Video: Guatemalan Volcanoes & Jungle with Eric Porter

Dec 20, 2018
by Eric Porter  

Looking for a friendly, warm, beautiful place to ride your bike this winter? Let me suggest Guatemala, land of volcanoes and jungles, and a ton of amazing single track. Justin Olsen and I recently travelled down here for a week to ride, camp, swim, and take in the Guatemalan culture. We put together this quick video which captures the feel of the trip pretty well, and definitely makes me want to return as soon as possible. I'll let the photos and video do the rest of the talking, it's an amazing place. Thanks to Diamondback Bikes for helping make it happen, I rode my Release 3 on this trip with my own build kit.

Video and photos by Justin Olsen @justinolsen , riding by Eric Porter



There's only one way to make sure a bike has been properly built up, and that's riding wheelies around town!


Waiting for the bike shop to open to finish up a couple things on the bike!


Riding into our camp spot on Volcán Acatenango, in the clouds.


One of the coolest places I've ever camped. We were woken up every couple hours by Volcán de Fuego blasting off, we were able to watch lava roll down it's sides, although never quick enough to get the camera set up in time. Every time it blasted our Guatemalan friend Welber would shout "Laaaaaaavvvvaaaaaaa Aaaaammiiiiiiiiigggoooooosssss!" which soon became our favorite thing to yell to each other.


Our friend Welber. Laaaavvvvvaaaa Aaaammmiiiggooosss!!!!


Blasting Off!


We woke up at 4am to hike to the summit in 33 degree F temps with clouds and rain/snow, hoping it would clear for an amazing sunrise.


Spoiler alert, it never cleared, and we were nearly hypothermic by the time we returned to camp, shivering uncontrollably!


Cruising through Antigua on the way to our next riding spot.


El Zur bike park is deep in the jungle on the side of a volcano. Also staying with protocol, the only safe way to cross a bridge is on one wheel.


Welcome to the jungle!



The trails here were not made for riding bikes, that's just an added benefit! The locals were all excited to see us, and were very welcoming. I think mountain biking will be a nice boost to the economy of the more remote parts of Guatemala in the future, as more people come here to ride bikes.


Heading into Lake Atitlán to wrap up our trip.


Our accommodations at Lake Atitlán, possibly the coolest place I've ever stayed.


Hey everyone, I have a very important announcement. CANNONBALL!!!!!

Check out the rest of the pictures from the trip at Justin's gallery below!

https://www.pinkbike.com/u/justinolsen/album/Guatemala-2017/


34 Comments

  • + 4
 Nice write-up and photography. I've been to Guatemala a few times, unfortunately not for mountain biking. Guatemala would be a great destination for an adventure style trip instead of the usual touristy stuff. Typically, the prices for food, lodging, guides, etc is very reasonable.
  • + 1
 You can ask the local any information you need
  • + 3
 @Eric, where in Atilan did you guys stay? I've been there a couple times and it always blows my mind. I have yet to put two wheels down but that will be my first priority on my next visit. Loved your edit, thanks for sharing your journey with us.
  • + 4
 Fisher it's called Casa Del Mundo. There's a bit more detail on this from a two parter about biking in Guatemala on the PB front page from a few years ago. Travel provider who can make arrangements for the transport and water taxi is Old Town Outfitters from Antigua. Excuse me Eric for responding but the story brought fond memories of Antigua, Atitlan and Welber

www.lacasadelmundo.com/web/index.php/en

Old town is adventureguatemala.com

Hope that helps
  • + 2
 @leelau: No problem at all, your piece was a great in depth travel tool!
  • + 1
 @ericporter: Thank you to both of you! Smile
Great info and amazing content, really appreciate sharing the details because it's one of the best kept secrets in MTB going to Guate.
  • + 2
 I loved shredding Guatemala and visit often. Lived in the remote highlands last year and found plenty of Mayan foot trails to ride on. It's magical place, deep in history, and inundated with epic views. People are wonderful. I really enjoyed the vid!
  • + 2
 Thanks for the write-up and photos, Eric! Looks like you had a blast. I was a missionary in Guatemala for 2 years and it really is an incredible place. Stunning natural beauty, amazing people, and delicious food! While I was there, I thought that many of the foot paths in the jungle would be super fun on a mountain bike, and you've shown that they are indeed a blast! I've been wanting to make it back down there soon...I guess I need to take my bike when I go! Thanks again for sharing.
  • + 1
 I want to share a video of my friend and local legend Hugo "Loko" Martinez filmed in San Agustin Bike Park Located on the mountains arround Guatemala City filmed by Roman Castro. Enjoy!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpdHAwHPaBc
  • + 2
 That looks amazing.... I would love to take my bike down there.... did you work with a adventure guide service to put the trip together?
  • + 2
 Great video! What a cool place to ride. I rode my mountain unicycle down from the summit of Volcan Tajulmulco in 2002, and it was really good and rideable off the top.
  • + 4
 that shop's open Porter, you're just cheesing in the doorway comeonsrsly
  • + 2
 @owl-X LOLOOLOLOLOLLOOOOOOL. Burnt so bad! Badder than that volcano!
  • + 1
 Hahaha I probably should have looked closer when I was writing the caption. Ok, so it was a cool place to take a photo of me with the bike!
  • + 1
 @ericporter: it looks like the cover an album I would not buy.
  • + 1
 @owl-X: haha good call, I probably wouldn't buy that album either!
  • + 1
 @owl-X: whoaaaaaa! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOOOOOLLL I wouldn't buy it either! But I'd probably buy the single with some random b-side. Lava burn, booyah!
  • + 2
 We have passed through antigua every year for the past 10 years and it's about a 50/50 chance that you'll get robbed up there around the volcano.
  • + 2
 Video was short for such a rad trip but the photos were great. Let’s get Eric Porter and Matt Hunter together for a sweet collaboration.
  • + 3
 Taking that bike into Guatemala is like taking a steak with a side of liver into a lion's cage. Glad it worked out for you!
  • + 5
 There are some places where that may be true. However many places in Guate ( Ciudad, Atitlan, Rio Dulce, Xela) were fine. I suspect it's just like many other places in the world ie be aware
  • + 3
 I’ll be down there in March- renting a bike just got pushed up the priority list.
  • + 2
 have been to the same area last year and yes we hiked up to Volcán Acatenango. On the way down I missed a bike Smile
  • + 3
 Eric Porter is the man. I love his vibe, nature rises, and style.
  • + 3
 Sounds like I need to go visit family ASAP!!!
  • + 1
 I've been to both of these locations. By far the most beautiful place on earth that I have visited.
  • + 2
 Great to see Welber. He was our guide in 2015. Super dude.
  • + 1
 That looks amazing, great pictures and video too! Newest addition to the bucket list!
  • + 1
 nice trip! come to chile!
  • + 1
 Beautiful! As is most of Latin America.
  • + 1
 Exactamente !
  • + 1
 Great Vid Eric and Justin, I got a good laugh out of the taxi ride!
  • + 1
 Nice pics

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