Why do we require an application?Our application process is in response to two of the most common questions our Riders have prior to booking a trip with us:
1) Am I skilled/fit enough to participate in this Ride?
2) Will the other people on my Ride be skilled/fit enough?
Ensuring that you - and the other Riders on your Ride - are a good fit for the Ride selected is of paramount importance to us. We want to help you pick the Ride that's perfect for you, and ensure that everyone booked on a Ride is on the right Ride for them. That's why we want to know a bit more about you - your mountain biking history, where you ride, how often, etc... - before we take your money.
We review every application and if, based on your responses, we think you're a good fit, we'll approve your application and you'll receive a link to place a deposit. If we think you might not be a good fit (either too skilled or not skilled enough for the Ride you chose), then we'll give you a call to discuss your preferences in greater detail.
Please note: our application process isn't about excluding anyone, or making anyone feel like they're not 'good enough' to participate in one of our Rides. It's about ensuring that you end up on the right Ride for you, with people of similar skill, fitness and riding preferences. In the end this ends up being a much better experience for everyone.
HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
THE WORLD'S TOUGHEST MOUNTAIN BIKE TRIP TAKES YOU TO CENTRAL AMERICA'S HIGHEST RANGE, THE REMOTE SIERRA DE LOS CUCHUMATANES MOUNTAIN RANGE.
RIDE AMONG PEAKS UP TO AN ELEVATION OF 12,500 FT (3800 M) AND GO HOME WITH BRAGGING RIGHTS AFTER YOU CONQUER THE 30,000 FT (9100 M) OF CLIMBING THAT THIS RIDE BOASTS.
You'll experience a combination of technical singletrack, challenging backcountry roads, big climbs, thrilling downhills, and beautiful remote Mayan villages where life continues much the same as it has for hundreds of years. Finish it off at the spectacular springs at Semuc Champey, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Not for the faint of heart - this trip is for experienced, extremely fit, and advanced level riders only! Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Rating System for a better understanding of what to expect.
NOTE: Due to the remote nature of this trip, some of the hotels will be a little more rustic than you may be used to.
Check out this awesome article on Pinkbike.
IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?
This Ride is for you if you are extremely fit and consider yourself an advanced to expert level rider. You can not only handle, but get super pumped about the idea of riding a 5000 vertical feet backcountry road climb to a technical singletrack downhill in one given day. You've got legs of steel and lungs of iron. You love to ride and ride and ride. You're open to roughing it a little bit if it means you'll get to see places well off the beaten track that few other people see (not to worry - all accommodation offer showers and a clean bed!).
WHY RIDE WITH US?
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Guaranteed Departures
- Lifetime Deposits
- Risk-Free Booking Window
- Travel Concierge
Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, adventure travel can be unpredictable and may result in necessary or desirable alterations to the trails we ride, accommodation we stay in and destinations we visit.
Day 1: Arrive Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala!
We'll meet at La Aurora International Airport at 4:30 p.m. and transfer you to the beautiful colonial city of Antigua.
You'll have the evening to rest up in El Carmen Suites, a quaint, Colonial-style hotel that's only a 3-minute walk from Catedral de Santiago.
For those arriving early, we encourage you to explore this historical city, with cobblestone streets and citizens dressed in colourful Mayan clothing.
At 7:00 p.m., we'll convene for a group meet and greet. We’ll review the incredible weeks itinerary, and build our bikes. We’ll provide bike stands, tools and helping hands for anyone needing assistance.
Day 2: Volcan de Agua Ride and Cielo Grande (Big Sky) trail
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll spend the morning ripping the local farmer's trails of volcan de Agua.
We’ll take a well deserved breather and some lunch mid-day, before heading over to Cielo Grande.
This is one of the top rides in Central America - an all-day epic around Antigua traversing multiple bio-zones: jungle, volcano, farmland. The ride starts with a quick van shuttle out of town followed by a steep 1-hour climb to the summit. From the summit, the ride traverses in the Antigua Valley before dropping spectacularly down into Antigua.
We'll spend the night back at El Carmen Suites.
Day 3: La ventosa to Todos Santos
Rise and shine! Today will be an early morning (5:00 a.m. - you can do it!). We’ll hop in our shuttle and drive 5-7 hours from Antigua to La Capenallia.
We’ll ride up to La Ventosa on a back country jeep track before dropping into a fun section of local farmer's trails that descent into Todos Santos.
Tonight, we'll spend the night in a rustic lodge in Todos Santos.
Day 4: Ride Todos Santos TO Chancol
Today starts off with a big backcountry road climb out of The Todos Santos Valley (10km with 1km elevation gain). At the top, we'll continue out on the plateau on a short stretch of paved road to some singletrack until we break for lunch.
We'll keep rolling across the mountains in the afternoon and arrive in the equestrian centre of El Unicornio Azul where we'll be staying for the next 2 nights.
Day 5: Day ride Chancol area
Today, we'll take advantage of the high mountain scenery and abundant singletrack that crisscrosses the plateau and head out for an amazing day ride in the local area.
Those who need a mid-trip breather, are welcome to take the morning ride off or the afternoon ride off for a little R & R.
Day 6: Ride Chancol to Acul
Today is an epic day with a couple of big climbs and some amazing singletrack that crosses the river drainage that seperates the Huehutenango region from that of Quiche. This is as backcountry as you can get in Guatemala.
Today's ride is unsupported as our vehicle has to go around. We'll be staying cosy tonight in a working cheese farm in the Mayan village of Acul.
Day 7: Ride Acul to Uspantan
Today is a huge day with a couple monster climbs. The ride starts with a dirt road push out to the town of Nebaj where we'll climb on an old trade route that ascends out of the Nebaj Valley. We'll ride a sweet piece of singletrack down to lunch in Cunen.
We'll then climb out of Cunen valley over to the Uspantan valley where we will stay overnight.
Day 8: Ride Uspantan to San Cristobal Verapaz
A short, fun 15 km downhill road ride takes us to the start of a doubletrack climb up to the top of the ridges overlooking the Rio Chixoy valley. At the top there is a super fun technical trail that drops down to the river's edge.
From there, we'll climb back into the highlands and finish just outside the town of San Cristobal Verapaz. Then a short transfer to Coban where we will spend the night.
Day 9: Paradise on Earth - Semuc Champey
Today, we ride and drive out to spectacular Semuc Champey.
We start with a scenic 50km drive, then get out an hop on our bikes.. There is a big 10km downhill to the mountain village of Lanquin and a short but very steep climb up and over the ridge to Semuc Champey, where we'll have lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing after many hard days in the saddle.
Semuc Champey is one of the most beautiful places in the world, a remote jungle site where the river forms spectacular green pools and waterfalls.
Tonight, we'll stay in the village of Lanquin.
Day 10: Transfer back to Antigua
Rise and shine! Today will be another early morning (5:00 a.m. - you can do it!). We’ll hop in our shuttle and drive 7 hours back to Antigua. We’ll stop for a big brunch and arrive back in Antigua with just enough time for some final souvenir shopping.
We'll spend the night back at El Carmen Suites.
Your return flight should be booked for the next morning (unless you're extending your trip).
DAY 11. DEPARTURE DAY: transfer from ANTIGUA TO La Aurora International Airport
We have reached the last day of our amazing trip in Guatemala and it's time to say goodbye. High five your new riding pals before heading back to the airport.
We’ll arrange for airport drop-off on Day 11 based on Riders individual flight times.
- 10 nights accommodation (Nights 1-10)
- 10 breakfasts (Days 2-11), 9 lunches (Days 2-10), and 4 dinners (Days 3,4,5,6)
- Riding snacks
- All transportation during the trip, including airport pick-up (4:30 p.m. only) and drop-off (based on your departure time)
- Guided biking and hiking with experienced local guides
- Entrance to spectacular Semuc Champey
- Bike maintenance during your trip
Below you will find a comprehensive list of information about this Ride and destination, including Frequently Asked Questions by site visitors and our Riders at the bottom. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for below, click the ‘Ask a Question’ button below.
We’ve Got You Covered +
GETTING THERE AND BACK +
Getting The Most Out of Your Trip +
BIKE AND GEAR INFO AND PACKING LIST +
Destination information +
Important Stuff +
Other Stuff +
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS+
|Name||Bio||My 'Sacred Ride'|
|Coming soon!||Coming soon!|
|I am a painter, I started guided by the passion I have for my culture and the beauty of my country.||Coming soon!|
|One of our newest weapons in the arsenal, this young buck can do it all, and do it faster than about anyone else out there! Whether on the rock or on the trail he’ll show you how to get it done. Try to catch him on the trail… I dare ya![more]||It would have to be the Slickrock trail of Lake Atitlan|
|Arnold returned to his native Guatemala after living in Israel, and has been working as a guide for us since. He sure knows how to ride a bike over anything, and is our star striker on the football pitch.||The Cielo Grande epic|
|A true work horse. The one thing that you will always remember about being on the trail with Welber is his ear to ear infectious smile. This guy seriously knows the nooks and crannies of the Guatemalan backcountry.||Huehuetenango - it's just so damn amazing!|
|From the foothills of North Carolina, Matt moved to Antigua, Guatemala as a way to escape the cubicles of his previous US work life. He's been riding his bike on awesome Guatemalan singletrack since 1998 and hasn’t looked back since.||The trails in my backyard in Antigua!|
Please note that the following data represents a typical itinerary, and unfortunately there is no such thing as a typical itinerary. Weather issues, road closures, changes to the itinerary to accommodate requests, and other issues may affect the itinerary, so the data below represents an 'average' itinerary, and may differ when you actually show up to ride your bike! Our guides make every effort to stick to the itinerary as posted, though :)
|Day||Hours of Riding||Distance ridden||Elevation gained||Elevation lost||Highest elevation|
|1||0 hours||0 km||0 m||0 m||n/a m|
|2||5 hours||28 km||1350 m||1350 m||2165 m|
|3||3 hours||25 km||600 m||528 m||3300 m|
|4||6 hours||35 km||1150 m||528 m||3350 m|
|5||6 hours||28 km||430 m||430 m||3190 m|
|6||7 hours||54 km||1100 m||2200 m||3100 m|
|7||7 hours||55 km||1765 m||1850 m||2400 m|
|8||6 hours||60 km||1550 m||2000 m||2300 m|
|9||2 1/2 hours||20 km||500 m||1000 m||1100 m|
|10||0 hours||0 km||0 m||0 m||n/a m|
|11||0 hours||0 km||0 m||0 m||n/a m|
|Totals||42 hours||305 km||8445 m||9886 m||n/a m|
|Single Room Supplement||$500.00 USD|
|Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental||$480.00 USD|
|Front-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental||$350.00 USD|
|1-hour post-ride massage||$80.00 USD|
|Non-scheduled airport pickup||$45.00 USD|
|Volcan Pacaya Day Hike - Pre Trip||$145.00 USD|
|Tikal 2-day trip extension||$660.00 USD|
|Extra day biking in Antigua - Pre Trip||$250.00 USD|
|Extra Day of Riding Post Trip - El Zur Bike Park||$300.00 USD|
|Extra Day of Riding Pre Trip - El Zur Bike Park||$300.00 USD|
|Volcan Pacaya Day Hike - Post Trip||$145.00 CAD|
|Extra day biking in Antigua - Post Trip||$250.00 CAD|
|El Paredon Surf Trip - Post Trip||$480.00 USD|
|Extra pre-Ride hotel nights (double)||$125.00 USD|
|Extra post-Ride hotel nights (double)||$125.00 USD|
There are no scheduled departures for this Ride at the moment, however custom group departures are available for groups of 4 or more. If you are interested in a custom departure, contact our office at email@example.com or 1-888-423-7849. You can also add this Ride to your Bucket List (click on 'Add to Bucket List' at right) and you'll be notified when scheduled dates are added!
National Geographic Adventure
-OUTSIDE MAGAZINE 2014