Central America cycling holiday

“Cycling through three incredible Central American countries from Nicaragua to Panama, this trip combines physical effort, sensational scenery and 100 percent support.”

Highlights

Managua | Ride along the shore of Lake Nicaragua | Masaya Volcano National Park | Pueblos Blancos | Ometepe Island | San Juan del Sur | Costa Rica | Wildlife trip on the Tenorio River | Lake Arenal | La Fortuna | Cahuita | Bocas del Toro Islands | Santiago | Panama City | Panama Canal

Description of Central America cycling holiday

If you’re longing to get pedalling and cycle Central America then this 16 day tour will take you all the way from Granada in Nicaragua down to Panama City with an array of exotic environments to explore en-route.

This is your chance to experience the lakes, islands and rivers of Central America, cycling and transferring through rainforests and around volcanoes where hot springs, free days and wildlife tours provide some eternally memorable moments both in and out of the saddle.

Rafting along the River Tenorio unveils howler monkeys and toucans amongst the overhanging foliage whilst trips to the islands of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua and Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean always add to the enjoyment of cycling Central America with plenty of time to soak up the scenery.

The final destination of this 16 day tour, Panama City, provides the perfect platform to check out the locks and footpaths along the Panama Canal as well as offering the chance to enjoy a well-deserved toast before your cycling Central America experience finally draws to a close.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

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13 Dec 2019
£3799
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20 Dec 2019
£4299
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03 Jan 2020
£3599
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10 Jan 2020
£3399
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24 Jan 2020
£3549
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31 Jan 2020
£3379
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14 Feb 2020
£3499
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21 Feb 2020
£3699
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06 Mar 2020
£3399
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03 Apr 2020
£3899
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31 Jul 2020
£3999
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11 Sep 2020
£3599
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30 Oct 2020
£3599
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13 Nov 2020
£3599
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20 Nov 2020
£3599
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18 Dec 2020
£4199
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Our top tip:
It's not the effort that's a challenge, it's the humidity - keep well hydrated at all times.
Trip type:
Small group, 6-16 adults (min. age 16), tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate/challenging.
Accomm:
14 nights comfotable hotels with en suite rooms.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available.
Meals:
All breakfasts.
Included:
All accommodation, transport, listed activities, tour leader, cycling leader and support team.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Central America cycling holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Activity:
As a cycling holiday, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit within Costa Rica. Use of the bikes allows us to cover fairly large distances, while having very little adverse impact, like pollution and threat to wildlife. When we do use coaches for transfers, they come from a local business and run in compliance with Costa Rica’s strict anti-pollution laws, which require vehicles to be inspected biannually. Additionally, cycling also allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. We are able to raise local awareness for a kind of tourism which refuses to sacrifice the environment and real connections with people for financial gain.

Conservation:
Costa Rica is well known for being dedicated to conserving the environment, having long ago set aside protected areas for conservation activity. With the advent of adventure tourism in Nicaragua and Panama, both countries are now following the example set by Costa Rica. Our visits to National Parks and protected areas help to encourage and expand the ongoing effort to preserve and protect the environment. Our entry fees for Mayasa Volcano National Park go towards park maintenance, staff salaries, training programmes and the research and monitoring of the plethora of rich wildlife here. These funds also contribute towards the effort to increase the amount of land and sea given a protected status

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Water is safe in the regions we cycle through and there is a large water tank installed at the rear of the support vehicle for easy access.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation & Meals:
During our visit to Central America we will be using small, locally owned hotels and lodges, most set in quite remote settings. This helps in providing direct employment for many locals who would otherwise need to migrate to the large cities in search of employment. Using small lodgings allows for a better chance to meet local residents, as the hotels tend to be family run operations, which encourages interaction between guests and staff. Given that both Nicaragua and Panama are relatively new destinations for tourism, especially adventure tourism, the benefits generated by our arrivals can be readily appreciated. Where meals are provided, locally sourced ingredients are used as much as possible- for breakfast, this is usually fresh fruit, eggs and bread. Lunches and dinners are taken in locally owned cafes, restaurants and road stops, which offer the mutual benefit of local employment and a variety of authentic dishes e.g. Gallo pinto, seafood ceviche, plantain, empanadas or tamales stuffed with meat and cheese.

Community:
Leaders, guides, mechanics and drivers are all locals, thus benefiting the Costa Rican people, and offering guests direct contact with local knowledge of the regions we visit. On the itinerary, there is the opportunity to visit schools which would not routinely experience the benefits of tourism, due to their remote locations. If you plan to bring any gifts for local people, the children and teachers in the small rural schools along the way really appreciate pencils, pens and crayons. Other optional activities include surfing, snorkelling, dolphin watching and taking a dip in the geothermally heated springs. Each of these excursions benefits local communities by creating local employment in a sustainable part of the tourism industry.

Local Crafts & Culture:
All supplies are sourced locally, and the staff will encourage guests to use local shops for purchasing goods and souvenirs. In Masaya, Nicaragua we will visit the arts and crafts market, which allows the local artisans an opportunity to sell their goods directly, thus obtaining more cash, and allowing us to meet the actual producers, many of whom are women supporting large families.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

2 Reviews of Central America cycling holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“I think cycling holidays are a really great way to see the countryside as you aren’t seeing it from behind glass.”

Reviewed on 16 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling through three different terrains each with fabulous scenery in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Visiting the volcano at Charco Verde in Nicaragua. Swimming in the Caribbean Sea and the next day in the Pacific Ocean in Panama.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The cycling stages are not long but the routes are hilly and it is very hot and humid on many of the stages. Training - especially hills - is beneficial.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - we ate in small local restaurants and shopped at roadside stalls.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A great combination of cycling, scenery and relaxation. Recommended for anyone who would like an active holiday in Central American not focused solely
on beaches.

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The surprisingly fast ride following the river rafting, up to 70kph, the scenery, the two islands that we spent 2 nights at each were lovely and to try something new the zip wires at La Fortuna (not mentioned in trip notes, but leader will book for you)

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack a dry t-shirt in your rucksack or leave on coach. When you have finished a riding stage and are soaking wet with perspiration (or rain), it is nice to have a dry top on if you are then going to have an hour or two coach transfer.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Roberto the leader and the 'bike boys' were great. Very helpful and so well organised, meals, room keys, boats, all appeared exactly on cue.


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


As expected, another excellent trip. The pace was felt to be unexpectedly high but suited most of the group. The pace could be compared with a 'drop bars' trip and for most of the cycling could be done on a road bike. I 'survived' thanks to some pacing on some days and did enjoy it. I can do some hills at home now that I couldn't before ! The meals were very good, far better quality and lower priced than at home. The boat trips and ferry journeys added to the interest and my companions were great - all ages from 20 to 68 (me)

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