Quite possibly one of the most beautiful places to ride a mountain bike in Guatemala. Lake Atitlán is known for its outstanding views and timeless Mayan culture.
More than destination – Lake Atitlán is a region of deep canyons, towering volcanoes and rich Mayan culture that surrounds Central America’s deepest lake.
Towns and Villages at Lake Atitlán
There are over 12 towns around Lake Atitlán- each with their own unique cultures 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 far side of the lake, is the largest of the towns. San Marcos and on the northern side of the lake is a famous destination for Yogis.
Mountain biking in Lake Atitlán
When I first visited Guatemala I came to Lake Atitlán and I stayed. The area re-kindled my love for the mountain bike and gave me plenty to explore. Many people schedule a day or two at Lake Atitlán but you can easily spend a week here. There are over a dozen towns to visit and each has their own distinctive feel and culture. Many are accessed only by boat or lanchas – the public water taxi.
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