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 900 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!
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.
Tonight, 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 and lunch at a local Macadamia nut farm
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.
After our incredible morning ride, we'll head to a local Macadamia nut farm for a leisurely lunch.Following our hearty lunch, we'll head out for a shorter ride to wrap up our first day of exploring the trails of Guatemala.
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: EL ZUR MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK - HAND BUILT BY LOCALS
We’ll enjoy breakfast at El Carmen Suites, before heading off on our next adventure.
The El Zur mountain bike park is a private reserve sitting at 8500 feet with over 25 km’s of flowing, rolling, blow your mind purpose built singletrack bliss.
Need we say more?
The only of its kind in Guatemala, and we have exclusive access to it! Unless you are a landowner, you won't be dropping in on any of these private trails!
Tonight, we'll have dinner in Antigua and spend the night back at El Carmen Suites.
Day 4: Lago de Atitlan, Santa Catarina ride
We’ll pack up and enjoy our final breakfast at El Carmen Suites, before heading off on our next adventure.
After a 1.5 hour scenic shuttle, we’ll arrive in 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.
We’ll drive up to the top of a local mountain to start the demanding Slickrock Trail.
Named after the sections of exposed limestone at the top of this trail, Slickrock Trail is one of the most technical trails in the Lake Atitlan area. The trail peaks at nearly 2800 meters on the ridges overlooking Lake Atitlan. It drops quickly and twists down to the Madre Vieja river where we then have a steep climb up to lunch a well-deserved lunch.
After lunch, the chute like trail continues winding way down to Panajachel.
Better bring your "A" game today!
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.
We’ll hop in our shuttle and head to the top of Cielo Grande.
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'|
David Garcia Sandoval
|I'm a person that I like the mountain bike, I like to know new places where I can go on bicycle.||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||m|
|2||4.5 hours||32 km||700 m||615 m||1700 m|
|3||3.5 hours||20 km||300 m||2000 m||2575 m|
|4||4.5 hours||32 km||745 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||22 hours||131 km||3465 m||6915 m||2825 m|
|Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental||$300.00 USD|
|Single Room Supplement||$330.00 USD|
|Front-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental||$210.00 USD|
|1-hour post-ride massage||$80.00 USD|
|Non-scheduled airport pickup||$45.00 USD|
|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|
|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|
|Donation to Bikes Without Borders||$20.00 CAD|
|Start Date||Pickup Location & Time||End Date||Dropoff Location & Time||Price||Deposit||Currency||Booking||Private?||Availability|
|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!|
|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!|
|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!|
|Start Date||Pickup Location & Time||End Date||Dropoff Location & Time||Price||Deposit||Currency||Booking||Private?||Availability|
|Saturday, January 20, 2018||Guatemala City airport, 4 pm||Saturday, January 27, 2018||Guatemala City airport, anytime||2,495.00||499.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Saturday, March 3, 2018||Guatemala City airport, 4 pm||Saturday, March 10, 2018||Guatemala City airport, anytime||2,495.00||499.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Saturday, March 31, 2018||Guatemala City airport, 4 pm||Saturday, April 7, 2018||Guatemala City airport, anytime||2,495.00||499.00||USD||Book Now!|
National Geographic Adventure
-OUTSIDE MAGAZINE 2014