Nicaragua – Costa Rica – Panamá – Cycling

This tour takes us cycling through some of the most beautiful scenery in Central America – always between the Caribbean and the Pacific. We ride past smoking volcanoes, through cloud forest and around national parks. We also cycle by lakes and along the Panama Canal. En route we visit the volcanic island of Ometepe and the tropical islands of Bocas del Toro for a little relaxation.

Day 1
¡Bienvenidos a Nicaragua!

Arrival in  Managua airport and transfer to Granada.  

Day 2
Granada and Masaya volcanoe, 22km cycling

After bike fitting we take it easy with a first ride through lovely Granada and out to the Asese peninsula, reaching into Lake Nicaragua. After lunch we drive to Masaya volcano to check out the crater and surroundings. 

Day 3
To Ometepe, 46km cycling

We drive to Catarina, one of the white villages nearby, with great views across the lagoon. Then we cycle off through countryside and later drive by bus to the ferry pier to catch the boat to Ometepe. On arrival we cycle all the way to our hotel on Santo Domingo beach.   

Day 4
Maderas volcanoe, 20-45km cycling

Today there are different options. You can relax by the lake or see nearby Altavista village or go for an off road ride around Maderas volcano, meeting local villagers in the many villages on our way. 

Day 5
Into Costa Rica

We cycle back to the ferry port and cross over to the mainland, then driving across the Costa Rican border and on to Tilaran, our night stop for today.   

Day 6
Lake Arenal ride, 46-68km cycling

A short transfer takes us to Lake Arenal which we will follow on bikes for most of the day, passing through small hamlets and sections of dense tropical forest. Later we might be able to spot Arenal volcano before getting to La Fortuna and our hotel.    

Day 7
Free day in La Fortuna

Today you might want to sample some activities in the area such as indulging in hot spring baths or trying canopy in the jungle. Alternatively we can organize a ride through the surroundings of La Fortuna (up to 50km). 

Day 8
Orosi Valley, 48km cycling

A longer transfer takes us past the capital San José. In Orosi village we get on the bikes and cycle through the heart of coffee producing countryside, always high above the gorge with river Reventazon below. This ride takes us deep into tropical and remote countryside. Overnight in Turrialba in a fabulous lodge.   

Day 9
Puerto Viejo and into Panama, 32km cycling

We drive to the Carribean coast and start our ride in Puerto Viejo. After passing through some wonderful sections of rain forest we get into agricultural land with banana plantations and shortly after to the border to Panama. We pack up here and drive to Almirante to catch the ferry to Bocas de Toro islands. 

Day 10
Bocas de Toro

Today is left free for relaxing on one of the wonderful beaches and islands of the archipelago. 

Day 11
Across the continental divide, 35km cycling

We take the ferry back to the mainland and drive up into the mountains dividing the Pacific and Atlantic sides of Panama. High up at La Fortuna lake we start cycling and with a mainly downhill focus we eventually reach the lowlands where we catch the bus on to Santiago.   

Day 12
To Panama City, 51km cycling

We transfer out of town and soon get back on the bikes for a ride through rural and fertile lowland Panama. Later we continue on the bus, stop for a swim in the Pacific and reach Panama City in the late afternoon.   

Day 13
The Panama Canal, 11km cycling

In the morning we drive to Miraflores lock to find out more about the history of the Canal. After-wards, we cycle into Panama City and out into the peninsula of the Amador islands allowing wonderful views across town. The afternoon is reserved for a stroll though old Panama on foot.   

Day 14
¡Adiós Panamá!

Departure, transfer to airport. 

Tour facts

Grading: moderate
Recommended airports: Managua (in) and Panama (out)
Highlights: three countries in 2 weeks, Granada colonial gem stone, Ometepe island, Lake  Arenal, Puerto Viejo and the Caribbean coast, Bocas de Toro, Panama Canal

Season: November – April (winter)


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