Nicaragua to Costa Rica Cycle 2017


Event type
Cycling, Overseas

Minimum fundraising
Registration fee
Minimum age

You must be 18 years old to register for this event.

0845 052 4184

Starting in the graceful colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua and ending in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica. Our route takes us through some of the most beautiful scenery in Central America. We ride past smoking volcanoes, pristine beaches and around National Parks.

The first three days will see you pedal through Nicaragua taking in views of Lake Nicaragua and white sandy beaches before crossing over into Costa Rica for your last two days of challenging biking as you cycle around one of Costa Rica's most active volcano's the Arenal.

This unforgettable 390km bike challenge is an adventurous and exciting way to see the best of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, an experience not to be missed.

Sorry, online registration is no longer available for this event. Please contact us on or call us on 0845 052 4184.

Why cycle with Marie Curie?

By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. When you join us you will benefit from:

  • Training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for the big challenge
  • Lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack. If you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check these ideas out. 
  • Access to a local community fundraiser who will advise you and help you smash your target
  • Two Marie Curie representatives who will cycle the entire journey, join you on a training day and organise a post-cycle reunion
  • A brightly coloured Marie Curie cycle jersey
  • Want to know what a Marie Curie cycle is really like? Mark completed our 411 mile Niagara Falls to New York Cycle Challenge this September and shared a daily diary of why he loved his experience on the road. Read Mark's blog.

Frequently asked questions

Here’s what you’ll be doing on the cycle:

Day 1: Depart London to Nicaragua

Arrive to Managua International Airport. We will get picked up and transferred to our hotel in Granada Colonial City. This is Nicaragua’s oldest city full of bright colours, interesting history, lake breezes, and the sounds of horse-drawn carriages.

Tonight we will have a briefing about the challenge ahead.

Day 2: Bike Granada to Jinotepe - 46km (600m climb)

We start by pedalling out of Granada on a tarmac road to San Juan de Oriente known for its ceramic art. Here we visit a local school of art. We then continue along ‘La Meseta de Los Pueblos’ passing through the local villages. The terrain is undulating this afternoon but we are heading uphill overall. We will arrive into Jinotepe and then cycle a further 2km to the hotel.

Day 3: Bike Jinotepe to Costa Nera - 57km (600m climb, 1,100m descent)

After an early breakfast we continue on small roads with undulations, steep ascents and descents down to sea level where we can smell the sea air of the Pacific Ocean. We have our first tough off-road section, then lunch in a local farm where we have the opportunity to contribute development and sustainability of the area by planting a tree. This will be tagged with your name or in memoriam of someone special. We cross a few river beds and cycle through trees and agricultural land down to the coast and our hotel for the night.

Day 4: Bike Costa Nera to Rivas (transfer to Cañas) 50km

We start the day on dirt road – largely flat but with a few undulations. We experience more traffic than we have for the last few days until we hit the cobbled roads and the ascents leading us away from the coast. We will arrive into Rivas for lunch and then we will transfer across the border and onto Cañas where we will spend our first night in Costa Rica.

Day 5: Cañas to Tilaran - 45km (1139m climb, 826m descent)

The toughest day of the cycle challenge. A mixture of loose gravel and rocky off-road sections, with some areas exposed to the elements, so it can be quite windy with no shade. We will climb most of the morning, with amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes, until we reach the tarmac road again. Climbing initially, before the last descent of the day to Arenal Lake and onto the accommodation for the evening.

Day 6: Tilaranto La Fortuna - 78km (1602m climb, 1923 descent)

Our final day in the saddle! Today we will cycle to La Fortuna, with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano. We will pass rural towns, cattle pasture areas, taking in the breath-taking scenery before reaching the iconic Arenal Volcano. Standing at 5,437 feet, the Arenal Volcano looms large and ominous over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base. It is one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes.

Tonight we will celebrate our incredible achievement with a gala dinner and stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 7: Depart Costa Rica to London

After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for our return flight back to London.

Day 8: Arrive London

 *This itinerary is complex and subject to change

Do I need to sign up online?

Signing up online is quick and easy   to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available   to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?

Who can take part?

You must be 18 years old or over to take part. The group size will be approximately 50-60 with people of all ages from all backgrounds. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives.

How fit do I have to be?

This is a challenging trip and you will need to train extremely hard to succeed. All our challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part – the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure.

Will I need specialist kit?

We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.

What is not included in the package?

  • Registration fee
  • Recommended vaccinations
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Cycling helmet

What food and drink will there be?

Bottled water is provided throughout the trip.

All meals are provided on the challenge and will include lots of carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes along with cereals, bread, fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs, plus some meat. There will be vegetarian options at every meal. Feel free to bring a few of your favourite snacks too. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.

What about vaccinations?

As a guide, typhoid, diptheria and hepatitis A vaccinations are advisable, and tetanus and polio vaccinations should be up to date. You are advised to seek professional medical advice from your GP.

How will I be supported?

Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other participants and hear more about the challenge.

During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a qualified medic and cycle leader, as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported to each night’s hotel.

Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?

We ask you to raise a minimum of £3,640. A minimum of £2,149 * will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0845 052 4184 for further information.

What will the weather be like?

February is a dry season month. We can expect to enjoy 10-11 hours of sunshine a day. The rainfall is also almost non-existent. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit).

Passports and visas

Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK.

Can I extend my stay?

Anyone wanting to stay on after the challenge can arrange to do so through Ultimate Travel at a cost and subject to availability.

Do overseas challenges damage the environment?

Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, Ultimate Travel, which will provide guidelines on responsible tourism. They offer a carbon offset scheme for anyone who wishes to offset their flights.

What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?

We require the 80% minimum of £3,640 (£2,912) by 25 November 2016. The remainder of the sponsorship is due 4 weeks after you return from the event.

Further questions

If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0845 052 4184 or email

Calls to 0845 numbers cost no more than 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.