Saturday, March 26, 2011

Semuc Champey

The Lagoons of Semuc Champey

A side trip into the northern interior of Guatemala lead us to this magical place of lagoons.  It's a system of pools that flow into caves below ground.  The trickiest part was getting there, but it was worth the effort.  We stopped in a village near Coban where only Mayan languages were about being in another world.  The city was located in a cold cloud forest and had a lot of charm.  We kept going until we arrived at Coban and then we hired a van that followed a road to the tiny rain forest community of Lanquin.  It was here that we took our day trip to these amazing lagoons and several uncharted caves.

Beautiful lagoons link together in this amazing hike out of Lanquin
Be careful entering this water as the rocks can be slippery.  Also look for the many brown fish swimming around nibbling on the hairs of your legs.  Some people actually jump from the trees into these pools.  I was a little bit leary about doing this.
Bring your swimming trunks and some water shoes

In the above pic, my sister is sitting at the edge of one of these pools.  It's absolutely gorgeous there and sparkles green like an emerald.....and just simply breathtaking.   The village of Lanquin is just as charming as the surrounding area.  I'll never forget the night at a small local restaurant having some chicken and salad.  It had rained and hundreds of fireflies came out in the night sky flashing their beautiful blue and green lights around us.  Also hanging out with us during dinner were several local toads catching themselves their own dinner. 
Don't get too close to this part of the river

Be careful along the edges of certain parts of this trail.  This river rages into the Earth through an underground cavern system.   One slip and you're dead.  I took this picture from a safe distance thanks to the zoom lense:)
Jump off a bridge into a river below
The hikes are great and will really blow your mind.  Today this bridge is used to get to one of the most interesting caves I've ever seen.  If you can't swim, this is not a recommended cave to take because inside you have to swim through deep parts to get to the inside waterfall....and it's dark....and there are bats:)  But is it cool:)  The cave is called the Kan Bah Cavern.  Wear water shoes on these hikes.  PS.  Please be careful going down that river during the monsoon season.  Everyone says the Coban River is a safe tubing experience but it can be dangerous. My little sister almost drowned here and we'll never forget that experience.  Several hours before we went on this "little" adventure, a person from Holland had the same experience and it was no laughing matter.  Also, a headlamp for this part is recommended especially at night when the critters come out.  An Emperor Scorpion came out and stung one of our was hiding in the bedsheets.  Needless to say, this was a memorable journey that will not be forgotten.  This is definitely for the experienced traveler.


  1. Rohrerbot, the lagoons look amazing. I could just do with a bit of chilling out there, and maybe followed by a jump off the bridge....then maybe some tea and scones?

  2. incredible place.....what about the flora ?

  3. The flora is outstanding. I couldn't take too many pics becuase I didn't have the room on my camera at the time, but it's one of the places that's highly recommended to visit!


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