Once you have experienced the biodiversity of Mexico Coast to Coast your fascination with this country will reach a whole new level.
Those who have enjoyed our rides along the coasts of the Sea of Cortés, the breathtaking Copper Canyons, and the exotic rainforest gardens of Xilitla will have had a taste of it. But now it’s been confirmed by Conservation International that Mexico is one of the few “megadiverse” countries of the world. Even more striking on this ride, though, will be your own discovery of the depth of the human diversity of Southern Mexico.
Great “rider’s roads” will take us through mountainside rainforests, spewing volcanoes, panoramic mountain vistas, inspiring pre-Columbian civilizations, colonial architectural gems, and a seaport that has been attacked over the centuries by Spanish conquistadors, French and American armies, and countless pirates. This is a thirteen-day scouting ride of a lifetime.
After departing our hometown of Ajijic, we’ll travel west and then south toward the Colima Volcano and its taller, but currently dormant, partner, Nevado de Colima. The Colima Volcano has been active lately, having recorded more than 40 major eruptions since the arrival of the Europeans. These volcanic twins mark the western end of the great Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, composed of thousands of volcanoes spanning the country. Terrific riding and vistas will be our treat for the first day out, ending in an overnight stay in Comala, one of Mexico’s official Magical Towns.
Day 1: Start
Aldama 31, Ajijic, Mexico
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Playa Diamante, Acapulco, Mexico
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Day 8 (rest day)
Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico
Boca del Río, Mexico
Mineral del Monte, Mexico
Ciudad Valles, Mexico
Aldama 31, Ajijic, Mexico
Day three will find us carving through the coastal hills to the ocean and our three-day ride southeastward, following the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Pacific coast to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and past Acapulco to Playa Diamante and Puerto Escondido. Pacific sunsets and margaritas will be our reward each evening. Days six and seven will be dedicated to absorbing the ancient civilizations and exotic cultures of the indigenous people who maintain their traditions in the mountainous region of Oaxaca, one of the most fascinating areas in all of Mexico. The ruins at nearby Monte Albán are spectacular, poised high on a mountain with stunning views into the valleys below. Occupied from 500 B.C. until about 750 A.D., this site contains one of the most elaborate tombs ever discovered in the Americas. With two nights at the same hotel, Oaxaca also provides us with some rest and preparation for the next leg of the ride.
Now we turn north, then eastward, traversing the Sierra Madre Oriental with its welcome cooler temperatures, twisty roads, and scenic mountain towns. Where the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt intersects with the Sierra Madre the scenery turns extreme. The horizon to our north is dominated by glacier-capped Mount Orizaba, the second most prominent volcano in the world after Kilimanjaro. (Yes, riders, we have tried to see how high we could climb up Orizaba on the bikes–after a general damage waiver was granted to the guests. The result was not pretty.) We’ll turn east, keeping our distance from sprawling Mexico City, bypassing Córdoba, and shedding layers of apparel as we descend toward the Gulf of Mexico and the storied center of Veracruz and our hotel to the south of the city at Boca del Río.
No city in the country has endured so many military invasions. It was here that the conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, arrived in 1519 to begin their domination and destruction of the ancient and advanced civilizations they encountered, changing forever the fabric of Mexico. Then, over the next two centuries, the immense quantities of silver and gold gathered here for shipment to Spain attracted many fierce and powerful pirate raids.
When the Mexican war of independence broke out in 1810, Veracruz was again the landing point for thousands of Spanish troops and supplies. After independence from Spain was achieved in 1820, there was little relief for Veracruz, as a power vacuum caused by the weak new government resulted in the first French invasion, in 1838-39. The second French intervention, in 1861, ended with the execution by firing squad of the French-imposed Emperor Maximilian in 1867. Then followed American invasions and occupation in 1914 and 1916-17. The history- and culture-minded members of our group will want to return here in the future to savour more deeply the unique Mexican/French/Caribbean/Spanish cuisine and creative music and to visit the many historical fortifications remaining in the harbor area. All of us will remember the 1950’s hit song by Ritchie Valens, “La Bamba,” based on a Veracruz wedding song sung to young Ricardo by his mother after they moved to California.
Travelling north, we will spend the night at Huasca near the odd town of Mineral del Monte, high in the mountains at a chilly 8,900’ altitude. This once-prosperous silver and gold mining town was worked for much of the nineteenth century by Englishmen from Cornwall, hundreds of whom are buried here in the English cemetery. Those miners introduced soccer (aka fútbol) to Mexico, and you may sample Cornish pasties, which remain part of the local cuisine.
The next day we will continue through the Sierra Madre past Xilitla to the most northern point in our route, Ciudad Valles. The mountains continue to provide enormous, magnificent panoramas, a highlight of the trip. For part of the day we will follow Federal Highway 85, built in 1950 as one of the original segments of the Pan-American Highway extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.
Turning southwest, we will begin our final stage toward Ajijic. At a charming small town beside a spectacular 1,421’ rock monolith, we will spend the night in the Magical Town of Bernal, near Querétaro. From tiny Bernal to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the country and one of our favorites, we’ll travel to the World Heritage city of Morelia, a treasure of colonial architecture at its finest. Our last night on the road will be spent in the beautifully restored Hotel de la Soledad, close by the cathedral and European-style sidewalk restaurants.
Our last day of riding will take us through the rich farmland of colonial Mexico (the bajío) and back to Ajijic, arriving just in time for our farewell cocktails and dinner.
The next day, for some of you, there will be a flight north, and for others a few more days in Mexico to enjoy this magnificent country your own way.
Your tour includes accommodations at the upper end of Mexican hotels with hearty breakfast, motorcycle rental with liability, theft, and limited collision insurance, transportation to and from the Guadalajara airport between 8 am to 7 pm, plus Welcome and Farewell Dinners, experienced guides and support vehicle (for larger tours).
What's not included?
Not included is airfare, helmet and apparel, lunches and some dinners, gasoline, personal spending and tips.
What to Expect Upon Arrival
We will greet you at the international airport in Guadalajara, and take you to your accommodations in the charming, cobblestoned town of Ajijic, a short ride of just 25 minutes. We will provide free pick up and returns for flights arriving between 8 am and 7 pm.
Depending on guest arrival times we often get together to walk through the cobblestone streets of Ajijic to get acquainted with the town and perhaps visit a local restaurant.
Our first morning, we will pick you up with your riding gear and take you to our tour center to complete any administrative matters. You will have the opportunity to get acquainted with your bike and fellow travelers. That evening the group will enjoy cocktails and dinner together.
Solo rider - shared room * $6,514
Solo rider - solo room $7,325
Couple sharing bike & hotel $8,932
Solo rider - shared room * $6,646
Solo rider - solo room $7,460
Couple sharing bike & hotel $9,067
Solo rider - shared room * $6,915
Solo rider - solo room $7,730
Couple sharing bike & hotel $9,741
Solo rider - shared room * $7,140
Solo rider - solo room $8,067
Couple sharing bike & hotel $9,965
Reserve Your Spot
Day 1: Guests Arrive
In Ajijic, registration, bike fitting, local ride and welcome dinner.
Day 3: Comala
Day 4: Ixtapa
Day 5: Playa Diamante
Day 6: Puerto Escondido
Day 7: Oaxaca
Day 8: Monte Alban (Rest day)
Day 9: Boca del Rio, Veracruz
Day 10: Mineral del Monte
Day 11: Ciudad Valles
Day 12: Bernal
Day 13: Morelia
Day 14: Ajijic, Farewell dinner
Day 15: Guests depart