Idea #699 – Swimming in the freshwater ponds of Semuc Champey in Guatemala
Semuc Champey, who literally means in Mayan language “the place where water hides under the earth” is one of his jewels created from scratch by nature. It is a protected site still little frequented by travelers, the fauna and flora preserved. This natural park was only discovered in the 1950s when some Guatemalan officials from nearby Lanquin decided to venture into the dense jungle of the area. The park was created and listed as a national monument in 1999, making it one of Guatemala’s many protected areas. The most beautiful natural park in Guatemala is still little used for a good reason: it is reached from the capital Guatemala City in a minimum of 10 hours, and some poorly maintained portions of road make the journey unpleasant. To reach the river at Semuc Champey, you still have to drive an hour through the jungle behind a pickup truck. A long road on chaotic roads that does not allow awakenings gently. The water is warm, the river is calm, one hears only the sound of the water flowing from platform to platform. Seven swimming pools with a depth of 1 to 3 meters, with clear waters ranging from green to turquoise, are linked together. Upstream, the river rushes into an underground gallery naturally dug under the pools, and emerges further upstream, in raging and tumultuous waves, which contrast with the serenity of the upper platform and its pools. Stay for a moment sitting at the bottom of the water, the toes in a fan. Small fish will soon come to eat your toes.
Where is it ?
Semuc Champey, Guatemala