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Roaming Backroads Yucatan
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Roaming Backroads Yucatan

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 10 people
Destination(s): Mexico  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: November - July
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 550 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 550 US Dollar (USD)

We offer no-frills guided, self supported Tours of the Pacific coast, the Sierra Madre mountains, the Yucatan peninsula, and the southern states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Oaxaca. Eating and sleeping where the locals do, we go inn-to-inn and sometimes have the option of camping on the beach or in the mountains. Our small groups are limited to 8 to 10 cyclists, plus your 2 friendly, fun and knowledgeable Mexican and Canadian guides. Tours last for 1 to 4 weeks, run between November and July and range in difficulty from little to regular to challenge. We start and end this Regular difficulty tour in Mérida. Highlights include flamingos, Mayan ruins and modern Mayan villages, colonial towns and cities, cenotes and caves. We'll see parts of the Yucatan that tourists rarely visit.

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Mérida

Yucatan cuisine, Colonial Architecture. Mérida, the White City, was founded in 1542. Its architecture still shows an exquisite union of pre-Hispanic and European elements. During its Colonial era, this state capital was the most important city in the region, leaving such living monuments as the House of Montejo, Government Palace, and the main building of the University of Yucatan. Museums, theatres, handcrafts, nightclubs and beautiful parks have created a beautiful and vibrant city. Once settled into our hotel room, we will experience Méridas delicious culinary tradition at one of Mérida's numerous restaurants.

Day 2: Mérida to Motul (via Dzibilchaltun, Conkal) (58 km of cycling)

Mayan ruins, cenote, picturesque towns, Mayan villages. We'll take the backroads way out of Mérida, passing through several little towns and visiting the Mayan ruins of Dzibilchaltun with its most unusual and interesting cenote, Xlacah Cenote.

Day 3: Motul to Bucztotz (via Telchac, Dzilam Gonzalez) (69km of cycling)

Picturesque Towns, Mayan villages, quiet roads. We will be cycling some of the backroads of the Yucatan today, going through several charming and friendly colonial and Mayan towns. Buctzotz is a typical little Mayan town where many of the townspeople make hammocks at home. In Buctzotz they specialize in extra large 'family size' hammocks.

Day 4: Buctzotz to Tizimin (69km of cycling)

Quiet hilly roads. We'll pass through small, untouristed towns and villages, and end up in the colonial town of Tizimin. Most of the Yucatan's agriculture is around Tizimin.

Day 5: Tizimin to Río Lagartos (via Panobá, San Felipe) (68km of cycling)

Quiet roads, the sea. Quiet back-roads, and small villages. The little fishing village of San Felipe and then Río Lagartos. Originally a Mayan town called Holcobem, its modern name, Río Lagartos, is a misnomer. Spanish explorers found a long estuary, which opens to the sea here, filled with crocodiles. They believed the estuary to be a river (río), and the crocodiles to be simple lizards (lagartos); hence the name Río Lagartos. Crocodiles are hard to come by now, but there are several flamingo nesting grounds in the area.

Day 6: Río Lagartos

Flamingos, seafood, cenote, spring. During our rest day in Río Lagartos, our local guide will take us out early in the morning on his boat to spy on a flock of flamingos. We are guaranteed to see a good sized flock - hundreds, or if we're really lucky, thousands! With a little more luck we'll also see a crocodile or two. Later we may explore Chikila spring, Pententucha cenote and enjoy some excellent fresh seafood.

Day 7: Río Lagartos back to Tizimin (67km of cycling)

Quiet roads, Catacombs. We'll stay in Tizimin again, check out the catacombs, then head off to the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam the next day.

Day 8: Tizimin to Valladolid (via Ek Balam) (64km of cycling)

Ek-Balam Mayan Ruins, cenotes. Ek Balam means 'black jaguar' in Mayan. This site many well have achieved pivotal status in the public affairs of eastern Yucatan and judging from its monumental architecture it was quite probably an influential city. Valladolid is one of the Yucatan's largest and most pleasing colonial cities. Rolling into town we will stop at the spectacular cenote Zací where we can take a dip to cool off. Its churches, parks, markets and beautiful zocalo are all worth a visit. To refuel for the next day's ride you can sample the Yucatan's delicious cuisine at one of Valladolid's many restaurants.

Day 9: Valladolid to Izamal (105km of cycling)

Cenotes, cenotes, and more cenotes! We'll pass through many small Mayan towns and visit as many cenotes on the way as you want! There are literally hundreds of them along this route. At the end of the day we find ourselves in the splendid colonial yellow town of Izamal.

Day 10: Izamal

Mayan Ruins, Convent, Zocalo, Market, Cenotes. Known as the Yellow Town because of the colour of the colonial buildings that line the zocalo, Izamal is famous for having the largest church plaza in Mexico. It includes an enormous Franciscan convent (built with Mayan stones) and the remnants of one of the tallest Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan. You can also visit the colourful market, or just stroll around the beautiful zocalo observing the daily routines of the local inhabitants.

Day 11: Izamal to Oxcutzcab (118km of cycling)

Quiet roads, no tourists, cenotes. We'll pass through many small villages on very quiet roads and have the chance to visit several spectacular cenotes, ending our day along the 'Convent Route'.

Day 12: Oxcutzcab to Santa Elena (Ruta Puuc) (52km of cycling)

Hacienda Tabi, Ruta Puuc Mayan ruins, quiet road. A later start today so that we can visit Loltún caves; the most interesting and largest cave system in Yucatán. After that, we'll visit several minor Mayan ruins including Labná, Xlapac, Sayil and Kabáh, ending up at the small town of Santa Elena with its giant church perched atop a hill - a great spot to see the sun set over the Yucatan's endless forests.

Day 13: Santa Elena to Ticul (44km of cycling)

Uxmal ruins. We go out to Uxmal Mayan ruins to catch them early in the morning before the crowds, then back to Sta. Elena and on to the small colonial town of Ticul.

Day 14: Ticul to Mérida (83km of cycling)

Mayan villages, Cenotes, Haciendas. We'll pass through many small Mayan villages and ex-haciendas. There are also many cenotes to be discovered along the way.

Day 15: Mérida

Stay a bit longer or fly back home. Mérida, is a state capital and commercial center. It's also the cultural focal point of the entire peninsula. Tourists are attracted to the history and beauty of this vibrant city. Its colonial center, Centro Colonial, is busy with Maya men and women in traditional dress. College students lounging at nearby cafes and businessmen and women rushing to their offices. Meridians enjoy long, leisurely promenades in the zocalo. The zocalo's clock tower chimes 4 times an hour and dawn and dusk are greeted by a flag ceremony, accompanied by the music of a military band. Nearby you will be able to visit venerable old churches like the yellow cathedral with its twin towers containing what is claimed to be the second largest crucifix in the world. There is also the Palacio de Gobierno with its stairway painting depicting the Maya belief that humanity comes from maize. Under the balcony of the Palacio Municipal concerts and classes in jarana, a Yucatan colonial dance, take place. The nearby market or Mercado is huge, noisy, colorful and crowded. Anything you might want to buy can be found there or even made for you while you wait. Of special interest are the famous Yucatan hammocks. There are numerous museums and parks to visit as well as a never-ending series of free music and dance events to attend each day of the week.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price includes only the guiding fee. Accommodations (approx. $205) and meals (approx. $180) are not included.

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