MTBing While on a Mexican All-Inclusive Vacation – Part 2
Sometimes when you travel with a group, there are some members of the party who are not as interested in cycling as you (who knew?)! While planning for an all-inclusive Mexican vacation, I did some searching to see if there might be any mountain biking opportunities on, or near the Mayan Riviera. I discovered two trips that would allow me to get out riding. In Part 1, I described our Mexican triathlon of mountain biking, cenote swimming and Mayan ruin explorations. This article talks about a coastal bike park that I was able to visit via public transit.
Punta Venado Bike Park
My second riding adventure was at the Punta Venado Bike Park. The park has approximately 30km of purpose built singletrack. Punta Venado is just south of Playa del Carmen and is easily accessible by taxi or colectivo.
I woke up early to grab a few hours of riding before my travel companions were ready for the beach. I headed out to the highway to catch a colectivo (a system of vans that provide public transportation between Cancun and Tulum). A van stopped within 5 min and I was on my way to the park. Our resort was about 15 km south of the park. I was dropped off at the access road and walked 1.5 km to the park entrance.
I rented a Giant hardtail and helmet. The bike was in good condition but, if I go again I will bring my own pedals – the stock pedals left much to be desired (my Five Tens would not stick to them).
The terrain is flat but the singletrack takes advantage of the undulations and is mostly fast and flowy. The black diamond trails are chunkier and use the local limestone to add challenge. There are a smattering of drops, berms and skinnies on the blue and black trails. There is even a teeter totter (is every bike park required to have one of these?).
I rode about 1/2 the trails and then went to the Blue Venado Beach Club for some hydration. I think that the beach club and bike park are parts of the same company (there are also ATV and horseback tours available). The beach club is open to the public and seems to be a popular spot for the locals. The cold cerveza was very much appreciated!
Back on the bike, I completed the trail system. It was getting quite warm by this time, so I did take advantage of a small trail side cenote to take a refreshing dip (this cenote was small, but exactly what I needed – a large, cool bathtub).
I purchased a couple of cerveza for the walk out to the highway and returned my bike. After a 10 min wait, I was on a colectivo and headed back to the resort to join my companions on the beach.
Punta Venado is suitable for riders of all abilities, the trails are clearly signed and the maps are easy to follow.