Bikepacking in Costa Rica, A trip to Central America in search of getting our bikes off the beaten path

Catching a Taxi at the Liberia Airport


Winter in North America is a great time to head south for those of us that like riding bikes. Both Chase (my girlfriend) and I were able to take a few weeks off work so we headed south, way south, to Costa Rica. This is more meant to be a photo essay of our trip.

The line in red is our route, starting from Liberia CR. The dead end lines are backroads we explored but unable to make in through on.


Our main goals were to explore some remote sections of cost in the northwest area of Costa Rica and to then ride our bikes south down the Nicoya Peninsula.

As always things sometimes don’t go quite as planned. Although we accomplished must of what we set out to do, we had some setbacks and unanticipated challenges that ended up shortening our route to some degree.

Attempted to stitch up my tire side wall

On day one I realized my fork was unable to hold air, and getting it rebuilt in Costa Rica was not an option. And on Day two I cut my tire side wall open and ultimately had to put a tube in, which then started to leak as well. This all meant that we had to return to Liberia to find a bike shop to get and new tire and a shock pump, which cost us a day of riding.




The wide open beaches of Bahia Salinas, are most northern point, Nicaragua is at the other end of the beach

The northern area where we started our trip, around Santa Rosa NP and Bahia Salinas had some exciting possibilities for long backcountry/ back road routes that would take us far from the main highway. The Park personnel turned out not to seem to want us camping or exploring outside of the main entrance on our bikes, but we found a pretty cool route that skirted the park boundary and ultimately brought us back to the ocean, without riding on any pavement.


Jungle riding

It was a bit unnerving being in a totally foreign environment like that and being kinda lost in the endless twist and turns of the jungle, not knowing if we would have to turn back, or if we would be able to get though. Camping in the jungle is not my idea of a good time, unless you can find a nice place by a river, which we did.



We never saw any crocodiles… but it certainly crossed my mind on the river crossings 





Once we sorted out the bikes and made into the Nicoya Peninsula we were rewarded with some of the most enjoyable bike riding I’ve ever experienced. Stunning beaches all to our selfs and miles of dirt back roads paralleling the ocean ideal for bike touring.

Much of the sand we encountered was hard and flat, making it ideal for riding bikes on.



Hopping between Beaches on back roads



Hot, humid, and way too sunny. But boy that’s a good view



Although there are many beach towns in Costa Rica built up with resorts, we also rode through many small fishing villages that seldom see outside visitors. 


Fruit market for our daily Papaya, eat it with lime, breakfast the champions
Hot and sweaty, but damn does that 2 liter bottle of artificial apple juice taste good!!  Chase bought water… she is majorly missing out.


Everything in Costa Rica is so colorful and bright. Be it the natural world of neon flowers and birds, or the paint people use to brighten up their homes, or in this case a bridge.





We spent a morning hanging out with these little guys. There were thousands of sea turtles hatching in Ostional, they just pop out of the sand and make for the waves… which is like a 2hr endeavor for their little hopeless selfs. Very cool to watch, a trip high light for sure. We stayed at the Turtle Lodge in Ostional which was a great as well.




Beer on beach, almost as cheap as water, end of day shenanigans 


Chase looking for good coconuts on a beach that had miles of coconut trees and perfect sand and no other people that we could see.
Nearing the end of the Nicoya, so may cool places to check out. Santa Teresa so our final stop

Some much-needed R n R and some surfing in Santa Teresa, a bit of a crazy place with all the people but the waves were good. In Santa Teresa we rented a car one way to the airport and flew out the following day. Better to spend our time riding on the beach than tangling with hot stinky traffic on the busy road back to Liberia. I did find the driving a little nerve racking… right of way? not a thing in Costa Rica, ha


They end