Semuc Champey: Natural Monument

One 4:30am tuk tuk, three buses and twelve hours of travel took us from San Marcos de Laguna to the most beautiful river I have yet to see. Unfortunately, Andrea and I were the last ones to get into our connecting bus in Antigua and were left with the worst seats in the bus (check out how happy and sleepy Andrea was below).I can tell you that we tried almost every possible configuration our bodies could handle to find comfort in these seats, but not even all the yoga practices helped us when it came to finding the “right pose” while sitting in a seat meant for a 6-year old Guatemalan. What was even more frustrating was watching the rest of the passengers peacefully napping, and not hitting their chins on their chest or swinging side to side with every turn on the curvy roads as we were involuntarily doing.

Complaints aside, once we got to San Agustín Lanquín, the closest town to Semuc Champey, we jumped in the back of a pick up truck and rode for 45 minutes on a rough dirt road until we got to our hostel, Utopia. We arrived just in time for dinner and had a salad with bread and a bean soup, vegetales at last!

Next morning we woke up pretty early to have breakfast and headed out on an hour long hike to Semuc Chapey. Once at the park we dashed to the trail for El Mirador to get a good view of the river before others started to swim. The hike turned out to be a strenuous 45-minute, steeply uphill hike, but we finally arrived and enjoyed amazing views of the Semuc Champey river pools.

The name Semuc Champey, as called by the Maya, means the “submerged”. Throughout the years water has found a way to erode the rocky river bottom and created a cave underneath, while at the same time creating an upper bridge which ends with a beautiful waterfall. This bridge are the pools that you see in the pictures!

We couldn’t leave without one more picture, selfiando!

Gerardo

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