Relaxing in Lanquin & Our Day Trip to the Stunning Semuc Champey
Lanquin Travel Blog› entry 9 of 21 › view all entries
Well... after another full day in a shuttle from Antigua, we arrived quite late in the stunningly beautiful Lanquin. To get to the hostel - El Retiro Lodge we drove along bumpy, windy, dirt roads... and it was worth it. The lodge was situated on the hill side next to the river, with amazing views where ever you looked. Their dorm rooms where wooden cabins, with showers and loos outside on the hills - you really felt like you were one with nature here... without actually camping, although you could camp if you wanted to.
We spent our first full day in Lanquin just relaxing and taking in the tranquility.
The following day we went on our tour to Semuc Champey... this included caving, tubing and hiking up to and swimming in rockpools... an epic day... worth all the pain, sweat and fear! The night before we organised a packed lunch for the tour via the hostel, which we picked up in the morning. While we were waiting for our tour pick up Al left his lunch on the table, as we were using the internet.
When our pick up arrived, it was just that... a pick-up truck... also known to us Saffa´s a bakkie... we climbed in to the back and stood the whole way with wind whipping through our hair and branches from trees narrowly missing our heads.
On arriving at the caves we all stripped down to our swimming costumes - as the caves are partially submerged and we were informed that we would have to swim at some points.
We walked and swam through the caves in single file holding our candles, following the guide. We went behind a waterfall and on the return to the mouth of the cave we had the option of jumping off a small ledge in to the pool of water below.
Once out of the cave we made our way down to the river, collecting large tire tubes on the way... for a spot of tubing in the rain. The weather was pretty awful - cloudy, grey, cool and rainy. I wasn´t sure what to expect as I´d never been tubing before. Our guide decided that we should start off in snake formation i.e. you hook the feet of the person behind you under your arms so that you are linked. I think this would have worked better if there weren´t so many of us, because a lot of the guys at the end did not put their arms in to it and just drifted along.
From here we piled back in to the bakkie to get to the park in order to hike to the rockpools of Semuc Champey. We first hiked up to the look out point which had the most amazing views of the rockpools. It was not easy getting up there - we climbed up more rickety stairs and natural stairs i.e. rocks and vines and tree roots with lots and lots of mud. The views were worth all the huffing and puffing.
After taking in the breathtaking views we hiked down to the rockpools, starting with were the river meets the pools - noisy rushing water where apparently people have died before by getting too close to the edge and falling over.
The rockpools were very mossy and slippery, so of course I kept slipping and sliding all over the place. Once at the first rockpool Maree and Al jumped in... me being not quite as brave... slipped and slid over the moss in to water´s edge. We swam around for a while in the first one, then moved on to the second rockpool, which I did actually jump in to... although it was only about a one meter jump. From here Al and Jules decided to go and do this massive jump by the next waterfall. Maree and me decided against this, but did follow them to the next rockpool before turning back.
It truely was a great day, which we ended with the pizza n pasta buffet dinner and quite a few rum and cokes... this made for sore heads the next day... made worse by the fact we were getting a shuttle to Flores.