GUATEMALA – SEMUC CHAMPEY

How did I get to a Guatemalan wedding and about the magical place called Semuc Champey.

One thing I really love about Couchsurfing is that it gets you into amazing situations you would have never got into while just staying in hotel. My next destination was the Semuc Champey – a limestone cascade of natural pools full of crystal clear water and by some people called the most beautiful place in the whole country. When I was talking about my plans with Felix, one of the guys who I was staying with in Guatemala City, he mentioned he’s actually going to a wedding that’s taking place near Semuc Champey by the end of the week and he would give me a lift there to spare me a whole day and very uncomfortable travelling by bus. “And as you know” he continued “I broke up with my girlfriend not long time ago so her place for the wedding is free so you can join me if you want!” My reaction as a typical woman obviously was that I would love to, but don’t have anything to wear. “Don’t worry, you’ll borrow something from my sisters!”

File_000

The tradition in Guatemala is to celebrate the wedding twice. First comes the civil one which is a bit more casual and the colour and type of the wedding dress is completely up to the bride. Two weeks later the whole family meets again in the church to celebrate the Christian wedding with the bride dressed in white. Both times there is a big dinner and a party afterwards. This wedding was the civil one. The food was amazing, people got drunk very quickly, everyone was super nice and was patiently teaching me to dance salsa and bachata till late morning.

We got on the way to Semuc Champey the following morning. In the Village Lanquín the road turns into sandy terrain full of holes and big rocks but in Felix’s truck it was actually a lot of fun to go through and we got there without any bigger problems.  There are shuttle trucks operating on that part of  the road so you just have to get yourself one if you’re not having your own. Be ready for quite an unpleasant drive though.

File_000 (kopie)

Before entering the main entrance you’ll probably get surrounded by travel guides offering their services. Having a guide over there is absolutely useless as everything is well signed so just ignore them and after paying a foreigner entrance fee 50Q head straight up to El Mirador (lookout). Some people skip the lookout completely as you have to climb a steep hill to get there and the humidity in the jungle is so high that you’re sweating like a pig without even moving but the climb is just about 20 minutes and you’ll meet many vendors on the way selling water of some fruit to keep you alive and the view you’ll get at the top? The view is definitely wort it!

File_005

File_006
A sleeping baby of one of the vendors – Spící miminko jednoho z prodaavačů ovoce

We finally reached the cascades and I straight away jumped into the crystal clear and super refreshing water. Most of the pools are connected by  naturally created limestone fun slides. It’s a great fun to start at the top and pool by pool slide all the way to the very bottom. This place will easily keep you entertained for the whole afternoon so I recommend to give yourself one whole day for this trip and to bring enough food as apart from fruit and some drinks you won’t be able to buy anything.

File_003

Semuc Champey is such a beautiful place and it’s almost hard to believe something as perfect was created only by nature itself. White limestone lagoons filled with azure blue water surrounded by jungle full of huge yellow butterflies…unreal beauty.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset