Neenan Cycling Logo

Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

Cycle three Central American countries from Nicaragua to Panama



At a glance

* 9 nights comfortable hotels, 5 nights standard hotels all en suite
* 12 days cycling with full vehicle support
* Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and staff. Min age 16 yrs.

 

Cycle three Central American countries from Nicaragua to Panama

Starting in the graceful colonial city of Granada and ending in bustling
Panama City, our route takes us into Costa Rica’s steamy rain forests,
alongside active volcanoes and to the tropical island paradise of Bocas del
Toro. The rain forest is home to an incredible variety of wildlife and bird
species. We explore the island of Ometepe at Lake Nicaragua, and search for
Howler monkeys whilst rafting on the Tenorio River. Our journey ends with a
ride near the Panama Canal, following our visit to the famous Miraflores
Locks. 

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/muc_0.jpg?t=1DSvLJ

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts
* All accommodation (see accommodation section)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Cycling leader and support team
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts included.

The trip price includes all breakfasts throughout the trip. Restaurant stops
for lunch and dinner are selected throughout the itinerary to allow you to
try out good quality local cuisine. Expect to see a lot of the Costa Rican
speciality ‘gallo pinto’ and a lot of rice, beans, fruit and grilled meats.

Most days we are on a fairly tight timing schedule, especially at lunchtimes
when we have cycling stages and transfers in the afternoon. In order to help
us save time and hassle when we are dining as a group, the leader will take a
note of people’s orders and settle the total group bill him/herself. The
leader will then ask clients for individual payments at a convenient time
before leaving Nicaragua and then again before leaving Costa Rica. We find
that this method is the most efficient, however if you object then you are of
course free to opt out.

Start destination: Granada

End destination: Panama City

Cycling profile

Day 1

Those on the group flight land at Managua and will be transferred to Granada
(approx. 1 hour). Those on land only arrangements should make their own way
to the start hotel this afternoon. Following a short briefing in the evening,
it’s time to get some rest before our day’s cycling tomorrow.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

After breakfast, we have an overall tour briefing as well as indications for
the initial cycling stage. Any last-minute adjustments to the bikes are made
before we set off towards the shore of Lake Nicaragua. As we reach the
lakeshore, we enter into the Asese Peninsula recreation area, a beautiful
protected area, where the traffic is kept to a minimum and several species of
exotic birds can be spotted. Our lunch stop offers stunning views of the
large volcanic mass of Mombacho.

Upon arrival back at our hotel, we’ll have time for a swim or stroll along
La Calzada, Granada’s main pedestrian street. Late afternoon we will head
for the popular Mirador Catarina, overlooking pretty Laguna Apoyo. Our Sunday
visit will allow us to experience the local people enjoying the wonderful
view while being entertained by strolling marimba bands and souvenir vendors.
Afterwards we will head for the Masaya Volcano National Park for a night
visit to observe molten lava bubbling away in the depths of the huge crater.
It may also be possible to spot the ‘Chocoyos’, a sub-species of parakeet
which nests in the crater walls, having evolved to become resistant to the
constant emissions of sulphuric gas. Due to safety concerns, the visit to the
crater is limited to 15 minutes (and occasionally the park is closed
altogether), we then return to Granada for dinner.

Gradual descent down to the lakeshore, then virtually flat (but bumpy) out to
the tip of the Asese Peninsula. The roads are 65% paved, 35% dirt/rock.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 3

After breakfast we transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) south to the port of San
Jorge on Lake Nicaragua, where we will board the vehicle ferry for the 1 hour
trip out to fantastic Ometepe Island, with the twin volcanoes of Concepcion
and Masaya dominating the view. Upon arrival at busy Moyogalpa, we start our
cycling with a stretch around the west face of Concepcion, the active volcano
on Ometepe. We then continue with a climb up and over the isthmus which leads
out to rain forest clad Maderas, the extinct volcano on Ometepe. Our
destination is lovely Ojo de Agua fresh water spring ( entry fee), where we
will have lunch, and enjoy a swim in the cool, crystal-clear spring water, a
welcome respite on a hot day. Afterwards we get back on our bikes to head for
the wildlife-filled Charco Verde Lagoon, where our hotel is set. The west
facing situation right on the lake allows for some spectacular tropical
sunsets, as well as the possibility to take a dip in the warm waters of Lago
Cocibolca, the Indigenous name for Lake Nicaragua.

The roads are all paved except for the final half mile to Charco Verde.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

Today we depart the hotel around 10:30am, which gives us some free time
beforehand to hike the trails around the lagoon to spot more wildlife or
relax on the beach and admire the view. For keen cyclists looking for a
challenge, an early morning ride along the single-track trails within the
Charco Verde Reserve ( entry fee for hotel guests) is a great start to the
day. Those looking for a hike can do the same trails; make sure to bring your
camera, as the reserve is full of wildlife, which is best seen in the early
morning. 

Departing the hotel we cycle to Moyogalpa and get the ferry back to the
mainland. We then get in the saddle again for a ride to Rivas, the largest
city in southern Nicaragua and then along La Chocolata Road towards San Juan
del Sur, a Pacific beach town. The road takes us through dry forest where we
may see Howler monkeys and large iguanas, we also pass through several small
villages which experience no tourism other than our biking groups. 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. After finishing the mild climb which then drops us onto the Pacific
side of Nicaragua, we ride just a bit further west to the beautiful beach
‘Playa Marsella’, in time for a late afternoon swim. Our hotel for this
evening is close to the main San Juan del Sur beach, a great place to watch
the sunset or simply enjoy the hotel pool.

Along mostly level roads with some mild climbs. The road is 60% well-groomed
dirt and 40% paved.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 5

Starting early to avoid the heat, we cycle over the continental divide and
down to a back road  (subject to road/weather conditions) near La Virgen,
which then take us on to Sapoa, close to the border with Costa Rica. Then we
have a 5 minute transfer which will take us to Peñas Blancas, from here we
will exit Nicaragua. After clearing immigration on the Costa Rica side, we
will stop for lunch near La Cruz and then continue south along the Pan Am
highway to just outside Cañas, another good sized town. Our arrival will be
late in the afternoon due to ongoing highway constructions.

Initial climb departing San Juan del Sur, then gradual descent to near La
Virgen. Back road to Sapoa is mild rolling terrain, graded dirt. 40% paved /
60% dirt

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

This morning we get out of the saddle early in the morning for a 2 hour float
down the Tenorio River, a haven for birds and wildlife. As our raft takes us
gently along the river, we can expect to see several species of monkey,
iguanas, coatis and a wide range of birds. There are also crocodiles along
the lower stretch of the river and our experienced guides will not only
handle the oars but will also point out as many species as possible. This is
likely to be a big wildlife highlight of the trip! Afterwards, we transfer up
to near Bijagua, then cycle back down to the Pan American Highway before
lunch. After our meal we head up to the hilly region surrounding Lake Arenal
where our afternoon biking stage will begin. This is quite a challenging
section and although the distance is short there are several climbs and it
can also be rather windy. The rewards are the spectacular views of the lake
and the surrounding hills.

Morning stage is fast downhill after climbing out from Bijagua but can be
pot-holed. Afternoon stage from outside Tilaran to Mystica includes several
fairly steep climbs through rolling hills. 100% paved.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

After breakfast we set off on our bikes towards La Fortuna. This is one of
the most spectacular cycling stages, starting in lush agricultural land which
gradually gives way to thick rainforest as we approach the dam which forms
Lake Arenal. Watch out for monkeys, toucans and the amazingly colourful
neon-blue Morpho butterflies as we cycle. If it’s clear the dam is a great
place to take a break for a wonderful view of Arenal Volcano. The town of La
Fortuna is a major tourism destination within Costa Rica, so those looking
for souvenirs will be well satisfied.

Mostly on rolling hills with some short but fairly steep climbs, followed by
fast downhill to La Fortuna. The road is 95% paved and 5% dirt or gravel.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

Today’s ride follows a circular route through the region surrounding La
Fortuna, taking in a great variety of terrain and ecosystems. Starting from
the hotel we head south toward Chachagua, then diverting to a back road
leading to El Bosque, where we pass through agricultural land devoted to
bananas and sugar cane before heading into a rugged hilly zone leading back
towards rainforest near the small town of La Tigre. We stop for lunch at
Chachagua. Toucans are especially common here and there are some incredible
views of the jungle and Arenal Volcano. As we approach La Fortuna again,
there is one final steep climb before we reach our hotel. This evening we
include a visit to the Eco-Termales Hot Springs to soothe any aching muscles
– the best hot springs in the area!

Paved roads, mostly level for the first half, followed by several challenging
climbs.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

Another early start today as we head east into the rolling terrain of the San
Carlos plains, riding through rich agricultural zones, sugar cane and
pineapple plantations and rural villages. We are generally descending on this
leg, which levels off as we get closer to Muelle, where we conclude the
morning stage. Have your cameras handy upon arrival, as there is a population
of large iguanas posing while the staff will load the bikes for the transfer
out to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Given that we will be crossing a
large portion of Costa Rica, this is a long transfer (approx. 3 hours). Well
worth the effort, as we arrive at a beautiful beach, Playa Manzanillo, which
will be your introduction to the Afro-Caribe culture on the east side of
Costa Rica. We will have lunch at a seafood restaurant. Try the fresh
seafood, and the Caribbean rendition of “riceandbeans”, much tastier due
to the use of coconut and spices. After lunch you have a bit of time for a
swim in the warm Caribbean sea, then back onto the bikes for an afternoon
ride through the rain forest and along the coast to bustling Puerto Viejo,
one of the most popular destinations on this side of Costa Rica. From here we
head to Hone Creek, where we will transfer (approx. 15 minutes) to Cahuita, a
typical Caribbean town, with lively reggae music/culture and spicy cuisine.

Morning stage fast descent leaving La Fortuna, then level out to Muelle.
Afternoon stage fully level  100% paved for both stages.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 10

Today we begin riding south at the base of the towering Talamanca Mountains.
We follow the main coast road at first, before turning off to the indigenous
community of Bri-Bri, home to members of the Guaymi tribe. We may see some of
the traditionally dressed women in flowing embroidered dresses as we pass
through this area. The ride continues through vast banana plantations to the
border crossing on the banks of the Sixaola River. After a quick lunch we
leave Costa Rica and cross to Guabito, the Panamanian port of entry. After
the border formalities, we board the bus through the frontier town of
Changuinola and then through steep rainforest hills which are inhabited by
indigenous people. We hit the coast and board a private boat transfer to
cross into the Caribbean to the wonderful Bocas del Toro Islands, our home
for the next two nights.

Mostly flat roads, although there are some climbs as we head to Bri-Bri. The
roads are paved although there are often potholes and washouts close to the
border.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 11

A free day today to explore the beautiful Bocas del Toro Islands, which are
rapidly becoming a popular destination in the Caribbean. Today you will get a
chance to see why: spectacular palm-shaded white sand beaches, crystal clear
water, wonderful snorkelling and diving, lots of wildlife, kayaking and even
great surfing are all available! It’s also possible to take boat trips to the
other islands, or go on dolphin watching tours. All of these optional
activities can be arranged through the hotel or nearby tour agencies whom we
have long-established relationships with.

For those who want to ride today, biking is available on the island and the
32km round trip to Bocas del Drago on the island’s western tip is
recommended. Our bikes will stay on the mainland at Almirante, but bikes can
be hired locally.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 12

After taking a private boat back to the mainland we drive to Punta Robalo for
a ride through beautiful jungle scenery. After lunch we transfer (approx. 1.5
hours) through the mountains that separate Panama’s two coastlines after
which we begin our second ride of the day. The change in temperature,
humidity and eco-systems is significant as we gain altitude. At the top of
the pass we find beautiful Lago Fortuna, set in a rainforest-clad tropical
valley. We then have a fast downhill ride with great mountain views and
several river crossings to Gualaca and the Pan-Am Highway beyond. Upon
meeting the Pan American Highway junction we board the minibus for the drive
down to Las Lajas, a lovely, isolated Pacific beach, which stretches for
miles. Here we can enjoy a great tropical sunset while relaxing under the
shade of a palm thatch palapa. 

Some moderate hills near start, then level AM / Fast downhill to Pacific
plain then some short climbs near finish PM. 100% paved.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 13

An early start today as we avoid the heat and traffic on our ride through the
Panamanian countryside. We have a short drive to Guabala, a customs/passport
control point on the Pan Am highway. Once our documents have been checked, we
will offload the bikes for a fairly challenging ride through a quite remote
and hilly section of the western portion of Veraguas Province. Some of the
morning’s ride takes us along remote back roads past large sugar plantations
and through dry tropical forest. We finish cycling close to the town of
Jorones, where we start our transfer to Panama City (approx. 3 hours), with
a quick lunch stop in Santiago, the main city in this part of Panama. We
cross the famous canal where we’re very likely to see huge ships as they make
the journey between the Caribbean and the Pacific. Our hotel is located in
the suburb of Albrook, where many opulent residences are testament to the
days when US military officers and Canal Authority officials lived in the
city.

Level start but becoming increasingly hilly during the middle section. The
last stage is level again and the road is fully paved.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14

Our final day is truly memorable, as we travel along a stretch of the Panama
Canal to observe some of the highlights. Starting from our hotel, which
overlooks the Pacific entrance to the canal, we transfer to the Miraflores
Locks Visitor Centre (entry fee to museum and video presentation included) to
view the process of raising and lowering the ship traffic. Then we have a
short transfer to the entry point of the Soberana National Park, where we
will enjoy a final biking stage through lush rain forest. Our biking
concludes with lunch at lovely Los Lagartos, set over Lago Gamboa, with the
canal as a back-drop. This offers a great photo opportunity as ships pass by
during their transit. After lunch we transfer back to our hotel for some free
time or a swim. In the afternoon we visit the World Heritage Site of Casco
Viejo, the historic old portion of Panama City. We will have our final group
dinner in the Casco Viejo at Las Bovedas, an excellent restaurant set on the
historic Plaza de Francia. 

This is mostly level along the canal, but with some climbing within the
Soberana Park. The main road is fully paved.

*Standard Hotel*

Day 15

Our trip ends after breakfast this morning, and those on group flights will
be transferred to the international airport for the return journey to the UK.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-03-102018-03-24

Trip code: MUC180310

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2725

Book now

Date: 2018-03-242018-04-07

Trip code: MUC180324

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2985

Book now

Date: 2018-03-312018-04-14

Trip code: MUC180331

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-04-142018-04-28

Trip code: MUC180414

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2985

Book now

Date: 2018-05-192018-06-02

Trip code: MUC180519

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2915

Book now

Date: 2018-08-042018-08-18

Trip code: MUC180804

Availability: Available

Price: €2915

Book now

Date: 2018-08-182018-09-01

Trip code: MUC180818

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2915

Book now

Date: 2018-09-222018-10-06

Trip code: MUC180922

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-10-062018-10-20

Trip code: MUC181006

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-10-272018-11-10

Trip code: MUC181027

Availability: Available

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-11-032018-11-17

Trip code: MUC181103

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-11-102018-11-24

Trip code: MUC181110

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-11-172018-12-01

Trip code: MUC181117

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-11-242018-12-08

Trip code: MUC181124

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-12-082018-12-22

Trip code: MUC181208

Availability: Available

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-12-152018-12-29

Trip code: MUC181215

Availability: Available

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2018-12-222019-01-05

Trip code: MUC181222

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3045

Book now

Date: 2019-01-052019-01-19

Trip code: MUC190105

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-01-162019-01-30

Trip code: MUC190116

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-01-192019-02-02

Trip code: MUC190119

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-01-262019-02-09

Trip code: MUC190126

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-02-022019-02-16

Trip code: MUC190202

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-02-092019-02-23

Trip code: MUC190209

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-02-162019-03-02

Trip code: MUC190216

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-02-232019-03-09

Trip code: MUC190223

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-03-022019-03-16

Trip code: MUC190302

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-03-092019-03-23

Trip code: MUC190309

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-03-232019-04-06

Trip code: MUC190323

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-03-302019-04-13

Trip code: MUC190330

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-04-132019-04-27

Trip code: MUC190413

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-05-182019-06-01

Trip code: MUC190518

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-08-032019-08-17

Trip code: MUC190803

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-08-172019-08-31

Trip code: MUC190817

Availability: Available

Price: €3135

Book now

Date: 2019-09-142019-09-28

Trip code: MUC190914

Availability: Available

Price: €3305

Book now

Date: 2019-10-052019-10-19

Trip code: MUC191005

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-10-262019-11-09

Trip code: MUC191026

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-11-022019-11-16

Trip code: MUC191102

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-11-092019-11-23

Trip code: MUC191109

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-11-162019-11-30

Trip code: MUC191116

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-11-232019-12-07

Trip code: MUC191123

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-12-142019-12-28

Trip code: MUC191214

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Date: 2019-12-212020-01-04

Trip code: MUC191221

Availability: Available

Price: €3265

Book now

Customer Feedback

Cycling Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

Summary:
Would class myself as a ‘veteran’ having been on many previous cycling
adventures but this is the first trip I have ever left feedback on. I realise
that when you return from holidays you are on a high but I can honestly say
this is one of the best, maybe even the best cycling trip I have done. The
whole thing gels completely. The cycling, the views, the rafting, the
different cultures, the wildlife, all brought together by a fantastic support
team makes this a 5 star trip. Breakfasts are early, sometimes 6-30am, to get
you cycling before it gets too hot, but this means you have downtime at the
end of the day to relax, and take everything in before dinner. It’s a full on
trip with always things to do, then bang, a day off on a pacific beach before
going at it again. Brilliant planning. Loved every minute of it. Thanks.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
In no particular order…..Masaya volcano……. The rafting where the
wildlife was awesome, Iguanas, crocs, lizards, monkeys, beautiful birds (saw
more Ospreys in 2 hours than I have seen in my entire life!)…. Seeing a
Toucan…..Working hard to get up the hills…..Those awesome views…….
Chino’s obvious love for his country and the whole area…. The children
shouting hello as you cycle past…. the anticipation of that first cold beer
after a hot day in the saddle knowing that the weather is cold and miserable
back in the UK!!!!!!!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The luggage of some of our group did not arrive so Chino took on the
responsibility to chase it up and was brilliant at keeping everybody informed
at what was happening. When the weather deteriorated in Costa Rica (and boy
did it deteriorate!) he took the decision to change the itinerary and move us
over from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast, that included changing
cycling routes and hotels. All this done with the minimum of fuss and just
presented to us and off we went! So much work done behind the scenes. He was
of course supported by his team of Albarro (Nicaragua), Paul and Ronaldo.
Special mention here for Ronaldo who after the changes in Costa Rica must
have spent around 8 hours driving in sections to get across Costa Rica and
Panama, and we still got two cycle rides in that day. Viva Ronaldo! Pura vida
guys.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If you enjoy cycling and wildlife this trip is for you!
All 3 countries accept US dollars so you don’t need to change any money on
arrival in Nicaragua.
Food is good and plenty throughout, standard of cleanliness is also good in
the soda’s and restaurants.
Bike quality is also good and we had very little maintenance problems (3
punctures and 1 broken chain I think across 16 of us). Biscuits, fruit,
water and hydrating powders are always available.

Read full review

Jolly Hockey Bikes

Summary:
What a fantastic way to see 3 fantastic countries. This trip however is not
for the faint hearted – expect to be on the go 24/7 from the moment you land
in Nicaragua. Despite this trip being focused around cycling it was so much
more than that with plenty of activities off the bike. If you are looking
for a real adventure with lots of laughs along the way then this is the trip
for you.

Cycling – There was a real mix of cycling from tarmac roads to gravel tracks.
There were some challenging hills that required a decent level of cycling
fitness to complete especially in the heat that reached over 100 on some
days. The views were spectacular and wildlife was spotted along the way. We
averaged around 30 miles a day and our group was fairly fast so this was
usually completed within 3-4 hours. The approach to the cycling was pretty
relaxed so if you wanted to stop at any point for a rest or to take photos
you were free to do so. The cycling catered for everyone and it was up to
you if you wanted to race or just relax at the back! We had our guide along
with 2 support cyclists (mechanics) in Nicaragua – Roberto Aguilar (aka
Chino), Albaro and Paul and then for Costa Rica and Panama there was just
Chino and Paul. The support vehicle, driven by the very safe driver Ronal,
was always on hand to assist anyone who may have been struggling, to provide
water, rest-bite or even extra fuel (fruit & biscuits).

Other Activities – One of the trip highlights for me was going up to the top
of the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua at night and actually looking into the top
of it – looking into the top of a live volcano was something that I never
thought I would have the opportunity to do – breath-taking!
Volcanic Spa at La Fortuna (Costa Rica) – a great way to relax in the evening
after a days cycling. It was like being in heaven with Cocktails on hand!
River Rafting (Nicaragua) – our guide spotted all kinds of wildlife that
unless you have the eye for you would have never seen. Crocodiles, Toucans,
Iguanas and much more. Nature trail on Ometepe, natural Spa…….. There
is just too many things to mention.

A special mention has to go out to our tour guide Chino and his support staff
who were exceptional.

If you are considering this trip – DO IT!!!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The views
Wildlife
Masaya Volcana
Natural Spa on Ometepe Island
Volcanic Spa – La Fortuna
River Rafting
Meal in Panama Old Town at Las Bovedas

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Roberto Aguilar AKA Chino – Fantastic. His local knowledge was exceptional
and he was fluent in English. Really couldn’t have asked for a more helpful
guide who by the end of the trip had become a friend. He couldn’t do enough
for us.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The support vehicle is always on hand so you always have access to your day
bags. There is no need to carry anything on your bike with you apart from
cameras etc.

Read full review

An amazing trip

Summary:
Cycling is such a great way to see a country and this trip didn’t
disappoint. There was a great range of cycling from tarmac roads to rough
off road. Cycling experience and fitness is a must. The roads are undulating
and on some days there were some long climbs, made all the more difficult in
the heat. It also meant there were great views! In addition to the cycling
there were great trips and even some free time to relax.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
It is difficult to highlight one moment. The whole trip was an experience. It
was fantastic to see the views and wildlife whilst cycling along but one
highlight would have to be getting so close to an active volcano!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We had a fantastic team, they couldn’t do enough for you and all worked
really hard. Our leader Roberto (Chino) went out of his way to ensure that
everything on the trip was perfect.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Deciding what to take is always difficult. Cycling gear can be rinsed through
in the hotels although drying can sometimes be a problem. Snacks are provided
whilst cycling and the minibus is always nearby so you don’t have to carry
everything with you on the bike, stick it in a day bag on the bus. Clothes
when not on the bike are very casual and long sleeves and long pants are
handy to cover up in the areas where more mosquitoes are out. We did get
bitten but not too bad. Things that don’t crease are ideal and good packing
is essential so you know where everything is, there’s no time to keep
unpacking your case.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I would recommend the white water rafting in La Fortuna, it was fantastic. We
went with Arenal rafting, they were brilliant and great value for money.
Take dollars in small denominations as you get change in local currency.

Read full review

An outstanding cycling trip

Summary:
What a fantastic way to see 3 countries ‘on a bike’. Not being a cyclist and
having a knee operation in July I was a little sceptical about whether I
would be able to complete 2 weeks of cycling but the trip was just the right
balance of sight seeing and cycling. The cycling was challenging but very
enjoyable with ‘amazing views’, the terrain was mixed which added to the
experience. Our guide for the trip (Roberto Aguilar aka ‘Chino’) was
outstanding couldn’t have asked for a better one, his knowledge of all the
countries was fantastic and really helped us in understanding the history of
each.
I felt the trip was quite expensive for a young couple and I feel if it was
cheaper would appeal to more younger people to book.
Chino’s support for the 2 weeks was Albarro and Paul who were also great and
really helped the weaker cyclists but also challenged the more experienced
cyclist too which was good. Even when we lost Albarro at Nicaragua and just
had Paul for the remaining trip the standard didn’t slip.
Due to the weather in Costa Rica on the Caribbean side our trip had to be
changed at short notice whilst this may have been stressful for chino this
didn’t show and didn’t impact on our tour and it all went through smoothly
and didn’t impact too much on the original itinerary.
What I would suggest for future trips would be for the hotels to offer free
laundry whilst the weather was warm it was humid and if hand washing we
struggled to dry them and with staying only 1 night in some hotels you travel
with damp clothes so didn’t really smell fresh when eventually dried and
needed washing again.
I would also recommend exodus invest in purchasing kit to cover the maximum
size of the group. There was 12 of us within our group and all our luggage
was delayed for 1 day which meant we couldn’t take part in the first day
cycling because there was only 2 spare helmets but if there was spare we
could have purchased spare clothing and still took part. Our first day wasn’t
ruined because chino stepped into action and arranged a trip for us around
the local town on horse and cart which was fantastic to see.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I’m not sure I can specifically call out one inspirational moment of this
trip the whole trip totally exceeded my expectations the right balance of
cycling and sight seeing. Not once on this trip will you be bored, action
packed and just fantastic.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
I can honestly not say anything negative about our trip leader Alberto
Aguilar ‘chino’ everything planned perfectly to the minute. His mileage
estimations for the bike rides was spot on which helped me pace myself and
keep me going. He explained everything clearly and honestly and nothing was
too much trouble. If I was book another cycling holiday I would love chino to
be our guide he really did make our holiday an absolute pleasure.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take spare cycling clothes in your hand luggage in the event of cases not
arriving. Have your laundry professionally done as you will struggle to get
it dried if hand washing. Power banks are a must so you can charge all your
gadgets, (phones, garmins, watches, go pro’s). I would bother with energy
gels etc because the trip provides fruit, granola bars, re hydration powder
for your drinks etc.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Will definitely be booking another cycling holiday following this excellent
experience with exodus.

Read full review

Exceeded Expectations

Summary:
This trip exceeded our expectations! The cycling was often challenging with
some biggish hills in hot weather but also great fun (what goes up has to
come down) and mostly on well made roads without too much traffic. Two
longish sections on dirt roads challenge the suspension but are fine in the
weather that we had for those sections. At the end of the trip we felt we
had achieved something worthwhile. But it was not all cycling with trips to
an active volcano, hot and cold springs and and wildlife spotting during
river rafting among the notable highlights. The trip accommodation and food
ranged from good to adequate. The hotel at Las Lajas and the last meal in
Old Panama being particular highlights.

The trip was well organised and well run with Roberto (Chino) and his team
doing a great job. They responded very well to the issues of our delayed
luggage and very poor weather in the Caribbean. The latter meant that we had
an extra night at Las Lajas which was more than welcome. Chino, Paul and
Ronal had become great friends with the group by the end of the trip.

If you enjoy a bit of a challange and doing something a bit different from
the usual holiday routine then this trip is for you – overall a superb
experience which is going to take some beating!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The tour team of Chino, Paul and Ronal helped to make this trip special – I
think they turned something that might have been hard work into a truly
enjoyable adventure for the whole group.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Roberto (Chino) was excellent – responded well to any issues that arose and
made sure that we were all fed and watered before he himself sat down to eat.
Socialised well with the group whilst also retaining our respect as a leader
throughout. His daily briefings and leading the singing on the bus were
highlights (he’s quite fond of Queen). Chino was more than ably supported by
Paul (guide/mechanic) and Ronal (driver) – they made a great team. Special
mention to Roberro who was with us only for the Nicaraguan leg of the tour –
we missed him when we moved into Costa Rica!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
During the dry season you don’t need as much DEET as you think – there are
only a few areas where mossies are a problem and our bite count was
surprisingly low. My wife and I got through only two 100mm sprays for the
whole trip. Also take some travel wash – it is possible to use hotel soaps,
shampoos etc to wash your cycling kit but provision of hotel stuff isn’t
consistent. You may also wish to regularly wash your water bottles – we used
hotel shampoo but as before provision isn’t consistent.

White water rafting is a blast – if you don’t fancy the optional ride in La
Fortuna then white water rafting is great fun.

Read full review

Two of Team Jolly Hockey Cycles ( 12 members )

Summary:
Having cycled extensively in the UK and Europe we were invited to join the
JHC on this Central America cycle trip. Holidaying with family, old friends,
new acquaintances and four strangers could prove daunting, however, it turned
out wonderful from the offset. This was far more than just a cycle trip. (
Hardcore cyclists need not apply) It turned out to be an education in
history, cultures, wildlife and geography. All of which ticked all our boxes.
The cycling was a joy each day with all 16 of us able to stay within our own
limits, take time out for photography or just stand and look at everything
around us. When we fancied a blast, we did just that. That easy. The hotels
and restaurants offered good accommodation and local food with varied menu’s
to suit all tastes.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Inspiration, where do you start. Everything was different, so inspirational
individually.I have never cycled three amazing countries in 16 days. I have
never looked down an active volcano. I have never been on a river raft and
seen more Iguana’s, Osprey’s, Crocodile’s, Monkey’s, Lizard’s, Vulture’s
etc. etc. in one day than I have seen in a lifetime. I have never sat in a
hot spring with a pina colada in my hand.
I have never been so close to one of the worlds largest engineering feats,
the Panama canal.
etc.etc.
All inspirational in their own way.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We could not have a better group leader, Chino, and support team, Paul,
Ronaldo, Alvaro. We arrived with all our luggage missing so instead of losing
our first day Chino arranged a sight seeing trip around Granada by horse and
carriage. Paul took the other four cycling, (no luggage shortages) and we all
met for lunch. We had serious weather issues on the Caribbean so the
itinerary was changed to keep everything flowing smoothly. Chino ensured
everything was in order, including hotel and meal service, briefings
throughout the cycling to ensure we were abreast of what was ahead and the
never ending information of the history, culture and geography around us. He
carefully explained the difference in the standard of living of the people we
met and encouraged us to meet with them. It wasn’t just business, we could
babble on with all the team about ourselves, themselves and just about
anything.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Credit cards accepted everywhere. Small US dollar bills, no larger than .
Laundry available at some of the hotels and widely at La Fortuna. There is
all the in-ride snacks, fruit, energy drinks and bottled water with the bus
and plenty of places to purchase more if you need. For those nervous of
foreign bus drivers, don’t panic. Our driver, Ronaldo, never once broke any
speed limit, made any dangerous manoeuvres or gave us any cause for concern.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Quite simply, if we do not take another holiday, this one is our holiday of a
lifetime.

Read full review

Not cheap but worth it in many other ways

Summary:
Overall a great trip made better by the people in my group and trip leaders
(even though we had a change over after Nicaragua). A wonderful experience
slightly blighted by lost lounge for the first 5 days and then me having a
non cycling accident on the first day in Panama. However the group and the
trip leaders were awesome, a real opportunity to see people at their best.
So helpful, so caring and so accommodating, every one of them really made
sure I was able to enjoy as much of the holiday as possible. Stunning
sights, food, adventures and guidance and support from the leaders and so
much to laugh about and enjoy.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
So many….seeing my first volcano and active too. Massages in the tree
tops, the panama locks, the hot spas, the boat trips, the stunning beach in
Panama, animal spotting and rafting. The views were stunning and the people
were so friendly and welcoming.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We had Roberto initially, who is very experienced and knowledgable and worked
tirelessly to get my suitcase back to me and ensure I could participate as
much as possible. Then we switched to Rafa, who despite being younger and
newer, was so much fun and the best male nurse in the business 😉 His
support during and after my accident, in the hospital and helping to redress
my wound twice daily, was without doubt a lifesaver. And his good humour and
patience during my “colourful language” with each cleaning session (hehe)
meant that tears always ended in laughter.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Bug spray was only needed for a couple of nights but useful. Pack your first
days cycling gear in your hand luggage, esp shoes (cycling in the equivalent
of flip-flops wasn’t fun initially). You’ll need cash, for the most
expensive of trips i’ve done with Exodus, this had the least about of meals
included but cashpoints are available. I literally only took US Dollars as
everywhere accepted them and gave change in local currency to each country
that i just then used before we crossed the next border. Sunscreen!! I took 4
sets of kit and that was more than enough, could have survived on less (and i
did initially). DOn’t be precious about sticking to the trip notes, relax
and have fun, this is the time to let someone else make decisions and you
just ride and see what comes next around the corner!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Well worth it and that’s coming from someone that cycled Nicaragua in 1 set
of kit and shoes 2 sizes too big and couldn’t cycle Panama due to
injury………..but it was an adventure and I laughed so hard that it was
good for my soul instead of my quads this time 🙂

Read full review

CENTRAL AMERICA Nov11th

Summary:
After braving the ridiculous American vetting of transit passengers[I was
lucky came in through Dallas not Houston]things immediately became better.The
tour leader and staff were really good.The trip was well organised and the
staff were on the ball at all times.The group were really great and mixed
well.The three countries were so different and added to the enjoyment of the
trip.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I think the most inspirational theme of the trip was that all three countries
were providing power or attempting to through renewable energy e.g. wind
turbines. Made me ashamed to be Australian given our energy policies.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Worked so hard and so determined to ensure we had a good trip and an
enjoyable one.The supporting staff were great as well and worked very well as
a team.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
There is a great diversity in the countries and a simple example is added
taxes to meals for example Costa Rica is the best example of this.I slightly
overspent on budget but it was no big deal.Learn some Spanish I had not and
wished I had

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I missed on doing the local evaluation and regret it as I would have liked to
pass on my gratitude to the staff led by Jackie Garcia I would appreciate it
if you[Exodus]could because they deserve to be acknowledged for the efforts
put in by all three

Read full review

Cycling in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

Summary:
This was an amazing trip. The leader team were extremely professional but
also really friendly and helpful – a perfect balance. The cycling was superb;
routes were varied in terrain, views and challenge and so much thought had
gone in to the itinerary. We saw so much in a short time that it was one of
our best ever trips.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I think there were too many, but body surfing on the Caribbean coast was a
highlight, as was seeing a whale from a beach in Panama, cycling like a demon
down fast roads through a short downpour, managing to get up a really big
hill in 35 degree heat or singing the Hokey Cokey with a class of Nicaraguan
primary school kids- take your pick!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Roberto was brilliant. I will be looking out to see if some future trips can
be arranged as I would love to go on more adventures with him and his team.
We learnt lots about the history, geography and culture of the places we went
to, and always felt very safe in his hands.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Your kit will get soaked in sweat and won’t always dry in the humidity, so
use the laundry when available and take old stuff that isn’t too precious. We
are fairly fit and did some extra cycling beforehand and I’m really pleased
we did as it made it all the more enjoyable, so do try and be ready for the
distances.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I can’t recommend this trip enough. It was by far the most expensive trip we
have ever done but I am so pleased we went for it. Roberto, Paul, Jackie and
Luis were brilliant.

Read full review

Exceptional Cycling

Summary:
Absolutely fabulous cycling trip. Stunning scenery & superb organisation.
Hot, sweaty and at times challenging, but always fun with a great group of
people and exceptional group leaders. Pre organised lunches and added extras
with the islands, volcanos , spa pools , along with the Panama Canal and
restaurants really added to the diversity of the experience.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Getting fitter and faster and by the end of the trip actually feeling
inspired & ready to do the hills again!!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
My group leader was Roberto (Chino), along with Paul and Jackie who will lead
her own group in November. We had a lovely driver Lois too, whom kept the
team supply of water and freshly cut delicious fruit going during our breaks,
along with our safe transfers. The team were fabulous, professional, friendly
and worked with everyone. The leaders provided advise and options and
certainly set an impressive pace cycling. They had great comaradery with each
other and the group. Exceptional.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
# Take padded cycle shorts
# Take small denomination $USD

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I suggested on my evaluation form that as we all arrived from London we were
all up very early for our fist day in Granada. Due to this I would suggest
that breakfast could be brought forward. Given that the day/ cycling could
start earlier to give everyone a bit more time to appreciate and explore the
magnificent town Granada. We left at 3 for Masaya Volcano which was perfect
timing for the best viewing of the Volcano.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


Facebook
SHARE