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ATV adventure in Costa Rica

Four wheelers provide an exhilarating experience while exploring otherwise hard-to-reach mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches.

Thrills ahead? The country’s terrain is ideal for four wheeling. Head out on one’s own or take a guided tour of fascinating destinations. Beaches including Jaco, Conchal, Flamingo, Tamarindo, Nosara, Manuel Antonio, as well as La Fortuna, Arenal, and Monteverde among others offer interesting scenery.

Many tourist centers offer trails for ATVs. In Miramar, Puntarenas, there are three types of trails. The first is muddy and winds through the trees, the second crosses over a stone bridge, and the third offers views of the forest and the Nicoya gulf.

Another option is the trail in Cartago, a challenging and complex terrain used for motocross, four wheeling and cross country.

Championships, Rallies, and Excursions

The following communities organize rally competitions for tourists: Altamira de Aguas Zarcas, La Marina and Almendros de Cutris, in San Carlos; Upala, Caño Ciego de Guatuso and San Gerardo de Rio Cuarto de Grecia, are all in Alajuela.

Forest country

While enjoying the Arenal countryside, riders can travel through exotic tropical plantations and observe the majestic La Fortuna waterfall and even take a quick dip in approved areas. The experience in the Monteverde rainforest includes riding through creeks and mud with winding and rocky trails. The craggy mountains of Quepos provide tropical rustic trails, unpaved roads, huge African palm plantations, cattle farms, and small towns like Naranjito and Villanueva which sell traditional products. Muddy trails, clear water creeks, and winding trails through the mountains are all part of the excursions.

Adventure in the sand

The Pacific coast provides the ideal scenery for families who wish to enjoy beautiful excursions through the mountains and appreciate beaches like Tamarindo, Capitan Island, Playa Grande, and Langosta as well as impressive sunsets. Four wheeler tours are provided along with other adventure sports like canopy and surfing, among others. The small fishing town at Playa Dominical is now one of the preferred destinations for experienced surfers as well as four wheeler excursions.

Around the Central Valley

South of the capital, some 40 minutes from San Jose, traveling through Aserri, marvelous views from the highway are hard to miss. From its peak at 8,200 ft., on a clear day, one can see the Central Valley and three volcanos: the Poas, Barva, and Irazu volcanoes. On the other side of the city, in the hills of Escazu, visits to coffee plantations near a primary forest offer an abundance of flora and fauna sightings. All out adrenaline!

For your safety

  • Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing (boots and gloves).
  • Avoid paved roads that can affect handling.
  • Do not remove your feet from the foot rests as it can cause you to lose balance.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires and make sure the nuts of the hub cap are tight.
  • Maintain the oil and fuel levels so they don’t run low.
  • Avoid excessive braking when turning or going over slippery surfaces.
  • For maximum enjoyment, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terrain and the functions of the vehicle. It is not a toy! That’s why it is advisable to travel with an experienced guide. It is not recommendable to take seldom used routes.
  • Avoid dangerous slopes with loose sand.
  • Preserve the environment by minimizing exhaust fumes.
  • Be sure the tour company has a civil responsibility policy.
  • Rentals to minors are not allowed.
  • Avoid heavily trafficked beaches and roads.
  • With respect to group tours, it is recommended to have one guide in front of the pack and one in the back. Assistant vehicles should accompany very large groups that are equipped with radios and cell phones.
  • Ask if the company has a protocol in case of emergency. Safety is top priority.


Costa Rica's best places for ATV adventures


On the map you'll find Costa Rica's tourism regions, where you can participate in these activities. For more information on any of these activities, contact your travel agent or hotel.

Planning your Trip to Costa Rica

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