We anticipated staying in San Cristobal de Las Casas (I’ll use ‘San Cristobal’ below) for just a few days, but after discovering a lovely house share, we decided to stay longer. San Cristobal is situated at around 2200m elevation and surrounded by several peaks, one of which is the relatively unknown Tzomtehuitz lookout, at just over 2900m. Clearly, this called for some mountain biking exploration!
Zig Zags & Climbs To Tzomtehuitz Lookout
Following some advice from a local mountain bike guide, Mauricio, I mapped out a route on bikeroutetoaster.com. This route involves about 1400m climbing zig zagging through the backroads up to a TelMex cell tower lookout point known locally as Tzomtehuitz (not to be confused with a nearby town called Tzontehuitz).
It’s about 70% dirt and gravel, with some asphalt sections leading in and out of San Cristobal. The route could be improved by finding more direct connections to dirt roads from the city to avoid the asphalt. I later discovered some shortcuts on another ride.
After I made my way outside of the city, I soon realised that Google Maps data around San Cristobal is out of date. I found some of the roads were no longer in use, having been replaced by alternate routes, so my actual route involved some wrong turns, guesswork and a bit of luck getting back on track.[wi_everytrail url=”http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2193638″ title=”View on EveryTrail.com”]
- The GPX route that I loaded into my Garmin (GPX route)
- The actual GPS track from my Garmin (GPX track)
These crazy zig zag sections in the middle are great fun on a fast rolling rigid 29er. The peaks and troughs rolled over a luscious green landscape. The local indigenous women were gather sticks and herding the sheep up and down a complex network of trails. I thought about pointing my bike down a few sheep trails, but I didn’t want to scare them!