Bolivia | Urmiri: The Cactus Trails

Jun 27, 2011 at 12:57
by Marco Toniolo  


Organization by gravitybolivia.com

If I'd have to escape from the real world and hide myself somewhere I'd go to Urmiri. No electricity, no phone, just big mountains, long trails, lots of cactus and a hot spring with an old hotel where close to your bed you find a candle and some matches, just in case you want to go to the toilet during the night. Well, that was Urmiri two years ago, when I went there for the first time. Now the progress arrived even to that part of the world and you can get some mobile phone network if you climb on the top of the waterfalls where the hot water flows down.

Bolivia | Urmiri: the cactus trails on pinkbike.com


But if my life is going to stay in the real world (as Alistair of Gravity Bolivia defines it) I'll just keep going back to that place to enjoy the sick trails Alistair found there. The first time you hit them it's kind of scary because they are narrow, sometimes exposed and mostly they turn around cactus with very long thorns that are waiting to pin your tubes and your hands.

Organization by gravitybolivia.com

Once you get used to this, you bomb through the dirt and the dust like a rocket, gasping for some air if you are riding behind somebody or just cruising the 1500 vertical meters down to the valley.

Organization by gravitybolivia.com

The trails are used by the locals to reach their small villages, we met a bunch of them during our stay there and it's always great to see the smiles on their faces when we stop and talk to them.

Organization by gravitybolivia.com
Organization by gravitybolivia.com

This year we discovered a new trail, on the opposite side of the mountain. Alistair explains it very well in the video, anyway it's only because of progress (a mobile phone aerial has been set on the opposite side of the valley - and a new road has been built to go there) that we were able to be shuttled up there and enjoy a sunset ride we will hardly forget. A slalom between the cactus in huge clouds of dust. A kind of a dream for every rider used to the alpine wet weather.

Organization by gravitybolivia.com

Even after this downhill we all knew that one of the best parts of the day was still to come: the beer in the natural hot springs of Urmiri! As we were the only hotel guests (like two years ago) we had the pool only for us. Fresh beer, hot water, trails tales and two more days in Urmiri to ride. We could not complain.

If you'd like to go there just ask Gravitybolivia.com.

Organization by gravitybolivia.com
  The hot spring is perfect also to wash off the dust during a lunch break.
Organization by gravitybolivia.com
  Alistair & the locals
Organization by gravitybolivia.com
  Cactus slalom
Organization by gravitybolivia.com
  Cactus Rene
Organization by gravitybolivia.com
  Cactus Jerome
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21 Comments

  • + 23
 what an amazing place to ride, can´t bolivia it!!
  • + 2
 cha ching !
  • + 11
 there's norway you just made that joke
  • + 2
 haha i love the driver dancing on the roof, hes just happy to be on camera
  • + 4
 Cactus trail, buahah - If you have your riding mate shredding behind you - no matter how fast you go, no matter if you have a fullface helmet and Dimmu Borgir on earphones on full volume - you will know when he crashes... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

On Topic: Great series, pics are O-Zum!
  • + 2
 Oh man. You guys got some awesome vids. I lived in La Paz about 10 years ago. Now that im into MTB in U.S. its time to go visit the family again. Im looking you guys up in May to arrange Sorata. Keep it up. You guys are awesome.
  • + 2
 Same here i would visit family in La Paz every year but my parents never let me take my bike over there Frown
Glad to see Bolivia put on the map once again, oh and my cousin's family own's the resort with the hot spring Smile

and Gravity Bolivia is a fantastic company if you're ever looking to bike in Bolivia ask these guys!
  • + 2
 this trail is beautyful, but i got to say that they should go to la muela del diablo that is my favorite local trail, end of story!
  • + 2
 Urmiri, this brings back some great memories. Super sweet trails and bad ass cacti! This makes me want to go back...
  • + 1
 Cactus slalom is my POD! Nice trip, makes me wanna get a new bike and do tours again like back in the 90ties...
  • + 1
 Awesome - ganz grosses Kino Marco! Who are you cheering for next week at Megavalanche?!
  • + 1
 i wonder how many flats were fixed throughout the trip? Also, thats a gnarly little bugger in your finger.
  • + 1
 yea i'd get 20 flats going down that trail. i got 2 flats just messing around with street for 2 days. fucking curbs!
  • + 1
 Really nice.. drifting in every corner.
  • + 1
 great pics, and that swimming pool looks like paradise to me \\\\\
  • + 1
 Jérôme Rocks!
  • + 1
 AWESUM............
  • + 1
 wow wow wow wow wow
  • + 1
 Epic.
  • + 1
 Grate pics man..
  • + 1
 wonderful place ...

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