Home to the Kaqchikel Maya and a strong German influence Tecpán Guatemala is a mountain-top city with a layered history. With hundreds of trails and tons of climbing it's no wonder Guatemalan national cross country champion Jhonnathan DeLeon grew up training here.
Located at 2200m (7,200ft) in the heart of the highlands Tecpán Guatemala is situated on a pine-forested region. The area once served as the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya – who built the metropolis of Iximché (1300ad) atop steep, protected cliffs. It is said that the country’s name originated here, from the K’iche’ word Quauhtemallan or “place of many trees”.
Tecpán has a strong German / Swiss influence which you can see in the many log cabins and chalet restaurants. The weather here is cool to cold and many of the older houses have fireplaces.
Cero Tecpán rises to 3300m (10,800ft) directly behind the town. It’s pine-forested slopes are home to hundreds of trails – which interconnect woodlots and fincas. Guatemala’s first highway CA-1 passed through here following the ridge of the mountain but has largely been abandoned and is used today by horse and bikes.
Below Tecpan are the barrancos of Patzún, a sprawling web of spidery and steep eroded canyons. The riding here is high, dry and varied. Linking long descents you can connect to the lake with over 2000m (6500ft) of downhill.
Most of the Cuchumatanes is over 10,000ft. Which means the weather here can be cold. l. Morning fog fills the valleys and the temperatures here can drop around freezing. Average daily temps range from 10-20°C (50-65°F)
Shoulder Months (October, November, December)
Peak season – green and lush wildflowers abound.
Dry Season (Jan- May)
Hardly any rain – perfect riding weather.
Rainy Season (May-Oct)
During the rainy season (May – September) afternoon storms engulf the area around 3pm – and the rains go through the night. Trails get quite muddy.
Full suspension mountain bike with at least 100mm of travel