Absolutely Beautiful

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
El Casa de Zapote

Flag of Guatemala  ,
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    The drive from Coban to Lanquin takes about 2 hours on a shuttle.  Lanquin is a semi-small town. We didn't actually spend much time in the town itself.  The real gem of Lanquin is Semuc Champey. 
    Semuc Champey is an area where the Cahabon River flows down from the mountains and suddenly drops into a whirlpool underground.  Researchers have tried to follow the river as it drops below ground but apparently it is impossible to follow if you want to stay alive.  For the next kilometer or so, pools of water have been created above the underground river from the trickling water flowing down from the mountains.  These pools are amazingly clear with beautiful blue and green colors.  Finally, these pools end and the river suddenly reappears out from underground. 
    At Semuc Champey you can make the climb up the slippery wooden stairs (a very steep climb) to the mirador or lookout.  Go there for an amazing view of the magnificent pools.  When you get down to the pools you can take a dip in the water which is a nice cool temperature.  Having a guide was nice  because he would show us where to jump off rocks into the pools below and where to sit so that the miniature waterfalls would hit you perfectly...it really was a spectacular experience not to be missed.
    Our second part of the day took us to the Lanquin Caves.  The Caves are a series of caverns that the Mayans used to use for sacrificial ceremonies.  From years of candles being burnt, many of the rocks have a dark ash stain to them.  Also, the Mayans found that many rocks looked like various animals which there are now signs for. The caves were officially opened to the public in 1955 when the ceremonies ended.  They are interesting but my favorite part was where our guide (Charles) showed us a place to climb through the cave into another cavern.  I enjoy rock climbing so it was pretty fun, but not necessary.
    The hostel we stayed at for the night served a fabulous dinner and the rooms reminded us of tree houses.  Walking up the stairs made the whole building shake....brings you back to childhood!  We were the only two guests that night so we were able to play our music at the bar and play cards with one of the guides with the hostel, it was a very good time and I highly recommend it!
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