February 21st, 2008 – by: wiggy_111
Bridge across the river near Semuc Champey.
A cave is on the property owned by Las Marias and they offer the tour for Q30 instead of Q50 if you stay with them. Best money spent on this trip. After breakfast we headed to the caves. On the way we bailed off the bridge over the river. I climbed up on the cables to try and get a little higher. I did get a little bit of the gravel bottom, but it was plenty deep. The water level is lower now and rafting is done for the year. The second jump I tried a flip and think I over rotated, almost did a double flip and landed mostly on my back. Good height to screw around at approximately 30 feet. Next we strapped on some old shoes and signed a waiver or something at the little shack by the cave, then went and hurled off their huge rope swing into the river.
On our way to Semuc Champey.
It is pretty awkward to get out of and funny watching people flailing through the air. Tried a back flip out of this one and caught one of my feet on the rope enough to screw up my rotation and landed wierd again.
We entered the cave with our guide Julio. All we had was a candle. Julio did have a headlamp and extra candles. Toured all over the cave walking, jumping and swimming. Bats at the enterance. It was cool and well worth the price of about 2 beers. Much cheaper than the fortune paid in New Zealand to go caving. After all of this they gave us inner tubes to float down the river back to the hostel. A couple of us took off and headed up the path along the right side of the river. Got up to the falls at the bottom of Semuc Champey ditched the tubes, swam across the river just above the big rapids and climbed up the hill to the path.
One of the pools.
We were now in Semuc
for free. Darted across the top of the falls, past a topless Sweed and launched off the 35-40 ft waterfall into the pool below. We convinced her to eventually bail as well. The UK boys, the Swede and I tried to swim up the underground cave entrance where the river goes through. After screwing around for a bit we hoped back on our tubes and put in at the lower section of the big rapids and went for it. Too small of tubes to really chance the bigger rapids at the current water level. Reminded my more of the Klickitat than the Deschutes. Nice lazy ride back with many discussion including a juicy hamburger and a beer. Just before arrival we spotted these crazy Guatemalan boys smacking the water with machetes and diving around with a snorkel.
View from the Mirador.
We speculated what the hell they were doing and came up with many theories before concluding they were going to either eat us for dinner or they were slapping the water to scare crawdads on the bottom and then dive in and see them moving and grab them. One had a little homemade spear gun too. Not to be rude, but watching Guatemalans swim in general is hillarious...at least all of the ones I've seen in various places and of various ages.
Best day yet and for only Q30, get outta here. Ate lunch and then headed legally back to Semuc Champey park (Q50). Limestone pools are beautiful and filled with crystal clear water. Hiked up to the mirardor in about 25-30min and caught a primo view. You can't come close to capturing the view with a regular camera.
It's worth the hike!
Amazing and worth every step. Back down to take a dip in the pools before heading out. They close at 6pm if I remember correct. Walk back is about 20 min. Ate dinner with a very nice couple from Boulder, CO who drove down. They like me are in dire need of a real northwest beer. They have Mexico down pat. Leila also graced us with her presence.