El Salvador: Central America’s Back Pocket

El Salvador is another country cyclists seem to skip. And, like Latin America’s other ignored, avoided, forgotten, or otherwise bypassed countries (namely, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Brazil), bike touring through El Salvador feels like an adventure. You’ll rarely, if ever, meet other bike travellers here. Nothing is really set up for foreigners in El Salvador, […]

Guatemala: The Good and the Mala

Guatemala is not an easy country to grasp on your first visit. There’s nothing obviously “Guatemalan” connecting the variety of terrain and life and cultures found within its borders. The popular image of volcanoes, coffee plantations, and indigenous women in colourful costumes selling handicrafts represents only part of the puzzle. And travelling slowly by bicycle […]

Honduras: The Depths

Most travellers don’t spend much time in Honduras. Backpackers hop the border at Copán to visit the ruins then bus straight to the Bay Islands to get their scuba diving ticket. Cyclists usually cut straight through, avoiding any side trips and, for once, I don’t blame them. Honduras will exhaust the patience of even the […]

Mexico: Pedalling The Parchment

Mexico is a big country that covers many climates and terrains. The famous story of conquistador, Hernán Cortés, crumpling a piece of parchment and setting it on the table when asked to describe the land reminds us that Mexico is a mountainous place. Choose any route across Mexico and you’ll find yourself riding some of […]

Nicaragua: Small, Despite Its Size

The first time I rode into Nicaragua I found myself riding through a drought-stricken community so desperately poor that people were chasing me, begging for my water bottles. I was told later that it hadn’t rained there in six months and people were dying. At the time, however, I kept riding – I needed what […]

Panama: Dismissed Isthmus

Panama doesn’t get the respect it deserves as an adventure travel destination. It gets visitors, sure, but it’s treated more as a terminal or a bridge; somewhere to catch a connecting flight, wait for a boat, or simply pass straight through, whether by road or through the canal. Those who take the time to get […]

Paraguay: The Other Guay

Paraguay is Latin America’s least-visited country. Travellers seem almost to make a point of avoiding it. Possibly, it’s because of geography–a quick glance at a map will confirm that Paraguay’s borders reach neither the mountains nor the coast. Or perhaps it’s because of Paraguay’s history of dictatorships. Well, what Latin American country doesn’t have that […]

Peru: Personality To Spare

Peru was the first country I travelled by bicycle and I’ve been back several times over the years. I don’t think I really appreciated Peru on my first visit. I didn’t know the history, couldn’t speak Spanish, couldn’t tell what was Peruvian from what was Latin American. Now, after years spent touring the rest of […]

Uruguay: The Nice Guay

Looking back, I should’ve toured Uruguay first. This would have been a gentle introduction to Latin America. Instead, I started in Peru, which was more of a trial by fire. But that’s what I wanted when I started touring and I think that’s what most newbie bicycle travellers want; something different, something difficult, a proving […]

Venezuela: ¡Ven!

Venezuela contains the most unusual landscapes in Latin America. Imagine: watching the sun rise over a lush, low forest punctuated with the domes of gigantic, granitic boulders that rise above the treetops like surfacing whales. Or: riding for days through a steaming tropical marsh only to find yourself suddenly entering a range of mysterious pink […]

Copyright El Pedalero 2016