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Cycle Costa Rica 2024

Challenge level: 4 out of 5

When can I go?

16 March - 26 March 2024 On Sale
16 November - 26 November 2024 On Sale
Duration 11 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info $598
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

Cycle Costa Rica 2024

Cycle coast to coast across Costa Rica on our roller coaster of a charity bike ride from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. We'll tackle mighty climbs through tropical rainforests and exotic fruit farms, and enjoy breathtaking descents, with chances to visit vibrant towns and villages far off the tourist track.

Taking on a tough 350km cycling challenge has never been more fun as we spot sloths, tiny green tree frogs, parrots, monkeys and more while pushing ourselves to the peak. We'll cycle past two extraordinary volcanoes and finish our bike ride at Playa Hermosa. This dazzling beach on the Pacific Coast makes the perfect place to celebrate our awesome achievement for charity, with lapping turquoise shores and soft, white sand to soothe our feet.

Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…
Cycle Costa Rica 2024 is an Open Challenge, which means you choose how you fund your adventure.

You can self-fund and pay the challenge costs yourself without the pressure of a minimum sponsorship target, or you can choose sponsorship and commit to raising a minimum amount for a charity of your choice. It's your chance to do something amazing for the cause closest to your heart; whether you choose to support your local hospice, a small sanctuary or a national charity. It's completely up to you.

Places are limited for this dazzling cycle and are likely to go very fast, so please don’t be a sloth to sign up. Register now to secure your place and get ready to go coconuts.

Your itinerary

Days 1 & 2
London - San José – Finca Pacuarito

We meet for our Dream Challenge at the airport in London and catch our flight together to San José, Costa Rica's spectacular capital city. Our local cycling challenge guide greet us at the airport and we transfer to our hotel for a good rest after our long journey.

On Day 2, we're free in the morning to explore San José independently or to relax at the hotel. Later, we transfer to our campsite in Finca Pacuarito on the Caribbean Coast. Instantly immersed in the lush countryside, we settle down for our group dinner and our an exciting challenge briefing for the adventure ahead.

Day 3
Finca Pacuarito – Guápiles | approx. 70km

After breakfast at the campsite, we begin the day with a transfer to Parismina, where we catch a boat to our starting point right at the Caribbean Sea.

After taking in the sea views, we hop on our bikes and ride inland, along quiet roads past bustling banana plantations, all the way to the river. Our legs get a brief break as we enjoy another short cruise upriver, before hopping back in the saddle and following a charming, riverside route to our hotel in Guápiles.

Day 4
Guápiles – Sarapiquí | approx. 61km

Today, we get a gorgeous dose of the Costa Rican countryside and lush fruit farms that make up this part of the country.

Cycling on paved roads, we head towards the Sarapiqui River, looking out for the exotic wildlife as we go, including capuchin monkeys, parrots and even sloths if we're lucky.

Pedalling on, we go bananas for bananas – and pineapples for that matter, as we pass through lush farms, ripe with fruit and finally reach our hotel in Sarapiqui.

Day 5
Sarapiquí – Arenal Volcano | approx. 68km

Seeing a rainbow of yucca, papaya and pineapples, we cycle alongside more of San Carlos’ farms. This gears us up for a gruelling climb and finally reach flat, paved roads. These take us closer to the awesome Arenal Volcano, with incredible vistas that are well worth the climb.

We finish our day of cycling when we reach our hotel in the nearby town of La Fortuna, home to some fantastic natural hot springs.

Day 6
Arenal Volcano – Tilarán | approx. 62km

We have a tough ride ahead of us today, but the ridiculously beautiful views more than make up for it.

We cycle a hilly route along the north side of Lake Arenal and enjoy views of the magnificent volcano and its surrounding flora, until we reach our hotel in the small town of Tilarán.

Day 7
Tiláran – Miravalles Volcano | approx. 53km

Today is an absolute highlight of the trip and we're rewarded for the challenging climbs with vistas of both Arenal and Miravalles Volcano.

We notice quite a dramatic change of scenery as we cross over the continental divide and enter the dryer side of Costa Rica, now closer to the Pacific Ocean (and closer to our finish line)!

Day 8
Miravalles Volcano – Playa Hermosa | approx. 70km

After breakfast, we begin the final day of our charity bike ride with 20km of joyous downhill cycling, before our route evens out onto flat, paved roads. We follow these all the way to the stunning Playa Hermosa on the Pacific coast.

Our hotel sits very close to the beach! With picture-perfect views of a turquoise sea and soft sand under our feet, we celebrate our incredible success.

Day 9
Playa Hermosa – San José

We make the most of our free morning at Playa Hermosa (aka paradise on Earth) today for you to relax on the wonderful beach and relish in the well-deserved sense of achievement.

Playa Hermosa is a picturesque town with a beach stretching between two mountains. You may choose to spend all morning at the beach, but the town is worth exploring, with shops, restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere.

Later, we reunite and transfer to our hotel in San José for a good rest before we start our journey back to the UK tomorrow.

Days 10 & 11
San José – UK

Our morning is free to relax at the hotel or explore San José, before we transfer to the International Airport in the afternoon and catch our overnight flight back to the UK, arriving on Day 11.

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Funding options


Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising the minimum sponsorship target for a charity, hospice or sanctuary of your choice.


Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising a minimum sponsorship target for a charity, hospice or sanctuary of your choice.
  • Your charitable funds must be paid in 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge), food, accommodation, transfers, guides, medical and technical support.
  • The more money you can raise, the higher the percentage of funds that will directly support the work of your chosen charity. You are therefore encouraged to exceed the minimum fundraising target.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge. These won't be covered in the challenge costs so you'll need to pay them separately (approx. £350).
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we ask you to contact the charity you want to support. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, you can choose another charity or self fund your challenge.
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Self Funded

Pay the challenge costs yourself and then fundraise as much as you can for a charity of your choice with no minimum target or make a personal donation.


Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge cost yourself twelve weeks before the challenge starts. In return, everything for the challenge will be provided – flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge), food, accommodation, transfers, bike hire, guides, medical support etc.
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can for the charity, hospice or sanctuary of your choice with no minimum target, or make a personal donation.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge. These won't be covered in the challenge costs so you'll need to pay them separately (approx. £350).
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Cycle Costa Rica 2024

This charity bike ride is not designed for Olympic athletes — it is designed for people looking for an amazing overseas challenge to train and get fit for. Many of the people who will take part in our coast-to-coast cycling challenge in Costa Rica will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.

We'll cycle up many steep hills in humid conditions, so we strongly recommend you train, and please try to incorporate hills in your training rides. Once you sign up, we'll send you a cycling training plan, which builds up over time and will set you up for success. Remember, the more you train, the more you'll enjoy the challenge in Costa Rica!

This overseas charity cycle is the perfect motivation to get fit, gain amazing insight into the culture and wildlife of Costa Rica, and raise vital funds for charity.

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.

Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Costa Rica 2024. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow cyclists on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to your fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area to train and fundraise with.

You need to be 18 years old or over to take part in Cycle Costa Rica 2024. There's no maximum age limit. One of the amazing things about this overseas cycling challenge is that it brings adults of all ages and from all cycles of life together for one amazing charity event.

16 and 17-year-olds may participate if given permission by Dream Challenges. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 at least 17 weeks before the challenge and we'll be happy to help.

A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Cycling shorts are also recommended and you will need to bring your own water bottle or a CamelBak-type hydration system. Apart from that, no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to pack before you go. Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.

We will stay in a range of accommodation for our charity challenge in Costa Rica, including comfortable hotels and campsites.

Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. However, if you would rather have a room to yourself, please get in touch with us at least 17 weeks before departure and we can arrange a single supplement for you at an additional price. You can call us at 01590 646410 during our office hours (9 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday) or email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com 

No, your main luggage will be transported each day by our support team. You will need a bag to go on your bike or a waist bag for things like your camera, sun cream, tissues, water bottle etc.

Any extra items you may need during the day can be carried on the support vehicle, which you will have access to during lunch and snack stops.

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Costa Rica, please let us know at least 17 weeks before our departure date and we can arrange this for you.

You can email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 (9 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday).

In addition to paying your registration fee (£399) and either self funding your challenge costs (£2,595) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target (£5,190), you'll need to budget for your:

  • Airport taxes and fuel surcharge (capped at £475).
  • Travel to and from the airport in the UK.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Gratuities.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Your lunch and dinner on Day 8.
  • You may also choose to pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself.

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance, covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we can send you. Otherwise, you can take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity cycle ride in Costa Rica. British nationals don't need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You can stay as a visitor for up to three months.

Travel Insurance
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance upon registering for this challenge, covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. We advise you to arrange personal travel insurance as soon as possible after you register to ensure you have coverage for your booking as well as the cycling challenge in Costa Rica itself.

Once you register, you will receive information about an insurance provider that specialises in our type of challenges and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. You can, however, take arrange insurance with another provider, as long as it covers you for a charity bike ride in Costa Rica.

Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate coverage for your challenge.

It is your responsibility to obtain a visa for Costa Rica if you need one. Ensure that you apply and obtain your visa in plenty of time. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica

The Dream Challenges team will support you throughout your charity challenge, from the moment you register until the weeks after you return. We are always on hand to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the bike ride itself.

Once you have registered, we will send you regular email updates with everything you need to know about your cycle in Costa Rica, including the itinerary, an example insurance policy, the structure of an average cycling day, a full kit list, and a realistic training plan. The training programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer. We'll also send you important details and seasonal fundraising ideas.

During the cycle, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group at all times, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid-trained challenge guides.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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