Mountain bikes can be hired in Panajachel from Hotel Utz Jay (located at 5 Calle 2-50 Zona 2, off of Calle Santander). Rental prices are Q.40/hour or Q.175/day (including helmets)
a. Scenic countryside hamlet of Caliaj and surrounding mountains (Ask me for directions) Caliaj is a small hamlet located about 40 minutes from Panajachel by pick-up (you can hire a pick-up truck to take you and your bikes to Caliaj for approximately Q.100). You will undoubtedly feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the pre-Columbian era, as travel into a steep ravine on a well-graded dirt road and up the other side to arrive at this small hamlet, surrounded on three sides by deep ravines. Foreigners are definitely a rare sight here, as you will notice from all the attention (curiosity) that your presence attracts, especially from the throngs of small children. Caliaj is characterized by many small, family farms; each with their own milk cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and crops. Most houses have their own ‘temascals’ (traditional Mayan saunas) which is the way indigenous people in many highland locations bathe. Fresh farmer’s cheese and butter can be purchased from any of the tiny ‘tiendas’ in the village. From Caliaj I recommend riding towards the mountains in the distance. Along the way you will pass by other small hamlets, through forest and farmland.
b. Panajachel to Santa Catarina Palopo (20 min.) and Santa Antonio Palopo (20 min. from Santa Catarina Palopo)
c. Panajachel to San Andres Semetabaj and beyond (1 hour +). Note this is a strenuous, nonstop uphill trek!