can be challenging but the fantastic array of animal and plant life on display will keep us smiling every step of the way. Several kilometers outside the town of La Fortuna, at the foot of the volcano, we begin the day’s mountain bike ride. The route is relatively flat and passes through mostly farmland and several small villages, with a stunning back drop of the perfect cone shaped volcano. The Arenal Volcano is a 1,633 meter (5,300 feet) high mountain, with a crater of 140 meters.

Arenal Volcano is geologically considered a young volcano and its age is estimated to be less than 3,000 years. The volcano was asleep for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it had an eruption that destroyed the small town of Tabacón.

La Fortuna, which is the nearest town to the Arenal Volcano and so named because it was spared any damage in the 1968 eruption, is our home for the night.

Day 7
La Casona
Non-Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Today we will be welcomed at one of the three rural schools of the area, we will have a special welcome by the students beautifully dressed in Folkloric clothing and enjoy a show of traditional dance, before visiting the rest of the school. Next stop is a local farm for delicious fruit and it is here where we hop aboard a tractor pulled wagon to start our journey. During this trip we will be able to experience rural Costa Rican life on the various plantations while enjoying the beautiful sights.

Later on we will be welcomed on the terrace of La Casona, a renewed Costa Rican historical site near Arenal Volcano. La Casona is the elegant turn-of-the century country home of former Costa Rican President Rafael Iglesias and is considered one of the most charming and authentic cultural sites in Costa Rica. Our hosts Elieth and Milton Molina are famous for their warm and Tico hospitality, and in a place full with history, culture and traditions we receive an interesting talk about the history of this lovely place and have a short lesson on how to make homemade coffee and tortillas.

We also have time to visit the sugar cane mill and finish the tour by enjoying a homemade and traditionally served meal.

Day 8
Lake Arenal
Up to 16 Miles / 25 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Leaving the Arenal Volcano area we head to the south side of Lake Arenal. We are dropped off at a river crossing that prevents most vehicles from continuing around the lake. Here with the assistance of a rope we cross the river and begin the day’s ride. The route is on dirt roads with several fun river crossings, hugging the borders of the lake through rolling hills and with spectacular views of Lake Arenal and the majestic Arenal Volcano.

In the small community of Rio Chiquito we meet up with our van for a picnic lunch before continuing along the lake finishing up the day with a short transfer to our hotel which overlooks Lake Arenal.

Day 9
The Nicoya Peninsula
12 Miles / 20 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Today we say goodbye to Lake Arenal and its volcano in the distance and head to the Pacific coast. The transfer takes us down to the cattle ranching plains of Guanacaste and through the Nicoya Peninsula on our way to Samara Beach on the Pacific Coast.

Before reaching the coast we turn off the main road and unload the bikes for a fun ride through typical countryside that will lead us to the Pacific Ocean. We should have plenty of time to make a stop at one of many beaches for lunch and a chance to play in the waves.

From here we continue riding to the small beach town of Samara – our home for the next couple of days.

Day 10
Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific Coast
Non-riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

With the beaches of the Pacific Ocean on our doorstep there are plenty of options for today. Surfing and sea kayaking are popular local activities but there are also plenty of opportunities to relax as Samara has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Day 11
Morning at the Beach - Afternoon transfer to San Jose
Non-Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

There is still time this morning to enjoy the beach before we transfer back to San Jose in the afternoon for our final night.

Day 12
  • Meals: Breakfast

The time has come to head home and after breakfast we transfer you to the airport for onward departures (transfer time 30 mins approx.).

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The Cycling


With such a volcanic geography there aren’t many large flat areas in Costa Rica but this trip avoids any steeper climbs and sticks to flatter routes with some undulations. We take on a mixture of sealed tarmac road as well as some off road tracks. These can be a little rough in places but don’t require any mountain biking skills. There are also some days where you get to try a river crossing with the help of your experienced guides.


Family Cycling Grade

Grade 2 - 3: Gentle/ Moderate

Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 trips

Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes

Some modest climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Trips that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.  

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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Dates & Prices

We are able to offer a 10% discount for kids under 12, if sharing a room with 2 fully paying adults.

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a $375 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
12 days
Start Date
Return Date
12 days

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation in a mix of hotels, lodges and camping.

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)(Please see holiday summary on the holiday trip notes for information on 2024 departures)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary.

G) Half day of white-water rafting

H) Visit to a local school

I) Visit to a local farm

J) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from San Jose airport (SJO)

K) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to San Jose airport (SJO)

L) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required, on request)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (tips for guides, souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Any additional activities not mentioned in the itinerary

J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

The Essentials

Travel Options

We ask that you fly into and back from San Jose airport (SJO).

Airport transfers are included in the holiday cost and both the arrival and return transfers will be co-ordinated with the group flight schedule.

There are a wide range of flight options from North America, either direct or with one stop, most commonly in Miami (MIA) or Panama (PTY). We will provide you with details of suitable flight/arrival/departure schedules as flight timetables become available.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to ensure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to make sure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the scheduled transfer windows, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.


As well as a selection of 2-3* hotels (twin share) we also stop in a charming rural lodge where we might be in the main lodge or one of the hillside bungalows. We also have one night camping at the beautiful El Nido del Tigre (Nest of the Tiger) Campsite. This permanent site has wooden frames where you sleep under canvas on a proper mattress as well as good bathroom facilities and a fantastic communal area to get together in the evening while your guides see to dinner.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically Trek 4500, very good mountain bikes featuring front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and good quality components.

If you do decide to rent we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

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