Updated on January 6, 2021

The most developed country in Central America is also one of the most fascinating in the area. Here, backpackers and bike tourers will have to control their expenses closely if they want to stay within their travel budget, as prices are considerably higher than in the neighboring countries.

Costa Rica is a country of the colorful animals, pristine jungles and friendly locals. Those cycling around the country will find places to camp every night very easily: fire-fighters, warmshowers hots and locals alike will welcome you in any corner of the country.

The downside is that the chances of exploring the National Parks on your own are hard to find. Most of the parks have high entrance fees and a guide service is normally required. Even our long awaited visit to Corcovado couldn’t happen as, from February 2014, an expensive guide service is also required to explore the park.

Apart from that, we enjoyed Costa Rica a lot. The costs are PER PERSON and in USD (american dollars). Although not as cheap as Guatemala or Nicaragua, it is possible to travel on a budget in Costa Rica. It was the country where we spent the least. Only 6 USD per day! Keep reading to find out how we did it.



Total: 20 Days

Cycling days: 13 Days

Rest days: 7 Days

Total pedalled: 698 Kms (433 mi)

Kms/day: 34.90 Kms (21.6 mi)

Kms/cycling days: 53.6 Kms (33.3 mi)


We decided to focus on the West-Pacific side of the country. The panamerican highway runs along the coast sometimes with more traffic than oters. The busiest sections are between Sparza and the border with Nicaragua. Further south, the traffic decreases along the coast making the cycling very pleasant. The roads around playa Junquillal and Osa Peninsula were our favorite detours. You can check the route we followed here.


Travel Budget of Bicycle Touring in Costa Rica



Total Spent: 120.25 USD

Average spent per day: 6.01 USD


Total Spent: 36.00 USD

Average spent per day: 1.80 USD


Total Spent: 76.75 USD

Average spent per day: 3.83 USD


Total Spent: 7.50 USD

Average spent per day: 0.37 USD

A set traditional meal at one of the “sodas” around the country will cost you 5-6 dollars and a bit more in tourist areas. Cooking your own meals won’t be cheap either as supermarkets in Costa Rica have similar prices (or even higher) to those in Europe or USA.


Travel Budget of Cycling Costa Rica



Total : 20 Days

Days paid to sleep: 4 Days

Days not paid to sleep 16 Days

Showers: 17 (We are way too clean!)

Hostel-hotel : 3 Days

Host – Friends: 8 Days

Place : 6 Days

Camping: 3 Days

  • Paid: 1 Day
  • Unpaid: 2 Days




Hostels in Costa Rica are more expensive than in the other countries in Central America. The cheapest room we found was 20 USD for a double. With these prices we ended up sleeping in our tent most of the time. Ticos are really friendly and they never turned us down when we asked permission to camp for the night.



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7 Responses

  1. Nichelle

    Wow, you rock it! Thirteen days of cycling – that must have been so tiring. Indeed, cycling tour can be more budget-friendly and adventurous. Good luck to more of your travels. 🙂

    • Antonio Cala

      Thanks Nichelle,

      Yes, cycle touring is the way to go if you want to cut costs down. And you never know where you’ll sleep or eat making the trip a whole adventure!

  2. Nelson

    Hola Antonio:

    Gracias por el post, me ha sido muy útil. Yo iré a CR en Abril y pienso pedalear desde Volcán Poás hasta Rivas, Nicaragua. Nunca he acampado durante mis viajes en bici, pero es una experiencia que deseo, así que te quería preguntar tips de cómo escogen sus lugares para camping, es decir, preguntan en alguna casa como decías en el post, o simplemente buscan un área verde linda alejada del tráfico. No sabría tampoco si en CR lo permitan,

    Gracias y un saludo desde México, yo vivo en Huasca, en el Parque Nacional El Chico, Hidalgo. Si algún día vienen, acá tiene una casa. 🙂

    • Antonio Cala

      Buenas Nelson,
      Lo mejor es siempre preguntar a los locales y pedir permiso. No te aconsejarĂ­a acampar en cualquier lugar sin preguntarle a nadie, ya que puedes estar en una propiedad privada sin saberlo y podrĂ­as tener problemas.
      Nosotros siempre nos dejaron acampar cuando lo preguntamos.

      Saludos y buen viaje!