Guatemala Diaries – Day 3

Thanks to a 3.3 litre bottle of water, I’m up and at ’em for the start of the Semuc Champey tour. We bought it through our hostel, El Muro, for 170 Q.

The prices can vary wildly, but we got a middle of the range price for a full day of adventuring. If you have to make your dollar stretch further, I highly recommend shopping around Lanquín the day before.

I was pleased to see our host/bartender Walter jump on the back of the pick-up truck as we begin our excursion. No rest for the wicked.

The ride to Semuc Champey is only 11 km but due to the roads, it can take up to an hour or more to get to where you want to be. There was some morning cloud, lending a bit of moisture to the car ride over the mountains.

Without fully reading what we were in for, it was a full day of adventure, with surprise and a fair amount of danger/fun at every turn. To start the day, it was a seated rope swing into a cold and fast flowing river. In a nutshell, a Failarmy dream. I was hoping my front flip to back slap looked cool, only to be met with uncontrolled laughter from the onlookers. A good start so far.

Then we had caving illuminated by hand held candles. This was an interesting experience, especially when asked if we’d like to scale an extremely sketchy rock face for some cave pool jumping. There was waterfalls, ladder climbs and short tube drop through a waterfall to make sure you had a healthy amount of thrills and bumps and bruises.

Unfortunately my underwater camera broke while snorkelling too deep in Caye Caulker, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

As we left with a lung full of cave water, it was time to see how we fared on the Cahabòn River with some tubing. There had been a lot of rain recently, and people I’d met recently told us that a lot of activities, including the caves, were inaccessible due to the high volume of water.

There was a pretty decent current and an impressive beer save as I was ejected from the tube on a rather turbulent section of the river.

A quick paddle to shore and all was right in the world. There was a certain amount of backstroke required to make it safely back to shore, which meant Walter did his best Guatemalan Baywatch impression to rescue a wayward and tired tuber. It was nothing too serious, but fortunate someone stepped up to the rescue.

After an arduous (lazy) float down the river, it was an all you can eat buffet for 50 Q, which was excellent to fuel up for our 1 hour hike to view the Cahabòn River pools.

It was a slippery ascent and descent, but those views though. To finish we had a guided swim/jump/slide of the above pools which was much more inspiration for laughter. Apparently my slide was extremely bumpy followed by a face first entry into the pool. The judges awarded 10’s all round.


After all was said and done, it was a huge day out and worth every penny. Back still stinging and legs bleeding, we all agreed that we had had a win today. We all tried our best to keep the party going into the evening, seeing another set of familiar faces check in to the hostel, but 10 Brahvas later and it was bedtime. Guatemala is putting on a show so far.

As I’m writing this from my phone sitting in the stree in Lanquín, check out the other menu dropdowns to catch up on the story, ain’t got time to post no links 😉

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