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Biking trip to Guatemala: on the trail of the Julbo Ride Session
What you need to know if you want to go on the trail of the Julbo Ride Session: a 10-day trip riding in Guatemala with one amateur - Rodolphe Pascuito, the lucky winner of this edition - and a triple world champion, Fabien Barel.
NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Capital: Guatemala City
Entry requirements: Passport valid for more than 6 months from date of departure from Guatemala for nationals from the European Union and Switzerland.
Currency: Quetzal. 1€ = approx. 10 Qetzal
Time difference: 6h
Health: All vaccinations must be up-to-date and avoid tap water. Malaria is present in the rural lowlands.
WHEN TO GO?
Trip dates: 20-30 November
Climate: Dry, average temperature: 23 °C.
Dry season from November to March.
Gear: Volcanic lava is highly corrosive for bikes and any gear it comes into contact with
Other: Warm clothing for the altitude (ascent of Acatenango) / otherwise summer clothing and biking gear.
Plane tickets (from France): Less than €1000
Good to know for your gear: Transit via the US; gear must be properly packed and labelled.
Meals: Around 40 Q for a dish in a traditional restaurant, up to 70 Q for more upmarket venues in cities. Antigua is packed with eateries to satisfy every taste: Guatemalan, international, French, Belgian, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, etc.
Accommodation: Between 80 and 150 Q a night depending on the standard required.
Public transport: Numerous buses known as «chicken buses» because of the feathered creatures on board! Allow 10 Q / hour.
Vehicle hire: Car hire is a possibility, allow 550 Q / day. Same system as in Europe (passport / driving license / credit card required).
Organized tours: We used a specialist biking company on site to organize everything for us. $150 / day for the group
with mini-van / driver + cook assistant. We hired a house for 10 people ($200 / day) in Antigua, which is ideally located.
Mayan Bike - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask for Luisa or Joel
Mobile : (502) 5708 7408
Sustainable Tourism Specialist
Ecotourism, Adventure and Scientific Tourism
WHERE TO RIDE
Antigua, Agua volcano, Lake Aticlan, on the high plateaux, Xela, and pretty much all over the country. Trails are unnamed, unmapped and have no website. Get the information you need from locals. The trails are former footpaths used by people to walk from one place to another.
THINGS NOT TO MISS / OUR FAVORITES
Ascent of Acatenango volcano (3,976m): With one night tent camping at 3,500m facing active volcano El Fuego. Followed by sunrise at the summit: a fantastic view!
Antigua: Touristy city with very beautiful architecture and a lively atmosphere (markets, numerous bars / restaurants, etc.). The ideal base camp for biking in the region and making the most of Guatemalan culture.
Finca el Pilar: An eco-farm open to the public a few kilometers from Antigua, with a phenomenal view over the forest and volcanoes.
Valhalla Macadamia Project / Antigua: A farm producing macadamia nuts which is fun to walk around while learning about the environmental importance of this food. You can also eat here under the trees. It’s a magical place!
Guacamole / traditional food: Guatemalan guacamole: truly wonderful! It’s also possible to eat excellent ultra-tender red meat cooked very healthily.
Macadamia nut butter: At breakfast with jam: a real treat!