Semuc Champey: Gnarley roads and Bat Poo


We arrived in Nebaj with every intention to do a little hiking, but the weather had other plans. The afternoon we arrived was damp and the surrounding peaks socked in with ugly grey clouds, which in turn made the town feel a bit grim and generally uninviting. We headed for a bite to eat while we contemplated our next move.

Over lunch we met Carmen and Robert a fun couple from NYC, they too were trying to plan their next move. We checked the weather for the next few days, the outlook was uninspiring to say the least. We decided to skip the hiking and head out early the next day for Coban. Carmen and Robert were headed in the same direction so we offered them a ride.

Early the next morning the four of us were on the road. It was a blast having company in the car and was an excellent distraction as we drove one of the worst roads of the trip so far. It was foggy, the road was slick with mud with sprinkling of rock slides pushing us ever closer to the edge and its steep drop offs.

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Eventually we arrived safe and sound in Coban, we dropped our passengers off at the gates to Las Victorias National Park, which is right in the heart of the city and arranged to meet them for dinner. Unfortunately once we went our separate ways we learned that the parks gates were locked at 6pm, our early curfew meant that we unintentionally stood up our new friends, feeling very guilty we went for an early dinner.

Next morning it was another dodgy drive to Lanquin. We stayed at a very tranquil hostel (El Retiro) on the river, enjoying the hammocks, great food and views. We even went on a tour, yes yes I know in the last blog I wrote I went on about independently doing things, but I really didn’t want to do another shitty drive to get to Semuc Champey.

At least the weather was good for this drive

At least the weather was good for this drive

The tour was a blast, we started with a touch of caving where for some reason we got our faces painted with what I hope wasn’t bat shit. I then proceed to fall down a waterfall in the cave, but no real damage done. Next up was river tubing, did you know that it is actually possible to suck at floating down a river? Apparently you can, H and I were living proof of that as we frantically paddled down river as everyone else was leisurely floating along. We wrapped up the day exploring Semuc Champey, a huge natural bridge with turquoise pools.  It was a great tour and had we done it ourselves we would not have done the caves or discovered that there is a skill to tubing.

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Categories: Guatemala, Hiking, Overlanding, Trails, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Canadians constantly complain about our roads…they have no idea! Glad to hear you ENJOYED something guided. Tours are not all bad, and it is amazing what you can learn, but I agree sometimes they are terrible with no way to escape. (remembering tour of Vatican Museum to see Sistine Chapel. Ann will remember this one). Keep having fun and stay safe. xo


  2. Sounds like me on Treadmill well done anyway really hope not bat poo x Nanna

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Glad you are having good time, have to say He’s face was more artistically decorated, yours did just look as though it was smeared in bat poo!
    Take care , keep on having fun xxxxxx

    I remember the guided tour of the Vatican well , it was dire ! But they all make great memories of times spent together !


  4. Dam predictive text ! Meant to say H”s face


  5. Loved Semuc Champey! That’s where we got engaged a few years ago. We plan on stopping there again on our way down.


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