Home > Blog > Destination > The Natural Pools of Semuc Champey, Guatemala

The Natural Pools of Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Liked this post? Share it with others.

What was once a remote attraction, today has become one of the top attractions of Guatemala. Semuc Champey is more than just a nice view. Just the sight of once you reach there will fill your soul with happiness – yes, that’s exactly how beautiful this place is. Take a look! 🙂

 Best places in Guatemala
IG Handle jonny.melon

Semuc Champey is a set of 18 naturally formed limestone pools created by the Cahabon River and is set in a lush mountain valley deep in the Guatemalan jungle. Far from any major cities, this area has a feel that is truly different from anywhere else in Guatemala. Though this bit of paradise is difficult to reach, the beauty of its setting and the perfection of the pools, ranging from turquoise to emerald-green, make it worth it. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful place in the country!

There’s an incredible display of natural beauty here. A lush green jungle that is spread out across two mountains, separated by a cascading river. Suddenly the sound of the torrent disappears and the river along with it. On the surface a series of gentle, peaceful swimming pools laze about for the next 300ft and slowly trickle down into the river again. At the end it spills out with ferocity and re-enters the river, before calming down again and heading out into the distance.

 Things to do in Semuc Champey
IG Handle guate__for_all

There are a lot of guided tours you can take to explore the place. But, we’d suggest you to skip the crowds and do some self exploration.

Things to do

You and I both know you wouldn’t come all the way to Semuc Champey just to take pictures. 😉 So once you get there, don’t forget to take a dip in the beautiful turquoise blue natural pools and relax. Swim, float, slide down the waterfalls, soak up the sun, read a book… do whatever your heart desires!

 Semuc Champey
IG Handle backpackerstory

Go tubing here. The tubing goes for about one kilometer down the smooth river waters. It is a passive and chilling experience as you will go over some rapids. We’d recommend being careful, as some of the rapids are quite big!

Take a nice 45 minute hike through the jungle to the viewpoint, “El Mirador”. The view at the top is gorgeous, both of Semuc and the lush green mountains surrounding it. Don’t be intimidate by the hike time because it is totally worth it.

El Mirador
IG Handle maltesebackpacker

And then there are the caves. The experience is as equally impressive as the pools but in a totally different environment. No head-lamp, no helmet, no life jacket, just your bare feet, your swim wear, and a candle are all you need to explore this water cave. With an hour long cave tour, you get to climb a 10ft waterfall, squeeze in between tiny spaces, duck and dodge stalactites, see bats, and swim with one hand while balancing a candle dripping in hot wax in the other.

Best time to visit

Guatemala has one of the most pleasant climates in the world, with year-round warm days and mild evenings across much of the country. You might want to avoid the rainy season – roughly from May to October – although the rain is usually confined to late afternoon downpours even at the height of the season (September and October). Peak tourist season runs between December and March, and again in July and August when the prime attractions are flooded with visitors. Try to visit in low season to avoid the crowds and higher hotel prices.

How to reach?

Getting to this jungle oasis requires a bus ride so bumpy you won’t soon forget it. Take a bus ride from Antigua or Guatemala City that takes about 6 to 7 hours to get to Coban, where you change bus to an additional 2 hours bus ride to Lanquín, which is the closest town to the place. Once in Lanquín, you take a jeep for an additional 25-30 minutes ride on an even more desolate dirt road. Quite a ride, eh?  But totally worth it as this might be the highlight of your trip.

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee is 50 Q (note that prices may change quickly)

If you book a complete tour, the entrance fee might already be included in the tour price.

Have you read Neeraj Narayanan’s book – This Guy’s On His Own Trip yet? It’s right now #1 bestseller in the travel books category on Amazon. Click here to buy your copy!

Liked this post? Share it with others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like...