Recommended Mountain Bike (MTB) Routes in Monteverde
Recommended Mountain Bike (MTB) Routes in Monteverde
Mountain biking in Monteverde, Costa Rica, is enjoyable. The views, the downhills, and the challenging climbs make Monteverde a premier location for MTB in the country. I have been mountain biking in Monteverde for the last decade, and there is no trail, no offroad, and no climb. I don’t know, and in this post, I will share with you six popular routes mountain bikers in Monteverde do routinely. I will also share the links to download the GPX files from Strava, so you can add the routes to your cycling computer to follow along.
The following are the recommended Mountain Bike (MTB) routes in Monteverde, Costa Rica:
- Los Llanos
- La Lindora
- San Luis Valley
- Cerro Pinocho
- El Dos de Tilarán
- Las Juntas
The above-recommended MTB routes are mostly for experienced riders. They are listed in ascending order of difficulty, where the first one, Los Llanos, is recommended to anyone with basic experience riding mountain bikes. On the other hand, the last one, Las Juntas, is only suitable for those riders in top physical condition.
Let’s go over each of those routes, so you can see which ones are suitable for you.
Please note all the routes start from the same location, near Hotel El Bosque Monteverde.
We start with the easiest one, Los Llanos, recommended for riders from levels. This route of approximately 14 kilometers with 300 meters of accumulated ascent could be classified as quite smooth in our area. If you only use your bicycle every once in a while, I recommend you start with this route to gauge your performance in the area, considering that Monteverde is 1,400 meters above sea level, where the air can feel heavier.
Next is La Lindora, an incredible route of 20 kilometers with 900 meters of accumulated ascent, featuring beautiful views of the top of the San Luis trail (be careful when going down the trail!) That takes you halfway across a river to start to climb a kilometer-long wall with an average 19% incline with loose stone. If you go up the entire hill sitting down, you will have our admiration, as it is a challenge even for most locals.
San Luis Valley
Next on the list is San Luis Valley, a route similar to that of La Lindora, with the same spectacular views and the same descent from Monteverde to San Luis, except that this time you will continue descending until you reach the lowest point of the San Luis Valley, 700 meters above sea level, to eventually head to the main Monteverde highway (the 606 that goes up from the General Cañas highway to Monteverde). This route covers a little more terrain (24 kilometers) and involves more accumulated ascent (1,200 meters).
As you start descending from Monteverde to San Luis, you will see the San Luis Viewpoint on the right, which is one of the free places to visit that I recommend in my article Free Activities to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Next is Cerro Pinocho, a favorite route of many locals for its wonderful landscapes in the middle of “nowhere.” This route of approximately 30 kilometers maintains the line of incredible views that can be seen in Monteverde and includes a terrific descent through secondary roads surrounded by farms until reaching the ravine to climb through Cebadilla to Cañitas eventually, and from there to Santa Elena and Monteverde to complete a cumulative ascent of about 1,100 meters.
El Dos de Tilarán
Next is El Dos de Tilarán, a tough ride. The difficult rides begin with this route of 41 kilometers and a total ascent of 1,300 meters, which combines different micro-climates of the different areas you will visit. The weather starts cold in Monteverde and then reaches La Esperanza’s heat, followed by strong, cool winds at San Rafael.
If you don’t train frequently, go there with someone following you on a vehicle. You will go down the main road that leads to Tilarán until you reach La Esperanza, where a hot climb of 3 kilometers awaits you with an average incline of 10% until you reach Candelaria, and then cross the rolling terrain of San Rafael that will take you back to Cañitas, Santa Elena and Monteverde.
The route to Las Juntas is at another level. If you are in excellent condition, a challenge of about 60 kilometers awaits you with approximately 1,900 meters of accumulated ascent. You start with an epic descent of about an hour and a half with a couple of steep climbs. You will descend from 1,400 meters in Monteverde to almost sea level in Las Juntas, through Punta de Plancha, and descending through Los Portones (watch out for that descent, you can reach dangerous speeds, so take it easy!). Once you reach Las Juntas, the way back is a monstrous 25-kilometer climb back to Monteverde. Definitely recommended for those in excellent physical condition. Quite a physical and mental test and an epic journey that you will remember for a long time.
Are you up for the challenge?
Bring your mountain bike to Monteverde, Costa Rica, and discover the amazing rides above.
Just download the GPX files to your cycling computer and follow along.
About the Author
I am the founder of Monteverde Tours Online. I live in Monteverde, and I love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time in the outdoors and dining out in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, no coffee shop, and no restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!
We love helping visitors, connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.
If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you!