For a few years now, a considerable section of Mexico City’s population has been using bicycles as an extra means of transport, which has helped in the promotion health and the environment. On your next visit to Mexico City, you’ll notice this change immediately as you find ecobici (eco-bike) stations across several of the city’s tourist areas, providing a new form of individual urban transport which allows locals and tourists alike to travel short distances in a way that is comfortable, fun and eco-friendly.
If it’s your first time cycling around Mexico City, take one of the many guided tours that are presently offered free as part of urban cycling schemes in the city, with several hotels also offering this service. One such hotel is the Presidente Intercontinental. Situated in an exceptional location, this hotel has started putting on a bicitour (bike tours), where guests can tour the nearby area of Chapultepec with a specialized guide, making strategic stops at places of interest in the forest that are not to be missed.
What is the route of the bicitour?
Once you’ve put on your protective helmet, the route enters the nearby section of Chapultepec through Puerta de Leones, or “Lion’s Gate”, the name given to the entrance to the Botanic Garden on Paseo de la Reforma. A few meters further on, you’ll reach the Altar a la Patria, the largest and grandest of the three monuments built in memory of the “Boy Heroes”, a group of Mexican cadets who died at the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican-American war in 1847.
Peddle a little further and stop at the Baños de Moctezuma (Baths of Moctezuma), a circular well that used to be c+O9onnected to the ancient springs at the foot of Chapultepec Hill, from where water flowed towards the city for over 400 years. Rumor has it that these baths were used for swimming by the Aztec emperor, Moctezuma, and by Maximilian, the short-lived Habsburg Emperor of Mexico.
Opposite the Baños de Moctezuma, you’ll find a natural work of art called the Ahuehuete de Moctezuma (Cypress of Moctezuma). The story goes that this was planted at the emperor’s request by Nezahualcoyotl, ruler of the Chichimeca people from the city of Texcoco. This is the most symbolic tree in the forest with an approximate height of 40 meters, having lived for 500 years.
CContinue down the Gran Avenida and stop for a rest in front of the Totem Canadiense, an incredible wooden sculpture donated to Mexico by the Canadian people in 1960. Notice the intense color of this statue, which was sculpted by indigenous inhabitants of the north-east coast of Canada, as you stop to regain some of your energy.
Finish off your tour with a jaunt around the Fuente de las Ranas (Frog Fountain), one of the oldest fountains in the forest which was built in Seville, Spain, by Miguel Alessio Robles, Mexico’s Minister Plenipotentiary in the country.
What are you waiting for? Get out your helmet and map and ride along Mexico City’s cycle paths, discovering the wonders hidden deep within the Forest of Chapultepec, the biggest, most important and most emblematic set of lungs for Mexico City.