Waterfalls, Colonial Architecture & Mayan Ruins: Rest Days On The ‘Into The Jungle’ Section Of The Ruta Maya
While cycling the 1800 km through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala on the – Into The Jungle – section of the 2023 Ruta Maya, the riders will be treated to 4 well-deserved rest days. Each one offers them a number of opportunities to explore both the natural and cultural highlights of the region.
Spaces are currently available for both this section and the full tour.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
After 2 very challenging days climbing out of Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, the riders will be happy to arrive in the small pleasant town of La Fortuna. It is best known as the gateway to Arenal National Park which contains 2 volcanoes – Chaton and Arenal. The latter was active from 1968 to 2010 but has been dormant since then. There are numerous hiking trails through the rainforest, most offering some incredible birdwatching. One leads to La Fortuna waterfall which plunges 70 m into a pool at the bottom where riders can take a refreshing dip. Cyclists can also soothe their aching muscles in any number of hot springs along the Tabacon River to prepare for the next cycling stages.
While the first rest day for the riders features some spectacular natural wonders, their second rest day in Granada will spotlight more cultural highlights. Granada is the oldest city on the North American continent and throughout its long history, as one of the most important ports in the Spanish Empire, has survived many pirate attacks. It is perched on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America and is renown for its stunning well-preserved colonial architecture. The city is very walkable and riders can wander aimlessly through its colourful markets and take a shady break in the sprawling Parque Central. They can also hop on their bikes and cruise the Malecon along the waterfront, taking in the beautiful views over Lake Nicaragua.
Valle de Angeles, Honduras
After 5 days of cycling from Granada, stages that will have taken the riders through Nicaragua’s misty cloud forests and over the dusty border into Honduras, they will arrive in the small town of Valle de Angeles. Set amongst pine forests at almost 1300 m, this rest day will allow the cyclists to breathe in the cool mountain air and relax. They can venture into La Tigra National Park, Honduras’s first protected area, to hike the trails or enjoy the views from the hanging bridges of the Canopy Walk. They can also trade in their bikes for horses and ride through the nearby Parque Obrero or explore the Sendero Las Golondrinas, a trail that will take them past rock formations and ancient mines to a beautiful waterfall.
Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Having just completed possibly the most challenging and remote 4 days of cycling on the entire trip from Valle de Angles through the middle of Honduras, the riders will be pleased to arrive in Copan Ruinas for a well-deserved rest day. The village is built on the site of an ancient Mayan complex and the ruins are a reminder that this was once the centre of one of the most powerful Mayan city states. As Unesco puts it, “The Maya site of Copan represents one of the most spectacular achievements of the Classic Maya Period because of the number, elaboration and magnitude of its architectural and sculptural monuments. The stelae and altars at the Plaza form one of the most beautiful sculpture ensembles in the region.”