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“Worth the (long, bumpy) journey!”
Review of Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey
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Day Trip: Kanba Cave and Semuc Champey Natural Pools from San Agustín Lanquín
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Lanquin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Worth the (long, bumpy) journey!”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

The journey to and from Lanquin is nothing short of hellish - the "roads" are bumpy, pot-holed and steep. It takes more than an hour to do 9km... (this is especially traumatic if you've travelled from Rio Dulce on roads like this. We and other travellers got stung but trying to do a shorter route that missed out Lanquin - don't do it! It means hours more on those awful roads, before still ending up in Lanquin - better, even if longer in kilometres, to go to Lanquin and go from there). However Semuc Champey is worth the trek! Stunning natural pools to swim in and breathtaking scenery.

Visited December 2012
Thank Anna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Amazing trip - do it with El Portal and support the locals”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

The trip was incredible! One of the reasons why is because I did it through hostal El Portal. You don't have to stay in the hostal, or in Semuc Champey to do it with them! I stayed in Lanquin at Zephyr, but didn't like the price they were charging for their trip (Q170). I walked downtown to El Portals restaurant and booked the trip from there for Q140! I also discovered that the food tin that restaurant is amazing and half the price of Zephyr.

So the main reason why you should do this trip is not the price. Th El Portal (EP) trip is runed by locals. They are extremely knowledgable about the terraces and the caves. Our hyperactive guide Eric knew cool features of the terraces, that apparently (by talking to friends from Zephyr) Zephyrs guides don't know, examples are: slippery rocks that he let us slide down, a little tiny cave under the waterfall of the terrace that we ducked under and could watch the water falling from inside and the best spots to dive.

After the terraces and the caves he arranged us tubing down the river.

The trip with El Portal was so amazing!!!! I really recommend it!

Visited December 2012
Thank Rejsefugl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 17, 2012

more beautiful then the pictures. the view from the top of the hike is stunning, but the real beauty is swimming in the differnt pools of semuc champey.

Visited December 2012
Thank Laura E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingston, Guatemala
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“little scary, candle lit trip through the caves in a river.”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

My title says it all. We did a little Mayan ceremony with Carlos our guide, put a red dot on our foreheads from a plant he found and toured the caves by candlelight. Wading through the river, up a ladder through the water fall and jumped in the dark into a pool. All in all it was a beautiful day.

Visited December 2012
Thank stuart w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Its beautiful, just lock up your stuff and don't stay too long.”
Reviewed December 8, 2012

This was just one bad experience on a brilliant three week holiday.

Guatemala - Fantastic - a real adventure along with some total relaxation.

We travelled to Semuc Champey (which took around 8 hours from Antigua!). Once we arrived we were met by about 6 touts vying for custom for their various lodges so it’s good to know what you’re after before you get there. We stayed at El Portal - which we felt had a slightly poor atmosphere. It was also the most expensive place we stayed at during our entire trip (which included El Paderon surf camp which was PARADISE and completely EXCELLENT and the Jaguar Inn in Tikal, which was also very nice.

Semuc is an amazing and beautiful place to visit. The views, pools and “dangerous” caving was brilliant. We like a bit of risk on our travels, however... my bag was stolen from my Hotel room at El Portal in Semuc Champey whilst I was asleep in the room, I didn’t lock my door until my boyfriend came back down the hill from the bar. My passport and some money were taken along with the rest of my bag (& bits). The staff at El Portal were not worried or helpful and said these things happen (a lot, I would suggest). I did however write down my details and miraculously the bag was found along with the passport and returned to me, minus cash and ipod when I got back to Antigua.
The travel options within the country are not ideal and the endless shuttle buses can become tiring, overpriced and something of a tourist trap. Shuttles can take the best part of a whole day as they only operate during daylight hours. The first class bus service is a better option as they travel overnight and save time and money.
Go there ! 

Visited November 2012
Thank FayTPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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