Dancing With Mayan Fire – Biking the Best of Guatemalan Volcanoes
We were standing atop Volcán Agua (8200’) after machete-ing (can we make this into a verb?) our way through a dense, jungle-laden road in an old beat up truck with four bikes in the back. The Guatemalan fog was thick and murky, like the coffee we had for breakfast. We didn’t have a clue what to expect, but we did have our humble Guatemalan local to reveal and unfold the journey ahead…
A group of bike obsessed strangers from Whistler and Colorado got a last-minute opportunity with Backshop Bike Tours to explore the trails of Central America. Without questioning much, we quickly re-arranged life’s endlessly jammed calendar, packed up the bicis and met down south in Antigua, Guatemala.
Antigua is a charming little town filled with cobblestone streets, brightly colored houses, genuinely warm people, towering volcanoes and rich Mayan foods. And most importantly for us, it has a vast amount of ill-kept and ruggedly fun trails, which Mayan shoes have been arduously patting down for thousands of years.
Like many of the local Mayan people, Guatemala’s trails exist in blissful solitude and don’t boast signs or assign titles. So when given the chance to discover these rare gems, simply count your blessings, strap on the Deuter and enjoy every moment of the ride!
If all else fails, the mountain bike specific park, El Zur, on top of Volcán Agua is a guaranteed ride of a lifetime. The 20+ mile / 5600’ descent goes through varying terrains from dark, murky jungle to lush green expanses of exotic flora to flawlessly built jumps and drops.
Antigua, Guatemala is undoubtedly one of the world’s best mountain biking paradises, and dubbed the land of “eternal spring,” so when biking season fades in the US, there is no better place to go fuel the fire!