Learn about Guatemalan culture as you explore the country by bike on this exhilarating nine-day trip. Begin in the colonial city of Antigua, where you'll cycle through nearby valleys and visit a coffee-growing cooperative. Then head to Lake Atitlán for more biking, kayaking, and hiking as you get to know the lake and the nearby Agua volcano. Afterward, return to Antigua for a bike ride and a visit to the Maya ruins of Iximché.


  • Explore the colonial city of Antigua
  • Tour a coffee cooperative and have lunch with a local farmer
  • Enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Atitlán
  • Visit the fascinating Iximché Maya ruins

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 2 Valley Bicycle Tour of Antigua's Villages, Farms & Ruins Antigua
Day 3 Bicycle & Coffee Combo Tour, Local Foodie Tour Antigua
Day 4 Las Trampas to Panajachel Road Bike Ride Lake Atitlán
Day 5 Enjoy a Free Day on Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 6 Kayak & Hike at Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 7 Transfer to Antigua via the Iximché Maya Ruins Antigua
Day 8 Golden Arches Bike Ride Around Antigua Antigua
Day 9 Depart Antigua  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua 

Cobblestone streets and colonial architecture in Antigua

Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arriving at Guatemala City International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in the colonial city of Antigua. Once the capital of Guatemala, Antigua is known for its Spanish colonial Old Town, which surrounds its main plaza, Parque Central. Three volcanoes also border it, and the contrast between these imposing mountains and the city's colorful architecture is part of why Antigua has earned UNESCO World Heritage status.

Walk along Antigua's cobbled streets and treat yourself to street food like tostadas and empanadas (called dobladas in Guatemala). Be sure to stop by historic landmarks, such as the Santa Catalina Arch and the ruins of the 16th-century Antigua Guatemala Cathedral and 18th-century Convento Santa Clara.

Day 2: Valley Bicycle Tour of Antigua's Villages, Farms & Ruins

Cultural Antigua area bike ride
Enjoy your first bike ride around Antigua as you explore the Almolonga Valley

Escape Antigua for the morning to explore local life around the Almolonga Valley, peddling through suburban towns and villages. Your guide will make plenty of stops along the way to show off the magnificent churches and Spanish colonial ruins. Riding to the south, you'll head to the base of the Agua volcano. From there, pop into an experimental macadamia farm in Valhalla, and explore San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for its textiles and weaving.

The Almolonga Valley, to the west of Antigua, was the site of the country's colonial capital, Ciudad Vieja. The old city met a fateful end in 1541 when the eruption of Agua triggered a powerful mudslide. The city disappeared into the valley between the volcanoes of Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango—the site of the old city is still the source of much debate. At around midday, return to Antigua for lunch.

Day 3: Bicycle & Coffee Combo Tour, Local Foodie Tour

Visit a local coffee cooperative on today's bike ride

Your guide will pick you up at 9 am and get you fitted for today's bicycle ride. Then, enjoy the journey out to the De la Gente coffee cooperative. This ride will take you to a community on the flanks of the Agua volcano, where local farmers work together as a co-op to grow, pick, and process their coffee for export. De la Gente works with the farmers' co-op to help them brand their coffee and reach markets in North America and Europe.

You will have a private tour with one of the co-op farmers—visit their field and then go to their house to see how they toast the coffee, one small batch at a time. Finally, have lunch with their family before returning to Antigua for a foodie tour—a walking culinary experience focusing on the traditional and contemporary mestizo (mixed) food that defines Antigua. Head off on an adventure full of flavors as your expert guide leads you through the city to sample a wide variety of local dishes. 

Day 4: Las Trampas to Panajachel Road Bike Ride

Make your way through the Guatemalan highlands to Lake Atitlán

Upon arrival in the lake highlands area, unload your bikes as your guide offers instructions on bicycle operation, safety tips, and a brief orientation of the surrounding terrain. Everyone will have a chance to ask any questions, apply sunscreen, and take photos. Then, start down a steep country road traversing the highlands above Lake Atitlán. This mostly-downhill ride takes you through several small towns and villages before joining the road up from the Pacific coast, heading toward Panajachel.

At the first vista overlooking Lake Atitlán, your guide will stop, prepare a picnic lunch, and get you oriented with the lakeside towns and geographic features of Lake Atitlán. After lunch, continue your quick ride down the winding road to the lakeside town of Panajachel. From here, continue to your hotel, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and take in views of the beautiful lake.

Day 5: Enjoy a Free Day on Lake Atitlán

View of Lake Atitlán
A view across Lake Atitlán to the San Pedro volcano
Plan your trip to Guatemala
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
The day is yours to enjoy the beauty of Lake Atitlán at your leisure. Start with a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, then head out to explore the area, including some of the picturesque villages specializing in traditional Maya crafts and regional cuisine. You can join private tours, take a public boat taxi, or hike to nearby towns.

Day 6: Kayak & Hike at Lake Atitlán

Kayaking on Lake Atitlan
Give your legs a rest with a kayaking trip on Lake Atitlán

Wake up to views of the lake and its towering volcanoes before meeting your guide for today's expedition. You'll start out in a kayak, paddling westward along the north shore of Lake Atitlán for roughly two hours. Pass by villages perched on lakeside cliffs, hop in the water for a swim, or even go cliff jumping. Your destination is a spot between the villages of Tzununá and San Marcos La Laguna, where you'll leave your kayak behind and lace up your hiking boots.

Follow the lake trail between the villages, viewing the San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán volcanoes. Hike along the shoreline and through small villages for about 1.5 hours (or take a shorter hike, suitable for all ages and fitness ranges). Eventually, the route will return you to your lodge. You'll then have the remainder of the afternoon free.

Day 7: Transfer to Antigua via the Iximché Maya Ruins

Iximche Ruins
Join a private guide and tour the ancient Maya ruins of Iximché 
Return to Antigua today, stopping en route to visit the Iximché Maya ruins. Declared a Guatemalan National Monument in the 1960s, this archaeological site includes various pyramid temples and palaces and two Mesoamerican ballcourts. On your private guided tour, you'll learn about the history, symbols, and legends preserved in Iximché. Continue to Antigua, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free. 

Day 8: Golden Arches Bike Ride Around Antigua

Golden Arches trails
Tackle the rugged Golden Arches trails for final off-road challenge

This morning's four-hour ride is a perfect finale to your Guatemalan adventure. Bike from Antigua on cobblestone and dirt roads toward the Agua volcano and San Juan del Obispo. Then continue for about 45 minutes on uphill trails, heading cross-country through the agricultural fields of corn, peas, nísperos (loquats), coffee, and avocado trees. Traversing your way across the lower sections of the volcano, you'll be rewarded with fantastic views stretching back to Antigua and the rest of the valley.

Then, make your way to the downhill section that will return you to civilization, popping back out in San Pedro las Huertas. From San Pedro, cruise back to Antigua.

Day 9: Depart Antigua

Arch Street in Antigua, Guatemala
You'll get to snap the obligatory pic of Antigua's Santa Catalina Arch

Today is your last day in Guatemala! Before you say goodbye to this beautiful country, spend your morning enjoying Antigua at your own pace. At the appropriate time, you'll be transferred to the airport for your departure. Have a safe journey home or to your next destination!

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Map of Guatemala Cultural Bike Tour: Antigua & Lake Atitlán - 9 Days
Map of Guatemala Cultural Bike Tour: Antigua & Lake Atitlán - 9 Days