This 11-day guided mountain bike tour starts in historic Antigua, where you'll see some of the city sights and cycle through picturesque villages and ancient ruins. Then, it's off to Lake Atitlán for trail rides that take you through the challenging Santa Cat and Slickrock trails. See active volcanoes and lava fields, camp overnight in Pacaya Volcano National Park, and trek via mountain bike to a working coffee cooperative for insight into one of the country's biggest exports and delicious coffee samples!


  • Tour historic villages and ancient volcanoes in Antigua's Almolonga Valley
  • Race along single-track, forested trails at El Zur private reserve
  • Bike through the ancient ruins of Iximché
  • Ride the rolling trails of Pacaya Volcano National Park and see active lava flows 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 2 Bicycle Tour of Villages, Farms & Volcanoes, Afternoon Walking Tour Antigua
Day 3 El Zur Mountain Bike Park Antigua
Day 4 Iximché Enduro Ride to Tecpán Tecpán
Day 5 Maya Traverse Ride to Panajachel,  Panajachel
Day 6 Atitlán Slickrock Trail  Panajachel
Day 7 Free Day at Lake Atitlán, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 8 Pacaya Backpacking Ride Day 1  Pacaya Camp 
Day 9 Pacaya Backpacking Ride Day 2, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 10 Mountain Bike Excursion & Coffee Cooperative  Antigua
Day 11 Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua

The colorful, colonial architecture of Antigua

Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arriving at Guatemala City airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in the colonial city of Antigua. Once the capital of Guatemala, Antigua is known for the Spanish colonial Old Town around 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.

While you'll be taking a more in-depth tour of the city tomorrow, today you can stroll along Antigua's cobbled streets and treat yourself to local street food like tostadas and empanadas (called dobladas in Guatemala). Be sure to stop by historic landmarks, such as the Santa Catalina Arch, the ruins of the 16th-century Antigua Guatemala Cathedral, and the 18th-century Convento Santa Clara.

Day 2: Bicycle Tour of Villages, Farms & Volcanoes, Afternoon Walking Tour

Start your first day of cycling off following rural trails to the Agua volcano

This morning, explore local life around the Almolonga Valley via a guided bike tour. Located just west of Antigua, this was the site of the country's colonial capital Ciudad Vieja, destroyed in 1541 by the Agua volcano. The city disappeared into the countryside between the volcanoes of Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, and the original location of the old city is still the source of debate. 

The four-hour tour takes you through suburban towns and villages, with plenty of stops along the way to see some of the region's magnificent churches and Spanish colonial ruins. Riding to the south, you'll head to the base of Agua. From there, pop into an experimental macadamia farm in Valhalla, and explore San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for its textiles and weaving.

Return to Antigua this afternoon for a guided walking tour of the city. You'll be led by an expert local historian, who'll take you to Antigua's top landmarks, such as the City Hall Palace and the Palace of the Captain's General. Learn about the Spanish conquest and the region's rich history, including the Maya way of life.

Day 3: El Zur Mountain Bike Park

Bike through lush forests on the El Zur trails
Bike through lush forests on the El Zur trails

Experience your first big ride in Guatemala on a trek through the beautiful El Zur private reserve. With over 12 miles (19 km) of flowing, rolling, single-track terrain, this trail is the only one of its kind in Guatemala, running through the preserve on the south side of Agua volcano. You'll be transported via 4WD shuttle to the trailhead, which sits at 8,500 feet (2,590 m). Hop on your bike and enjoy an exhilarating ride down mountain switchbacks, passing through lush forests and incredible scenery. At the bottom, enjoy a snack and refreshments before catching the shuttle back to Antigua.

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Day 4: Iximché Enduro Ride to Tecpán

Discover the ancient Maya ruins of Iximché at the end of today's ride

Today's ride takes you along tightrope ridges, lush agricultural fields, and the ruins of Iximché, a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican site. Your shuttle will take you to a small village beneath the Acatenango volcano. From here, descend to the valley floor via criss-cross trails that take you through fields and villages. Finish at a shrine dedicated to the Maya deity, Maximón, then take a shuttle to the top of the nearby mountains, overlooking Iximché. Take the steep, technical trail down, ending just outside of the ruins, where you'll take a guided tour of the site, then continue to Tecpán for the night.

Day 5: Maya Traverse Ride to Panajachel

Experience rugged trails and scenic views along Lake Atitlán

Today's five-hour ride traverses the exodus route of the Indigenous Kaqchiquel people to Lake Atitlán after the Spanish conquest. You'll start with an ascent of deep, switchbacking trails, a somewhat brutal 4-mile (7 km) climb that culminates with stunning views of Lake Atitlán—an enormous volcanic caldera surrounded by three volcanoes. Take a lunch break, then descend along the famous Santa Cat trail, known for its unique path through the town of Santa Catarina Palopó. Afterward, you'll head over to Panajachel, where you'll get settled at your accommodations and relax. 

Day 6:  Atitlán Slickrock Trail 

Today's ride traverses dirt roads and single-track trails 

Conquer the challenging Slickrock trail, a point-to-point ride that takes you to the upper Madre Vieja River valley. You'll start at the main trailhead, which includes a few miles of climbing on a mix of single-track, Jeep track, and dirt roads. Hit the highest point at just over 9,800 feet (3,000 m), then drop into the steep trail that takes you to the valley. Work your way along the valley bottom to your next climb, a Jeep track that climbs out of the valley and to your support vehicle. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then descend back into town along a tight, steep trail with plenty of challenging switchbacks! 

Day 7: Free Day at Lake Atitlán, Transfer to Antigua

Panoramic views over Lake Atitlán

The day is yours to enjoy the beauty of Lake Atitlán at your leisure. Start with a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, enjoying the stunning views. The lake is known for its Maya villages, where you can find traditional crafts and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. If you want to get out on the lake itself, there are tours available that take you around the lake and to the volcanoes, or you can take a self-guided adventure with a public boat taxi. Later today, you'll be transported via private bus from Panajachel back to Antigua. 

Day 8: Pacaya Backpacking Ride Day 1

Pacaya Bakcpacking  Day-1
Your two-day biking/camping starts today in the shadow of Pacaya volcano

This morning begins day one of your bike backpacking adventure in Pacaya Volcano National Park. Located approximately 1.5 hours east of Antigua, it is one of Guatemala's three active volcanoes. Your guide will collect you from your hotel and take you to the trailhead, which will be the easier ride of the next two days, as you'll head from Calderas downhill to a nearby farm and camp overnight. You'll cross a beautiful mix of rolling trails and bumpy 4WD roads that take you through old lava fields and along dirt roads. 

The farm, or finca, sits right in front of the national park, and you'll have the afternoon and evening to enjoy views of all three volcanoes—you might even get to see some active lava flows, and at the very least, you'll be able to see the glow of lava at the volcano's summit. 

Day 9: Pacaya Backpacking Ride Day 2, Transfer to Antigua

Views of Pacaya's active summit from today's scenic ride

Break camp this morning and make your climb from the campsite up and around the eastern side of the volcano—yesterday's ride in reverse! You'll have a slight break with some paved sections, and of course, you'll be surrounded by the fantastic views of the volcano. Your group will arrive back at the car in time to enjoy lunch and a cold beverage, then you'll be transported back to Antigua, where you can relax at your hotel for the rest of the evening, or step out and see more of the city. 

Day 10: Mountain Bike Excursion & Coffee Cooperative 

See how Guatemala coffee beans are grown on today's excursion

Today's tour combines a mountain bike excursion with a tour of where one of Guatemala's biggest exports is grown—a coffee cooperative! Your guide will collect you in the morning, and after picking up your bikes, you'll ride to the De la Gente coffee cooperative, a community located on the flank of the Agua volcano, where farmers work together to grow, pick, and process coffee. 

Upon arrival, your guide will lead you on a short hike around the fields, where you can meet some of the farmers and learn about life on a working coffee farm. Then, you'll visit the roasting house to see how they prepare the beans, one small batch at a time. The tour ends with coffee samples and lunch with the farmers. Afterward, you'll bike back to Antigua. 

Day 11: Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart 

Goodbye to Guatemala

Your biking adventures come to an end today as you depart Guatemala. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to the airport in Guatemala City for your flight home. Safe travels! 

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Map of Guatemala Mountain Biking Adventure - 11 Days
Map of Guatemala Mountain Biking Adventure - 11 Days