Deep Jungle Biking Tour Departs from Playa del Carmen and Cancun Airport Overview Leaves from Playa del Carmen, Mexico. 9-day tour High physical demand. Leaves only in March, April and May 2009
This 9-day tour starts and ends in the Mexican Caribbean and travels through parts of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. We visit the impressive Cenote Azul of Mexico and continue on to an amazing cave adventure in Belize. The highlight of this tour is a 4-day offroad bicycle adventure through Tikal’s National Park in Guatemala. The Tikal National Park lies in the center of the Mayan jungle. This exciting bicycle adventure covers 89 km (55 miles) over rarely used jungle paths. Along the way, we visit and camp at the remote Mayan sites of Uaxactun and Xultun, a truly unique experience in the middle of ancient pyramids and lush jungle.
Day by Day Itinerary Day 1: Travel to Bacalar, visit Cenote Azul. Day 2: Travel to Tikal National Park. Day 3: Visit Tikal, including guided tour, travel to Uaxactun. Day 4: Cycle to Xultun and camp. Day 5: Explore Xultun ruins. Day 6: Explore San Bartolo ruins. Day 7: Cycle to Uaxactún, sleep in Remate. Day 8: Travel to Belize, cave tour, transfer to Corozal. Day 9: Travel to the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Day 1 We meet as a group in Playa Del Carmen and travel 5 hours south by first-class bus to Bacalar. Once in Bacalar we will spend the remainder of the day enjoying a swim in Bacalar´s Cenote Azul. The Yucatan Peninsula has many cenotes, which are natural sinkholes connected to an endless system of underground-rivers. One of the most impressive cenotes is the 90 meter deep clear blue water Cenote Azul. In the days of Spanish occupation, Bacalar was an important defense point as pirate ships used to visit the lagoon. Nowadays the old Spanish fort holds an interesting museum about the history of piracy. We’ll spend the night in a hotel on the lagoon in preparation for the upcoming journey.
Day 2 The next two days of the tour take us to and through Tikal, Guatemala: one of the most impressive Mayan archaeological sites. Surrounded by lush jungle, these very well preserved ruins have become an increasingly popular attraction in Guatemala. Watching the sunset and sunrise atop the temples that overlook the vast jungles of the Mayan world are incredible sights you won’t find anywhere else on earth. We will camp in the park’s campground, just a minute's walk from the entrance of Tikal’s archeological site.
Day 3 We start the day with an fascinating guided tour of the Tikal ruins and National Park. We climb Tikal's highest pyramids to enjoy spectacular views over the vast Mayan jungle. And in addition to awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets atop these Mayan Temples, we’re given the opportunity to see an abundance of exotic wildlife such as toucans, coatis and monkeys in the surrounding habitat.
Day 4 On the 4th day of our journey we cycle 17 kilometers (11 miles) into the jungle to a small community called Uaxactún. After lunch, we explore the ruins of Uaxactún. Although comparatively smaller than Tikal’s ruins, excavations, to this day, have contributed greatly to the understandings of the time sequence in Mayan history. There is a very special feeling to the place that one can only experience by setting foot on the site.
Day 5 This morning we prepare for our Xultun adventure. We cycle 36 km (22 miles) through the jungle to reach the remote Mayan site of Xultun, Guatemala. The bicycling trip is an exciting and physically demanding experience, especially since we may hit points where we may have to carry the bikes through impassable paths. Near the Xultun ruins exists an aguada, or fresh water pool, which provides a clean water source and an excellent camping spot.
Day 6 After a night of well deserved rest, we take the day to explore the Xultun ruins. These ruins have been excavated but are now so rarely visited that the jungle has begun growing into it, literally taking it over. We may need to use machetes to clear trails to the Xultun ruins. This will give you an up-and-close personal experience with the abundant flora and fauna as we’ll be traveling as far from civilization as possible .
Day 7 On day seven we cycle back to Uaxactún, and headout to El Remate. This small ecotourism village rests on the shores of Lake Peten Itzá. We’ll also have an opportunity to visit the local forest-saving woodcarvers, who carve remarkable, genuine Mayan masks and animals. At the end of the day we’ll indulge in the delicious cuisine of one of the local restaurants and check-in to our typical limestone cabañas by the shore of the lake.
Day 8 We will rise early and cross the border into the Cayo District of Belize where one of the most sought-after belize tours: Belize cave tour, awaits us. The Cayo District is famous for its lush jungle, rivers and caves. After the cave tour and lunch, we will travel to Corozal in the northern Belize and spend the night there.
Day 9 At the end of our journey we cross the Belize – Mexico border and travel up the Riviera Maya, where, depending on departure schedules, we can explore coastal ruins and pristine beaches of Tulum, scuba dive in the world famous reefs of Cozumel, or sightsee in Playa Del Carmen or Cancun.