Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

16 days
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Small Group Tour
From the deep rainforests of Panama to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, witness all the natural splendour of Central America from your unique vantage point in the saddle. Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are the ultimate trifecta of Central American and Caribbean living, with a diversity of wildlife and rich local cultures waiting to be discovered. ...

Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Strenuous
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Cycle across Central America, a land of mysterious Maya ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles
    • See the sights and engage in a wide range of activities across three different countries on this epic Latin adventure
    • Volcanoes, wildlife-rich rainforest, stunning beaches and ancient rock carvings – Ometepe Island has it all.You'll have plenty of free time to explore the island, set in beautiful Lake Nicaragua
    • Encounter Costa Rica's famous Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. Whether it's reflecting back at you in the lake or heating the thermal pools you're soaking in, the magnificent volcano always makes its presence felt
    • Experience a real Central American jungle adventure deep inside the Cano Negro wildlife reserve
    • Chill out with Caribbean vibes in Puerto Viejo, a lively village with great food and even better music
    • Under the guidance of a local cacao farmer, help mill and roast cacao beans to make the greatest hot chocolate you've ever tasted
    • Bliss out in the beautiful Bocas del Toro Islands and enjoy spectacular palm-shaded beaches, crystalline waters, loads of wildlife and plenty of water sports
    • Cycle the Panama Canal and marvel at the leviathanssailing through the water

What's this trip about?

    From the deep rainforests of Panama to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, witness all the natural splendour of Central America from your unique vantage point in the saddle. Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are the ultimate trifecta of Central American and Caribbean living, with a diversity of wildlife and rich local cultures waiting to be discovered. This cycling adventure takes you off the beaten path for a journey that's not restricted to the mainland, with voyages to tropical archipelagos and isolated islands surrounded by active volcanoes. NEW UPDATES FOR 2019: In 2019 this trip will change from 16 days to 15 days and the new trip code is QZXBC. We will not visit Cano Negro, La Fortuna & Bocas del Toro but will explore San Jose, Puerto Viejo & Santa Rosa Pocosol instead. We've also divided this itinerary into two sub trips - please search QZXN (Cycle Nicaragua & Costa Rica) or QZXC (Cycle Costa Rica & Panama) for more information.

Details

Itinerary focusActive
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityGranada
End CityPanama City

Travel Themes

  • Cycling & Biking

Destinations

  • Central America
  • Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

Attractions

  • Arenal Volcano
  • Boquete
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Granada
  • Panama City

Activities

  • Cycling

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Granada

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Nicaragua. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day ear...

Day 2 Masaya/Granada

Avoid the heat today with an early cycle (approximately 4 hours) around Apoyo Lagoon. As we leave town we will pass by the 'Fuerte de Polvora”, a white Spanish colonial fort built in the 18th century. Our route then takes us on dirt tracks up some slight inclines and ...

Day 3 Ometepe Island

Head out this morning on a historical walking tour with a top local guides who will reveal the behind-the-scenes life of Granada as well as its traditional historical sites.  In the late morning catch a transfer to San Jorge and from there take the boat to Ometepe Isl...

Day 4 Maderas Volcano & San Juan del Sur

In the morning make a loop around the less populated Madera Volcano. The volcano itself is not active and its crater now contains a lake. Ride through secluded rural areas that are home to howler monkeys, a wide variety of bird species and small mammals. Stop and cool...

Day 5 Arenal

Say goodbye to Nicaragua and journey south to Costa Rica. Hit the road before 7 am and cross the border at the sometimes unpredictable Penas Blancas border crossing. Once on the other side, start cycling down and along the shores of Lake Fortuna. The lake sits at the ...

Day 6 El Castillo Area

Take breakfast with clear views of Arenal's gorgeous lake and volcano before saddling up for the day. Your destination is a home stay in the rural community of San Juan Ilama. This is a region of Costa Rica rich in agricultural bounty, including orange groves, passion...

Day 7 Cano Negro wildlife reserve

Get ready for a real jungle adventure. Journey deep inside the Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve and see monkeys, sloths, bats, turtles and 'Jesus Christ' lizards – famous for their ability to run on water for extended periods of time before sinking. The wildlife reserve is...

Day 8 La Fortuna

Bid a fond farewell to your hosts from San Juan Ilama this morning. Ride to La Fortuna, with some short but steep climbs en route offering rewarding views of the region's mountains and volcanoes. Tonight, visit some local thermal springs and spend the evening relaxing...

Day 9 Caribbean Coast

Prepare yourself for the sandy beaches and warm waters of the Caribbean. Today you will ride out of La Fortuna and then catch a transfer to the coast. Depending on the arrival time, there will be time for a quick swim before saddling up for a ride along the shores to ...

Day 10 Bocas del Toro

Pedal from Puerto Viejo to the nearby village of Bribri, located about an hour away. Meet Don Catato and his wife, who have kept the local tradition of growing cacao beans alive and thriving. Learn how to mill and roast the beans, and then drink a delicious hot chocol...

Day 11 Bocas del Toro

Take a free day to explore the beautiful Bocas del Toro Islands, which are rapidly becoming a popular destination in the Caribbean. With their spectacular white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant wildlife, it's easy to see why. Perhaps hire a kayak and e...

Day 12 Boquete

In the morning, catch a ferry back to the mainland where you will board a support vehicle and drive to Caldera (approximately 2.5 hours). The area is home to beautiful pine forests, river valleys and streams, with the Baru Volcano serving as a stunning backdrop. Jump ...

Day 13 Boquete

Take advantage of a free day to stretch your legs and try some of Boquete's extra activities, such as a coffee tour or sooth your muscles in the nearby hot springs. Alternatively you can take a break and simply enjoy the peace of this mountain gem. If you're still keen to get back in the saddle, optional rides can be arranged.  Cycling distance: none

Day 14 Baru Volcano & Panama City

Transfer to Los Portrerillos for today's ride along the slopes of Baru Volcano, an active stratovolcano. There are some undulating sections before a long and fun descent on rarely used roads. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. Freshen up at the bottom befo...

Day 15 Panama Canal & Gamboa Rainforest

See the highlights of Central America's glitziest capital on a short ride along the Panama Canal. Set out from the hotel, close to the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, and then transfer by bus (approximately 15 minutes) to the Miraflores Locks. Entrance to the Visitor...

Day 16 Panama City

You can depart at any time as there are no activities planned for today. Cycling distance: none

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Dates & Availability

Price From $4,075
Price per day$255
Last Updated: 12/3/2021

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Intrepid Travel

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The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for active and adventurous travelers at a range of different price points and service levels.

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Logistics

Accommodation

Hotels (10 nights),guesthouse (4 nights),homestay (1 night),

Transportation & Flights

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Boat,

Transportation & flights

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Boat
Guides
All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
Visa requirements
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Nicaragua - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. For some nationalities, a Tourist Card must be purchased upon entry. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nicaragua for the most up to date information. Under the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4), foreigners may travel between Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and for periods of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities once per year. This period begins at the first point of entry to any of these countries. There is a new procedure to enter overland into Nicaragua which requires information about your group to be sent to immigration a week prior to the border crossing. Apart from sending details such as head count, dates and reservations, your leader will ask for your occupation and a copy of your passport to include.  Costa Rica - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information. To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica.
Health & Safety
We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride. Please note that many of the road we cycle on in Central America are not of the standard you may be used to riding on at home. To avoid riding on main roads with too much traffic, most of our riding is done on gravel/dirt roads (approx 75%) with the remainder on paved roads (approx. 25%). The terrain also varies greatly as we make our way across 3 separate countries, but hills are a constant feature on this trip. Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. LIFE JACKETS: While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense. HORSE RIDING: Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.
Age Requirements
No age restrictions
Additional Information
Finish point Hotel Centroamericano #4-24 Avenida Ecuador. Corner of Justo Arosemena. Panama City PANAMA Phone: 507 2274555
Trip ID
intrepid-QZXB

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