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Adventure Costa Rica!

Explore one of the greenest countries on earth, both in vegetation and in philosophy. We’ll soar through the rainforest canopy on a thrilling zip line, have a private, guided tour of a coffee estate and bike through the lush countryside in the shadows of the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

  • 7 Days
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 9 - 20 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Moderate
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour


Adventure Costa Rica!

When you discover Costa Rica, you’ll find yourself immersed in a protected world of stunning physical beauty—a lush landscape of majestic volcanoes, crystal-clear lakes, and tropical rainforest, inhabited by abundant species of birds, butterflies, and mammals, from the elegant scarlet macaw to the scampering howler monkey. The soul of this remarkable country will touch you, as well, as you meet local people where they work, play, and eat, soar amid the jungle canopy on a zip line, raft on its rivers, and delight your body and spirit in restorative thermal baths. Wild and exciting yet peaceful and pure, Costa Rica is adventure personified.

Cultural Highlights

  • Share a bird’s-eye view of the jungle canopy while soaring on a zip line.
  • Stay in eco-friendly resorts that highlight the natural surroundings.
  • Delight in sighting colorful birds, including toucan and macaw.
  • Cycle by lush fruit orchards, stunning Lake Arenal, and enticing small towns.
  • Soak your cares away in rejuvenating, natural hot springs.
  • Discover the pristine Peñas Blancas River and its colorful creatures on a rafting safari.
  • Savor fresh strawberries at a family-owned farm stand.
  • Learn about the growing and harvesting of coffee from a local farmer and taste the “fruits of his labor”.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of rolling terrain mixed with moderate hills. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance. Ideal for energetic beginners to experienced cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 9 - 20 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 - 5 hours

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – San Jose Jan 75°  Feb 76°  Mar 79°  Apr 79°  Oct 77°  Nov 77°  Dec 75°

Average Rainfall (in.) – San Jose Jan .6  Feb .2  Mar .8  Apr 1.8  Oct 11.8  Nov 5.7  Dec 1.6

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  •  5 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels
  • 12 meals – 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

Both Vacations Include

  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Services of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $595 | Land Only Single Supplement: $545

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015/2016 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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Itinerary & Map
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DAY 1: Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica

Upon arrival at the San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, meet your complimentary hotel shuttle curbside by the customs area. The driver will be holding a VBT sign or a Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel sign. Then transfer by minibus (approximately 5 to10 minutes) to your hotel in the outskirts of San Jose.

The rest of the day is free to settle in and explore the city. Choose a restaurant for dinner on your own.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the reception desk.

Our splendid San Jose hotel, Wyndham San Jose Herradura, is located just minutes from the International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from the center of the city. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in San Jose during your stay.

Upon arrival to San Jose enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at your leisure.

Hotel: Wyndham San Jose Herradura

DAY 2: Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Zip line through rainforest canopy / Welcome reception

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders and the rest of the group at 8:00 a.m. at our San Jose hotel (Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel, General Cañas Highway, 3 miles south of International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica; tel: +506 2209 9800). Trip Leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please be dressed for your first warm-up bicycle ride. From San Jose, we transfer by private motorcoach (approximately 20 minutes) to the site of our warm-up ride. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 8:00 a.m. or if you are delayed, you must take a taxi at your own expense to the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Spa in the Los Angeles Cloud Forest, near the town of San Ramon (approximately $100 USD). Please contact the hotel if you experience any travel delays or changes; the staff will pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package guests and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at your San Jose hotel at 8:00 a.m. Trip Leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please be dressed for your first warm-up bicycle ride. From San Jose, we transfer by private motorcoach (approximately 45 minutes) to the site of our warm-up ride.

This morning, participate in a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride. After our warm-up ride, we follow “the Route of the Ox-Cart” as we shuttle to the historic town of San Ramon, home to many Costa Rican presidents and well-known poets. After a brief stop, we continue to our included lunch spot, located in a cloud forest. This afternoon, we enjoy the thrill of a canopy tour, ascending high into the treetops and soaring through the canopy on a secure zip-cable line. It’s an experience unlike any other, a great way to get a magnificent view of wildlife in the rainforest.

Later we transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to the nearby Los Angeles Cloud Forest and the conservation-focused Villa Blanca Resort, one of the elite “Green Hotels of Costa Rica.” Villa Blanca strives for absolute guest comfort while maintaining the highest standards of respect for its natural surroundings. Villa Blanca was given a “5-leaf” rating by the Certification Board of Sustainable Tourism, their highest score.

This evening, get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome reception and dinner at El Sendero, the resort’s restaurant.

Reminder: It can be cool in the evenings and on cloudy days at the elevations visited on this trip. You will want to have a lightweight layer of warm clothing for travel in any month of the year.

Hotel: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Spa
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 2 to 4 miles

DAY 3: Cycle to foothills of Arenal Volcano / Tabacon Resort's hot springs

If you are an early riser, you are invited to join expert naturalists on an optional early-morning guided bird-watching expedition through the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. Costa Rica is home to an estimated 840 bird species, so we will be treated to a variety of unusual sightings, such as the brown pelican, toucan, and macaw. We might even spot the elusive, resplendent quetzal.

After breakfast this morning, we will shuttle to the start of today’s ride, then cycle through the northern lowlands close to the Arenal Volcano. Arenal is the youngest volcano in Costa Rica; it erupted for the first time about 7,000 years ago. We cycle through small towns on paved paths and across rushing rivers to the Arenal foothills, which are dotted with yucca, pineapple, and papaya farms. We will stop for our included lunch in the town of La Fortuna. After lunch, continue your ride or shuttle to our nearby resort for the next two nights.

This evening, gather with your leaders at the thermal springs of our hotel, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at the hot springs before dining on your own at one of the resort’s fine restaurants. Your Trip Leaders will also offer a shuttle to La Fortuna if you prefer to dine in town this evening.

Please note: Arenal Volacano has been dormant since 2010 and most likely will not be active during your visit.

Hotel: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 17, 21 or 32 miles

DAY 4: Lake Arenal ride / Evening in La Fortuna

Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal, offers scenic riding and an especially picturesque shore. The lake is a popular destination for windsurfing, fishing, kayaking, and boating, as well as shoreline hiking, horseback riding, and cycling.

This morning, we will enjoy a relaxing boat excursion on Lake Arenal. From the lake, we’ll admire rolling fields and forests, and get a different perspective of the towering Arenal Volcano. Though you might never know by its serene appearance, Lake Arenal is crucial to Costa Rica’s energy production, providing nearly 70% of the country’s electricity. The Lake Arenal hydroelectric dam, completed in 1979, tripled the lake basin’s size to about 33 square miles. Disembarking in the town of Nuevo Arenal, we will enjoy a morning ride along the lake’s scenic northern shore back to our resort, or to a nearby restaurant where you may enjoy lunch on your own.

Later this afternoon, enjoy the hot springs and spa of your 5-star resort. As a guest of the Tabacon Resort, you are entitled to unlimited access to the hot springs at any time during your stay. Dinner tonight is included, so meet your Trip Leaders for a quick shuttle into La Fortuna, where we will dine in one of the town’s restaurants.

Hotel: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16 miles

DAY 5: Morning ride / Peñas Blancas River wildlife safari

Today, we cycle to a boat launch for a peaceful river-rafting safari on the Peñas Blancas River, where we’ll be on the lookout for some of Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife (you may want to have a pair of water shoes or casual sandals for the rafting trip). The crystal-clear waters of the Peñas Blancas are fed by surrounding cloud forests in adjacent Monteverde. We’ll drift by lush rainforest, volcanic hot springs, and cascading waterfalls.

Truly a mesmerizing journey, the sights and sounds of the natural world surround us as we float through the rainforest. Our river guide points out examples of Costa Rica’s abundant and varied creatures such as lizards, sloths, monkeys, toucans, herons, and kingfishers, as well as many beautiful native plants. This is an ideal opportunity to photograph wildlife, plants, and even butterflies up close. Before we return to land, you’ll understand more fully that Costa Rica’s landscape and wildlife are among the most diverse on Earth—and so valued that more than a quarter of the country’s land has been set aside for conservation.

Later this afternoon, we will shuttle back to cooler altitudes and Costa Rica’s central valley.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure at our resort.

Hotel: Xandari Resort & Spa
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 13 or 18 miles

DAY 6: Poás Volcano / Coffee Tasting / Home-hosted Farewell Dinner

This morning, a shuttle transports us to Poás Volcano, which has seen only occasional eruptions since 1828. We have time to explore before cycling down its slopes on smooth paved roads to the charming farm town of Poasito.

Here we stop to visit a family-owned fruit stand, where we’ll taste some of Costa Rica’s sweetest strawberries and discuss local agricultural practices with the farmers. Then return to our wonderful spa resort for lunch, coffee tasting and a leisurely afternoon enjoying the resort’s trails, swimming pools or spa.

This evening, we gather for a festive farewell dinner in a nearby home, hosted by a local couple, Manrique and Lorena.

Hotel: Xandari Resort & Spa
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 22 miles

DAY 7: Depart for home / Begin optional Pacific Coast Extension

Enjoy a leisurely morning at your resort with a swim in one of its pools, a spa treatment, or walks through beautiful tropical gardens.

In the late morning, we transfer to the San Jose airport for our post-extension flight to Manuel Antonio National Park. Those flying home today will transfer to the nearby Juan Santamaria International Airport throughout the day. For guests with later afternoon flights, you will need to check out of your room at noon, and will have leisure time and lunch on your own at the resort prior to your airport transfer.

Please note: There is a departure tax that needs to be paid upon departing Costa Rica. The tax must be paid at the airport in U.S. dollars or Costa Rican currency, or by credit or debit card. The current tax is $29 USD per person. VBT recommends that this be paid in cash, as using a debit or credit card will incur additional fees.

VBT No-Air Package and Air Package guests: We will assist you to the San Jose airport. Transfer times are pre-arranged based upon Air Package guests’ flight departure times. No-Air Package guests may join one of the pre-arranged Air Package transfers. Please inform the Trip Leaders of your flight details on the first day of the tour so they can make arrangements to include you on one of the pre-arranged airport transfers, otherwise you will need to make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense.
If you decide you would prefer to transfer at a time other than the VBT shuttle times, you may make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. The cost of a taxi to the airport is approximately $50 USD. Please verify costs with the hotel prior to confirming your private transfer.

VBT Post-Trip Extension guests: You will fly from San Jose to Quepos on the Pacific Coast. Please note that you are only allowed ONE piece of luggage, and your luggage cannot exceed 30 pounds. Please visit for all luggage guidelines and restrictions. Your Trip Leaders will provide you with your flight confirmation and details about your transfers. Additional luggage may be stored in San Jose at the Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel for your return to San Jose on your last night. Upon landing in Quepos, you will transfer to your hotel overlooking Manuel Antonio National Park. VBT provides you with City Information to help you explore on your own. It includes recommendations for your independent stay at the Si Como No Resort & Spa.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Hotel: Si Como No
Meals: B

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Situated on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast, the Tortuga Lodge & Gardens is approximately 10 minutes by boat from the village of Tortuguero. Facing the Tortuguero River, the lodge is surrounded by gardens and rainforest that attract an abundance of natural wildlife. View the activity along the water from the lodge's riverfront restaurant and bar as you enjoy a daily fixed menu with creative options. Meals are served either family style at your table or individually plated for more intimate dining. The chef is happy to accommodate special requests, as well. The lodge also has an infinity pool designed to blend into the river environment, and its environmentally friendly purification system uses an undetectable amount of salt instead of commercial chlorine. Our accommodations are “River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms,” each with a front-porch sitting area and hammock with views toward the river. All rooms also have a private bath with solar-heated shower, a ceiling fan, in-room safe, alarm clock, free wireless Internet, hair dryer, two in-room wicker chairs, and a small table. Rooms are also designed to maximize the view, giving almost as much space to windows as to walls. And because all windows are screened but not glassed in, you will be able to hear the soothing sounds of the rainforest during your stay. Please note: Rooms have ceiling fans instead of air conditioning. Additional floor fans are available for guests requiring cooler conditions.
Free WiFi Included

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Resting at the base of the Arenal Volcano, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort provides luxurious accommodation in the midst of Costa Rica’s natural beauty. The resort does not simply rely on the beauty of its natural setting. Take a dip in the Tabacon hot springs at any time during your stay, indulge at the resort’s spa, and enjoy the comfortable luxury of this 5-star hotel. A member of The Leading Hotels and The Leading Spas of the World and the recipient of many international accolades, this 102-room resort is the perfect oasis for relaxation after a day of discovery.
Free WiFi Included

Xandari Resort & Spa

Xandari Resort & Spa is a tropical paradise of 22 individually designed villas nestled in a 40-acre plantation overlooking the Central Valley of Costa Rica. At an elevation of 3,900 feet, Xandari enjoys a near–perfect temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year. While here, enjoy the resort’s spa, which offers massages, mud wraps, facials, and exotic body treatments with a distinctive Costan Rican flair, and which was named Costa Rica’s Leading Spa Resort by World Travel Awards. The resort also features an indoor/outdoor restaurant specializing in healthy continental and Costa Rican cuisine, with many ingredients harvested from its own organic greenhouse, orchard, and gardens. Enjoy panoramic views of the Central Valley as you dine in an intimate and elegant setting. While here, perhaps you’ll also swim in the resort’s two 60-foot lap pools, sunbathe on the pool terraces, visit the orchid house and greenhouse, and hike the resort’s 2 miles of private scenic trails leading to intimate river vistas and dramatic waterfalls.
Free WiFi Included

Wyndham San Jose Herradura

Located just outside of San Jose, The Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel is close enough to be very convenient to the city, but far enough off that tranquility awaits you at the end of your days of exploration. The hotel is 4-star resort that offers numerous ways to add to your Costa Rican vacation. Enjoy the hotel’s golf course, tennis courts, floral gardens, pools, Jacuzzis, and three onsite restaurants as you relax and unwind here.
Free WiFi Included

Si Como No

Located in Manuel Antonio National Park, Si Como No is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, inviting soft-sand beaches, and rivers well suited for rafting. The hotel enhances its guests’ experience by offering a full array of activities, including guided excursions into Manuel Antonio National Park, mangrove and ocean kayaking, horseback riding, tours to its nearby butterfly and private nature refuge (Fincas Naturales), world-class sport fishing, and whitewater rafting. The hotel’s 58 rooms are distributed within 10 separate terraces located on 10 acres of protected tropical forest. Each room has a well-appointed bath and fully stocked mini-bar. Most rooms also have private balconies, direct-dial telephones, and energy-efficient air-conditioning.
Free WiFi Included

Villa Blanca Cloud Forrest Hotel & Spa

This venerable hotel has received a major facelift recently. Formerly owned and operated by an ex-president of Costa Rica and his family, this lodge is now part of a new group of "green hotels." Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Spa includes 35 well-appointed, renovated adobe casitas. Each one features a fireplace and overlooks 3,000 acres of dairy pastures and pristine tropical cloud forest. Hacienda House rests on the main hilltop, where you can snack on freshly baked breads and pastries at El Cafe del Bosque, or play a game of chess or billiards in El Mirador de Los Angeles salon. The charming restaurant, El Sendero, offers fine country-style dining.
Free WiFi Included

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Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - San Jose & Tortuguero

3 nights for only $595

Post-Trip Extension - Manuel Antonio National Park

3 nights for only $595

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