Semuc ChampeyJanuary 14, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
Again an early start: But today by bus for a change. We took the 6am bus in order to be able to make it to Semuc Champey in a day and back. Semuc Champey is one of the natural highlights in Guatemala and pretty famous among backpackers for cave tours and tubing. We just wanted to visit the park, enjoy the views and swim in the natural turquoise pools.
The place is located only 65km away. We were going to go there by bike, but after a warning of a fellow cyclist regarding the road conditions decided to use public transport. The first 43km are on a new smooth road. By local bus, this took about 2 hours including a break (as usual when you take the local buses). We enjoyed the views from the bus and were happy we didn't have to climb those 20% hills today. Then we turned onto a gravel road towards Lanquín. It was REALLY bad, especially as it had rained all night. So for the next 11km, we needed about an hour. We were just happy we weren't on bikes! In Lanquín, we had to change to a different vehicle. One of the public collectivos, old 4WD where you stand on the back. Quite an adventure as the road got even worse, steeper and very slippery. But our driver managed to get us safely to the park entrance within another hour. So 4 hours in order to get to the national park - puh.
In the park, we hiked up to the lookout point first where we had a stunning view over the pools and the amazing mountain scenery. Afterwards, we went for a well deserved swim and had our sandwiches for lunch.
Then the same procedure for the way back. As the road had dried in the meantime, the ride on the collectivo wasn't as adventurous anymore. We then went on the bus to Coban. Also this road was much better now and we could go fast. But there was also construction work going on, so they blocked the road and we had to wait for 1.5 hours. Thus, we arrived at the smooth road after 2 hours. Our driver was then eager to hit the normal time and only stopped in order to drop people, just ignored the ones that wanted to get on the bus. In the end, we arrived in Coban after 4 hours traveling, same time as going there. We were more tired than after a day of cycling and slept very well after Jimmy, the guy who runs the hostel, shared some of the good Guatemalan rum with us.Read more