"I thought the trip was so awesome that I did it twice!!" Heather Cleveland, CAN
 

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.

The ancient Maya believed that the cosmos had three major planes: the Earth, the underworld beneath and the heavens above. On this Ride, you won't do much underworld exploring but you will discover heaven on Earth.

Its name is Guatemalan singletrack and the countryside is riddled with hundreds of thrilling kilometres of it. The bright blue sunny skies will provide the heavens above and the volcanoes and mountains of Guatemala provide all the spectacular Earth you need to be transported to your own cosmic realm.

 

Mayan culture is still alive and well in Guatemala; on this trip you'll ride through traditional villages where life continues mostly unchanged from ancient Mayan times. You'll hike and kayak along Lago de Atitlán, a spectacular blue lake ringed by traditional Mayan communities and volcanoes.  You'll experience a different pace and way of life that just might transport you to the heavens above...

 

Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Rating System, to ensure this Ride is ranked at a level you are confident with.  

IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?

This Ride is for you if you love exploring other cultures from the seat of your mountain bike. You are a technically strong, experienced mountain biker who rides advanced level trails regularly. You can handle climbs up to 1,500 metres in a day. Your singletrack skills are solid and you can handle rooty, rocky and narrow trails. You're open to new and exotic experiences, and don't mind getting out of your cultural comfort zone once in awhile. Kayaking, swimming and cliff jumping along Lago de Atitlán is a picture perfect rest day to you!

  • MTB SKILL RATING

    ADVANCED 7/9

    SKILL LEVEL 7 - ADVANCED

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking.

    You can hop over obstacles such as small roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over. You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue and black trails.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    SKILL LEVEL 7 - ADVANCED

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking.

    You can hop over obstacles such as small roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over. You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue and black trails.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

  • Price CAD | USD | EUR

    $2,295 USDABOUT CURRENCIES

    About Currencies

    The default currency of the Ride, as displayed, is the same as the currency that we pay our local guides and suppliers in. This helps mitigate our risk of currency fluctuation. However, although the price of the Ride is set in this currency, our payment processing system processes in Canadian dollars (we're a Canadian company, eh).

  • FITNESS RATING

    8/9

    FITNESS LEVEL 8

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 6 hours of pedal time.

    • You have little trouble climbing 1,000 vertical metres (3,280 ft.) in a day on steep terrain.

    • You exercise on average 6-10 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    FITNESS LEVEL 8

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 6 hours of pedal time.

    • You have little trouble climbing 1,000 vertical metres (3,280 ft.) in a day on steep terrain.

    • You exercise on average 6-10 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System
  • DEPOSIT CAD | USD | EUR

    $459 USDLIFETIME DEPOSITS

    Our Lifetime Deposit policy protects you from unexpected events that may cause your trip to be cancelled or delayed.

    If you need to cancel for any reason, your initial deposit is good forever and will remain on file with us until you’re ready to use it. You can even pass it on to a friend.

  • RIDE TYPE

    Singletrack

    RIDE TYPES

    • SINGLETRACK:for experienced mountain bikers
    • EXPLORER:for beginner mountain bikers
    • BRING-YOUR-PARTNER:for experienced mountain bikers and their non-MTB-ing partners
    • WOMEN'S:skills camps and Rides for women only
  • DURATION

    8 days
  • DATES

    Dec.-MarchSEE ALL DATES
  • CULTURE LEVEL

    Out there

    Level Out there

    • On our 'Out There' Rides, you'll experience unfamiliar situations such as foreign languages, foreign cultures/cultural experiences, remote areas, and other experiences that push you out of your comfort zone.
    • These Rides are great for adventurous types that are looking for something different. If you'd prefer something a little less exotic, try our 'Familiar' or 'Adventurous' Rides.

    Level Out there

    • On our 'Out There' Rides, you'll experience unfamiliar situations such as foreign languages, foreign cultures/cultural experiences, remote areas, and other experiences that push you out of your comfort zone.
    • These Rides are great for adventurous types that are looking for something different. If you'd prefer something a little less exotic, try our 'Familiar' or 'Adventurous' Rides.

WHY RIDE WITH US?

  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Guaranteed Departures
  • Lifetime Deposits
  • Risk-Free Booking Window
  • Travel Concierge

Check out our Peace of Mind Policies

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.  

 

Tongiht, we'll have a meet and greet dinner in one of the local restaurants, where you can meet your guides and the rest of the group!
 

Day 2: Antigua mountain biking, visits to local farms

We'll meet at El Carmen Suites in the morning for breakfast and a pre-trip safety meeting.  

 

After our meeting, we'll hop on the bikes and head up to the base of Volcan Agua for our first taste of the local singletrack.  Our first ride takes us on technical trails through Mayan farmland, with spectacular views of the valley below.

 

After the ride, we'll head to a local Macadamia nut farm for lunch.  

 

Following our hearty lunch, we'll head to a local coffee finca to see how coffee is grown and sample a cup or two of the delicious local brew.

 

Tonight, we'll have dinner in one of Antigua's many amazing restaurants.  We'll spend the night back at  El Carmen Suites. 

 

Day 3: Antigua to Parramos, San Andrés Itzapa, and Molino Helvetia Private Natural Reserve

We’ll enjoy our final breakfast at El Carmen Suites, before heading off on our next adventure.
 

Today’s ride starts out of the Antigua valley on a few kms of pavement before heading uphill on jeep track to the village of Parramos, famous for its beans and other export quality vegetables.

 

Traversing through Mayan cornfields we will reach the town of San Andrés Itzapa, where we can make a quick stop to see the Mayan shrine of San Simon.  

 

Leaving San Andrés Itzapa, we'll have another larger climb up out of the San Andrés valley on jeep track to the Pan American Highway. We'll cross over the highway and ride a beautiful section of trail crossing a couple steep ravines and continue out to our lunch spot.

 

After lunch, we'll cruise some scenic undulating back country dirt roads to our last piece of trail that drops us into Casa Molina, an old flour mill turned bed and breakfast.

 

Tonight, we’ll spend the night at Casa Molino within the stunning Molino Helvetia Private Natural Reserve.

 

Day 4: Lago de Atitlan, Santa Catarina ride

Today's ride could very well be one of the most stunning rides in the world!

 

We’ll enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at Casa Molina overlooking the nature reserve.

 

Today’s ride starts right from the footsteps of Casa Molina.

 

We’ll follow a nice section of riverside singletrack with a steep climb up to the Patzun Plateau.  Crossing through town, the ride then climbs out and up to the ridge above town, followed by a steep ravine crossing.  Cleaning the climb out of the ravine is for the super fit and super skilled. Do you have what it takes?!  Beers are on us if you do!

 

We’ll then enjoy some easier cross country riding and drop down a fun descent  into another ravine, with a shorter climb out.  A few km’s of dirt and paved road will take us to the base of the Madre River climb. 

 

A 4 km climb will lead us to our cliffside lunch spot. We'll enjoy a spectacular viewpoint over Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan). This sapphire-blue lake ringed by volcanoes is among the world's prettiest lakes.

 

After lunch, our ride takes us on a beautiful singletrack trail above the lake before descending through cornfields and narrow valleys in Santa Catarina de Palopo.  

 

We’ll continue our ride around Lago de Atitlan to Panajachel where we’ll meet our boat. Enjoy the ride as we cruise to the otherworldly Casa del Mundo ("Guatemala's most magical hotel" - Lonely Planet). Casa del Mundo is a boat-accessed hotel, carefully built into the side of a cliff.

 

After dinner, we'll soak our muscles in a wood-fired hot tub under the stars.

 

Day 5: Kayaking and Hiking along Lago De Atitlan

This magical lake is so worthy of another day.  

 

We'll set out from the Casa del Mundo after breakfast in kayaks, for a relaxing 2-hour paddle (along with swimming and cliff jumping!) down Lago de Atitlán to the village of San Marcos.

 

In San Marcos, we'll stop for coffee, then begin the 2-hour hike back to the hotel.  Our hike takes us through several traditional Mayan villages, alongside the shore of the lake.

 

We'll be back in time for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at the hotel. 

 

Day 6: Slickrock ride, Panajachel and transfer to Antigua

After breakfast, we'll hop in the boat back to Panajachel, then drive up to the top of a local mountain to start the demanding slickrock trail - a challenging singletrack ride with many exposed rock sections.

 

When we finish, we'll hop in the van for the 2-hour drive back to Antigua, checking back in to our rooms at El Carmen Suites. 

 

Day 7: Cielo Grande (Big Sky) trail

This is one of the top rides in Central America - an all-day epic around Antigua traversing multiple bio-zones: jungle, volcano and farmland.

 

You’ll have two (full-on!) options for the start of this ride: a 1-hour, steep, singletrack climb or a 1-hour, steep, road climb.  Although both options require legs of steal and super-fit lungs, the trail climb is slightly more challenging due to the obstacles of the trail. The choice is yours!

 

From the summit, the ride traverses in the Antigua Valley before dropping down some incredible singletrack back into Antigua.

 

Later in the evening, we'll celebrate an incredible week at one of Antigua's local restaurants and a few drinks at a famous local tequila bar!  We'll spend the night back at El Carmen Suites.

 

Day 8: Farewell and transfer to Guatemala 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 8 based on Riders individual flight times.

  • 7 nights accommodation in local lodges and hotels
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 3 dinners (nights 3, 4, 5)
  • 5 days of epic mountain biking on technical singletrack on ancient Mayan trails
  • 2 experienced, English-speaking local guides
  • Guided kayaking and hiking on Lake Atitlan/Lago de Atitlán (kayak included)
  • Visits to local farms and cultural attractions
  • All transportation during the trip, including airport pick-up (4:30 p.m. only) and drop-off (based on your departure time)
  • 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'

Oseas Acietuna
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 Najera
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

Welber Jimenez
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!

Matt Hartell
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!
Below you will find some of the videos for this Ride. Please keep in mind that some of these videos may have been recorded by our guides and the speeds they are riding at aren't necessarily indicative of the speeds you'll be riding at!
Santa Catarina Downhill (Feb 2015)
Early Morning in Atitlán Lake
Ruta de Maya Nov. 2013
Ruta De Maya (every trail) - Mar 2012
Ruta de Maya Dec. 2011
Guatemala Helmet Cam
On the Cardamom Trail
Volcan Pacaya Hike
Volcan Agua, Guatemala

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 m
2 4.5 hours 32 km 700 m 615 m 1700 m
3 6.5 hours 50 km 1611 m 927 m 2310 m
4 6 hours 40 km 945 m 1515 m 2500 m
5 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m m
6 5 hours 27 km 760 m 1835 m 2825 m
7 4.5 hours 20 km 960 m 950 m 1890 m
8 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m m
Totals 26.5 hours 169 km 4976 m 5842 m 2825 m
RIDE ADD-ONS
Ride enhancements (MTB rentals, single rooms, etc...)
ADD-ON PRICE
Single Room Upgrade$300.00 USD
Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental$300.00 USD
Front-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental$210.00 USD
1-hour post-ride massage$80.00 USD
Non-scheduled airport pickup$45.00 USD
Trip Extensions
ADD-ON PRICE
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 USD
Extra day biking in Antigua - Post Trip$250.00 USD
El Paredon Surf Trip - Post Trip$480.00 USD
Extra Hotel Nights
ADD-ON PRICE
Extra pre-Ride hotel nights (double)$90.00 USD
Extra post-Ride hotel nights (double)$90.00 USD
Other
ADD-ON PRICE
Donation to Bikes Without Borders$20.00 CAD

Book Your Spot!

To book your spot on this Ride, click on one of the Booking links below to put down your deposit. The deposit is fully refundable for 14 days after booking, giving you 2 weeks to sort out flights, vacation time, etc... and not have someone else take your spot(s)!


All departures are guaranteed to run - we'll never cancel a trip due to low numbers!

And we're so certain that you'll have the experience of a lifetime on this Ride that we back it with our Ride Guarantee!

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.

2016
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Monday, December 26, 2016 Guatemala City airport, 4 pm Monday, January 2, 2017 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 479.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
2017
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Saturday, January 21, 2017 Guatemala City airport, 4 pm Saturday, January 28, 2017 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 479.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, February 11, 2017 Guatemala City airport, 4 pm Saturday, February 18, 2017 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 479.00 USD Book Now! Sold Out
Saturday, March 4, 2017 Guatemala City airport, 4 pm Friday, March 10, 2017 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 479.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, April 1, 2017 Guatemala City airport, 4 pm Saturday, April 8, 2017 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 479.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
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