Quite possibly one of the most beautiful places to ride a mountain bike in Guatemala. Lake Atitlán is known for its incredible views and timeless Mayan culture.
More than single destination – Lake Atitlán is a region of deep canyons, towering volcanoes and rich Mayan culture. Many travelers find themselves coming for a a day or two but stay for much longer with so much to explore.
Towns and Villages at Lake Atitlán
There are 12 towns around Central America’s deepest Lake –each with their own culture and traditions. Panajachel is considered the main gateway to the lake for many tourists and is known for its large market. Santiago de Atitlán, at the southern side of the lake, is the largest of the towns. San Marcos on the north side of the lake is a famous destination for Yogis. At Lake Atitlán the people speak three Mayan languages: Kaqchikel, K’iche and Tzʼutujil.
Mountain biking in Lake Atitlán
When I first visited Guatemala in 2012 I came to Lake Atitlán and I stayed. 2 years later I would move on but not after exploring every footpath that I could, seeking out the best trails for riding. The Lake Atitlán area re-kindled my love for the mountain bike and gave me plenty to explore.
The climate at the lake is perfect: 10-20C (50-70F) year round – not to hot or cold! The mountains here are home to rocky, pine forest riding, with extensive steep canyons in all directions. A supervolcanic, crater, all the trails down to the level of the lake are rocky, technical and extremely steep.
Let us know your interests and we would be happy to put together a day or two of mountain bike riding at Lake Atitlán with routes of all levels.
Lake Atitán has been described as “the best weather in the world” temperatures fluctuate little throughout the year. Average daily temps range from 16-24°C (60-75°F)
Dry Season (Sept – May)
Dry, rocky grassy, during this season corn is harvested and many fields are left bare for months – with agricultural paths which lend themselves very well to mountain biking.
During the rainy season (May – September) afternoon storms engulf the area around 4pm – Most days you can get out and ride in the morning with clear skies year round. Rains at the lake can be torrential – but short in duration, causing brief flooding.
Full suspension 80-160mm of travel.
Maximum gear ratio for climbing. 28×42 or 32×50