Mountain Biking La Antigua, Guatemala

La Antigua is widely regarded as a major highlight of Guatemala for the colonial buildings, volcano views and tourist friendly boutique-ness. The old buildings are indeed beautiful, especially when the clouds lift to reveal the volcanoes – de Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. However, after a comparatively cheap and tranquil few days at San Pedro de la Laguna on Lago Atitlán, I found La Antigua too expensive and crowded with tourists. So, I decided to use my ‘rest day’ to check out the local mountain biking around the city.


Some of the more interesting buildings in La Antigua are those that are less well kept.

Arco de Santa Catalina in morning light with Volcán de Agua towering in the background
Templo y Convento de La Compañía de Jesús in late afternoon

Finding The Trails

I read about mountain bike tours around La Antigua, but I didn’t feel like shelling out $50 USD for a group ride which might be too slow or not challenging. I had a look on Strava, Everytrail and Wikiloc for some trails and discovered a massive network of GPS tracks in the area.

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Some popular trail segments around La Antigua as seen on

The climb up San Cristobal El Alto is a moderately steep set of switchbacks on dirt which leads up to a vast network of trails just east of La Antigua.


View of La Antigua from above after the 600m climb up San Cristobal El Alto


A querky shop in Magdalena Milpas Altas boasts top brands, but the shelves are empty!

After reaching Magdalena Milpas Altas, I traversed across a few paved roads towards the next set of dirt roads just northwest of Santa Lucia Milpas Altas.


View of La Antigua and Volcán de Agua in the background. This trail would be better going down. I had to hike a bike on a few sections on the way up.

In retrospect, this latter section would be much better going down the other way. Due to some recent washouts, I found myself pushing up a fair amount of the climb before reaching some spectacular viewpoints nestled amongst terraced patches of maiz.

One day is not nearly enough to explore these trails. I’d have loved to check out the other trails between La Antigua and the four Milpas Altas pueblos. Oh well, next time!


Miles of dirt roads in the hills between La Antigua and Mixco and Guate City


La Antigua is surrounded by a network of trails and dirt roads. It deserves at least a few weeks to get acquainted.

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