"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 on Lake Atitlan, a spectacular blue lake ringed by traditional Mayan communities and volcanoes. And you'll experience a different pace and way of life that just might transport you to the heavens above...

IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?

You love exploring other cultures from the seat of your mountain bike. You're open to new and exotic experiences, and don't mind getting out of your cultural comfort zone once in a while. You ride regularly and can handle climbs of up to 1,500 metres in a day. Your singletrack skills are solid and you can handle moderately rooty, rocky and narrow trails. You're a decent swimmer (or don't mind sitting out the kayaking portion of the itinerary)

  • MTB SKILL RATING

    7/9

    Level 7/Advanced

    • You are confident in all aspects of mountain biking.
    • You can handle most technical terrain, include rocky and root trails, along with features such as switchbacks, medium logs (5-6" high), and low-level obstacles.
    • You're comfortable with most advanced level trails (although you may walk a few sections).

    Click here for more information on skill and fitness ratings

    Level 7/Advanced

    • You are confident in all aspects of mountain biking.
    • You can handle most technical terrain, include rocky and root trails, along with features such as switchbacks, medium logs (5-6" high), and low-level obstacles.
    • You're comfortable with most advanced level trails (although you may walk a few sections).

    Click here for more information on skill and fitness ratings

  • Price

    $2,395 CAD
  • FITNESS RATING

    7/9

    Level 7

    • You can ride 5 hours a day at a moderately fast pace with a few breaks, over several days.
    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.
    • You exercise on average 6-7 hours per week (including riding/being active).

    click here for more information on skill and fitness ratings

    Level 7

    • You can ride 5 hours a day at a moderately fast pace with a few breaks, over several days.
    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.
    • You exercise on average 6-7 hours per week (including riding/being active).

    click here for more information on skill and fitness ratings

  • DEPOSIT

    $479 CADLIFETIME 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

Day 1: Arrive Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua

We'll meet at Guatemala airport and transfer you to the beautiful colonial city of Antigua. You'll have the rest of the day to explore this historical city, with cobblestone streets and citizens dressed in colourful Mayan clothing. Tonight, we'll stay overnight in the Posada San Sebastian hotel, a charming hotel owned by a Mayan family, with antiques adorning the walls and bedrooms. We'll have a meet and greet dinner tonight 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 you at your hotel 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. After a 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.

Total distance: 28km | Altitude gain: 350m | Altitude loss: 350m

Day 3: Antigua to Parramos, Maya Pedal & San Andres de Itzapa

After breakfast at our hotel, we'll head out on bikes to a nearby village, where we'll start the climb to Parramos. The ride takes us alongside volcanoes and through avocado plantations with an exciting singletrack ride to the Posada de mi Abuelo, where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we'll ride to the nearby community of San Andres de Itzapa. We'll also visit an innovative bike project called Maya Pedal, that provides refurbished bikes to Mayan communities in need (also subject to the shop being open). Tonight, we'll stay and dine at the family-owned Posada de mi Abuela.

Total distance: 38km | Altitude gain: 1552m | Altitude loss: 1283m

Day 4: Lago de Atitlan, Santa Catarina ride

Today's ride could very well be one of the most stunning rides in the world. After breakfast at the Posada de mi Abuela, we'll head out for a short but beautiful ride around the lodge, then hop in the van to get to our starting point at a spectacular viewpoint over Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan). This sapphire-blue lake ringed by volcanoes is among the world's prettiest lakes - our ride takes us on a beautiful singletrack trail above the lake before descending through cornfields and narrow alleys in Santa Catarina de Palopo. The van will be waiting for us to take us to our boat ride to the otherworldy Casa del Mundo ("Guatemala's most magical hotel" - Lonely Planet), a boat-accessed hotel built into the side of a cliff. After dinner, we'll soak our muscles in a wood-fired hot tub under the stars.

Total distance: 25km | Altitude gain: 800m | Altitude loss: 875m

Day 5: Kayaking and Hiking on Lago de Atitlan

This magical lake is worthy of another day, so 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) 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. 

Total distance: 12km | Altitude gain: 817m | Altitude loss: 817m

Day 6: Slickrock ride, Panajachel and transfer to Antigua

We'll hop in the boat back to Panajachel after breakfast, 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 the Posada San Sebastian.

Total distance: 28km  Altitude gain: 760m | Altitude loss: 1836m

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, 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. Finally, we'll get to visit a school in El Hato and, as part of our Responsible Riding mandate, a portion of your trip cost will go towards purchasing school supplies for this very school (more information about the project and school can be found here). 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!

Total distance: 17km | Altitude gain: 955m | Altitude loss: 951m

Day 8: Farewell and transfer to Guatemala airport

Shuttles depart every hour for Guatemala City and the airport for your flight back home.

n.b. if you wish to extend your trip, we have a couple of options:

1) day hike on Volcan Pacaya: a spectacular day hike on an active volcano, where you can view flowing rivers of lava.
2) 2-day trip to Tikal ruins: visit Tikal, the most impressive of all the Mayan ruins (including the massive Temple of the Jaguar), deep in the heart of the Yucatan jungle. Includes flight, hotels and guides.

  • 7 nights accommodation in local lodges and hotels
  • 5 days of mountain biking on singletrack trails
  • day of kayaking and hiking on Lake Atitlan (kayak included)
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and 2 dinners
  • 2 local, English-speaking guides
  • Visits to local farms and cultural attractions
  • Airport Transfers

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 +

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!
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
RIDE ADD-ONS
Ride enhancements (MTB rentals, single rooms, etc...)
ADD-ON PRICE
Single Room Upgrade$350.00 CAD
Full-suspension Mountain Bike Rental$300.00 CAD
Front-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental$250.00 CAD
1-hour post-ride massage$80.00 CAD
Trip Extensions
ADD-ON PRICE
Volcan Pacaya day hike$130.00 CAD
Tikal 2-day trip extension$650.00 CAD
Extra day biking in Antigua$195.00 CAD
El Zur bike park extension$200.00 CAD
Extra Hotel Nights
ADD-ON PRICE
Extra post-Ride hotel nights (single)$75.00 CAD
Extra pre-Ride hotel nights (double)$90.00 CAD
Extra pre-Ride hotel nights (single)$75.00 CAD
Extra post-Ride hotel nights (double)$90.00 CAD
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.

2015
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Booking Private? Availability
Saturday, April 4, 2015 Guatemala City airport, anytime Saturday, April 11, 2015 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 CAD 479.00 CAD Book Now! Sold Out
Sunday, December 27, 2015 Guatemala City airport, anytime Sunday, January 3, 2016 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 CAD 479.00 CAD Book Now! Guaranteed
2016
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Booking Private? Availability
Saturday, February 6, 2016 Guatemala City airport, anytime Saturday, February 13, 2016 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 CAD 479.00 CAD Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, April 9, 2016 Guatemala City airport, anytime Saturday, April 16, 2016 Guatemala City airport, anytime 2,395.00 CAD 479.00 CAD Book Now! Guaranteed
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