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.
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.
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.
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!