Route - Belize and Mexico
|Belize to Bacalar
From Belize City to Orange Walk, we followed the deserted Northern Highway over flat, boring terrain. It got more interesting from Orange Walk to the Mexican border, where we turned westward along the busy highway that connects Chetumal to Campeche, before picking up the quieter road that leads north towards Cancun.
About 25 miles north of Bacalar, we took the shortcut northwest towards Merida a blissfully quiet and undulating road that connects with a busier east-west highway after 60 miles. We took a bus from here all the way to Muna, though the route wouldnt be bad at all on a bike. From Muna we headed southwards over a surprisingly high ridge to Uxmal and then followed the hilly and gorgeous Ruta Puuc back to Oxkutzcab.
There are bike lanes everywhere in Havana, and it wasnt difficult finding the outrageously weird six-lane superhighway heading to Pinar Del Rio, 120 miles or so to the southwest. This road was in excellent shape and was constantly entertaining. From it we headed into the mountains and the Vinales valley through some gorgeous scenery. The Northern Highway that passes through Bahia Honda (on our way back to Havana) wasnt too hilly, but the surface was often in miserable shape. The secondary roads winding through the hills are steep and beautiful, and they vary enormously in quality. Traffic is simply not an issue in Cuba, making it a cyclists paradise.
There is a lot of traffic in and around Merida, but it thinned out as we approached Izamal, fifty miles to the east. From Izamal to Dzitas the route was varied and virtually free of traffic. In Dzitas we followed the signs to Chichen-Itza, heading south along a good road that became a hassle after it crossed the Merida-Cancun superhighway. The road eastwards from Chichen-Itza is better experienced from inside of a bus (we learned the hard way).
© 1997 Frederick Felman and Andrew Broan, All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from authors or their agents.