Cycle with us on the Ruta Maya: a 2,700 km bicycle expedition through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala & Belize. Amble through the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Copan & Lamani. Pedal through small villages, colourful markets, the amazing colonial architecture of Granada, Nicaragua’s former capital, rainforests and bustling cities. Gaze up at towering volcanoes – some currently active like Costa Rica’s Volcan Arenal. Laze away on sun-drenched beaches or try your luck at spotting the most beautiful of birds, the Quetzal, Guatemala’s national symbol.
The cycling will be challenging with many gorgeous climbs and, thankfully, an equal number of stunning descents. Our route takes us through misty rainforests, and past smoking volcanoes, roaring waterfalls, crater lakes, hot springs & deserted beaches; largely along little-used back roads, many of these unpaved.
We start this section by pedaling up and out of San Jose on beautiful switchbacks. The air gets cooler and more refreshing as we spin past waterfalls and extinct volcanoes.
Then we glide down into our first rest day at La Fortuna. Here you can experience the amazing sight of Volcan Arenal – ash and lava spewing out each day.
Then we head northwest towards the Pacific, camping in the spectacular Santa Rosa National Park before crossing the border into Nicaragua and relaxing at the amazing white sand beaches at San Juan del Sur. A short ride takes us to our next rest day in Nicaragua’s first capital, Granada.
Hopefully everyone is well-rested as the tour now pedals north into some gorgeous but mountainous terrain. Five challenging but rewarding days take us across the next border into Honduras and the end of the section in the brash, chaotic city of Tegucigalpa.
The tour now heads out through the impressive Montanas de la Sierra, winding along mountain roads, threading through small villages with a featured stop at the colourful weekend market in La Esperanza and ending with 2 rest days in Copan Ruinas. Here you can spend a day exploring the nearby impressive Mayan ruins.
The riders now face another tough 4 day stretch across the Jalapa region of central Guatemala; mountains, dirt roads and rushing rivers. Beautiful. On the last day we cycle into the charming colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, the country’s capital from 1541 until it was destroyed in a 1773 earthquake. Here the riders will enjoy a well-earned rest day as the second section comes to a close.
The first day’s ride takes us, after an amazing 10km descent, to the shores of volcano-ringed Lago de Atitlan, one of the world’s most beautiful sites, and into the friendly town of Panajachel. A rest day at the lake is followed by two stunning rides climbing and descending through the hills and along the rivers north of Panajachel. Your reward for this effort is a rest day in the alpine town of Santa Anna Verapaz. The cyclists now speed north and drop down out of the hills and onto the plains and farmlands of Northern Guatemala. Three days take us to a rest day in Flores on the shores of Lake Peten Itza. On your rest day here you can arrange to visit the most impressive of all Mayan ruins at Tikal. Finally, the tour turns east and crosses the border into Belize, arriving at the crystal clear, warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and a boat transfer out to car-free Caye Caulker.