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Motorcycle Tour in Costa Rica and Panama

This ride is a long and scenic trip where you will experience two different cultures. Start riding across the Manuel Antonio National Park to reach the Caribbean Coast and then cross the border to experience a short visit to Panama. In Panama, visit Chiriqui highlands, Panama Canal, and el Valle del Anton. Then, go back to Costa Rica riding through long golden beaches, tropical rainforest, and volcanoes. You will experience nature 24/7 for you and your friends looking for an unforgettable vacation!

Key information

  • Terrain: mostly asphalt
  • Bike: rental bike (BMW models)
  • Total mileage: approximately 2,472 kilometers / 1,536 miles
  • Riding gear: not included: helmet, riding gear, jacket, leather boots. Please bring your own.
  • Meals: 10 breakfasts

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Ride to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park
  • See fascinating views of vessels passing the Panama Canal
  • Enjoy the cool mountain weather in Boquete
  • Explore the lively and vibrant Panama City
  • 10 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


9 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: Minimum of 4 participants
Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport
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Accommodation

Costa Rica BMW Tours strives to provide riders with an authentic Costa Rica experience which means selecting lodging that is less pretentious steering clear of the "mega resort" scene (in other words, leave your golf clubs at home).

Costa Rica BMW Tours has carefully selected hotels, lodges, and quaint bed and breakfast where riders will receive fine service and attention is a setting that is guaranteed to make your holiday one to remember.

Daily accommodations

  • Day 1 - Studio Hotel in a standard room
  • Day 2 - El Parador Hotel in a garden room
  • Day 3 - Casa Grande Bambito in a garden suite
  • Day 4 - Tryp Panama Centro in a standard room
  • Day 5 - Tryp Panama Centro in a standard room
  • Day 6 - Park del Eden in a standard room
  • Day 7 - Riverside Inn in a deluxe room
  • Day 8 - Le Cameleon in a deluxe room
  • Day 9 - Arenal Manoa in a junior suite room
  • Day 10 - Studio Hotel in a standard room

Program

Day 1: San Jose

Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to hotel for your first night. You will overnight at Studio Hotel in a standard room with breakfast.

Day 2: San Jose - Manuel Antonio

Early in the morning, you will go pick up your bike. For a longer ride, take the Panamerican Highway #1 north towards San Ramon / Puntarenas. You will pass the international airport and the exit on your right to Alajuela downtown. Keep driving on the highway north until the first main exit on your right which has a sign that says: Atenas, Orotina , Jaco, Quepos until you reach and ride to Manuel Antonio.

The place is considered to be Costa Rica’s most beautiful park, with enchanting white-sand beaches ideal for swimming, and tropical rainforest forest alive with wildlife. Watch for the monkeys and iguanas who share the park with you. You will overnight at El Parador Hotel in a garden room with breakfast.

Day 3: Manuel Antonio - Volcán

You will have an early start riding to the south border of Costa Rica. You cross the border, if you are lucky you will do the paperwork fast enough to continue to Chiriqui Highlands, until you reach Volcán.

The community of Bambito is located in the region known as “Chiriqui Highlands”, at a distance of 495 kilometers from Panama City. It has an elevation of 1,600 meters above the sea level, surrounded by nature and an average 65°F temperature all year round. Its landscape is composed of green mountains and the serenity of Chiriqui Viejo river that will give you a “welcome home feeling”. You will overnight at Casa Grande Bambito in a garden suite with breakfast.

Day 4: Volcán - Panama City

Continue riding to Panama City. Panama City is the capital and largest city in the country. It is home to a diverse blend of cultures and an enormous historical sector in the Old City. The lively and vibrant banking district on the other hand is very modern and often compared to Miami. Panama City is a thrilling location you will surely enjoy during your visit to this gorgeous country. You will overnight at the Tryp Panama Centro in a standard room with breakfast.

Day 5: Panama City Tour and Miraflores locks

You will start the tour with a 30 minutes’ drive to Miraflores to see the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. You will enjoy the view on the Locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide.

To complete the visit of the Canal you will visit the Museum and Visitor Center at Miraflores which gives you a good idea on the construction of the Canal – a masterpiece of engineering. You will also learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project.

After the visit to the Canal you continue with your guide to the Amador Causeway, a road that connects three islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers magnificent views on the Canal on one side and on the skyline of Panama City on the other side. The tour continues to the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter.

At the Casco Viejo you feel set back in time as you admire the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches. You will get a good idea about Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this quarter. You will overnight at the Tryp Panama Centro in a standard room with breakfast.

Day 6: Panama City - EL Valle

The drive to The Anton Valley is only 125 kilometers from Panama City. El Valle (Anton Valley) is famous for its market featuring handcrafts, fresh fruits, vegetables, and beautiful native plants such as orchids and bougainvilleas. The valley emerged from an extinct huge volcano crater. The moderate and spring-like climate makes the valley an excellent summer resort. Besides being one of the bird watching hot spots of the country, the Anton Valley offers fascinating hiking possibilities, zip line tours through the cloud and rain forest, or scenic rides on a horseback. You will overnight at Park del Eden in a standard room with breakfast.

Day 7: El Valle - Boquete

Early in the morning, continue to Chiriqui Highlands, until you reach Boquete. Tucked away on the eastern slopes of Barú Volcano at 1,200 meters is the small and charming mountain village of Boquete. Known to produce some of the sweetest oranges and richest coffees in all of Panama, Boquete is quickly becoming a destination for those visitors seeking the sunniest though cool mountain weather. Boquete's healthy climate has prompted many to believe it is the secret to longevity, since many native Boqueteños have lived well on past their one-hundredth birthday. You will overnight at Riverside Inn in a deluxe room with breakfast.

Day 8: Boquete - Puerto Viejo

Get an early start riding to the south border of Costa Rica. Once you get to the Sixaola border, you must cross the famous railroad bridge. Sometimes you will have to get off the bike and cross the bridge by pushing the bikes through the rails with the sometimes missing wood platform of the bridge. It will be quite an adventure!

You cross the border, if you are lucky you will do the paperwork fast enough to continue again along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Once you reach the coast, you ride along the ocean to reach the small lazy town of Puerto Viejo. Check in at the hotel. At night, a short visit to the town is a must! You will overnight at the Le Cameleon in a deluxe room with breakfast.

Day 9: Puerto Viejo - Arenal Volcano

Early in the morning, continue your ride to Arenal Paraiso Hotel, at the base of the world famous Arenal Volcano. As one of the most active volcanoes of the world, cloud forests, a lake world-famous for windsurfing, and an incredibly diverse population of wildlife is what you will find in this area. The flawless silhouette of Arenal Volcano, its loud rumblings, and frequent explosions of lava and ash are a sight not to be missed by any visitor to Costa Rica. Enjoy the hot springs located in the hotel. You will overnight at Arenal Manoa in a junior suite room with breakfast.

Day 10: Arenal Volcano - San Jose

Enjoy this morning with a canopy tour or a visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges. You will return to San Jose after lunch. You will overnight at Studio Hotel in a standard room with breakfast.

Day 11: Departure

You will get a private transfer to the international airport for your flight home.

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate

Advanced

  • can ride for five to six hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

About the road

The itineraries are designed to be almost entirely on paved roads, however, you can not experience the natural side of Costa Rica without traveling occasionally on well surfaced but unpaved roads. Some of the approaches to the lodges are not paved, however, Costa Rica BMW Tours stresses that any experienced road rider can easily handle the unpaved portions.

By design, Costa Rica BMW Tours is cautious to avoid anything which is too technical. For those who wish to explore, the KTM 640 LC4, Aprilia Pegaso 650 Trial is perfectly suited for off the beaten path tours.

Location

This tour will take you to an adventure in two countries, Costa Rica and Panama. Starting in San Jose, Costa Rica, you will head for Manuel Antonio, then cross the border into Volcan, Panama. From there, you'll go to Panama City, El Valle, Boquete, then back to Costa Rica's Puerto Viejo, located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. After that, you will visit Arenal Volcano, then the final destination, San Jose.

Costa Rica

There is something exhilarating about riding in uncharted territory. If you don´t mind a few challenging roads and getting a bit of attention from locals then this tour is for you!

Don’t miss this unforgettable adventure ride that goes from the Central to the northern areas of Costa Rica. This tour leads you from active volcanoes, narrow mountain roads through impressive scenery, to misty cloud forests and well-known beaches.

In Costa Rica, visitors will have the privilege to enjoy an assortment of sceneries and ecosystems within a very short drive: dense rainforests where electric blue Morphos and Resplendent Quetzals fly over green baby leaves and fresh flower dew.

You can find tropical dry forests where century-old trees lit the vistas with pink, yellow and orange splashes. Mystic volcanoes with smoky craters were rare sub-alpine dwarf vegetation breathe, golden coasts where surfers will slide through luscious warm sparkling waves, and deep blue waters where scuba divers will discover an enchanted world of colorful corals, green sea turtles, blue whales, and crowds of mantas.

"Ticos", as Costa Ricans are called, are open-minded, diverse, free, global, polite, courteous, calm, humble, hospitable, hard-working, and highly educated. Costa Ricans are people proud of their culture and the extraordinary natural richness that surrounds them. They are persistent in their religious convictions and very family oriented.

Costa Ricans are the result of a peaceful nation with a long democratic tradition. Costa Rica is a peaceful nation, which has always avoided conflict and any military actions. Instead, it has a conflict resolution based in negotiation and its efforts have been dedicated to developing social equality.

It is considered a progressive nation, as it has more teachers than policemen, more biological reserves than cities and endless dedication to social programs.

Panama

Each of the nine Panama provinces has rich and varied folklore and cultural traditions which are expressed through its music, dances, the cultural dress, and cuisine. As in other Latin-American countries, dances and music are an important part of Panama’s culture.

Due to the proximity to Colombia and to the Caribbean immigrants, there is, in addition to the classical Latin-American dances, a big variety of others. The well-known Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia can be heard as often as the Colombian Tipico and Vallenato, the Haitano, Jamaican Reggae, the in Panama evolved Reggaeton and, not to forget, the numerous folk dances of the indigenous tribes such as the Kuna.

Panama has a very stable economy. Due to its key location at the isthmus and the Panama Canal, Panama’s economy is very western oriented and focused on services. Within the service sector, that accounts for just under 80% of total gross domestic product, the emphasis lies in the banking and insurance industry, in commerce, and in tourism.

Panama has a rich tradition in the culinary arts. Due to its location, the country is home to a vast array of fresh and tasty fruits, herbs and vegetables as well as delicious seafood. Combine this with influences from the Native Indians, Europeans, and other Latin American countries and you have some great food in Panama! Generally, Panamanian food is safe and hygienic without any notable problems.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 10 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Motorcycle rental, LDW insurance, and unlimited mileage
  • Support vehicle for luggage or another passenger
  • Motorcycle tour guide throughout the whole itinerary
  • Taxes and service charges
  • Airport transfers

What's not included

  • 2,000 USD deposit in case of damage
  • Meals not mentioned under What's included
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • International airfare
  • Personal fees to cross the Panama/Costa Rica border

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to the airport is included.

Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
11 days / 10 nights
from --
Pricing information

Please note that you can also opt for the BMW F 700 GS:

  • Rider in double room: 5,050 USD
  • Partner sharing room with rider: 2,850 USD
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

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