Costa RicaCosta Rica

arenal mountain bike 
 - Costa Rica

Arenal-Monteverde mountain bike and boat ride

Arenal-Monteverde mountain bike and boat ride

Destination: Arenal

Highlights

  • Exciting bike ride around Lake Arenal
  • Snack and transportation included
  • Bikes are in good condition

Facts

  • Location : La Fortuna
  • Hours : 8:30 a.m. daily
  • Time length : about 7 hours
  • Price : $89 per person, with snack

There's a simple joy that comes with riding mountain bikes in the countryside; the bike's wheels rolling over the pebbles on a dirt road, the wet grass, the breeze. It's finding that comfortable speed, faster than walking but slow enough to feel part of the scenery -- rather than just driving through it.

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The art of planning a good trip lies in the mastery of getting from A to B. Whether it's by boat, bike, bus, car, plane, kayak or horseback, Costa Rica's got it but fitting it into the trip is a different story. While it's always possible to take a day tour, there's a certain fulfillment that comes with getting to the next town by an alternative means– with bonus points awarded for using as many different methods as possible.

So naturally taking an 11-mile bike ride around Arenal Lake to a boat that takes you to Monteverde is worth some serious points.

Over the hill

Jump out of the van where route 142 meets Lake Arenal's northeast inlet. From there, your guide unpacks the bikes giving a last opportunity to put on sunscreen and grab your cameras. Leave your bags in the van (which follows you on the ride) get on your bikes and head up a dirt road skirting the lake.

Getting up the first hill is definitely the most challenging part of the ride, but having a 24-speed mountain bike with dual-suspension takes the edge off. The road is bumpy, filled with small pebbles and half-buried volcanic rocks leftover from the Arenal's big eruption in 1968. Passing through rainforest once suffocated in a layer of ash, your guide explains how the nearby town of Arenal was destroyed by the eruption.

Stop for a break beside the Cano Negro River with beautiful views of both the Volcano and the lake while eating a snack of fruit.

Through town & to the lake

Back on the road, you'll pass by a soccer field through the small town of El Castillo, an old farming community. Ride over bridges and around bends where small glimpses of the lake are visible behind the undergrowth. Reaching the bay, you'll ride into a small village with a terraced hill. Riding down to the water's edge as the van pulls up beside you. Overlooking the lake, the volcano and the bay you just crossed, enjoy a celebratory beer and dine on fresh pineapple and watermelon while looking down on the boat that takes you to Monteverde.

Make sure to snap some pictures of the Arenal volcano on your 20-minute journey to the opposite end of the lake where another van waits to pick you up and transport you to the cloud forest of Monteverde.

Departure & Return

  • Departure point : Tour departs from all major hotels in San Jose and La Fortuna
  • Departure time : Hotel pickup is between 20 and 50 minutes before tour start time depending on hotel location. In San Jose pick up is three hours before tour start time.
  • Return details : Tour returns to original departure point between three and four hours after tour start time. For San Jose, the return is expected to be at 9 p.m.

Arenal-Monteverde mountain bike and boat ride in Pictures

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