Difficulty
Medium
fitness
4/10
Technical
5/10
Distance
78.16km (48.57mi)
Ascent
1,793m (5,883ft)
Descent
-3,399m (-11,152ft)
Max Alt.
2,836m (9,304ft)

One day at Guatemala’s most beautiful lake is simply not enough! MTB Guatemala has put together this 2 day Lake Atitlán Cross Country trip. This itinerary has some great mountain biking, and be prepared to be amazed by the views and local culture as well!

Lake Atitlán is one of the best places to mountain bike in Guatemala – its enormous topography, perfect climate (55-75°F year round) and friendly local culture make it a highlight for many travelers. Around the lake there are hundreds of singletrack paths where we’ll explore connecting terraced onion fields, agricultural byways and ancient Mayan trading routes.

Highlights:

  • Ride some of the best singletrack in Guatemala
  • See one of the world’s most beautiful lakes from the saddle of your bike.
  • Visit the towns of Panajachel, San Antonio and Santa Catarina Palopó
  • Visit local markets with vibrant Mayan culture

Agua Escondida, San Antonio Palopó, Panajachel

Today is all about connecting sights and vising some of the magic villages at Lake Atitlán. This tour begins high above the lake. You will follow a serene paved road along the eastern crater of Atitlán, where amazing vistas abound. We will dip down into farmland following agricultural jeep and singletrack through plantations of avocado, coffee and fruit trees.

Agua Escondida, Guatemala (2025.4 m)

Our lunch will be at a cliff-top restaurant in Agua Escondida with a unique view of the lake and its three volcanoes. In the afternoon we will take a steep 4×4 road down to the shore to the town of San Antonio Palopó, 800m below. In San Antonio we will visit a weaving cooperative before continuing on the rolling terrain on the shore of the lake. Next, we'll pass through the town of Santa Catarina Palopó famous for its textile markets and brightly painted buildings.

The last climb to Panajachel will end with a rewarding ride along the beach of Lake Atitlán. Finishing on the docks, we'll enjoy a cool beverage, finishing on the docks we'll enjoy a cool beverage, catch the sunset from the market street Calle Sentender – and check into our hotel located just a few blocks away for the night.

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
33km
20.5mi
950m
3,117ft
-1,500m
-4,921ft
2,186m
7,172ft

Highland Traverse and Tecpán

Today we will go deep into the indigenous communities above the lake. You will see rural life at its purest as we pedal along beautiful dirt roads and highland jeeptrack through sheep meadows and pine forests.

After a shuttle to the rim of the caldera of Lake Atitlán, we climb 3mi to an alpine plateau at 1800m (9200ft) El Corazón de Las Nubes (the heart of the clouds) – a Mayan ceremonial site. We will follow old logging roads with unmatched views of the lake and its environs. Canyons and volcanoes abound.

Chupól, Guatemala (2707.7 m)

We will cross into the pine forested region of Tecpán following old logging roads along mountain ridges passing by Laguna Chichoy and the communities of Panimazalam. Here the kind and lovely people make their living off the land and see very few outside visitors. After a picnic lunch in the field, we will continue our singletrack descent down through the small town of San Andres Semetebaj, before finishing our trip in Panajachel.

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
45.2km
28.07mi
843m
2,766ft
-1,899m
-6,230ft
2,836m
9,304ft

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.

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Have a Question?

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

Additional information

Riding StyleCultural, XC

TRIP DETAILS

ARRIVAL / DEPARTUREOur Shop in Antigua

We run this tour from Antigua however as with most our tours we are flexible. 

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: Breakfast, Lunch (restaurant)

Day 2: 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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