Cross Country Mountain Bike Tours
Riding Style
Hard
Difficulty
4/5
fitness
4/5
Technical
155 km (96.16mi)
Distance
4,690m (15,387ft)
Ascent
-8,904m (-29,213ft)
Descent

One of the best kept secrets in all the Americas: Guatemala is a mountain bike paradise home to incredible terrain, climate and culture. This 7 day itinerary follows old agricultural and trading routes of the Maya connecting the best sights in the country. The riding is technical and raw -unlike anything you’ll find in the northern hemisphere.

Get ready to see Guatemala like few do.

Highlights

  • Connect the best trails and sights in the country with a unique multi-day route
  • Shuttle Assisted – nearly twice the downhill and over 28,000ft of descent!
  • 90% off-road and over 40% singletrack
  • Visit the Mayan ruins of Ixcimché and Q’umarkaj
  • Views of Active Volcanoes
  • See Lake Atitlán for the first time from the saddle of your bike
  • Stay in unique and tranquil eco-hotels
  • Soak in volcanic hot springs
8 nights
6 Riding Days
2 Rest Days

A word from the Guide

After years of riding, guiding and exploring in Guatemala I dreamed up the idea of a point-to-point tour of the highlands connecting a variety of sights and regions. This route is as varied as Guatemala itself – with sandy volcanic descents, rocky, high and dry pines and rich tropical forests.

Riding a bike in Guatemala gives you a unique perspective to connect Mayan sights while riding ancient Mayan infrastructure on trails and footpaths.

This route crosses the chain of Guatemala’s highest volcanoes and through several distinct regions dipping into Quiché and Chichicastingango before passing through Quetzaltenango and finishing with rest day at Lake Atitlán.

Brendan James

Brendan James


Tour Details

INCLUDED

  • Most Meals
  • Accommodations
  • 1:4 Staff
  • Private shuttle and driver
  • Bi-Lingual Mountain Bike Guides with international certification
  • Fruits & Snacks
  • Filtered water
  • Park Entrances
  • Vehicle and 4×4 Support
  • Mechanical assistance
  • Access to pro tool kit.
  • Picnic Lunches
  • First-aid kit, two way radio Communication, Satellite locator
  • Exclusive House / Cabin Rentals
  • Pre-departure info package
  • MTB G Swag
  • Daily Bike Cleaning

NOT INCLUDED

  • Bike Rental
  • Airfare

FULL SHUTTLE SUPPORT

All of our multi-day trip include full shuttle support who follow us along the route with various reunion points throughout the day. The vehicles provide a base for your luggage, snacks and water and allow you to cut out sections of riding or take breaks if needed.

Sights On This Tour

Communal forest of the 48 Cantones

Parcialidad Vasquez Otz’iles

Parcialidad Vasquez Otz’iles The Communal Forest of Totonicapán represents the largest and most well-preserved coniferous forest in all of Central America.

Lake Atitlán , Guatemala

La Casa Del Mundo

Unique boat-accessed cliffside hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlán.

Cerro Quemado Sunset

Cerro Quemado

Extinct volcanic cone and Mayan religious site.

Fuentes Georginas.  Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Fuentes Georginas

Natural Volcanic Hot Springs and Spa.

Ruinas de Ixímche Ruinas de Ixímche Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Mayan Ruins of Iximché

Archeological site and former capital of the Kaqchikel Maya built in the 14th century.

Los Riscos de Momostenango, un bello capricho de la naturaleza  Totonicapán, Guatemala

Quiché

The Mayan heartland. High, pine forested mountains descend into a network of steep, dry canyons loaded with trails to explore.

Rad volcanic views en route to Lake Atitlán.  chimaltenango, Guatemala

Lake Atitlán

More than a lake – a region! Living Mayan culture and challenging mountain biking.

, Guatemala

Antigua

Located in a valley of Volcanoes Antigua Guatemala is home to hundreds of kilometers of steep agricultural singletrack.

Guatemala Mountain Bike Tours - MTB Guatemala

Spring 2023

Mar 18-26, 2023

20%

Group limited to 8 riders

Reserve now with a deposit of USD $500

December 2023

Dec 27- 2 Jan ’24

11%

Group limited to 8 riders

Reserve now with a deposit of USD $500

Winter 2024

Jan 14-22, 2024

20%

Group limited to 6 riders

Reserve with a deposit of USD $500

Interested in private tour or another date?

Have your own group or are interested in organizing a custom tour like this one?

Guatemala Mountain Bike Tours - MTB Guatemala
Guatemalan Highland Tour – Full Itinerary
DateNotesHotelMeals
Day 1
Mar 18 (Sat)
ArrivalAntigua
Day 2
Mar 19 (Sun)
Antigua Day RideCabaña TecpánB, L, D
Day 3
Mar 20 (Mon)
Tecpan Day Ride Mayan Ruins of IximchéCabaña TecpánB,L,D
Day 4
Mar 21 (Tue)
Totonicapán – QuichéSanta Cruz QuichéB,L
Day 5
Mar 22 (Wed)
Quiché and ChichicastenangoQuetzaltenangoB,L
Day 6
Mar 23 (Thu)
Cerro Quemado / Zunil Hot SpringsZunilB,L
Day 7
Mar 24 (Fri)
Lake AtitlánJaibalitoB,L,D
Day 8
Mar 25 (Sat)
Rest Day / Optional KayakingJaibalitoB
Day 9
Mar 26 (Sun)
Returnn/aB,L

Welcome to Guatemala! We are available to a organize private car to pick you up at the airport – delivering you to our guesthouse in Antigua. Our bike shop can assist you with assembly of your bike / last minute repairs before the big week.

We will be doing a optional cultural ride in the afternoon for those that arrive early – sharing a few local trails allowing you to become acquainted with our beautiful city. In the evening there will be welcome dinner where we will go over all the awesomeness to come.

  , Guatemala

True to its name, “La Antigua” is a UNESCO world heritage site with loads of history to explore. The city was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. Today, we will ride through coffee and fruit plantations with a shuttle-assisted itinerary that showcases the best of the valley.

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
29.47km 18.31mi6,91m 2,268ft-2,122m -6,962ft2,529m 8,298ft

Today we will hit the road – beginning our journey into the interior oft the country following a network of mayan and agricultural trails. We will start with a shuttle all the way up to 2500m below the Acatenango Volcano – the “top of the world” from here you can see 4 enormous volcanoes and across the country. We will drop down sandy singletrack pasing through small towns that make their living working the land – sewing and harvesting crops by hand and horse.

Connecting a spidery network of deeply erroded 1000 year old trails we will make our way to Tecpán crossing the canyons of Patzún and finishing at an eco lodge for the night.

A region of spectacular beauty and a layered history Tecpán is a great starting point for our tour of the highlands. Home of cool pine forests, Mayan ruins and Swiss-inspired chalets the area has a ton of character. In the morning we will pay a visit to the Ruins of Ixcimché former Mayan metropolis destroyed in 1520 located at 2500m atop an isolated cliff. We will learn about the history of the place from a local guide and explore the 600 year old Mayan pyramids.

On the bikes we will start with a long climb to over 10,000ft on rough 4×4 roads through pine forests traversing Cerro Tecpán with grand views of Lake Atitlán and its 4 volcanoes. Today’s Route is a remote one that connects several mountains and lakes and includes a picnic lunch. We will finish the day at a small log cabin chalet and restaurant in the mountains.

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Tecpan-Chichoy

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
39.23 km (24.38 mi)1480 m (4,856 ft)–1,309 m (-4,295 ft)3,021 m (9,912 ft)

The longest and highest day of the tour – today will climb to a unique alpine plateau with grand views of the Cuchumatánes mountains to the north. Near 11,000 ft you will see some of the rare alpine grassland environment in Guatemala with 360 degree views across the entire country.

Parcialidad Velasquez is the largest protected coniferous (pine) forests in Central America. The forest is home to thousands of small natural springs – an important water supply to the villages below. .The indigenous cantones of Totonicapán have banded together to protect the forest as a water source and the area is full of aqueducts and trails.

We will descend “la Culebra Quichélense” an ancient and technical trail that follows an aquaduct and slices through cliffs before dropping into the dry pine canyons of Quiché. In the forest are several Mayan religous sites and caves used to this day for fire ceremonies. We will finish in Santa Cruz del Quiché – a city the heart of the modern Mayan world.

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Totonicapán – Culebra Quichélense

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
47.19 km (29.33 mi)1132 m (3,714 ft)-2,429 m (-7,970 ft)3,301 m (10,831 ft)

Today is an optional rest day. We will begin today with a short ride to the ruins of Q’umarkaj. Q’umarkaj was one of the most powerful Maya cities when the Spanish arrived in the region in the early 16th century. It was the capital of the K’iche’ Maya in the Late Postclassic Period. From the ruins we will follow “el ruta de los escarabajos” – a local mountain bike club a.k.a “the beetles” – named after the ridiculously steep climbs in the region. We will follow active Mayan footpathsthrough steep canyons and ravines to the market town of Chichicastenango.

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The route of Escarabajos Quiché!

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
12.60 km (7.83 mi)530 m (1,739 ft)-505 m (-1,657 ft)2,052 m (6,733 ft)

Our visit is timed with the weekly market in Chichicastenango- one of the largest indigenous markets in Central America famed for its vibrant textiles and artisanal crafts. We have the afternoon to walk the markets before busing to our next destination: Alaska.

At 3100m (10,170ft) La Cumbre Alaska is the highest point on the Pan-American highway between the United States and Mexico. From this spot you can see the chain of Guatemala’s highest volcanoes.

We will drop the bikes for a quick downhill to the valley of Quetzaltenango for the night – descending the course of a local XC race through massive old growth pine trees finishing at our hotel for the night in the city.

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Descenso Alaska

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
15.60 km (9.70 mi)340 m (1,116 ft)1,025 m (-3,363 ft)3,069 m (10,069 ft)

Today we will ride to two volcanoes and see one of Guatemala’s newest and active volcanic creations: Volcán Santiaguito. In 1920 an enormous eruption rocked Santa Maria blowing off the southern side of the muntain, and a volcanic cone has been growing ever since.

Heading out of Xela in the morning climb EL Baul Park with a beautiful views of the city – descending from the cross we will connect some of the many mountain bike trails in the park.

A 4km climb will bring us to the town of Cantón CHICUÁ home of Cerro Quemado: our first volcano of the day. This extinct volcanic cone is home to an enormous lava field and many religious sites. Pilgrims come from all over to worship on the burned mountain. We will cross colorful fields of flowers grown for the offerings before descending a rough and loose singletrack.

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Xela – Cerro Quemado

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
20.40 km (12.68 mi)1137 m (3,730 ft)-961 (-3,153 ft)2,706 m (8,878 ft)

We meet up with the van for a brief shuttle along the flanks of Volcano Santa Maria packing our lunches before heading to the Santiago Mirador through pastures and cow paths. There we will have lunch at the mirador overlooking the active volcano before snaking back around the mountain to catch some of the singletrack below santa maria. Then we will descend down to Zunil (over 1000m of DH) on steep dirt and jeep track.

Shuttle to the Fuentes Georgianas – hot springs and hotel for the night.

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Mirador de Volcán Santiaguito

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
18.21 km (11.32 mi)423 m (1,388 ft)-1,311 m (-4,301 ft)2,850 m (9,351 ft)

Our seventh day on the bike we cut out the climbing with a shuttle high above Lake Atitlán. We will follow soft, pine forested logging roads down to the town of Santa Clara on the western side of the lake. For the hearty we will make the technical descent the final 800m down rough mayan trails finishing at Mayachik an eco resort and yoga retreat for the night.

Ixtahuacán – San Juan La Laguna

DistanceAscentDescentMax Altitude
23.00 km (14.29 mi)653 m (2,142 ft)-1,513 m (-4,964 ft)2,586 m (8,485 ft)

It is no coincidence that we finish the tour at one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. You earned it! Today you will have the chance to swim, visit local markets, kayak or simply hang out in the hammock and take in the view!

In the evening we will take a boat across the lake to Panajachel for a final meal before boarding the bus for the ride back to Antigua.

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 Lake Atitlán Sololá, Guatemala

Why Ride With Us?

The Mountain Bike Guatemala Difference

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.

Ride like a local.

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

We are reliable.

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

All we do is Mountain Biking

We are rider run mountain biking only operation. Which means we focus on what we do well and do it the best.

The best equipment

We rent modern equipment and mountain bikes. All of our rental bikes are two years or newer and are professionally maintained and serviced.

With years of experience riding, racing and exploring in Guatemala, all our routes are carefully designed and unique to our company.

Bike Rentals

MTB Guatemala Mountain Bike Tours - Lake Atitlan

Have a Question?

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

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Boletín de Mountain Bike Guatemala

Suscribase a nuestra boletín con contenido original, discuentos y consejos una vez al mes. No te lo pierdas!

Additional information

Riding Time7 Days
Shuttle SupportYes

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Boletín de Mountain Bike Guatemala

Suscribase a nuestra boletín con contenido original, discuentos y consejos una vez al mes. No te lo pierdas!

Mountain Biking in Totonicapán Guatemala  Totonicapán, Guatemala

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