Semuc Champey the wilds of Guatemala

Sumac Champey 56

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 6.14.34 PM

On the advice of our friend Julio in Antigua we set off from the lake into the mountains northward. We road from Panajachel up into the Quiche (kee-chay). The road from Sacapulas to San Cristobal Verapaz is unpaved and mostly good, but at times was sort of like driving up a river bed. The worst was when the rocks were quite big from a wash out and a chicken bus was bearing down on us.  We were luck with good weather or it could have been a bit of a nightmare.

Sumac Champey 1

Sumac Champey 3

Sumac Champey 4

Sumac Champey 5

After a long day we arrived in Coban and realized we knew the cross street of our hotel, but not the zone. The same cross streets are in ALL the zones. After a bit of effort we did manage to locate it. The town has little in the way of sights as it is really just a cross road to the north of the country. We did visit the small cathedral and the famous Pollo Compero.

Sumac Champey 10

Sumac Champey 9

The next morning we were up and on the road at 6 am to drive the 67 km to Lanquin town. We left in the dawn light and drove up into the mountains draped in mist.

Sumac Champey 12

The road is paved and curvy except the last 11 km which is unpaved steep and curvy. We arrived at the Zephyr lodge/ hostel at 8 am! This did allow us to get a ride out to the Semuc Champey park in the back of a pickup truck.

Sumac Champey 15

Sumac Champey 18

Sumac Champey 21

Sumac Champey 22

Sumac Champey 26

Sumac Champey 28

Sumac Champey 29

Sumac Champey 31

The Semuc Champey is a limestone bridge that the water has eroded and formed caves, waterfalls, and swimming pools.


We hiked and swam in the caves, jumped into the river on a rope swing and from the bridge, hiked to the Mirador, and swam in the pools. The ride back to the lodge was a bit rougher in the rain.

Sumac Champey 34

Sumac Champey 39

Sumac Champey 45

Sumac Champey 48

Sumac Champey 53

Sumac Champey 56

Sumac Champey 61

Sumac Champey 68

Sumac Champey 73

Sumac Champey 76

Sumac Champey 78

Sumac Champey 84

Sumac Champey 87

Sumac Champey 88

Sumac Champey 95

Sumac Champey 98

There was a party atmosphere especially during happy hour. It poured rain all night and into the next day on our steep ride up the road from Lanquin to the pavement. There was also dense fog in the mountains.

Sumac Champey 105

Sumac Champey 101

Sumac Champey 102

Sumac Champey 103

The rain let up near Salama and we decided to take the off road route over the mountains from Rabinal to San Pedro. After a 10 hour day we were so happy to arrive at Julio’s house in Antigua.


This entry was posted in Guatemala and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Semuc Champey the wilds of Guatemala

  1. Mia says:

    Congratulations on filling 100 pages on Flickr! I can see the roads are getting a little harder. Hope you will have smoother riding this week. It sure looks beautiful. Yours, Mia, from frozen Vancouver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *