August 22, 2009

A weekend 100% Chapin: River Rafting &Tubing in Semuc Champey

The last time I went river rafting I was 21, so when I saw that the TO Descubre Guatemala was offering a rafting weekend in Semuc Champey I decided to go.

On Saturday morning, the meeting point was at 5 a.m. in front of Tikal Futura, a big shopping center in Guatemala City. When the taxi arrived late I was starting to get anxious. But living in Guatemala should have teach me that Guatemalan are never on time. We left Guatemala City at 6 a.m. on board of 2 mini buses. What a surprise when I realized I was the only foreigner, but good for me. Here I was ready to spend a weekend 100% Chapin! We were a group of 25 plus 3 guides, mostly women.

After a trip without incident, we arrived at Lanquin where we left the buses to jump on two pick up. The road between Lanquin and Semuc Champey is bad but beautiful. Being in the back of the pickup, we were able to enjoy more the view. We arrived at the hostel Las Marias and after everybody changed, we headed to the Park of Semuc Champey to refresh ourselves in the natural swimming pools. It was my third visit but the first time during the raining season and I could see the difference of the level of the water. After a late lunch, we went to discover the caves Kan’-Ba’. Their particularity? There is no light so you go with a candle. This is a unique experience of 1 ½ hour! Walking in the caves the feet in the water with only the light of the candle to guide you. You even have to swim with one hand holding the candle, climb a small waterfall with the help of a ladder, climb in and down the rocks. And finally you arrive to a large room where is the Hat of the Rey (in mud). A good place to take a group picture before heading back to the entrance. When we went out, it was night and that made our way back to the hostel even more mysterious. After changing in dry clothes, we had diner why listening to a marimba concert. But tired after a long day, we all went to bed early.

On Sunday, up at 7 a.m., we started the day by doing Tubing on the Rio Cahabon. Everybody on an inner tube floating on the river, a fun way to start the day! After a good breakfast, we jumped in the pickup to go back to Lanquin. Where we only took what we needed for the rafting and jumped in 2 other pickup for a 30 minute drive. We went to the Comunidad Saquija de Cahabon where we got ready for river rafting. We jumped on board of the 3 rafting boats after listening the instructions. My team, the survivors, was composed of 7 members plus 2 guides. The trip took us 2 hours with several rapids level III, IV and V. And between each rapid we had time to swim in the river and do some fun games. Like the one where everybody had to stand up on boat boards and walk around without falling in the water. It was a nice way to do rafting, a lot of adrenaline during the rapids and some fun time between. We arrived just when it started raining and after a 30 minute trip by car back to the Community, we had a delicious local lunch. But it was already time to head back to Lanquin, get changed (yeah dry clothes!!!) and head back to Guatemala City. Bye Bye Lanquin, we had a fun time and we’ll come back!

Fore more pictures check my album

on the road to Semuc


waterfalls in Semuc


the group

with Sonia and Ana Maria

the river Cahabon

the Survivor Team

in the caves of Kan'-Ba'

group pic

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