One of Guatemala’s smallest departments and stronghold of Mayan Culture Totonicapán has a history of resistance to Spanish colonization. Totonicapán is like a country within a country.
Mountain biking in Totonicapán is characterized by cold mountains, high pine forests and a K’iche culture all it’s own Totonicapán is small and mighty. Our overview of the regions wouldn’t be complete without mention of Totonicapán as one of the best mountain bike destinations in Guatemala.
Originally known in K’iche as ‘Chuimekenái, which means “place on hot water.” The capital of Totonicapán is modern Mayan metropolis situated at 2400m the base of a large mountain range. The legend has it that Tecún Umán departed from here to face the Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado
Mountain Biking in Totonicapán
The riding in Totonicapán is characterized by rocky, high pine forests and alpine plains. The area is home to thousands of trails and acuaducts which begin in the mountains and drop to the towns below.
Held each year in Totonicapán Travesía Campanabaj is one of the largest mountain bike group rides in the country. In 2018 the event drew over 1000 cyclists from across Guatemala. The course climbs up from the town of San Cristóbal Totonicapán to the pine forests of Parcialidad Vasquez Otz’iles. Each year the travesia takes a different route – and is getting more Technical. If you haven’t gone Mountain biking in Totonicapán – this is a great way to get a taste.
Video: Mountain Biking in Totonicapán
Most of Quiché is over 9,000ft. Which means the weather here is cool. Morning fog fills the valleys and the temperatures here can drop around freezing. Average daily temps range from 10-20°C (50-65°F)
Dry Season (Sept – May)
The dry season here is characterized by hardened adobe like soil – that prevents much undergrowth from developing in the forest. Pine forest here are thin and make for great bike riding.
During the rainy season (May – September) afternoon storms engulf the area around 3pm – and the rains go through the night. Trails get quite muddy and that adobe type soil can be very slippery.
XC Hardtail or Full suspension 80-100mm of travel.
Maximum gear ratio for climbing. 28×42 or 32×50