Difficulty
Medium
fitness
5/10
Technical
9/10
Distance
37.3km 23.18mi
Ascent
1,451m 4,761ft
Descent
-5,013m -16,447ft
Max Alt.
2,461m 8,074ft

Guatemala has some seriously big terrain and this Lake Atitlán enduro mountain bike tour combines raw agricultural trails and cliff-lined singletrack with views that will most certainly make you say “wow”. This varied itinerary connects pine-forests, staircase-filled urban downhills and remote rocky descents you will come away with a taste of what makes Lake Atitlán a world class mountain bike destination.

Highlights:

  • Connects the best technical descents above the lake
  • Over 6,000ft of descent per day
  • This route is 90% technical agricultural singletrack
  • Descend the iconic “culebra” downhill
  • Visit the towns of Panajachel, San Antonio and Santa Catarina Palopó

Day 1: Atitlán Shuttle Run

Lake Atitlán fills a 20km wide crater left by of one of the earth’s largest volcanic eruptions.  Due to the steepness in topography there are very few trails that connect from the rim to the lake below. The pathways that do exist have been used for thousand years by the Mayan people, carved from cliffs and riddled with steps. This excursion makes an excellent introduction to the difficult riding at the lake, a unique place with deep culture and history.

Atitlan Sunset
Sunset over the Atitlán Volcano on from the eastern side of Lake Atitán Guatemala Agua Escondido, Guatemala (2164.0 m)

San Antonio DH

Start in remote terraced gardens of the local people on the cliffs high the lake. Follow a sketchy donkey trail traversing canyons and streams before connecting with an ancient Mayan hiking path that drops near vertical over hundreds of steps to the beautiful Mayan town of San Antonio Palopó below.

San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala (1592m)

La Culebra Downhill

La Culebra the snake is one of Guatemala’s most infamous mountain bike classics. Twisting and curving it follows an aqueduct trail which drops 800m from the Lake Atitlán caldera to the town of Santa Catarina Palopó. Featured in the 2nd day of Guatemala’s MTB stage race El Reto Del Quetzal – this technical downhill is a test piece for many racers. Reached at kilometer 80 after an early start in Antigua – most riders are seeing red by the time they reach this cliff-lined descent.

Sololá, Guatemala (1847.1 m)

La Culebra includes steep flower patches, pine forests, sinuous switchbacks, rock drops and breathtaking views with serious consequence. The last section of trail follows an urban downhill through the steep alleys and concrete staircases of Santa Catarina Palopó. The views, the technicality and the unique nature of this route make it a five star classic in Guatemala.

Gallery:

Part 1: San Antonio DH

Part 2: La Culebra DH

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
16.5km
10.25mi
424m
1,391ft
-1,480m
-4,856ft
2,164m
7,100ft

Day 2: Atitlán Highlands

An excellent technical day that combines two monster descents from high in the mountains to the shore of Lake Atitlán. The views and remoteness of this route make it unforgettable!

San Andrés Semetebaj, Guatemala (2296.0 m)

Description:

Shuttle to the rim of the Lake Atitlán caldera at 2900m. From here we climb 3mi on serene jeep roads to an alpine plateau with unmatched views of the lake and its environs. Canyons and volcanoes abound. Will will pass through an area known as “El Corazon de las Nubes” a Mayan Ceremonial site.

At this altitude the ecology in Guatemala is a unique mix of alpine grass, grazing sheep, and agave plants. We will follow rocky, oftentimes technical singletrack through pine forests passing through small Mayan communities and canyons.

After a picnic lunch and short shuttle we will continue our descent to Lake Atitlán in a 1000m downhill – from the grassy highlands through pine forests and steep, rocky switchbacking trail – on of the most technical downhills in Guatemala. At the shore of the Lake enjoy a beverage with a view.[/timeline_item]

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
26.4km 16.93mi343m 1,125ft-1,681m -5,515ft2,872m 9,423ft

Night 1: Panajachel

Hotel Utz' Jay

Located 2 blocks from Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Hotel Utz' Jay offers lush gardens and fruit trees, a hot tub and a Mayan-style sauna filled with relaxing aromatic herbs.

Rooms here feature a balcony with garden views. The hotel is situated in a quiet street, just a short walk from Calle Sentender with its shops and restaurants.

 

Why Ride with Us?

With years of experience riding, racing and exploring in Guatemala our guides know the trails better than anyone.

Ride like a local. We can connect you with local cycling culture and cycling events like no other travel company.

We are direct. When you book a trip through us there are no middlemen – no “in country partners”. We work directly with all accommodations and keep our costs honest.

We are reliable. When timelines and punctuality matter we cut the riff-raff and get you out and riding.

Tour Gallery

Have a Question?

If you need any clarification on details of this tour – just reach out!

Night 1: Panajachel

Hotel Utz’ Jay

Located 2 blocks from Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Hotel Utz’ Jay offers lush gardens and fruit trees, a hot tub and a Mayan-style sauna filled with relaxing aromatic herbs.

Rooms here feature a balcony with garden views. The hotel is situated in a quiet street, just a short walk from Calle Sentender with its shops and restaurants.

 

TRIP DETAILS

ARRIVAL / DEPARTUREOur Shop in Antigua

This tour makes a great jump off for a stay at the Lake. If you would like to to stay after you tour just let us know – we can help you coordinate your accommodation.

If you are already staying or have plans to stay at Lake Atitlán we can meet you in Panajachel for this tour.

Arriving internationally? let us know if you would like us to pick you up at the airport

MEALS
Day 1: Atitlán Shuttles: Breakfast, Lunch (Picnic)

Day 2: Atitlán Highlands: Breakfast, Lunch (Picnic)

INCLUDED
Meals, SnacksAccommodations
Professional driver Amazing Guide
Kick-Ass Bike Rental
NOT INCLUDED
Airfare
Dinners

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to carry all my stuff with me for the whole trip?

Nearly all of our trips are accompanied by support vehicle and professional driver  who will meet with us at checkpoints throughout the day.  The support vehicle will carry supplies / spare parts and water. If you would like to leave anything in the vehicle such as extra layers rain gear camera etc. you are more than welcome.

Where will my bike be kept overnight?

All of the hotels that we partner have a storage area where we will secure the bikes overnight. If you are especially attached to your bike you can bring it into your hotel room at night.

Are food/snacks provided?

On our day tours we supply light snacks such as energy bars and fruit and water. Multi-day tours include breakfast and lunch. Dinners are on your own. If you would like a recommendation for a place to eat or would like to dine as a group we can make that happen!

Will my dietary restrictions be accommodated for?

All of our snacks / picnic lunches include a vegetarian option. If you have any other dietary restrictions please let us know when you are booking your tour.

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