Semuc Champey : Jungle Paradise
Semuc Champey, meaning “where the river hides under the earth” in Q’eqchi’ Maya, is a spectacular natural wonder in the province of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Near the Q’eqchi’ Maya town of Lanquín, the primary geologic feature of Semuc Champey is a natural 300-meter limestone bridge covering the wide Cahabón River. But the real lure, its what lies above the river…
Atop the bridge is a series of stepped, turquoise pools connected by hundreds of small waterfalls (see images above). The cool, clear water is a welcome respite from the sweltering Guatemala jungle heat. The best way to see Semuc Champey in all its glory is from the “El Mirador” viewpoint. Though it is a roughly 45-minute hot, uphill jungle hike to get there, the views into the valley are unparalleled.
Although it can be quite challenging to get to, Semuc Champey is becoming more and more popular with adventurous travelers seeking a breathtaking jungle swimming experience unlike any other.
Visited in Chapter 35 of The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
An Excerpt from the Book
“While exploring a lower lagoon, they stumbled across a small grotto hidden behind a waterfall and swam inside to explore. The creamy limestone walls of the chamber flickered from the blue glow emanating from the water below. Simon turned to find a mesmerizing view, gazing out through the sheet of tumbling clear water and into the rippling green valley beyond. “This is incredible,” he whispered, smiling and treading water in their secret world.”
From The Author
“When I first visited Semuc Champey years ago, I hitched a ride from the small village of Lanquin, much as Simon does in the book. I had brought with me a few avocados I’d picked up from the “avocado lady” in the village, and will never forget sitting with friends amidst the turquoise pools eating avocado tacos in the sunshine. Years later, I visited Semuc Champey and found an increasing number of backpackers and adventurers had discovered the miraculous place. But the beauty (and journey to get there) are still unparalleled in Central America.”
Several Books, One Global Adventure
The Travelers Within is a travel adventure fiction series following a motley cast of characters on a wild and profound journey through the bizarre locales, unfamiliar cultures and perilous dangers of the world.
When office worker, Simon, is unexpectedly thrust into the wilds of Central America, he soon learns to trust his instincts, harness his unknown personal strengths and open himself up to the unlikeliest of friendships along the way. Inspired by extraordinary, real locations and remarkable stories from the road, The Travelers Within is a journey beyond all limits.
BOOK ONE: INTO THE UNKNOWN
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The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
Simon had always followed a typical routine in life. Work, TV, Sleep, Repeat. But when a wild series of events lands him deep in Central America, Simon’s world takes a dramatic turn to the extraordinary. With no previous experience in third world travel, and driven only by a newly ignited lust for life and the need to survive, Simon sets forth on an epic journey through the dangerous mountains of Guatemala, the smuggler’s jungles of Nicaragua, the islands of Honduras and more.
Meeting a wonderful and eclectic cast of characters along the way, Simon eventually links up with Jonah, a young survival expert with a plan as bizarre and terrifying as anything Simon could have ever imagined. Inspired by real places and stories from the road, The Travelers Within is told with intrigue, suspense, humor and insight, capturing a visceral spirit of adventure and bringing out the wanderlust hidden deep within all of us.
“Into The Unknown is an enthralling combination of thriller and travelogue. It’s packed full of incident and exotic scenery, and, as you’re reading, it feels like you’re right there—in every stunning new location, on every new adventure.”
-Sue Paulson, U.K. Readers Digest