Semuc Champey is a set of crystalline pools over the Río Cahabón in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. It consists of a natural 300 m limestone bridge, under which passes the Cahabón River. Atop the bridge is a series of stepped, turquoise pools, a popular swimming attraction. Semuc is part of the backpacker trail in Guatemala.
Flora and fauna
At an altitude of approximately 341 m Semuc Champey's climate is usually warm, typical of a tropical rainforest jungle, getting colder through the night.
Being surrounded by tropical jungle, Semuc Champey is often clouded, especially in the rainy season.
Shuttles go from Cobán and Antigua to Lanquin. From there, shared taxis will bring you to your hotel in Semuc Champey. If you don't come with a shuttle, your hotel can pick you up if you call them in advance.
Small hotels and backpacker lodges exist in Lanquin, which until around the year 2000 was the usual place to stay when visiting. Now there are good (rustic) community-owned and operated hotels just outside of Semuc Champey.
Fees and permits
The fee to enter the Semuc Champey National Park is Q50 for foreigners. It is usually included in your tour.
For a better perspective of the site, there is a viewpoint atop a difficult path that offers views of Semuc Champey.
- Semuc Champey Pool and K’anba Cave Tour. You will walk in the park to the beautiful pools, visit the K’anba Caves where you will crawl, climb, and even swim through some parts with a candle in your hand and finish the day with some tubing down the river. Q150 (guide and entrance fees included).
- [formerly dead link] El Portal. Next to the entrance of the park. There is nothing else nearby, so you eat in the hostal (bring enough cash). The hotel is owned by the community, and while very rustic and basic, it is very nice. Dorms Q40, s/d Q175/Q200.
- Utopia, ☏ . 3 km from Semuc Champey. Has a vegetarian restaurant.