The Best Places to Mountain Bike in the World

Why hike when you can conquer some of the world’s most jaw-dropping mountain peaks on two wheels? Mountain biking takes extreme adventure to another level, allowing you to see the world with the wind in your hair and adrenaline coursing through your veins.

Get out of your comfort zone and embrace your inner thrill-seeker as you explore the outdoors like never before, surrounded by some of the most breathtaking natural scenery on the planet. From the daring slopes of the Himalayas to the lush jungles of Costa Rica, here are some of the best places to mountain bike in the world.

  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Quepos, Costa Rica
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Atlas Mountains, Morocco
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Grand Canyon, USA
    • Mountain biking holidays mean epic views like this | © Photo by Kay Liedl/Unsplash

      How to prepare for a mountain bike trip

      Ride, ride, ride! Prepare as much as you can for your trip, so you can take full advantage of what’s on offer. Imagine being at the last leg of your journey, about to reach the peak of a world-renowned climb, and having to turn back because you’re too tired. If you want to avoid any upset or regret, focus on improving your stamina. As you start to feel more confident, gradually increase the distance and intensity of your training so you’re fully prepared by the time your trip rolls around.

      If you’ve chosen to bring your own mountain bike with you on holiday (as opposed to renting one) it’d be a good idea to take it into a bike shop for a checkup before you leave to ensure everything is running smoothly. Another key tip to remember is to bring a few spare parts with you such as tire tubes, a multi-tool kit and replacement brake pads. This way, you won’t spend your holiday searching for the nearest bike repair shop — instead, you’ll be off discovering new lands and experiencing the wonders of mountain biking.

      View of trail from behind handlebars on a mountain bike
      Ride as much as you can before your mountain biking trip | © Photo by William Hook/Unsplash

      What to pack for a mountain bike trip

      1. Chamois Creme to reduce friction (get some here)
      2. First-aid kit
      3. Energy bars and electrolytes
      4. Biking shorts with sufficient padding
      5. Cycling gloves with padding under the palms (cyclists love these)
      6. Duct tape to fix any tire holes
      7. Travel size foam roller to release any soreness (get one here)
      8. Water bottle with an attachment to your bike
      9. Suitable clothing for both hot and cold weather conditions
      10. Comfortable backpack (this is perfect for biking)
      11. And of course, your helmet!

      Kathmandu, Nepal

      Experience the extreme heights and depths of Nepal, the Himalayan country often dubbed the ‘Roof of the World’. Home to an abundance of insane rock formations, snow-capped scenery and breathtaking mountain vistas, Nepal is a dream destination for mountain bikers. The Himalaya mountain range provides endless excitement around every turn, and with some rides involving hours of downhill action, bikers of all experience levels can find something here. After you’ve experienced the Himalayas, bike through the Kathmandu Valley, where you can immerse yourself in Nepalese culture and enjoy the astonishing views of 8/10 of the world’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest.

      Best time to ride: June – August & September – November

      Mountain peak in the Himalayas, Nepal
      The Himalayas, Nepal | © Photo by Ben-Lowe/Unsplash

      Quepos, Costa Rica

      Boasting exhilarating landscapes, towering volcanoes and picturesque peaks, Costa Rica is a dream for adrenaline junkies. Your choices are plentiful when it comes to mountain biking trails in this country, but the area surrounding Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park is a fantastic choice for beginners and experienced riders alike. A biking adventure in this region will take you passed dense forests and cascading waterfalls, before reaching magnificent mountain peaks with sweeping views of the Pacific coast. 

      Best time to ride: November – April

      Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

      Whether you’re ready to conquer the summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro (one of the hardest mountain bike rides in the world) or tackle a non-summit bound route, Kilimanjaro should definitely be on your biking bucket list. No matter what route you choose, you’re guaranteed to pass through a multitude of diverse landscapes, from rainforest to alpine desert and arctic tundra — all of which will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout your journey. The dramatic scenery will leave you breathless (literally and figuratively), and the beauty of the landscapes will make you forget just how difficult this destination can be.

      Best time to ride: January – February & June – October

      Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
      Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania | © Photo by Sergey Pesterev/Unsplash

      Atlas Mountains, Morocco

      Challenge yourself to the formidable climbs and sheer descents of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The rust-hued terrain that makes up this varied landscape will give you a run for your money and test your stamina, but don’t let that steer you away. Immerse yourself like never before, as you explore centuries-old culture and tradition at remote Berber villages within the mountains. Stay in a converted kasbah (fortress), indulge in traditional dishes like tajine, and take in the otherworldly surroundings — all while discovering Morocco on two wheels.

      Best time to ride: March – November

      Bali, Indonesia

      Mount Batur in Bali is an active volcano with a substantial amount of challenging mountain bike trails. Perfect your craft of technical riding and intricate movement as you travel through mixed terrain and explore Bali’s world of bikeable rice paddy fields, downhill dirt tracks and village backroads. Dive deep into Indonesia’s majestic rainforests, where you’ll find tranquility in the acres of lush jungle and experience a side of Bali that few other tourists see. 

      Best time to ride: April – October

      Silhouette of Mount Batur in Bali, Indonesia
      Mount Batur, Bali | © Photo by Dan the Drone/Unsplash

      Grand Canyon, USA

      As far as mountain biking bucket lists go, the USA’s Grand Canyon is an absolute must — after all, it’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world! This destination is a treat to the senses; not only will you be amazed by the vibrant hues of red, yellow and green throughout the canyon’s walls, but you’ll also travel through lush pine and backcountry — something most people don’t expect to see when visiting this awe-inspiring landmark.

      Best time to ride: March – May & September – November

      Need some inspiration for your next mountain biking adventure? Check out our range of mountain biking tours and trips and start planning your dream holiday today!

Half-English and half-Canadian, Simone now resides in Melbourne where she is consumed by both the Victorian architecture and the love of tending to her garden. When she isn’t planning her next adventure or fertilising her blood orange tree, she enjoys writing, hiking, and learning German.

Quito's skyline at dusk
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