Semuc Champey, Guatemala is one of the most beautiful places in Central America that you might not have known about. It’s a massive limestone bridge made of six crystal pools with a river running underneath it.
This is one of my favorite destinations I’ve ever visited, and it should be on every Guatemala Itinerary.
Ready to experience a remote jungle paradise? Then here’s the ultimate guide to visiting Semuc Champey!
Top Things To Do
Swim in the pools. You can slide down some of the waterfalls, sunbathe, and float in the crystal clear water.
Hike to the El Mirador viewpoint. This hike is steep and uphill the whole way. So plan on it taking about two hours one way, but it’s worth it. This hike can be slippery and muddy, so don’t wear flip flops.
Tube down the calm part of the Cahabon River. Start at the bridge in front of the entrance to Semuc Champey (which you can jump off of!) and leisurely float for about a kilometer downriver. Tube rentals cost 50 quetzales ($6.50, €6, 50 Yuan).
If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind small dark spaces, you should go on the hour-long K’an Ba Cave tour. You’ll climb a waterfall, crawl through tiny spaces, probably see some bats, and swim by candlelight.
This tour is fun but strenuous. Admission to the cave is 60 quetzales ($8, €7,25, 55 Yuan), and tours start every half hour from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
How to Get to Semuc Champey
To get to Semuc Champey, you have to get to the town of Lanquin first.
From Antigua, any travel agency, hostel, or hotel can book you on a shuttle to Lanquin. Shuttles usually leave at 8:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. for around 150 quetzales ($20, €18,25, 138 Yuan), and the ride is approximately eight hours.
From Guatemala City, you have to get to Coban first by taking the Monja Blanca Bus, which runs hourly, takes about five hours, and costs around 70 quetzales ($9, €8,50, 64 Yuan). Then from Coban, take the local bus departing from Mercado La Terminal to Lanquin. This ride is about 30 quetzales ($4, €3,75, 27.50 Yuan) and 2-3 hours long.
Once you get to Lanquin, you can take a three-hour hike through the jungle to Semuc Champey, or you can take a 4X4 pickup truck (the local taxis) for around 25 quetzales ($3.25, €3, 23 Yuan) that takes about 30 minutes.
When to Go to Semuc Champey
Lodging in Lanquin and access to Semuc Champey is open year-round. The high season is from mid-December to mid-April, and the low season is the rest of the year.
Semuc Champey is a popular destination, so going during the high season means there’ll be a lot more tourists, but you significantly increase your chances of having good weather.
Going during the low season will help you beat the crowds and keep lodging costs lower, but the low season is also the rainy season, so there’s a higher risk of bad weather and the pools not being as clear.
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Have you been to Semuc Champey? Share any other tips you have so we can work together on expanding this guide!
Recommended Tours for Semuc Champey
For Planning the Rest of Your Guatemala Trip
The Ultimate Guide to Semuc Champey
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