Cobán & Semuc Champey
Splendid Nature in Guatemala's Heartland
The Verapaces provinces offer a great number of options for those who enjoy open air activities like hiking, or just getting in touch with nature.
Only 5 minutes from Cobán, the capital city of Alta Verapaz, is the Vivero de las Verapaces, which holds over 60,000 varieties of some 750 species of orchids. The ideal time to visit is between October and February, when the orchids are in full bloom and turn into a sea of colors.
A site of natural beauty are the waterfalls of Semuc Champey, amidst a rocky landscape, the Cahabón River tumbling into cascades and forming a series of pools. The dense vegatation is home to hundreds of bird species.
Semuc Champey is located 11km to the south of Lanquín, in a valley with steep walls, surrounded by tropical humid forest. There is a 300m long limestone bridge, on top of which there are several natural pools of different sizes, filled with crystalline mountain spring water. The pools are 3-14 ft. deep. Underneath the bridge is the Cahabón River. At the end of the bridge, the water from the pools falls rejoining the river, forming a 40m waterfall. The color of the water changes during the year depending on the season, sun and other natural factors, making for unique picture-taking opportunities. It is a beautiful place, often called idyllic. Activities including: swimming, hiking on 2 interpretive trails, birdwatching, sharing time with family and friends, meditating, admiring the view from 2 overlooks and getting close to nature.