One of the highlights during my trip to central america was without doubt the tour to Semuc Champey with its natural pools and caves. It is described as one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala and hell yeah it is unbelievably impressive.
Semuc Champey is located 11 kilometres south of the small town Lanquín. From Antigua it takes about 10 hours to get to Lanquín. The drive from Flores is supposed to take only 7 hours however mostly also takes more or less 10. Semuc Champey is indeed somewhere in nowhere but definitely worth it to go.
I booked a day tour from Lanquín which includes the K’an-Ba Caves, the Semuc Champey waterfalls, river tubing, bridge jumping, The Mirador and the natural pools.
The tour starts with a visit of the K’an-Ba Caves. Going inside a cave that is filled with water sounds already impressive. However we did it without life jackets, barefoot or with water shoes and candles.
The water level varies from shallow to too deep to walk. Swimming with one hand and a candle in the other is definitely a great experience.
Another highlight of the cave is a small “water slide” which actually is only a small whole in the wall. I did not really understand what is going to happen and after being underwater for some seconds I found myself again on the other side of the wall. A cool shortcut although I still wonder how they found it.
During the tour you also get the chance to climb up a 4 meters high waterfall with the help of a knotted rope and to jump from high rocks into small, dark pools.
From the cave we walk along the river to the waterfalls of Semuc Champey. This place looks so unreal. Incredible! It is even possible to swim behind the waterfall.
Afterwards it’s time for some river tubing which goes for about 1.5 kilometres down the smooth river. It is possible to buy a beer to drink on the river.
Semuc Champey – El Mirador and Natural Pools
The main attraction of Semuc Champey is the Mirador and the natural pools. The walk up to the view point takes about 20 to 40 minutes and is quite challenging. Once up you get rewarded with a breathtaking birds eye view of the 6 turquoise pools.
Once down at the pool you can relax in the water and jump from one pool into the other. Between some there is only a small difference while other can reach a difference of almost 5 meters.
- You can book the tour directly at your hostel in Lanquín. The tours usually leave at 9am and return around 5:30pm approximately.
- Costs: About $20, including visiting the natural pools of Semuc Champey, swimming with candles in the water caves, tubing in the river, jumping from the bridge and the swings to the river and hiking the Mirador to see the pools from above. Only transportation from Lanquín to Semuc Champey costs around $3 one way.
- What to bring: Waterproofed camera, water shoes, towel and swim wear.