Semuc Champey (Cobán, Guatemala) (1/14)

A full-day trip from Lanquin, Guatemala, Semuc Champey is one of the most fun day-trips you’ll have during your travels.

It starts with you and your hostel mates being rounded up at your hostel and loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck for a 20-minute off-road excursion to the beautiful Cahabón River class III-IV rapids, which flow from Lanquin to the pools of Semuc Champey.

As you hop off the side of the pickup truck and walk to the 15-foot high bridge that you’re about to jump off, you’re suddenly ambushed by a pack of 12-year-old vendors who’re selling beers to incoming tourists. Always happy to give to the local economy, you buy a few, jump off the bridge, grab a tube, and head down the river.


The next few hours are filled with more beer being thrown at you while tubing down the river and jumping through the pools of Semuc Champey, followed by a dark and dangerous neck-deep in water trek through jagged edge caves using just a burning candle and a shoestring for light and direction. Once you’ve had enough of that you embark on a couple of hundred step climb until you reach the amazing viewpoint overlooking everything you’ve just conquered. It’s time to call it a day and get back in the truck.

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Written by Derek

Derek, our editor in chief, is an avid reader and lifelong backpacker who has traveled to more than 30 countries and 30+ U.S states. He is a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience growing companies using innovative growth strategies.


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