Guatemala's smallest department and one of the last strongholds of Mayan Culture Totonicapán has a history of resistance to Spanish colonization. Totonicapán is like a country within a country.
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.
Santa Cruz Del Quiché
Capital of the department – located in the heart of the Guatemalan mountains Santa Cruz serves as the trading post for the numerous indigenous villages throughout the department. Seldom visited by tourists the town is a mixture of dense urban markets, and and cattle pastures. The terrain in Quiché is incredibly steep, split by 300m deep deep barrancos (canyons).
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 thousands of feet 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
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