Is Mountain Biking Good in Costa Rica?

Mountain Biking in Costa Rica

If you got into mountain biking during the pandemic, or maybe you are a fan before, you might be thinking what all-mountain bikers believe. That is what are some of the best places to mountain bike. The world is filled with amazing places for MTB. If you are asking yourself is mountain biking good in Costa Rica? The simple answer is, no.

 

It’s Beyond Good!

A country that has been without an army for 70 years and is considered to have some of the happiest people on the planet is also home to the Pacific and Caribbean coastline. You might think, why even go biking with this much coastline when there are so many exotic beaches to visit. The truth is the uniqueness and beauty of Costa Rica is found between its coast. It is here that mountain biking trails are some of the best you will ever ride.

 

Costa Rica Geography

A quick geography lesson will set the stage for what makes Costa Rica so unique for mountain biking terrain. We already know there are two coastlines. At some points, the coastlines are only 80 miles apart.  At Costa Rica’s highest mountain point, you will have mount Chirripo over 13,000ft. If you lay this out and look around the world, where you can find two coasts so close together.  Also with the center of the country being an elevation so high, your spots on the planet are few to none that I know of.

 

How did this Happen?

The reason for this crazy geography is that Costa Rica didn’t exist many years ago. It rose for under the ocean floor with erupting volcanoes and the collision of the Coco and Caribbean plates. Through the millions of years of geographical change, today Costa Rica connects the two great continents. It is a bridge between North and South America. North America and South America had already existed.  Costa Rica rose from the ocean floor to connect the two continents. While rising through steep mountains and active volcanoes, you might geography gods were mountain bikers. It really is a dreamland for those that like to ride of all levels.

 

Costa Rica Sounds Steep and Impossible to Ride?

 

 

Experts Mountain Bikers

Based on the Geography you might think that only experts would answer yes to the question is mountain biking good in Costa Rica? If you are looking for a very challenging ride, then you will find it in Costa Ricasure. Some of the most intense adventure races in the tropics are held in Costa Rica, with the top competitors worldwide.

 

 

Casual Riders

For those not looking to ride at the most strenuous trails there is a lot of flats also. The Agriculture industry makes up much of Costa Rica. As a result, this has led to trails, unpaved roads, and areas offering MTB for all levels here in Costa Rica.

 

How are the views?

That is like asking how the coffee is in Costa Rica. You are almost always able to see a volcano at any one point in Costa Rica. The ocean views on both coasts are amazing, but the pacific in particular is where the mountain meets the sea. You never know when your trail will end at a 200ft waterfall in the middle of the rainforest.

Get a Guide

Going with the right guide and knowing the suitable trails, you will have more views than your GoPro memory. It is almost impossible to avoid great views while in Costa Rica. Some of our favorite rides are through agriculture plantations. Here you cruise through vast coffee or sugarcane plantations that go forever.

This brings us to our next top of what makes MTB so great in Costa Rica other than the scenery and trails?

 

 

Best Part about MTB in Costa Rica (hint: Not the views)

You probably think the climb to the volcano or the awe-inspiring views of coastlines might be our favorite part of riding our mountain bikes in Costa Rica. Still, you might be surprised to know that at the end of the day, all of that usually comes in second place to what we like to call the more “authentic experiences.” Yes, an amazing view can give you an awe-inspiring moment but stop at a locals house for some home-made tortillas, chopping some sugar-cane in a plantation, opening up some coconuts, and finding the perfect mango tree are all experiences in Costa Rica we look forward to as much as we do the amazing views.

In all of our material, I say that experiencing Costa Rica can not be done without getting to see the real-life side of things down here and having a few authentic experiences. MTB is probably one of the best ways to do that because you can take so many roads and trails you know that you will not find any other tourist on. 

 

Where Can I find a Mountain Bike Company in Costa Rica?

If you want to mountain bike in Costa Rica, you will have some options. They will vary in what you are looking for. The majority of your options will be your traditional bike rental, and most of those you will find at the beaches. Once you get inland, you are looking at more technical rides, and you will want to be riding with a legit MTB outfitter.

There are not many outfitters that operate MTB in Costa Rica, but the few do run a pretty good operation. Because of the logistics, we always suggest the package deal. You do not want to travel by your bike on the airline, be responsible for repairs during your rides, and travel logistics from place to place. The companies that offer the entire package allow you to enjoy what you came down for and get some rides in.

 

The POC Love for MTB

Here at the POC, we customize mountain bike trips in Costa Rica and offer the full package. We also have some set dates we fill pretty regularly, which will make things more affordable and even a chance to make some new friends, although you are traveling with a group.

We even got our own MTB jerseys are guests love. You are happy to pick one up at our online shop

In closing, if you are into mountain biking, we know you won’t be disappointed putting Costa Rica on your list of places to travel. A country that gets a lot of attention for its world-class surfing is sometimes overlooked for its mountain biking, and if you are a fan of both, then there is no better place to do a ride and surf on the same day.

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POC Camp

The POC camp is an extension of the POC lodge and while the POC Lodge is located with vast views of the Pacuare River Canyon the POC Camp is down on the river’s edge. While it might not have the view of the POC Lodge it sits on one of the calmest sections of the river making the POC Camp home to one of the river Pacuare’s best spots for taking a swim and relaxing on the river’s edge.

POCsito is a favorite among so many of our guests. It is a glamping experience with some of the important comforts of home.

POC Lodge

Started in 2011 is the POC lodge. If you haven’t figured it out by now POC lodge is our own lodge and what we like to call the “baby” of the P.O.C. Adventure Company. We wanted a lodge on our favorite part of Costa Rica which is the Pacuare River and with the help of locally harvested supplies and labor, the POC Lodge was born.

 

This is a 180-acre property that runs over 1 mile of the Pacuare River. Our goal has always been to offer as much comfort as possible without steering too far away from our roots of just roughing it on the river’s edge. Our lodge has hot water, a splash of luxury in the rooms, and 5-Star service and attention to our guests.

Our favorite part about the lodge is that we built a short hike up from the river’s edge. We know we have the best views of the Pacuare River canyon and unfortunately pictures don’t even do it justice.

Arenal Paraiso, Arenal

Have you ever wanted to stay the night at the base of an active volcano? Well here is your chance. The Arenal Paraiso is located at the base of the Arenal Volcano with breath-taking views of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano.

Here at Arenal Paraiso’s, you will enjoy the beautiful property which offers much more than just a view. The property has numerous bungalows that offer a splash of luxury while surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. After a day of adventure, you will love making your way back to relax or hang out in the pool at Arenal Paraiso.

Shawandha, Caribbean 

Located at the edge of the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica sits the Shawandha lodge.  A perfect blend of eco-style luxury along with the sounds of the ocean and vibrant ambiance of the rainforest.

Shawandha lodge is set up with individual bungalows made out of local wood. You will be sure to wake up to the sound of the local residents such as the howler monkeys and green macaws. After your day of adventure, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful swimming pool at the Shawandha Lodge.

Hotel Villa Florencia, Turrialba

Located in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by sugar-cane plantations and views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano sits an old plantation home that has been renovated into a beautiful small hotel named Villa Florencia.

This is a great hotel with a beautiful pool and plenty of space to take long morning or afternoon hikes. The Villa Florencia hotel is a chance to enjoy luxury while feeling like you stook back in time. While you are in the valley don’t forget to look up as the Turrialba Volcano can often be seen doing small eruptions from across the valley.

Casa Turire, Turrialba

Casa Turire has been one of our favorites since we started. The grounds are some of the lushest you will find anywhere in Costa Rica. Casa Turire sits in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Turrialba Volcano. The most amazing part about Casa Turire other than its great restaurant and home-made sugar cane ice cream is that it sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Angostura offering great morning hikes, birding, or SUPing around the lake.