UPDATED March 24, 2023

BY Michael Coo

IN Ruta Maya

no comments

UPDATED March 24, 2023

BY Michael Coo

IN Ruta Maya

no comments

The Ruta Maya – A 12 Step Programme


Feeling antsy? Got an itch you just can’t seem to scratch? Daydreaming about rice and beans and bananas? Muttering to yourself in Spanish? Checking Google flights for fares to San Jose? Been there, done that…

As a public service for all cyclists interested in cycling in Central America on the Ruta Maya, we have created a foolproof 12 step programme to assist them in dealing with their obsession – 100% guaranteed.

Enjoy the blogs and good luck to all of you!

Step 1 – The Beginning (Happy In Honduras)

We got lost one day in those hills, in a spider’s web of dirt roads. Our car broke down. Ended up somehow in the same small town 5 times during our quest to escape. The last time we stopped in to eat at the only ‘restaurant’ in town – someone’s garage.”

Step 2 – The Volcanoes  (I Think We Found The Volcanoes)

After a few brief volcano sightings earlier in the tour, our last several days have had the riders in near-constant awe of the volcanoes around us.”

Step 3 – The Rest Days  (A Rest Day On The Doomsday Ride)

It is early evening and the three volcanoes are all dressed up in fluffy clouds and a soft mist. The usually deep blue lake is drenched in crimson, buttery yellow and layers of pink as the sun sets over Guatemala’s deepest lake. A rest day in Panajachel is just one of the utterly delightful stops along the way during TDA’s La Ruta Maya.”

Step 4 – The Challenge  (A ‘Brutaful’ Ride)

On the 104km ride from Zambrano to Marcalo we climbed 2031km and descended 2155km. This was a little tough but it certainly was a spectacular ride; dipping into the valleys only to rise above the trees and be blown away by the dramatic landscapes below. We cycled in sunbeams, streaking through orange groves and as we ascended the clouds took on some unreal shapes. As we went higher still, the mist rolled in like huge barrels of cotton wool and softly enveloped us and covered us in a fine mist.”

Step 5 – The Temples  (Mayan Temple Cycling)

Imagine cycling through an ancient Mayan temple that is tucked away in a lush tropical rainforest. All you hear is your breathing and the babbling of Howler monkeys in the trees up above. The smell of damp soil and vegetation hangs heavy in the air and the cross-cross of sun and shadow throw psychedelic patterns into the jungle where, you’re almost certain, you saw the silhouette of a jaguar on the prowl.”

Step 6 – The Tour’s Two Faces  (The Jekyll & Hyde Tour)

While we marvel at the difficulty of riding on these dirt roads, the locals don’t seem too bothered. Cows, dogs, and even tuk-tuks have no problem navigating up steep, rutted, and rocky inclines.”

Step 7 – The Roads  (The Toughest Day)

The off-road cycling on this day is truly wild and spectacular. The climbs are steep and the dips even steeper. The road surfaces offer something for everyone: slick pavement, corrugate surfaces, destroyed, sections covered with loose rocks, potholes, rutted and gutted bits, sloppy muddy inclines, bridge crossings and roads with big chunks missing. It was tiring but a lot of fun.”

Step 8 – The Culture  (Condego To Yuscaran: A Cycling Journey)

After dinner some of our cyclists played games with the children of the village, sitting on the cobblestones sheets under the golden glow of the streetlights. We could have stayed here for at least another night.”

Step 9 – The Myths  (Doomsday Ride: 5 Myths Debunked)

The best experience is stopping next to the road and chopping open a fresh coconut – the ultimate naturally hydrator. The juicy mangoes and pineapples are sublime. And for the carnivores, rest assured, this is big time El Pollo (chicken) country.”

Step 10 – The Rivers  (River Crossing With A Twist)

Tour leader, Cristiano, hardly slept a wink as he listened to the rain pounding down on the roof the night before the river crossing.”

Step 11 – The Finish  (To The End Of The World – And Back)

So Central America: thank you for your endless and bittersweet curves, your unexpected hospitality and for still being our friend after we humiliated ourselves by practising our dreadful Spanglish on you. We will be back.”

Step 12 – The Verdict  (2015 Ruta Maya Cyclists Speak Out)

Good group, good leadership, good drivers. interesting route; lots of mountain country, some amazing country & spectacular views, very much off the beaten track, some great rest day places. This is a great ride in the hills of Central America. Enjoy the ride through traditional rural villages and farms in the mountains. Friendly people.” – Charles Feaver (Canada)


Ruta Maya

This incredible cycling adventure will take riders across Central America, from Costa Rica through Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and on into...


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