Guanacaste is a get-outdoors, enjoy-the-sun, Mother-Nature kind of place. And so, it should be no surprise that one of our favorite activities is mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

And by “our,” I mean a lot of us. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Costa Rica and call Guanacaste home – well, we love an excuse to grab our bikes and pedal into something new to explore, another view to appreciate, and another hidden gem to discover.

This is a tough post to write because there are just so many places to bike in our area. From formal trails to country roads, and private tracks to public parks, Costa Rica’s north-Pacific coast is a veritable web of paths, trails, and tracks that bid you rise to the challenge, test your skills, and increase your endurance. With that said, here are five of our favorites (in alphabetical order):

Hacienda Pinilla Bike Trails

Location: Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas

Trail Type: Mountain Bike, Coastal

Mileage: 28+ miles / 45+ kms

Hacienda Pinilla mountain biking in Costa Rica

Credit Photo: Hacienda Pinilla

If you’re looking for a community built around the outdoor lifestyle, including mountain biking, then look no further than the beloved Hacienda Pinilla. Unfolding over 4,500 acres of historic ranch land, the community has carved out 45 kilometers of scenic routes, challenging tracks, and enjoyable rides for everyone from beginners to experts alike.

Easily some of the best mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the community’s trails chase the sun-dappled coast from the resort, into the forest, down to the coastline, and back into the cattle ranch. It’s scenic, it’s spectacular, and best of all, there’s a perfect run for any day and any mood – whether you’re after gorgeous landscapes or are tempted to push your skill and endurance to the max.

There are also several kilometers of bike-friendly farm roads, if you’re seeking an easier day or prefer a road bike. And if you’re of a competitive mindset (and not just against your own PR), know that Hacienda Pinilla hosts national mountain biking competitions, including Guanaride, one of our region’s most challenging. Rentals and other services are available with Bikecraft, the community’s onsite outfitter.

Las Catalinas Bike Trails

Location: Las Catalinas, Playa Danta / Playa Dantita

Trail Type: Mountain Bike, Coastal

Mileage: 26+ miles / 42+ kms

Las Catalinas mountain biking trails Costa RicaThe community of Las Catalinas is known as one of our area’s best for its world-class hiking, running, and mountain biking trails, which are a major draw for many residents.

Among their offerings are both multi-use trails and 13.7 miles (22+ kilometers) of world-class, single-track biking trails that descend into shaded valleys and ascend to coastal views and scenic hilltops, often ushering you through forest home to monkeys, coatis, deer, and other local wildlife.

These are some of the top choices for mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica: sustainably built trails with a moderate grade, to create exhilarating rides and incredible “flow” riding, complete with all your favorite roller coasters and swoops, minus the sustained climbs. Onsite outfitter Pura Vida Ride provides everything from bike rentals and tours to repairs and guidance.

Nicoya “Bikepacking” Route

Location: Brasilito to Malpais

Trail Type: Mountain Bike, Coastal

Distance: 115+ miles / 185+ kms

mountain biking Nicoya coast

Before we get into it, let’s get this out of the way: You don’t have to take this route in a single shot. In fact, we recommend you don’t! In addition to the hot days cramping your progress (and muscles), you’re not here to rush through this beautiful stretch of coastline. Take your time!

With that out of the way, know that the Nicoya Bikepacking Route is a new(er) challenge that traverses much of the Nicoya Peninsula – and is a multi-day, easy highlight of mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica! (Although you should know that, technically, it travels from Guanacaste province into Puntarenas province.)

The Nicoya Peninsula offers a scenic balance of grinding gravel roads and beach riding, with superb views, challenging hills, and country roads that will have you stopping frequently for photos, beach appreciation, and water breaks.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Location: Las Pailas sector

Trail Type: Mountain Bike, Volcano

Mileage: 100+ miles

Rincon de la Vieja mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

On the slopes of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, you’ll find some truly incredible mountain biking opportunities – and a little something challenging for every type of rider, from beginner to expert, casual to competitive.

The catch is that, unlike some of the other locations on our list, there’s no one, single trail: There are several privately maintained trail systems, plus a national park and farm trails that dapple the volcano’s slopes. This is the kind of place where you pull out your favorite trail app and see what appeals.

To whet your appetite, beginner and intermediate riders love the trails at Hacienda Guachipelín. Here, you can traverse up to 30 kilometers (19 miles) of exhilaration, in the form of mountain biking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica: shaded, single-track trails that climb through both lush rainforest and almost moon-like barren landscapes, taking you to waterfalls and through habitats that house everything from armadillos and coatimundi to monkeys and sloths.

If you’re after a serious challenge, check out the route that Costa Rica’s Rincon de La Vieja Challenge MTB 100 takes. It climbs over 9,500 feet for 100 miles, pairing steep climbs with white-knuckle descents, water crossings with volcanic steam, and a lot more. Be aware that this is a serious, experts-only challenge and a major feather in any MTBer’s cap!

Tamarindo to Playa Junquillal (loop)

Location: Tamarindo to Playa Junquillal (southern Guanacaste)

Trail Type: Mountain Bike, Coastal

Mileage: 50+ miles / 80+ kms

Tamarindo mountain biking trails

Here’s the truth: You and your mountain bike will love Guanacaste’s coast. That’s because there are MTB opportunities almost everywhere; pair Costa Rica’s rustic roads (and countryside) with gorgeous views, and it all becomes a constant invitation to get out and ride.

But let’s say you’re looking for a good starting point. If you are, we’ll gladly point you in the direction of Playa Junquillal. Between the road, single-track trail through the forest, and the beach, the route from Tamarindo to Junquillal (and back again) offers steep ascents and thrilling downhills, with a ride through forest, field, and beach.

Tip: Don’t get this ride confused with the other Playa Junquillal, located in northern Guanacaste. That one spans about 21 miles / 35 kilometers and connects that Junquillal with Playa Rajada – an incredibly secluded, scenic spot perfect for watching seabirds and having the beach all to yourself.

Live Here, Bike That: Planning to You Call Tamarindo Home?

Living in CR mountain biking

Calling Tamarindo and Costa Rica home opens up a whole new world of possibilities to hike, experience, and explore.

Helping you get from today to tomorrow – from dreams to setting down roots in paradise – just happens to be one of our fortes. At Blue Water Properties, we are happy to help you in any way we can. We can talk about locations and costs of living, schools and, yes, our favorite mountain biking spots. We can refer you to residency attorneys or other sources of information, and share our own experiences and lessons learned.

As a company and as people, we thrive on relationships and promise the fastest communication and best services in the industry. And that begins with lots of information. We are happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction, even if you’re only in the beginning phases of planning your future move.

We’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate, from condos and homes to land and businesses for sale. So, go ahead – try us. Give us a chance to show off our expertise – and wow you with the possibilities! We look forward to it.