Highlands Hut to Hut
5 full days of riding across the remote regions of Quiche and Huehuetenango including communities only accessible by trail
Spend four nights in community hostels that dot the highlands and sit around the hearths and break bread with local families
A brand new route so remote you're likely not to see another traveler
A new hut to hut bikepacking route where you will experience community-based tourism at its finest.
The Highlands hut to hut ride offers 5 full days of riding across the remote regions of Quiche and Huehuetenango including areas only accessible by trail. Explore small seemingly forgotten rural Mayan villages and break bread with local families. Much of the route traverses the Guatemala altiplano, Spanish for high plains, which regularly reaches heights above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
The ride begins at the top of the mountains high above the town of Huehuetenango and finishes in the Ixil Mayan stronghold of Nebaj. Nightly accommodations rely on the gracious hospitality of the local communities we pass through. Spend four nights in community hostels that dot the highlands and sit around the hearths and break bread with local families.
The Highlands Hut to Hut ride of Guatemala sees far less tourism than most areas and offers unparalleled community-based tourism experiences full of nature, adventure, and local culture.
$499 - $699 per person, depending on group size
6 Days, 5 Nights
Elevation Gain / Loss
~+4000 mts. / -4000 mts.
Intermediate to Advanced
- Round trip transportation from Old Town Outfitters office in Antigua
- All food and lodging
- Hiking boots or trekking shoes (no sandals)
- Daypack with rain cover
- One warm layer and/or windbreaker
- Rain jacket (May thru October)
- Personal Toiletries and/or medications
- Camera, Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen
- Two liters of water (minimum)
- TIP for great service from your Old Town Guide!
What to Expect
DAY 1: La Capellania - Chiabal
Today is a long day as we start with an early morning 5-hour drive out to the trail head just above Huehuetenango. Huehue as its locally called is the gateway to the mountainous region of Gautemala. Our ride today is across the highland plateau of Paquix to the neighboring village of Chiabal at the base of Guatemala's highest non-volcanic peaks. Here we will overnight in a community hostal and eat with a local family.
DAY 2: Chiabal to Tuicogy
A stunning piece of the trail climbs up to the high ridge home to the highest two non-volcanic peaks of Guatemala: La Torre at ~12,467 feet (~3,800 meters) and Cerro Los Cuervos at ~12,631 feet (~3,850 meters). Once on the plateau the ride is mostly flat as we traverse the open expanse known as the Devil's Flats on our way to the village of Tuicoyg.
DAY 3: Tuicogy to Laguna Magdalena
Climbing out of Tuicogy we again traverse part of the Devils Flats until we reach the Canyon at the top of the beautiful Botija valley. This spectaular fertile valley has epic views and is definitely a highlight of the trip. Leaving the Botija we cross the mountains on technical rocky terrain and downhill to the stunning waters and waterfall of Laguna Magdalena where we stay for the night in Cabins at the park.
DAY 4: Laguna Magdalena to Chortiz
Today’s objective will be to cross the Aguacatán Ravine which divides the Departments of Huehuetenango and Quiche. The ride follows a pretty river that carves this deep ravine to the base of a long climb, 2,625 feet (800 meters) onto the Chortiz plateau. Once up there, we will enjoy beautiful cross country through farm fields, open space and forests. We’ll ride to the remote Mayan settlement of Chortiz, a town completely isolated from the world with no connections by road or power. The town is a pure picture of life for the local Maya in these highlands and a very unique place to visit. Here we will stay the night in a community hostal.
DAY 5: Chortiz to Nebaj
Our final ride we will continue to cross the Chortiz plateau at nearly 10,826 feet (3,300 meters), until we finally start our huge descent to the mountainside town of Xexocom, a remote end of the road kind of village that is tucked at the end of a beautiful valley. This rocky trail is likely one of Guatemala's bigges and longest descents, snaking its way out of the mountains down through the thick pine forests that characterize the region. Continuing down through the valley we make our way to Acul, the first of Guatemala’s model villages. During the Guatemala's long civil war the government as a way to undermine the strength of the Mayan peasant farmers, the military rounded up various Mayan groups of different ethnic backgrounds and forced them to live together under the watchful eye of the Government. Climbing up through one last big mountain pass brings us to the city of Nebaj. We will explore this colorful and vibrant village in the afternoon and spend the night here before our transfer to Antigua the following morning.
*DAY 6: Transfer Nebaj to Antigua
Today is a transfer day back to Antigua. The ride should take us about 6 hours.
What Our Travelers Are Saying…
I went down to Guatemala with my friend Stephan not entirely sure what to expect, and to say we were pleasantly surprised is a huge understatement. Our bikepacking tour with Chris and Matt through the Mayan Highlands was the trip of a lifetime. We went from hut to hut in some of the most beautiful and remote places that Guatemala has to offer. We got to eat delicious food with local families along the way, and we definitely got to quench our thirst for adventure as well. 10/10 would recommend to any mountain biker looking for more than your average bikepacking tour.— Mike S. from Durango, CO - TripAdvisor