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Semuc-Champey

07 May

Located near Lanquin, Semuc Champey is a natural water wonder consisting of several limestone pool formations along the Cahabon river. The pools are filled with turquoise water and form little waterfalls as each pool is above the next.

Semuc Champey: Pools

We opted for a tour of Semuc Champey which also included the Lanquin caves, we had wanted to go with the bus but it was difficult to get information on how to get there exactly.

The town of Lanquin is located an hour’s drive on unpaved tracks from the main road and seems to be the last place for provisions before you get to Semuc Champey, which is then another 30 minutes away.

Semuc Champey reminded us of a smaller version of Agua Azul in Mexico. In fact the pools are a total of only 300m compared to the 7km of Agua Azul.

Semuc Champey: Waterfall

But what makes them different is the very fact that they are so close together, allowing you to easily go from one pool to the next.

Semuc Champey: Main pool

The area also feels very secure and there are both security guards and life guards.

After Semuc Champey we taken to the Lanquin caves for a quick tour. Although highly impressive in terms of rock formations and the fact that the caves are still used as a Mayan church with animal sacrifices, the slippery surfaces and lack of proper handrails throughout make it a beautiful yet dangerous place to go.

Lanquin cave: Jaguar altar

Even with our Vibram soles we were struggling to walk across the wet rocks without sliding, the only saving grace was the fact they had added electricity to the caves so you didn’t need to worry about using one had for the torch and only one for your hanging on.

The caves are also covered with bat excrement as there are thousands who reside there so ensure you take wipes as your hands at the very least will be filthy by the end.

When you are able to stand still and look around, the caves are spectacular, the numerous altars, now black with years of candle smoke are unlike anything I have seen and the knowledge that they are still in use does bring a certain awe to them.

Lanquin: Mayan altar

If you have the chance to do the combined tour I would recommend it, just be very careful and ensure you go prepared!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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