This is a Regular difficulty tour that follows the Pacific coast down from Puerto Vallarta to Zihuatanejo. As we meander along the quiet roads of the rolling foot hills of the Sierra Madres, the ocean crashes onto beaches 200 metres below with a backdrop of dazzling mountains and forests.
Day 1: Meet in Puerto Vallarta
Beaches, Night Life, Live Shows, Market. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico's most picturesque coastal resort, is tucked between the sparkling blue Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and spectacular green palm and jungle covered mountains. Although tourism is its only industry, outside of the mega resorts, Puerto Vallarta retains a certain charm with its cobblestone streets and old-fashioned white adobe buildings with red tile roofs. Attractions include the many beaches, water sports, art galleries, and a very diverse nightlife.
Day 2: Puerto Vallarta to El Tuito (45 km of Cycling)
Into the foothills. Spectacular Mountain Views, Waterfalls and Rivers. This day starts with the spectacular coast south of Puerto Vallarta. Some rolling hills give way to a long climb going inland along a raging river and frequent waterfalls. Chico's Paradise offers us a break from the heat and a chance to swim in some tranquil pools nestled between pastel colored boulders in the river. After well over 1000 meters of climbing and passing through some high pine forests we end the day in the small town of El Tuito.
Day 3: El Tuito to Tomatlán (64 km of Cycling)
Flat easy riding, frequent breaks to help get acclimatized. Our second day of riding gives us a chance to recover from the difficult climb the day before. We can take our time getting to Tomatlán, enjoying the views and giving us a chance to acclimatize to the heat and our bikes.
Day 4: Tomatlán to Punta Perula (57 km of Cycling)
Beaches. Curvy, rolling, very quiet road. Camping on the Beach Possible. Seafood. Our favourite Pacific coast beach. The quiet road takes us back to the coast and meanders in and out of the foothills. We get many sneak previews of the ocean before turning in to Punta Perula and its near perfect beach spanning several km. each way. Being a weekday, we will have this small resort town almost all to ourselves to enjoy the best body surfing waves on the Pacific.
Day 5: Punta Perula to Barra de Navidad (82 km of Cycling)
Beautiful, Quiet, Hilly, Sinuous Roads. Small Beach Resort. Beaches, Night Life, Seafood. What a beach resort should be like. Beach Camping Possible. The road continues to meander through the hills, peaking at the Pacific ocean and poking into the cactus and forest covered hills. This all but forgotten stretch of road takes us over higher and higher climbs, finally breaking out of the forest to some great views of the many bays and coves below and a long exhilarating descent to Barra de Naviadad.
Day 6: Barra de Navidad
Rest day. Beach time. Surfing, boogie boarding. Nightlife. Barra de Navidad is a great little beach resort town squeezed onto a sandbar between the Bahía de Navidad and the Laguna de Navidad. This is a great place to try some surfing or boogie boarding - a small predictable wave gives the beginner a good chance to try the sport. Barra's great sunset kicks off an evening of casual but exciting nightlife.
Day 7: Barra de Navidad to Manzanillo (62 km of Cycling)
All the Comforts of Home, Big Resort Town and Bustling Port. Night Life, Beaches, Seafood. A fairly easy ride gets us back on the road after our rest day. A good portion of the ride is along the beaches at the north end of Manzanillo and ends in the centre of this bustling port town. You can find all the comforts of home here but there's also great fresh seafood, long beaches and exciting nightlife.
Day 8: Manzanillo to Tecoman (62 km of Cycling)
Scenic Inland Roads. Real Mexico. Colonial Architecture. Good Food. No tourists at all here. This is a cute little colonial town bustling with activity. Several good beaches are only half an hour away by bus.
Day 9: Tecoman to La Placita (60 km of Cycling)
Into Michoacan and the start of the great views and more challenging cycling. Small-Town Real Mexico. Beach. We now enter the most isolated and beautiful stretch of the Pacific coastal road. There are no phones, banks or internet for the next 300km or so. In fact there are very few towns and the traffic is almost non-existent. We explore many beautiful beaches and get glimpses of many more not accessible through the dense vegetation. The road meanders in and out of the hills - to the sea on high cliffs and back in again. Tecoman is a charming little town, even more so on Sunday evenings when everyone comes out to the zocalo (town square) to eat and socialize.
Day 10: La Placita to Maruata (50 km of Cycling)
More beach. Very Quiet, Scenic, Hilly, Curvy Roads. Spectacular Views of the Ocean. Small Towns. Beach Camping. If we're lucky, Umberto, the owner of our hotel in La Placita and an ex-bicycle racer, might join us as we ride up the first pass. More quite roads lead us to Maruata, a beautiful, interesting and odd little town. You can sleep in rustic cabañas or camp on the beach. In this area you will meet many Nahuas - the descendants of the Aztecs who ruled the Mexican world before the Spanish conquest.
Day 11: Maruata
Beautiful beaches, body surfing, fresh seafood. Beautiful, interesting and odd little town. In this area you will meet many Nahuas - the descendants of the Aztecs who ruled the Mexican world before the Spanish conquest.
Day 12: Maruata to Playa Rio Nexpa (96 km of Cycling)
Incredibly Quiet Roads - Challenging Climbs, Rewarding Views of Ocean and Mountains. One of the most spectacular sections of Mexico. Small Towns. Surfer Beaches. Great Beach Camping. This is a challenging day with almost 1500m of climbing and long stretches between towns and villages along the most traffic-free section of the Pacific coast road. We climb and wind through the breath-taking beauty of the mountains and ocean views. Playa Rio Nexpa is a serious surfer beach known only by word of mouth. Here we have the option of renting cabañas or camping on the beach. More comfortable accommodation as well as telephones and supplies are all available 5km away in the town of Caleta de Campos.
Day 13: P. Rio Nexpa to Lazaro Cardenas (78 km of Cycling)
Relatively easy day. Good market. Bustling town. Today is a relatively easy day as we roll up and down along the coast and finally into the bustling industial port town of Lazaro Cardenas. This full service town has a great market and makes a great refuelling stop before our last long day.
Day 14: Lazaro Cardenas to Zihuatanejo (108km of cycling)
State crossing, quiet rolling roads, long day grand finale. Our longest day - you can do it! Zihuatanejo is Ixtapa's easy-going sibling. Only 8km away it still gets a lot of tourism but has a very different ambiance. Small-scale fishing is still important to the town's economy so seafood here is great. There are many good beaches, restaurants, bars and a very busy and colourful market. Deep sea sport fishing is the specialty here and Zihua hosts several world class tournaments. Many sailors also call this port home for several months of the year. You may choose to go snorkelling off of the remote playa Manzanillo beach, explore the wildlife of the area's lagoons on a kayak tour, or just laze on the spectacular playa La Ropa beach.
Day 15: Zihuatanejo or fly home
Fly home or stay a little longer. We suggest an open jaw flight out of Zihuatanejo. Alternatively you can take a bus back to Puerto Vallarta to fly home from there. Then again, what's the rush? Stay a while longer and enjoy the beaches!
Note: Price only includes guiding fee, it does not include accommodations (approx. $215) nor meals (approx. $220).
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