The sixth annual Ciclotour Mazatlan draws visitors and locals and will take place Dec. 3, 2016. // © 2016 Mazatlan Hotel Association
Feature image (above): Bike-rental services such as Ecobici allow visitors to rent a pair of wheels and explore Mexico City. // © 2016 Banco de Imagenes Sectur CDMX
Read on to learn why cycling tours
are a win for both clients and agents.
For travelers looking to stay active and discover off-the-beaten-path spots in Mexico, bicycle tours and self-guided excursions offer myriad ways to see this popular tourist destination from a whole new angle — and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a nature lover or an urban explorer.
A handful of companies offer bicycle tours in multiple destinations around the country. El Tour, for example, offers what it describes as “no-frills” guided excursions on the Pacific coast and the Yucatan peninsula, as well as in the western Sierra Madre mountains and the southern states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Oaxaca. But for the most part, each destination in Mexico is home to its own local options for cycling enthusiasts.
Mexico City may be one of the world’s largest urban areas, but it’s a surprisingly pleasant place to tour by bicycle. Sunday is the best time to do it, when the grand boulevard of Paseo de la Reforma is closed for several hours to motor vehicles, leaving lots of space for bicycles, skateboarders, joggers and pedestrians. Two services — Ecobici and BiciGratis — operate loaner kiosks along this popular tourist stretch of the city. In addition, hotels including Sheraton Maria Isabel, Gran Melia Reforma, Maria Condesa and Room Mate Valentina offer free bike-loan programs. Mexico Bike Tour offers multiple guided excursions, as well, including a trip to Chapultepec Park and a “Frida Bike Tour” that takes riders to the former homes of painter Frida Kahlo and Marxist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky, in the peaceful southern neighborhood of Coyoacan.
Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, also has a program that converts public spaces and streets into bicycle-friendly zones every Sunday. And for a narrated view of the city, GDL Bike Tours rents bicycles and offers English-speaking excursions that visit some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Gliding Around Guanajuato
The state of Guanajuato offers diverse cycling destinations that range from challenging mountains to charming historic towns. Join one of Turismo Alternativo en Guanajuato’s mountain-bike excursions that visit historic mining towns and abandoned mines, or indulge in a small-group, seven-night excursion from Mexico Biking Tours that includes bed-and-breakfast accommodations in San Miguel de Allende and a one-hour massage designed to relax muscles.
Moving Through Mazatlan
The Pacific coast city of Mazatlan is hosting the sixth annual Ciclotour Mazatlan on Dec. 3; the event includes 140-kilometer and 75-kilomter routes and ends with a beach party. Visitors who are less competitive can rent a two-wheeler at Kelly’s Bicycle Shop and head to the historic city center or join a guided mountain-bike outing into the soaring nearby mountains.
Riding the Riviera Maya
The natural beauty and archaeological sites of Mexico’s Caribbean coast provide a variety of noteworthy biking options. Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, for example, offers daily guided eco tours by bicycle as part of its all-inclusive price, allowing guests to learn more about local flora, fauna and history. The hotel also lends bikes for free to guests who prefer to explore on their own — which can be especially convenient for those looking to make a dash over to nearby Playa del Carmen.
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort is another property with wheels. The hotel’s one-hour bike tour leaves at 8 a.m. from the resort entrance so that guests can explore the town’s popular La Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) long before the afternoon crowds arrive. For an outing with a more historic bent, consider Grand Hyatt’s bike tour of the Coba ruins, which is about 90 minutes away by car. After arriving at Coba, guests join guides for a cycling tour of the archaeological site, as well as venture down a lush jungle path that leads to the tallest pyramid in the area.