Semuc Champey is a beautiful natural phenomenon in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala. Try to get your head around this: the picture above shows a 300m natural limestone bridge with clear blue pools on top. Underneath the bridge is a tunnel filled with water of the Cahabon River! It’s a beautiful setting surrounded by the jungle.
We visited Semuc Champey on during our first weekend in Guatemala. It really is an out of the way destination, but there were many tourists, because the Lonely planet says it’s the most beautiful place in Guatemala, and if the Lonely Planet says so, the whole world flocks to a place.
We first hiked to the mirador (viewpoint) and we were followed by a naughty local boy who tried to steal my minion water bottle! Dirk told him and his friend off, and they left us alone after that.
The picture above is at the start of the bridge, where the water flows underneath the bridge. I’m actually wearing a shirt that I bought as a gift for my sister in Mexico. At that point I simply had no more clean clothes left! The pools are stepped on different levels, so you start swimming in one pool and the make your way lower to the other pools. The water was cold, but very refreshing after the hike to the mirador.
Tiny fish nibbled our toes when we stopped swimming! We followed a tour group around the pools to see what their tour guide showed them.
The water is clear blue and you can see the tiny fish below the surface.
It’s quite slippery around the water.
This is the point where the water flows out from under the bridge:
We didn’t plan on spending the night in Semuc Champey, but we were too late catch the last bus to Coban that left at 4pm, so we walked a while and then got a lift from friendly people to the Utopia Ecohostel where our friends stayed. Here’s Dirk and Alon taking in the magnificent view from the hostel’s deck: