Blogs from Semuc Champey, Verapaz Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Nach einer sehr langen 6-stündigen Busfahrt von Río Dulce in einem sehr kleinen Bus ohne Klimaanlage oder Toilette und nur einem kurzen Stop sind wir gegen 20h endlich in Lanquín angekommen. Die Straße dorthin war sehr schlecht gewesen, mit sehr vielen Schlaglöchern, aber die Aussicht und die Landschaft waren einfach atemberaubend ! Unser Busfahrer fuhr zwar wie ein verrückter, war aber eigentlich sehr nett und hat sogar 2 Mal angehalten, damit wir Photos machen konnten. Im Bus habe ich Tina aus Nîmes in Frankreich kennengelernt. Sie war sehr nett und reiste für 5 Wochen durch Guatemala. Sie war dort um ihren Freund zu besuchen, der in der Nähe von Guatemala City lebt, aber da er arbeiten musste, reiste sie alleine durchs Land. Sie hatte dasselbe Hostel gebucht wie wir und so haben wir auch das nächste ... read more
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After a full day of travel yesterday, Semuc Champey had no chance but to deliver. If not, I would be the grumpiest girl on Earth. Indefinitely. With neither of us interested in the caving part (which sees you wade through a lake inside a pitch black cave lit only by hand-held candles and then make a 4m jump into the water (I still haven’t met anyone who has survived the cave without so much as a cut or bruise) we decided to ditch the tour and DIY it. We were planning on walking into town and getting a ute from there but settled for the hostel to take us as we didn’t know exactly how long it would take to walk into town and we’d heard that most of the Utes leave before 9am, not giving ... read more


Lets go South – next destination on the famous Gringo Trail (where everyone goes) is Semuc Champey/Lanquín. For the first and probably the last time of this trip, we booked a shuttle – a minivan full of backpackers brought us without detour to the destination. Kati asked us the night before, why Americans have that questionable reputation being noisy,… a Gentleman in the bus killed a bottle of rum during the drive and “entertained” the whole bus. Here you go, Kati – just kidding, he was just an unlucky example. As at most of the places, this rumor is just correct for a really small percentage. We arrived in the Jungle of East Guatemala. The highly recommended Zephyr Lodge was full so we stayed close to the river at the Oasis Hostel. Bathing in the ice-cold ... read more
Semuc Champey
The adventure route!
..and through the hills.


At Lanquín itself wasn't much to do. 2 nights was more than enough, especially after what happened: The morning after we arrived, I woke up really early as usual.. I wake up every morning between 5:00 and 7:00 since I'm traveling. So this day was like any other. I got up and went to the restaurant in my pj's, asked for a bowl to eat the cereals with milk we bought the other day and read a book from the shelf. Around 10:00 the others came for breakfast. They both already took a shower and were ready to go. I still had to take a shower so I went to the cabin to take my stuff. While showering, a frog suddenly came through the drain. I jumped out of the shower with my body still covered ... read more


Arriving in Semuc Champey from Flores involved two buses and one ride in the back of a pick up truck. Standing on the back of the truck seemed pretty fun to start with, despite the crazy bumps in the road, but after half hour of gripping for dear life on the steepest roads (up and down) I have ever experienced, arriving at Utopia was literally like arriving in paradise. I can't rave about this hostel enough, set close to the river, about 8km from Lanquin, the nearest village, and 3km from the Semuc Champey Park. The hostel is basically a massive wooden hut, with beautiful views, everything made from local wood, delicious meals and the most chilled out atmosphere ever. Each morning I woke up to stunning views slowly revealing from the clouds just outside, no ... read more
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Here's what we got ourselves into so far out in the middle of nowhere...The beautiful, quiet, friendly Utopia eco-hostel set on a cacao farm only 3km from caves we could go exploring and the greenish blue pools of cool water at Semuc Champey that we could swim in. Our first thought upon arrival was that we could stay here a very long time. In fact, we were only booked in for 3 nights originally but we booked in for a 4th straight away. We thought we'd stay in the dorm but the opportunity to sleep in hammocks presented itself and we couldn't pass it up. Being set on a cacao farm was the perfect excuse to go on a chocolate tour which started out on the farm with a look and taste of the raw cacao ... read more
In the Caves...
Death Defying Jump


One of the last places I visited in Guatemala was just about right in the center of the country and far from everything - the limestone pools at Semuc Champey. This would have been a great place to have a waterproof camera... US$ ≈ 7.7 Guatemalan quetzales (Q) ≈ 13 Mexican pesos (M$) Cobán Like most travelers, I merely passed through Cobán on the way from Guate to Lanquín and had to spend the night after a late arrival. Not much to see in town but nice vibe and friendly people. Very different from Antigua where I had left in the morning. Accommodation and food First looked at Hotel Central as it was on the way from the Monja Blanca bus stop to the center. Q80 for a single but it was full. Then looked at ... read more
Limestone Pools From the Mirador
Mirador
Río Cahabón


Wczoraj autobusem turystycznym dojechalem do Semuc Champey. Tym razem nie zdecydowalem sie na chicken busaze wzgledu na odleglosc i duza liczbe przesiadek. Droga z Antigua do Semuc Chempey zajmuje minimum 8 godzin (autobus turystyczny) i ostatnie 30-40 km jedzie sie jeepem szutrowa droga :-) Cala podroz jest bardzo meczaca. Zarowno ze wzgledu na jakosc drog jak i upal. Ale na koncu czeka raj, czyli Semuc Champey:-) Miejsce to so seria niezykle malowniczych kaskad i basenow z turkusowa woda, w ktorych, pomimo tego, ze jest to park narodowy, mozna sie kapac. Dosyc odlegla lokalizacja miejsca i ciezki dojazd sprawiaja, ze nie ma tutaj zbyt wielu turystow. Jadac do Semuc Champey mijamy miasto Coban, zalozone przez niemieckich kolonistow w czasach boomu na kawe i da sie tutaj wyczuc pruskiego ducha:-) Jest czysciej i architektura jakas taka znajoma. Na ... read more
Baseny w Semuc Champey
Jedno z kapielisk
Kaskada


As we were warily wading through the passages of a pitch black water-filled cave with a candle in hand, hearing the sounds of interior waterfalls and squeezing between rock formations, the thought crossed my mind that Indiana Jones is just a film, but this is the real thing. Deep in the jungles of Guatemala after a 15 hour journey over bumpy, rain-ruined roads, we had found ourselves in the village of Lanquin and exploring nearby Semuc Champey. We had been looking forward to visiting Guatemala to such an extent that it was often a little hard to appreciate the other places we were exploring. Now that we are here, I’ve realised that even the greatest expectations could not possibly lead to a sense of being underwhelmed in what must be Central America’s greatest jewel. Guatemala is ... read more
The natural rock bridge and swimming pools of Semuc Champey
Look at the colour of that water!
One of the better swimming spots in the world.


Today we did our first official tour, our guide started by pointing out plants along our walk, there was some pod he opened up and it was orange inside he shoved his finger in there and began to paint streaks on all our faces. He pointed out coffee, coco, and some interesting spices. We entered the park and hiked up a mountain for maybe 45 minutes, it was grueling and quite steep in places. As I grabbed the earth to climb up I envisioned mistakenly placing my hand on a snake or some poisonous creature. After all at breakfast there was a trantula although that seemed to be the least scary thing of the day. One of the locals picked it up and it even crawled on someone's chest. At the top there was a viewpoint ... read more




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