A classic point-to point Guatemalan backcountry ride
Follow the route of the Kaqchikel Maya on this two day Lake Atitlán mountain bike tour! Start from our base at 2600m in the mountains of Tecpán and finish at the shores of Lake Atitlán. Your experience begins with a vistit to the Mayan Ruins of Iximché and follows 600 year old trading routes that connect the Kaqchikel kingdom.
We were the first company to develop this route which took years of exploring, cleaning and thousands of man hours and trail work. The result is an experience that is sure to make into your list of top rides.
What Makes this Route Unique
On this ride you will experience a diversity climates and Mayan cultures in a single day. Our route crosses high-altitude pine forests, a labyrinth of dry canyons, remote villages and finishes at the shore of one oft he world’s most beautiful lakes – Lake Atitlán!
Two days of shuttle-assisted mountain biking
Reach Lake Atitlán via a remote and canyonous route
This tour is a great start for an extended stay at Lake Atitán. If you would like to extend the tour with another day of riding or to stay beyond your tour let us know – we would be happy help you coordinate your accommodation at the lake.
Full Suspension bike rental
Helmet, Gloves, Kneepads
Meals (Breakfasts and lunches)
Private shuttle and driver
Bi-Lingual Mountain Bike Guide with international certification
Fruits & Snacks
Vehicle and 4×4 Support
Access to pro tool kit.
First-aid kit, two way radio Communication, Satellite locator
Today Begins with a visit to the ruins of Iximché where a local historian and guide will explain the history of the ruins from the postclassic Mayan period.
We will descend from the ruins on the route of the Kaqchikel passing through remote Mayan communities on ancient agricultural infrastructure traversing canyons and ridges before dropping to the Rio Madre Vieja where we will enjoy a picnic lunch.
Agua Escondida, San Antonio Palopó, Panajachel
The second half of the day begins high above the lake traversing through a rich fertile region called “la cumbre” where amazing vistas abound. We will dip down into farmland following agricultural jeep and singletrack through plantations of avocado, coffee and fruit trees.
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’ll 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.
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.
Departure time: 6am (a stop for breakfast is included en-route) This tour starts and finish from Antigua, Guatemala Please let us know your hotel and will be happy to meet you there! 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
This tour makes a great jump off for a stay at Lake Atitán. If you would like to extend the tour with another day of riding or to stay beyond your tour just let us know – we wold be happy help you coordinate your accommodation.
Day 1: Tecpan-Pana Breakfast in restaurant Picnic Lunch Day 2: Atitlán Highlands Breakfast in restaurant Picnic Lunch
4 Star Accommodation
Transportation including follow car and multiple shuttle uplifts
Had a fantastic time with MTB Guatemala this past week. Took a two day tour with Brendan from Tecpan to Panajachel. Great riding, beautiful scenery and cool sites. Stopped at a weaving collective and also ancient Mayan Ruins. Truly spectacular. Please note, when he says Advanced Level he means it. Guatemala has rugged mountains with steep ups and rowdy downs. This ain’t your cush American tour, it’s a rugged MTB Adventure!! Highly recommended.
Amazing 2-day journey across the Guatemalan culture and geography and kindness of Brendan and all his team. A must do if you are curious and love biking!
At first I was hesitant about the price of this tour, but by the end of it, I was surprised it was so cheap! I got more from that two day tour than I did from my 10-day stay in Antigua. It was a magical experience.
MTB Guatemala set me up with a high-end full suspension trail bike with a dropper post, 27.5 wheels and 150mm of travel. After beating on that thing for two days, I’m not sure how he made any money off me. The climbs were challenging, the downhills were a good mix of technical and fun, the villages were remote, and the views were surreal. Everything about that tour was surreal and provided me with a lot of insight into Guatemala and where it’s at in its history.
This tour left my first-world brain buzzing for the next couple of days. I’m also a much more skilled and confident mountain biker as a result. Can’t say enough good things! Money well spent!
A badass tour! The MTB Guatemala crew is very knowledgeable of the area and operates their business professionally, while having a lot of fun. The terrain of this trip offers a variety of challenges from mud, to dusty historical trails, all while giving you a cultural Mayan experience…. and the views, wow!
With such a rich Mayan presence, there I always the opportunity to find new connecting trails too. Brendan leaves the possibility of discovery an option, which makes for an exciting adventure.
I highly recommend this mtb trip to give you a purposeful trip in the Mayan mountains of Guatemala. Solid!
I am an avid Road cyclist and Intermediate MTB rider with family ties in Guatemala. I found these guys through a country of Guatemala instagram page and their pictures stood out above of the others. So after salivating for over 6 months from their constant breathtaking posts, my sister and I bought this tour.
The pictures do not compare to experiencing the mumbling beauty of Guatemala in person. Everything is so green!!! And the routes are the actual trails of the ancient Mayan cultures that are still used by the locals, who are actually very humble and welcoming as you pass by. The corn fields were a huge eye opener for me. I am sure those who live in urban environments will take away something from seeing that the way of life here.
The Tour Guides:
Our tour guides Alex, and Nefta were beasts on the bike! And they can easily become your best friends. They are Super strong going up hill and they never get off there bikes during the most technical drops. Alex, our main guide gave us, from what I can only describe as very hip/academic lectures of every point interest , which there a lot!! e.g. Iximche. Which is why I dubbed him ”el profesor.”
Eric our driver who drove us from Antigua to the starting point in his very RAD converted school van from Korea, is the sweetest guy and again is someone who can be your best friend. Is always there at check points to make sure everyone feed and safe and will be there to the rescue if need be.
I came some what advanced. I like to climb steep hills and have been able to ride 100+ miles with 6000ft of climbing in one day on a road bike. And I was not let down by the difficulty. This was a rewarding trek which is definitely not for beginners, but seriously something to aspire to.
Nothing beats climbing through cool fresh air. As It helps your ascent. I didn’t even feel much need for water. The hills never felt impossible but very seldom they got to a very steep grade maybe “17,” so I may have walked it up a few times.. but still, it only made me want to improve.
The downhill is challenging, there were some falls but nothing my sister and I couldn’t handle. Luckily there are forks in the road where Alex and Nefta gave us the option to try an intermediate level route. I only did the advanced routes, which were too advanced for me at times, as I am not an avid mtb climber. But having Alex and Nefta there teaching and showing me how it’s done makes me feel confident I can one day do it.
It all ends at Lake Atitlan, the most photogenic lake on the planet. The photos were spectacular. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the memories. And the guides really are great photographers. Your Instagram will be set!
As of this writing I am currently in Guatemala trying to book a last minute ride with them before I leave. For me, what these guys offer is priceless, I feel more connected to my parent’s country then I ever have before.
I strongly MTB Guatemala! If you are looking to tour a beautiful country without being your standard tourist, then this is for you!
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