Home to the Kaqchikel Maya and a strong German influence Tecpán Guatemala is a mountain-top city with a layered history.
Located at 2200m (7,200ft) in the heart of the Guatemala highlands Tecpán is situated in a pine-forested region. The area once served as the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya – who built the metropolis of Iximché (1300AD) atop steep cliffs. It is said that the country’s name originated here, from the K’iche’ word Quauhtemallan or “place of many trees”.
Mountain Biking in Tecpán Guatemala
The mountain biking in Tecpán Guatemala is characterized by high altitude, cool pine forests – pine needle singletrack and impressive views of the volcanoes of Lake Atitlán. With hundreds of mountain bike trails and tons of climbing it’s no wonder Guatemalan national cross country champion Jhonnathan DeLeon grew up training here.
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 – this is not your typical Guatemala!
Rising to 3300m (10,800ft) Cerro Tecpán’s pine-forested slopes are home to hundreds of trails – interconnecting woodlots and fincas. Guatemala’s first highway CA-1 once passed through here following the ridge of the mountain. CA-1 has long been abandoned but provides a fantastic backbone for a trail system that is utilized by horse and bike travel.
Below Tecpan lie 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.