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Cycle Nicaragua To The Panama Canal

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days 14 US$ 3,050 US$ 2,836
SavingUS$ 214
highlights
  • Cycle Central America - An adventurous and exciting way to see the best of Costa Rica and Panama
  • Arenal Volcano - Cycle around the live volcano and expansive lake
  • Caribbean Islands - Relax in paradise on Bocas del Toro
  • Panama Canal - See ocean-going ships as they make their way between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
The Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour starts in San Jose and ends in Panama City. The Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal is a bicycle tour that takes 14 days taking you from San Jose to Panama City and through other destinations in North America.

This adventurous cycle trip takes us on a journey through beautiful Central America. We ride through varied scenery - past volcanoes, cloud forest, rain forest and see the famous Panama Canal. Along our way we visit the volcanic island of Ometepe and the tropical islands of Bocas del Toro for a little relaxation. Cycle Central America - An adventurous and exciting way to see the best of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama Arenal Volcano - Cycle around the live volcano and expansive lake Caribbean Islands - Relax in paradise on Bocas del Toro
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Our journey begins in San José, Costa Rica's capital. Founded in 1738 and set in a fertile valley with coffee and sugar cane plantations, the city is one of the youngest capital's in Central America.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we start the day with a short walk to see the highlights of San Jose. We then drive west towards the Pacific for around 1.5hrs to reach the start of our first ride from the village of Grifo Alto through the Central Valley of Costa Rica. There will be some time for the bike fitting and to get used to our bikes before commencing the cycle route on undulating terrain past lush vegetation. There are some hills to test our legs but the ride has a downhill bias. Our ride ends at the hotel in the small town of Orotina where we spend the night. Often referred to locally as the 'fruit town', Orotina lies at the foot of Monte del Aguacate and the surrounding agricultural community produces an amazing variety of tropical fruit and veg year round.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (approx 510 metres total accumulated ascent and 1360 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Leaving Orotina behind after breakfast this morning, we drive to Puntarenas on the Pacific shore to catch a ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya to Playa Naranjo on the Nicoya Peninsula. Our ride starts from here and we cycle an undulating route, all on tarmac, until reaching Pueblo Viejo de Nicoya near the Tempisque river. The scenery is typical for the Nicoya peninsula - with drier forests and agricultural land along the way. Finally we drive for slightly more than an hour to the Pacific beach town of Samara where we spend the next two nights. This small beach resort town boasts a beautiful 5 km long beach.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 57 kilometres (approx 610 metres total accumulated ascent and 550 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today's bike ride is a loop to explore the surrounding area through small hamlets, dry forests and arable land along the way. Around 15km of the route is on unsurfaced roads. In the afternoon there is free time for relaxing at the beach or for optional activites such as hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking through the mangrove and on the Ora River or a visit to the Island of Chora with the possibility of snorkelling.

Our total optional cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres (approx 525 metres total accumulated ascent and descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We start the day with a 2.5 hour drive to Guayabo on the slopes of Miravalles Volcano - at just over 2000 metres this is the highest of the string of volcanoes in the Guanacaste mountain range and is covered with thick rainforest. The heat from this volcano helps to power a geothermal energy plant at Las Hornillas. Our ride takes us through lush vegetation and ends when we meet the Panamericana main road that runs through the spine of Central America. Finally we drive to Tilaran where we spend the night. Around 20km of the ride today is on unsurfaced roads.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 48 kilometres (approx 430 metres total accumulated ascent and 900 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
A short 10 minute drive this morning brings us to the starting point for our ride around Arenal Lake; a challenging route that takes in the spectacular backdrop of one of the world's most active volcanoes. Set in an area of national park covering some 9,884 acres, Arenal volcano has been especially active since the massive eruption of 1968. This, along with the impressive manmade Lake Arenal, has helped the area to regenerate through tourism. Since 2010 Arenal's volcanic activity appears to be decreasing. Our challenging ride ends in the rural town of La Fortuna where we spend the next two nights. For those interested it is possible to start earlier today and ride a total of 68 km (total 1390 metres accumulated ascent and 1850 metres descent).

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 46 kilometres (approx 740 metres total accumulated ascent and 1080 metres descent) with the option to extend the ride.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today is left free for resting or exploring the tropical rainforest in more depth on either a canopy excursion, a visit to the hot springs or a jungle walk across hanging bridges. Alternatively, you may wish to cycle in and around La Fortuna, taking in some of the impressive scenery, agricultural lands, cascading waterfalls and hot springs. This is one of the fertile high plateaux where most of Costa Rica's crops are grown.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 50 kilometres (optional) (approx 350 metres total accumulated ascent and 600 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We start the day with a four hour drive to the small town of Orosi, set in the impressive Orosi Valley, forged by the meandering course of the powerful Reventazón River. This picturesque valley is the setting for today's ride, as we discover the lush green vistas of what many consider to be some of the country's best landscapes. Our destination is our accommodation located outside Turrialba, amid the central valleys, lush tropical gardens and volcanic peaks of Turrialba Volcano National Park.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 46 kilometres (approx 880 metres total accumulated ascent and 1180 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Driving up over the nearby mountain ridges this morning we then descend by bus towards the Caribbean coast. In Puerto Viejo we switch from the bus to our bikes and cycle to the border with Panama through a totally different side of Costa Rica; first along the lush, tropical Carribean coast and later past enormous banana plantations. We then cross the Panamanian border by way of an old railway bridge across which we push our bikes. Once again the border crossing may be very slow and require patience. We then continue by bus to the port of Almirante, from where we take a boat to the Isla Colon and the small town of Bocas de Toro, our base for exploring the stunning archipelago and the equally spectacular Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos. The archipelago itself is made up of a number of beautiful forested islands lying in warm Caribbean waters and the laid back beaches and dazzling reefs make this the ideal Caribbean paradise to relax or explore. Today's ride has a 9km dirt section in it.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 31 kilometres (approx 300 metres total accumulated ascent and descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today is left free to enjoy the Caribbean with a number of optional activities that you might like to try. The islands boast stunning beaches and coral reefs and there are opportunities to snorkel or dive the rich waters. You may like to take a boat trip around the archipelago and marine park, or visit one of the unpopulated outlying islands. The bikes will not be available today as they cannot be carried across to the island on the ferry.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
After taking the short ferry ride back to Almirante we drive south and then upwards over the Continental Divide and the cool Panamanian highlands. We commence todays cycle at Fortuna lake (1070 metres above sea level) and the route offers us a few ascents and a long downhill before we reach some fabulous natural pools in the forest for a refreshing dip. We continue by bus to the centre of the country and our night stop in Santiago, a busy provincial town and one of the oldest settlements in the country.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (approx 880 metres total accumulated ascent and 1820 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today's cycle ride begins near Santiago and on the bikes we pass farmland and ranches that offer an insight into a traditional and rural Panamanian way of life. After lunch we drive to Panama City (3 hours), hopefully with time for a swim in the Pacific Ocean before arriving into our final destination. In the evening we can explore the neighbourhood around the hotel - full of good restaurants and street life.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 38 kilometres (approx 400 metres total accumulated ascent and 450 metres descent)
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
A short drive out of town takes us to Miraflores lock, one of the best viewing points on the Panama Canal. We can take time to explore the story of the canal construction in the excellent museum and see huge container ships making their way through this major lock separating the Pacific Ocean from the 26m higher Gatun lake in the interior of the Canal zone. After a short drive back to Panama City we will cycle along the short but impressive new cycle path that follows the coast line from the Canal Zone and through Panama Vieja, affording fabulous views of Panama City's impressive skyline. The afternoon is left free for you to take a walk through fantastic Panama Vieja - the historic town from colonial times - and can have our farewell dinner here.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 7 kilometres on the flat.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
The trip ends in Panama City after breakfast.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 13 Breakfast
Accommodation
  • 11 nights standard hotel
  • 2 nights premium hotel
Transport
  • Bus, Bicycle, Boat
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to San Jose and from Panama City are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 14 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends San Jose, Costa Rica/ Panama City, Panama
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal
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Payment

A deposit of 284 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 20 September 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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