Sayonara, Winter. Hello, Costa Rica.

3 friends, 111 miles, 1 incredible bikepacking adventure

On my neverending quest for year-round biking, I decided to escape the dreary grasp of winter in the Pacific Northwest by venturing south—way south—to Costa Rica. I quickly found myself in heaven, living, riding, and building trails in Las Catalinas, a sustainable beach village on the country’s northwest coast with over 11 miles of flowy singletrack accessible right from town.

It wasn’t long before plans for a bikepacking trip hatched due to the area’s warm tropical weather and infrequent rains. Leaving from home base on the north end of the Nicoya Peninsula, two friends and I set off to make the 111-mile, 6-day-long trip to the point’s southern tip, sleeping on the beach each night.

Our goal was simple: enjoy the ride, disconnect from the electronic world, and spend our off-bike time in the water, napping, or stuffing our faces at local family-run restaurants called Sodas. We set a mellow pace of 25 miles per day and just tried to enjoy our time on the saddle, avoiding the scorching afternoon heat.

The ride was incredibly unique, with a vast majority of the route following the beach. We did venture inland in a few spots, too, glimpsing part of the Costa Rican countryside most tourists don’t experience. Taking a more untraditional route helped us to really feel immersed in the local Tico culture, slowing the pace of life and embodying the pura vida lifestyle!

Here, I’m prepping my Wyatt fatbike for the 111-mile trek down the Nicoya Peninsula.

Day 1 started with a quick ferry ride across a crocodile-infested inlet to Tamarindo.

We even found a little singletrack to ride just off the beach near Playa Langosta.

Costa Rica is known for its world-class surf—sunset session is on!

Day 2: The waves were kicking in the morning, as we headed to Playa Ostional.

Nighttime was spent relaxing, star gazing, and stretching our minds and bodies.

On the road to Nosara, my favorite times were the sunrise and sunset.

Many of the beaches were nesting grounds for turtles, the allusive turtle…

Every morning we woke with incredible lighting and beach cruises.

After a chill day on country roads, we stopped in Playa Garza for a local meal.

Then, we landed in Playa Garza early for a day of drying salty clothes and hunting sea shells.

Day 3 was the best: Camp was under a grove of palm trees next to turquoise water.

We reached Samara, a little hippy town with a positive vibe influence, in the morning.

Stopping for a sunglasses purchase in traditional-style buildings, time for a pic!

Day 4: One of the hardest climbs was almost 900 feet of gain in under 2 miles.

The crew split a full watermelon to hydrate after that killer hill in Playa Islita.

Playa Islita was a beautiful art influenced town with a green grassy park at the center of town.

Day 5: The final stretch, pull that bag tight and saddle up.

Hills were a constant during the trip when we were on the beach but boy was the view gorgeous.

The houses were bright and colorful, and the flowers popped, distracting from the brown of the dry season.

The final stretch was scorching, and we were happy to stumble upon a refreshing hostel where we found the first wifi hotspot.

We made it and celebrated with a relaxing tide pool soak and, of course, a couple beers.

The mornings were absolutely stunning. Planning how to get home, we chose to splurge and rent a car over suffering a long bus ride home.

The bikes were just as dirty as us, but showers were on the way.

I’m not sure how we made this work: three bikes and three people in a little Terio! Time to head home.

All photos by Riley Seebeck / Flowphoto Co.

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