Bike Tour To Panama City: Get to Nicoya

    August 31, 2013 | By | Reply More

    We set off to do something that we’re not quite sure if we can do. We’re just average dudes with no cycling experience, but we took on the challenge to bike to Panama City. Can we do this? Let’s find out.

    The first day we got a late start around 10:00 a.m. The day prior we had visited a doctor to make sure that I didn’t have dengue and find out why Adam was sick. Luckily, I just had a cold. Adam on the other hand caught some virus which he got medicine for. Everything turned out fine for our first day of biking.

    Our initial goal was to go from Tamarindo to Nicoya which is about 57 km. We figure that we’d see how we feel once we got to Santa Cruz.

    Day 1: Tamarindo to Santa Cruz

    Tamarindo to Santa Cruz


    The road out of Tamarindo was paved well.


    Some of the road on the way to Santa Cruz was dirt, so it was a bit dusty as a few cars and trucks drove by.


    We took a rest every so often on the side of the road to use the washroom, drink water, and rest after biking up some hills.


    We passed several farms and saw horses and bulls.

    During one of our rest stops, we managed to broadcast live on the road.


    We made it to Santa Cruz for lunch. The gravel roads wore us out. We pulled up to the first diner we saw and grabbed a bite. After evaluating our energy, we decided to stay in town for the evening.

    Staying with strangers

    We ask the waiter where the nearest hotel was. He tells us. Minutes later he offers up a home of these two girls, whom I thought worked at the diner, saying that we can stay at their place for 5,000 Colones ($10 USD) a night per person. They asked how long we’d need a place to crash and we told ‘em it may be a night or two depending how sore our muscles felt the next day.

    We biked over to their house to check it out. I thought it was a bit strange at first how they offered up their place, but we thought it would be an interesting experience. After all, we wanted to bike around the country and interact with locals so this was the perfect opportunity. This gave us a glimpse into the Costa Rican culture that a hotel wouldn’t have.

    These people we stayed with were two friends who lived together. One had a five year old son. One girl was a bartender and the other worked at another diner.


    They had given up their beds to sleep on a full size mattress on the living room floor while we crashed in two separate rooms. I initially offered to sleep on the floor with my sleeping pad and sleeping bag, but they insisted that we use their rooms.

    Kilometers biked: 35.4

    Day 2: Rest and recovery day

    We woke up late the next morning with our bodies feeling sore. There was no way we would be able to ride.

    We went to lunch with our new friends at the diner we all met at. The kid kept wanting to play games on my iPhone, so I downloaded Angry Birds.

    Adam lost a screw on his bike rack, so we had to run to the hardware store.


    One of the roomies took us around town.


    They showed us their church.


    They took us to the park.


    This kid was hilarious.


    Later that evening, Adam and I invited them out for dinner at a bar near their house. They were nice people. They opened up their home to us to make a few bucks and gave us a safe place to stay.

    Day 3: Santa Cruz to Nicoya

    Santa Cruz to Nicoya

    After resting a whole day, we were ready to hit the road for a shorter bike ride. Our goal was just to get to Nicoya.


    We started our morning around 8:00 a.m. It was slightly raining, but we stuck to our plan to leave Santa Cruz.


    The countryside is beautiful with bright green grass.


    I had to stop and take a pic in front of the sign to Nicoya. The road from Santa Cruz to Nicoya was narrower than Tamarindo to Santa Cruz.


    The weather eventually cleared up. We made it into town around 11:00 a.m.

    Here is an update to wrap up day three of biking.

    Kilometers biked: 22.6

    Total kilometers biked: 58

    Lesson learned

    The road from Tamarindo to Nicoya wasn’t so bad. It was a mix terrain of gravel and pavement with a few hills. There were more cars than trucks and most drivers gave us space on the road.

    We passed by several stores in the towns along the route so finding water, Gatorade, snacks, or a restaurant is fairly easy.

    We have too much weight on our bikes. Adam has a tent and a sleeping pad on the front of his bike which causes sterling instability. I just have a lot of weight on the back of my bike because I’m traveling with my Macbook Pro which is 5 lbs and a four season tent that is about 10 lbs. We have to figure out what to get rid of.

    Track our location

    Track our progress to to Panama City.

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