Cross Country Mountain Bike Tours, Cultural
Riding Style
Medium
Difficulty
4/5
fitness
2/5
Technical
32km (19.88mi)
Distance
940m (3,084ft)
Ascent
940m (3,084ft)
Descent
3,150m (10,335ft)
Max Alt.

Description

Held each year the in the mountains of Totonicapán, the Travesía Campanabaj is a community mountain bike ride and one of the “must attend” cycling events here in Guatemala. Operated in conjunction with the town fería the mountain bike travesía is approximately 40km in length and runs on singletrack and jeep roads through the Vasquez Otz’iles protected pine forests near 10,000ft.

This is a community travesía (group ride) and all ages and abilities are welcome. The entire town of Totonicapán usually comes out for this event and the remote villages stage welcome parties for the cyclists as they pass through – in short there will be plenty of people to cheer you on!

Totonicapán, Guatemala (2503.2 m)

Traversing the pine reserve you will catch vistas of Volcán de Santa Maria to the west and Santa Cruz del Quiché to the east. There will be rest stops with food and drinks and plenty of time to take in the natural beauty of the area. At the finish there will be food vendors and live music in conjunction with the town celebration.

Travesía Campanabaj Totonicapán 2018 Totonicapán, Guatemala (2531.9 m)

** More about the forest **

Parcialidad Vasquez Otz’iles

The Communal Forest of Totonicapán represents the largest and most well-preserved coniferous forest in all of Central America and has been communally managed and conserved to the present-day without much outside influence nor interference. The forest houses over 1,200 springs which are the headwaters for five of Guatemala’s major rivers (Samalá, Chixoy, Nahualate, Motagua, and Quiscab which drains into Lake Atitlan), and which are the only source of water through the six months of dry season.
Parque Chajil Siwan Totonicapán, Guatemala
The Forest is also home to countless sites sacred to the Maya K’iche’ people, and Mayan ceremonies are performed quite frequently. From a scientific standpoint, the Communal Forest of Totonicapán contains a stunning biodiversity of both plants and animals including over 100 species of birds around 30 of which are endemic to the highland coniferous forests of Guatemala and Mexico.
Totonicapán, Guatemala (3141.0 m)
Parcialidad Vasquez Otz’iles includes over 450 hectare acres of protected forest at 10-11,000ft in the mountains above Tetonicapán. The area is managed by the twelve local tribal villages and valued for water generation and air purification. In a country facing extreme deforestation and fire this forest is a sanctuary – guarded by locals who voluntarily patrol the land.

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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
November 15, 2019

This was a very fun tour and was exactly what I was hoping for – a challenging route with lots of climbing and descents, some moderate technical sections that were fun but not too intimidating for a rider with more of a road cycling background, and lots of beautiful scenery through spectacular pine forests and open fields in Guatemala’s beautiful highlands. The experience to do the organized route with over 1000 cyclists was lots of fun and quite an experience. While there were some traffic jams and bottlenecks at times during narrow sections of the route, and the initial registration and group start took longer than a smaller event would have, these minor drawbacks were more than compensated for by the incredible experience of doing the huge group ride with people cheering you on throughout the route. I was only able to do the single day large group ride, but time permitting I’d definitely recommend doing the full multi-day trip which would be the best of both worlds – the experience of the large group ride combined with the small group setting of riding through the back-country of Totonicapan the day prior.

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