Guatemala
Seabas

Here you’ll find travel reports about Seabas. Discover travel destinations in Guatemala of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

28 travelers at this place:

  • Day78

    Semuc Champey

    November 24, 2017 in Guatemala

    Nach Guatemala City fuhren wir nach Lanquin, um von dort aus einen Ausflug zum Fluss Semuc Champey zu machen. Wir reservierten zwei Nächte im Hostel Vista Verde, das sich wirklich als Schmuckstück herausstellte. Die Anlage ist noch sehr neu und alles sieht sehr gepflegt aus. Wie wir erfuhren, ist es das erste Hostel unter der Leitung einer Maya-Familie, was sie echt sehr gut machen! Sie haben dafür Kredite bei Bank und Verwandten aufgenommen. Am Nachmittag der Ankunft genossen wir bis zum Sonnenuntergang den Pool und den Blick auf die grünen umliegenden Hügel.

    Am nächsten Morgen stiegen wir um 9 Uhr zu zehnt auf die Ladefläche eines Pickups, auf der wir stehend (!) die einstündige Fahrt nach Semuc Champey verbrachten. Diese Art der Fortbewegung ist hier ganz gewöhnlich, meist hängen auch noch einige Männer oder Jungs außen an dem Gestänge, das dem Festhalten auf der Ladefläche dient. Die Fahrt führte durch die grünen Hügel Guatemalas, vorbei an einigen kleinen Dörfern, Kaffee- und Kakaopflanzen und bald erhaschten wir den ersten Blick auf den Fluss. Das einzige krasse Negativhighlight der Fahrt war, der Fahrer ziemlich kaltschnäuzig einen Streuner überfahren hat, der sich dann jaulend ins Dickicht verkroch. Wir könnten es nur fassungslos hinnehmen.

    Als wir ausstiegen wurden wir sogleich von einigen Kindern umringt, die uns Schokolade und Bier verkaufen wollten. Unser Guide meinte, wir sollen ihnen nichts abkaufen, weil sie zu der Zeit eigentlich in der Schule sein sollten. Kinder, die etwas verkaufen begegneten uns auf der Weiterreise hier in Guatemala immer wieder - das kannten wir aus Peru und Bolivien nicht.

    Unten angekommen begann unsere Tour vorerst mit der Durchwanderung einer Höhle.
    Nur mit Badeklamotten und Kerzen ausgestattet ging es zum Eingang, denn es sollte nass und dunkel werden. Zu Beginn bekam jeder mit Kerzenruß eine Kriegsbemalung von unserem Guide ins Gesicht gemalt, wir lernten unseren Schlachtruf und dann konnte es auch sogleich losgehen. Nachdem das Wasser am Anfang knöcheltief war, wurde es schon sehr schnell tiefer und wir mussten mit der einen Hand die Kerze über Wasser halten und mit der anderen uns an einem Seil über uns entlang hangeln damit wir nicht untergingen, so tief war es. Es ging durch flaches und tiefes Wasser, wir stiegen Leitern hoch und krochen durch enge Felsspalten, immer wieder ertönte angeheizt von unserem Guide der Schlachtruf der Gruppe und schließlich endete der Gang an einer Gumpe. Nacheinander kletterten wir zwei Meter auf einen Fels hinauf, oben angekommen schaute man ins Dunkle auf die nur von Kerzenlicht schillernde Wasseroberfläche. Dann hieß es ein bisschen Mut zusammen nehmen, den Schlachtruf rufen und den Sprung wagen. Voller Adrenalin ging es dann wieder zurück, wo schon ein nächstes Highlight auf uns warten sollte.

    Die Badesachen konnten angelassen werden, denn es ging zu einer riesen Schaukel, die einen in hohem Bogen in den Fluss katapultieren sollte. Unser Guide machte es uns einmal vor - sah nicht schwer aus. Dann war Isi an der Reihe. Der Absprung gelang sehr gut doch endete der Sprung mit einem ziemlichen Platscher auf den Bauch - autsch, das tat kurz ganz schön weh. Aber bei den anderen Teilnehmern waren die Haltungsnoten auch nicht besser.
    Den Sprung von der 11 Meter hohen Brücke machten wir dann doch nicht mit.

    Nach dem Mittagessen wanderten wir in etwa 25 Minuten zu einem Aussichtspunkt, von wo aus man den bekannten Blick über den sehr markanten Pools des Semuc Champey bewundern konnte. Der Fluss verläuft an der Stelle stufenförmig, das Wasser fließt über jede Stufe in einem kleinen Wasserfall nach unten und es bilden sich klare türkisfarbene Becken, die sehr einladend aussahen - ein wunderbarer Blick. Nach ein paar Fotos wollten alle so schnell wie möglich nach unten um dort ins Wasser zu springen. Wir wanderten wieder eine knappe halbe Stunde abwärts, streiften uns unsere Badeklamotten wieder über und sprangen ins kühle Nass. Das war schön! Nach etwa einer Stunde ging es mit dem Pickup wieder zurück zu unserer Unterkunft, wo wir entspannt den Tag ausklingen ließen.
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  • Day120

    Semuc Champey, Guatemala

    February 14, 2017 in Guatemala

    Find Pengiuns only let's me put six photos per footprint, so I'm adding Semuc Champey as a seperate one and to be fair, it deserves it.

    Our hostel offered a guided day trip to this natural wonder for 225 Quetzals ($45NZ), lunch included. Our chariot was a ute with a home made tent-like frame bolted over the tray. We piled in and rode the half hour or so over some horrific roads in the cool air under a hot rising sun. In itself it was a great ride, weaving through the countryside, seeing families and farmers in their daily routines stopping only to shout 'Holà' at us, the giant gringos.

    Our first stop was to venture into the underground. Caving was included in our package so we stipped down to our shorts or bikinis and retied the trainers - a look more unusual the the dreaded sneans. At the entry to the cave we were armed with our only equipment: a candle. It wasn't until we were held up at the entry that we realised our guide hadn't even brought a lighter, which gave us a lot of faith in his preparation... The guides took great pleasure in turning us into warriors with candle-soot face paint. I'm sure they were laughing at as the whole time, cheeky sods.

    Unlike most caves, this one was surprisingly uniform in size and water depth and had a distinct lack of alternate caverns or routes. That or we couldn't see further than our candlelight permitted. This made for easy navigation despite thex wading, swimming, climbing and jumping that was involved. What happens when you climb a waterfall with a candle? Yes it goes out, but keep it safe in your back pocket or tucked in the side of your bikini bottoms and hope that an amigo will give you another light on the other side. The tour culminated in a rock jump into darkness followed by a now heavily congested exit route. Glad to have been the first through!

    Upon exiting we raced for the sunlight, as slow progress and relentless wetting and re-wetting had brought a chill to the bones.

    The next activity was a sketchy and pretty darn massive seated rope swing. It provided outstanding entertainment watching many amatuers attempt to dismount the swing into the racing river below. Many complaints of pain put the girls off, but the boys all had a crack and walked away with only minor bruises and humility.

    Still in recovery, we were marched to the local bridge for another hit of adrenaline. A young and highly abusive Guatemalan boy set the bar for the jump, climbing onto the suspension wire, parading up and down whilst giving us a gutful before dropping a dizzying 10m into the river. Some attitude. Some kahunas. We all jumped, girls included, and were grateful for our shoes on impact once more!

    We're more used to the hustle now and are learning quick and easy ways out, or how to avoid the situation altogether.

    Lunch came and went with little excitement, save for my attempt to pick up a pile of sticks Guatemalan-style (with my head). A different life they lead indeed!

    The afternoon brought us to Semuc Champey, literally the only reason this secluded and so very isolated place is on the tourist trail. Semuc Champey is a series of terraced rock pools, filled with turqoise blue water and schools of those fish that nibble at your toes, creepy! The main river, Rìo Cahabón actually flows underneath the terraces; an impressive tunnel of roaring white water, only just visible to the intrigued tourist.

    It was nice to relax after the hike to get there, swimming, diving, jumping and sliding (barebummed) down the terraces, from pool to pool. The natural beauty speaks for itself in the photos below. We went back the same way we drove in, ever appreciating the friendly and smiling locals.

    All in all it was one of the best days in Central America yet! Definitely worth the hot and bumpy eight hour drives we put ourselves through at each end.
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  • Day16

    Into the Wild...

    September 19, 2017 in Guatemala

    Die letzten beiden Tage waren Abenteuer pur und richtig cool. Die Busfahrt von Flores in die Highlands von Guatemala war teilweise etwas beängstigend, aufgrund der steilen Abhänge & der wenig befestigten Straßen. Zwischendurch wurden wir durch einen umgekippten Lkw aufgehalten,der uns den Weg versperrte. Da weitere 20-30 Guatemalteken auch nicht vorbei kamen, wurde kurzerhand der Lkw so lange gewackelt und gedrückt bis sich seitlich eine Fahrrinne ergeben hatte - pragmatischer Ansatz. I like!

    Das letzte Stück in unser ziemlich abgelegenes Hostel mussten wir mit einem Pick up auf der Ladefläche zurücklegen. Die Strecke von 9km dauerte aufgrund der schlechten Straße (man stelle sich einen steilen Forstweg vor) ca. 45 Minuten. Natürlich fing es zwischendurch nicht zu knapp an zu regnen und die Dämmerung setzte auch ein...wer schonmal den Film wrong turn gesehen hat, weiß wie unser Kopfkino aussah. Vor allem als wir zu kippen drohten und ein Reifen feststeckte und kurze Zeit später ein Einheimischer inmitten der waldigen Wildnis auf einmal hinter uns her rannte.
    Als wir ankamen wurden wir aber von der Idylle beeindruckt, die sich am nächsten Morgen noch mehr präsentierte. In einer Tour haben wir dann gleich noch die Wasserterrassen von Semuc Champey besichtigt. Wunderschön!
    Das wohl krasseste Erlebnis hatten wir dann nachmittags, als es für eine Stunde mit einem Guide in eine Höhle ging - Ohne Licht, nur mit einer Kerze, inklusive schwimmen und tauchen. Das war wirklich ein Abenteuer, denn man wusste nicht was einen erwartet und musste dem Guide blind vertrauen. Aber es hat sich gelohnt - unbeschreiblich und ein must do before you die!

    Xoxo
    Cloud
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  • Day8

    Semuc Champey

    March 7, 2016 in Guatemala

    From Lanquín, a tour took us to the 9km away natural monument Semuc Champey. We first had a 40 minute hike to a view point, then went back down to swim down a part of the river, jumping from one step into the other. After lunch, we went into a bat cave, only lighting our way with candles. It was a continuous change between walking through knee-deep water, climbing up and down ladders and swimming (all holding the candle). At the end we tubed down the river back to our starting - of course provided with beer.
    The only sad thing about this otherwise perfect day, was that we were sold the beer by 14 year old boys. Even worse were the maybe 8 year old girls that wanted to sell us chocolate, which tried to convince us in Spanish, English and even French and German.
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  • Day147

    Guatemala, Semuc Champey

    February 19 in Guatemala

    Meine Riese ging weiter Richtung Norden in den Dschungel nach Lanquin. Die Straßen wurden allmählich immer schlechter und die letzte Stunde sind wir nicht schneller als 20 km/h gefahren. Aber sicher angekommen! In meiner Lodge mit Kakerlaken, lauter Musik und keinem Klopapier wurden Shuttle zu Semuc Champey arrangiert. Man bekommt ohne große Probleme bis zu 25 Leute in/auf einen Pickup. Eine gute halbe Stunde ging es tiefer in den Dschungel zu dem terrassenförmigen Fluss. Hier hat man sich zum Mirador hoch gekämpft bei 30° C und 80% Luftfeuchtigkeit. Netterweise konnte man oben Melone und Co kaufen. Über rutschige Steine und durch Schlamm ging es dann runter zum baden :-)  Read more

  • Day366

    Semuc Champay

    September 3, 2017 in Guatemala

    Heißt zu deutsch "dort, wo sich das Wasser versteckt". Der Name stimmt, aber gibt nicht wirklich wieder was es zu sehen gibt. Auf gut 300m hat ein kleiner Bach über einem reisenden Fluss eine natürliche Brücke gebildet und diese mit wunderschönen Pools versehen. Gibt es nicht? Hätte ich wohl auch gesagt, bis ich da war.
    Um das Ganze zu begreifen, ging es erst mal auf den Aussichtspunkt. Das war eine verdammt steile und schweißtreibende Angelegenheit, die sich aber sehr gelohnt hat. Die Aussicht ist in den Bildern zu sehen.
    Danach ging es dann zum Abkühlen in die Pools. Die warteten mit natürlichen Sprungbrettern, Rutschen und Unterwasserhöhlen auf. So ließ sich der Tag dann genießen.
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  • Day16

    Semuc Champey

    January 12, 2017 in Guatemala

    From Lanquin I took a tour to Semuc Champey. It's a series of natural pools in a "bridge" from lime rock over the Rio Cahabón. Which means the actual river is running below the lime rock. Just some water runs over the rocks forming clear pools which are connected by little waterfalls.
    The tour actually started with a jump of a bridge just outside the parc. I knew if i start thinking about it, I might not do it. So I just climbed up on the railing and jumped. Free falling for 10 meters takes longer than I thought. I even had enough time to think about how best to touch the water. But not enough to actually change my position.
    Inside the park we first made our way up to a lookout point overlooking the pools. From there we climbed down to jump into one of the highest pools and then slide down the little waterfalls to the lowest one. I always thought it must hurt to slide down natural stone slides. And yes, it still does 2 days later. But it was still fun ;)
    To get to the park and back to the hostel later we took the pick up truck again. Why don't we do this at home? You can fit a lot more people in one car, if they are standing on the back of a truck.
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  • Day134

    Lanquin & Semuc Champey

    March 26, 2017 in Guatemala

    The journey from Lake Atitlan to Lanquin was a tough one. We hopped on a private bus and headed off on an incredibly bumpy journey. The trail leads all through the mountains, constantly up and down and around. Sometimes we were so high up we're looking down on other mountains... did I say that these roads were unpaved? As they were, which made the ride bumpy and precarious going round tight bends on the hill side. There were so many times I thought to myself how is this vehicle still running!? As it was pushed hard on all of those terrible roads. Some roads are paved but even then full of potholes and they swerve all over the road avoiding them. Every time I fell asleep I was awoken with a sharp thud as we'd hit the dirt or gravel roads. No sleeping on this journey! Rather hanging on, did I mention there were no seat belts? You get the idea.

    After the journey taking the entire day we arrived in the town, down in the jungle and got to our hostel. The hostel was pretty funky down on the rivers edge and served us a cracking buffet dinner which was much needed by then!

    The next day we joined a tour to go see the famous Semuc Champey (blue limestone pools in a river). Along with approx 12 others we piled into the back of a pickup truck with a bar round the top. We were all standing and packed in like sardines. Off we went for a 45 minute drive down a dirt road that lead up and down deeper into the jungle. You had to hang on and deal with no personal space, what a ride! Everyone found it fun and it felt like you were really exploring.

    Our first stop on the tour was down the beautiful river by the entrance to some water caves. I chose not to do this part so will let Phil tell you how that was:

    Phil: I'd been told I may want to wear shoes as there were lots of rocks submerged in water and the like, but lacking any real option from my backpack I chose to just wear some socks (after a tip that this helps with grip on slippery wet rocks!) So wearing only swimming shorts and socks I joined the group heading into shallow water in the entrance to the tunnel. The guide (who looked about 14...) handed out a 20cm candle to each of us and then painted our faces with 'war paint' - now I was ready. He explained the cave system could be explored for hours and hours but we didn't have enough candles for that so we were going about 45 minutes into it and as we began slowly making our way along I started to stub my toes and bump my head, but thankfully nothing serious! The track we were following led through water I couldn't stand in, up ladders that were held only by ropes tied around ancient stone pillars naturally formed in the cave, and then back down another ladder - at times the up-and-down was about 10m! This in itself wasn't too challenging but what made it so was the pitch black that threatened to close in if our candles became extinguished! After climbing, crawling and swimming our way deep into the cave the water had become cold and pitch black and then ahead of us was a rock face which our guide climbed using some footholds etched into the rock (I don't exaggerate when I say there was about 3inch chunks of stone cut out of a large boulder that formed the 'staircase'). We were given the most detailed safety briefing of the day, in broken English "if you want to, climb up here and jump in the water. Don't jump there, there or there as there are rocks" he said as he pointed at basically the whole pool below him... after a couple of the group had done it I wanted a go. The 4m climb to the 'jumping point' was VERY difficult and had very little to hold onto. At the top the guide made sure I knew where to jump and also pointed out the overhang, so I knew not to hit my head. Was I scared at this point? A bit. Did I do it? Of course! My jump went fine and it was quite a thrill in the dark of the cave, and made a good way to end the cave exploration before the group retraced it's steps to the entrance. Great fun - and my candle only got wet once!

    Meanwhile I had a swim in the water and relaxed, as the only person there it was quite mystical on my own. At one point a young lad, who must have only been 14 came along, and was intensely looking into the water. Quickly I realised he was fishing and would throw out a weighted net then jump in himself to gather up the fish. He had a wire around his waist and would thread the fish alive onto it, still flapping around! It was a live fish belt, pretty cool to see.

    After the water caves the group came out all wet and covered in warrior paint, pumped for the next activity. Along the river was a giant rope swing that could lift you as high as 8-10 metres! Most people did it and went flying into the water. Phil loved it and thankfully no one got hurt (even when one guy fell backwards and unintentially did a back flip).
    From this spot we were each given a rubber tube to go tubing down the river. This was so awesome. The river had a fairly slowly current and it felt great just drifting down the water. Suddenly some local lads with their tubes jumped in and started handing out some beers to buy. Perfect!
    I even had some tropical dragonflies that kept landing on me (potentially mating but hey ho). We felt very lost in nature as we drifted on. We all got out at the same point and the pick up truck was here to pick us up...along with all the tubes. That was hilarious trying to hold them and fit everyone in. At one point i even noticed a small 6 year old child that had snuck on for the free ride. Mad!
    Thankfully it was just as 10 minute drive back.

    There was a large bridge over the river at least 8 metres high. After grabbing our stuff and dropping off the tube rings, before crossing the bridge in the truck they asked if anyone wanted to jump off it. Some brave souls did it and it was such a drop! Not for us though...

    Onwards we went towards the main sight itself Semuc Champey. We decided to do the climb to the viewpoint first, then go down the other side to the pools to swim. The climb was supposed to take 45 minutes but I think may have taken us longer, it was very steep! They had built in some wooden staircases and stone steps so wasn't too challenging, but just going higher and higher so was quite the workout, especially in the heat. However we made it and it was absolutely worth every single step. The view was stunning. You looked down into the valley between the two huge cliffs (one of which we were on) and you see the river cutting through and all the formations of the limestone ledges. See the photo to understand it better! It really felt like you'd stumbled across this incredible natural wonder.

    By now we were desperate to swim and I wanted a good amount of time there before we had to leave. So I was racing ahead down the mountain jumping steps and pacing fast. Suddenly I came across a crowd on the path and typically I was just keen to get by and not to be held up! I walked past the people and saw a lady a few metres ahead facing backwards, I abruptly stopped thinking I was about to walk into a photo of her being taken. Little did I realise the crowd were not taking a photo of the lady... but rather the snake not even a metre from my feet now looking very angry, head up high. Swiftly I backed off back into the crowd. There was a guide amongst the people who said that snake was one of the most poisonous in Guatemala! What! Thanks for the warning people....
    The snake was mad and in the attack position and was not going to move from the path, so the guide said we'd have to climb down the hill side to meet up with the path further down. I was hoping there were no others around. Once we got to the bottom we met up with our guide, who only confirmed the near death experience when shown a photo, and he exclaimed 'shit!' Confirming that you'd have a maximum of 5 hours to live if it got you. Unbelievable.

    Anyway scare over, we throw off our clothes and went to the top pool and fell into the refreshing water. It felt amazing and the surroundings were beautiful. We'd swim around, then go to the next ledge and move down to the next pool, which would require sliding down the very slippery rocks like water slides to fall into the next pool. One of these was unsuccessful for me and I hit a very slippery bit before I was ready. Not only did I land awkwardly and hurt my knee (just a bit) but let's just say in a bikini there isn't a lot of skin protection.. anyone ever had a carpet burn on their bare bum? Let's say no more!
    But it was worth it and we explored each water terrace. This also included getting a 'free' skin refresh by the fish in the water who liked to nibble you, they were quite big so not as enjoyable as the ones you get in feet tanks across Asia, but pretty cool seeing them in the wild I guess.
    Too soon it was time to leave and we walked back to our pick up truck and enjoyed another bumpy ride back through the jungle as the sun was setting. What an amazing day!

    We concluded the evening with another amazing buffet and some great conversation with other travellers until late in the evening.

    Beth
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  • Day7

    Semuc Champey

    January 25, 2016 in Guatemala

    Unser Hostel (Greengo) befand sich mitten im Urwald. Einziger Nachteil war, dass es nur das (Restaurant)Essen der Unterkunft gab. Dieses war zwar gut, aber halt nicht besonders günstig.

    An diesem Ort bietet die Natur etwas ganz Besonderes: ein Fluss, der am Anfang aussieht wie Schwimmbecken, wobei das Wasser jeweils von einem Pool in den anderen fliesst. Zuerst stiegen wir einen Hügel hoch zu einer Aussichtplattform, welche einen Blick wie aus einem Flugzeug heraus auf die Pools erlaubte. Unten genossen wir trotz bewölktem Himmel ein Bad im erstaunlich warmen und blauen Wasser.

    Weitere To-Do's sind zum Beispiel auf einem grossen Schwimmreifen den Fluss hinuntertreiben oder eine Höhle besichtigen. Wir entschieden uns für die Höhle. Beim Eingang erhielten wir je eine Kerze und den Hinweis, dicht hintereinander zu bleiben. Dann ging es los: teils schwimmend, manchmal kletternd, aber immer bedacht darauf, dass die Kerze - das einzige Lichtlein - nicht ausgelöscht wird.
    Im Gegensatz zu den ATM-Höhlen gab es hier keine Sicherheitsvorkehrungen. Schwups durch ein Loch hindurch, dem Wasserstrahl folgend, ohne zu wissen, was am anderen Ende auf einen wartet - immer im Vertrauen zum jungen Guide, der sich freundlich bemühte, Englisch zu sprechen, falls wir wirklich nur Bahnhof verstanden. Schlussendlich kamen wir aber wieder heraus, bevor die Kerze komplett niedergebrannt war.

    Auf den Naturstrassen trafen wir ständig auf kleine Kinder, welche uns im nahezu perfekten Englisch ihre Schokolade anboten.
    Hier wachsen sehr viele Kakaopflanzen. Die angebotene Schokolade wird selbst gemacht: mit Kakaopulver, Wasser und ziemlich viel Zucker. Geschmacklich, jedenfalls für mich, eher gewöhnungsbedürftig...
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  • Day229

    Semuc Chapey

    March 18, 2016 in Guatemala

    With an early start we made it to the town of Lanquin by 8:45 am, ate a watermelon and turned our bikes towards Semuc Champey. We knew we had another steep climb ahead of us, but once again were humbled by Guatemalan road grades and intense heat at 9:30 am. It took us nearly 2 hours to do the last 9 km of the day. With brakes in tatters we arrived back to the Rio Cahabon and had a celebratory swim before eating and setting up the tent. Refreshed and re-energized we headed into Semuc Chapey to see what all the hype was about. We hiked up to the mirador to see the pozos, or pools, of turquoise water that cascade down the valley, while the river actually descends into a cave under the pools and re-emerges on the other side. The colours and the setting really are stunning. Swimming in and exploring the pools and caves made for a relaxing afternoon - a world apart from the tough ride to reach the site.Read more

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