Cerro Cuchurucho is our go-to cross country tour in Antigua Guatemala. Also known as Corazón de Agua (the heart of the water), Cerro Cucurucho rises to to 2600m (8,500ft) and is home to a variety of trails and ecoparks, as well as a cypress, pine and rich old growth deciduous cloudforest. On our advanced Cerro Cucurucho mountain biking tour, you’ll descend and connect to some of the best cross country riding above the colonial city.
Our Cerro Cucurucho Mountain biking tour is a varied and rugged cross country loop that begins with a tough 7km climb up from Antigua. We will switchback up steep 4×4 roads through coffee plantations. Entering the forest at 2000m we will follow the course of a local XC race, crossing several ravines and rivers with steep switchbacking climbs. The final descent is fast furious, finishing with an urban downhill through the streets of Antigua.
Cool, shady pine forest riding
Ride through an active coffee finca
Views of Acatenango, Agua and the Active Fuego Volcano
I had the pleasure of having a tour with Brendan around Christmas and I can honestly say he took me to school on mountain biking all while providing almost surreal access to the beautiful gem of Central America (yes Guatemala, I am talking about you). Because it was the holidays and Brendan just came back from a multi-day epic tour, the option was to do a 3/10 easy or 9/10 difficult local ride. So naturally, as an overconfident roadie with a sizable gap in training, I picked the hard ride called “Cerro Cucurucho”.
Admittedly this was by far the hardest climb I’ve ever done, utterly brutal. But having said that, I wouldn’t change one meter of it and for multiple reasons! Reason number one is the privilege of being in such fantastic land with amazing cultivation and people behind it. Reason number two is the cyclist’s mantra of “no pain no gain”. Reason number three is the benefit of watching a master at work – Brendan is such a fantastic cyclist that watching him do his thing taught me what mountain biking truly is and what savvy is possible. I want to write more about all the sights and experiences but I kind of don’t want to ruin the plot. OK maybe just a few spoiler key-words: volcano pop, fresh brussels sprouts (like unpicked), friendly horse, magic like micro-climate.
But enough of romanticizing what is best left to personal experience. Simply stop reading and call “MTB Guatemala”. And before I go, I will leave the readers of this review with a bit qualitative information – after just one ride it was clear to me that Brendan and his crew tailored these rides like they were Armani suits. I could sense nothing but quality, time, professionalism and experience invested by the type of folks that race and win those races yet are kind enough to distribute the amazing adventure that is mountain biking in Guatemala. So, do yourself a favor, go to the country of eternal spring and call these guys and gals. You will not regret a single moment.
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