Chiapas in Mexico is a great place for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. From hiking to mountain biking, there is something for everyone. For us, it was mountain biking.
Every state in Mexico had different highlights for us – Yucatan & Quintana Roo has Mayan ruins, beaches and cenotes, Oaxaca has beautiful colonial towns and surfing paradise on the Pacific coast. And Chiapas has mountains. Ever since we looked at the map, we knew we wanted to go mountain biking in Chiapas. And when we arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas, we started our research.
It wasn’t easy to find a guide and mountain bikes in good conditions. Two guys lead “mountain biking” tours in San Cristobal de las Casas – one of them has bikes that I wouldn’t take anywhere in the mountains and another one was so stoned, he couldn’t reply to a few questions.
We always go mountain biking without a guide. But we need a map of trails to do that. There is no mountain biking trail map for Chiapas and there are a lot of trails in the mountains, some of them through private property.
Mountain biking in Chiapas
Luckily, there is a mountain bike shop in San Cristobal de las Casas. They rent mountain bikes but usually don’t offer tours or guides. After expressing our big interest in mountain biking in Chiapas mountains, the girl called her father, who is the owner of the shop. He agreed to take us on a mountain biking trip! Yay!
We met the next day at 8 am, adjusted our bikes and helmets and met our guide, Paco. At that time, we didn’t speak much Spanish and Paco doesn’t speak English. It was going to be a fun day.
Out of the town and to the Chiapas mountains
Just getting out of town through steep, narrow, one-way cobblestone streets was hard enough. After a few km, it changed to gravel and then finally to the dirt. We passed houses of Mayan families and were greeted by other cyclists heading our way.
Grutas del Mamut
Soon we saw the first cave – Grutas del Mamut. A piece of advice: bring a headlamp and you can go from one side to the other. There is a small entrance fee (20 MXN) when entering the cave from the main entrance. We were glad it was well lit so we can see it from the inside.
Next stop was 400 years old church Carmen del Arcotete. There are only a handful of people living along the trails and of course children were the most curious ones. All of them waving at us screaming: Hola!
Arcotete cave was formed by the river that runs through it. It is a popular spot where we met a lot of people. There is a zip lining, horseback riding and several tunnels in the cave to explore.
After the caves, Michal enjoyed a beer with Paco, a little conversation he managed with a dictionary and I found a swing!
With a smell of the forest in the air, the dirt trails, the views, and from the saddle of a mountain bike, we felt as we are at home. It reminded us biking trails around our hometown of Trencin, Slovakia.
Info about our mountain biking trip in Chiapas
Distance: 22,6 km
Elevation gain: 555 m
Time: 5h in total (3:30 h + stops in the caves and parks)
Guide: Paco from Terra Bike Shop (facebook page of the shop)
Price: 1000 MXN (for a guide, 2 mountain bikes, helmets, gloves & bottles)
Alternative bike tour company: Jaguar Adventours
Video of our mountain biking trip in Chiapas
Do you like mountain biking? Would you consider Chiapas in Mexico?
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