One of the excursions from Coban is a visit to Chemuc Champey, which I opted not to do (on this occasion). The revues for accomodation and getting there were variable to say the least. In addition, I always try and leave something ‘undone’ thus leaving a reason to go back to a country.
Semuc Champey: Eleven kilometers south of Lanquín, along a rough, bumpy, slow road, is Semuc Champey, famed for its great natural limestone 300m-long bridge, on top of which is a stepped series of pools of cool, flowing river water that’s good for swimming. The water is from the Río Cahabón, and much more of it passes underground, beneath the bridge. Although this bit of paradise is difficult to reach, the beauty of its setting and the perfection of the pools, which range from turquoise to emerald green, make it all worthwhile. Lonely Planet guide to Central America.
Coban to Flores, via Raxruhá, and Sayaxché.
The one hotel town of Raxruhá has little to offer apart from a visit to the Candelaria Caves. These fantastic limestone caves are composed of seven separate caves that are interconnected by the Río Candelaria. The caves are spread across 14 miles (22 km) and have ceilings that reach as high as 200 feet (60 m). Candelaria is one of Central America’s largest cave systems. Unfortunately, there weren’t any other guests to join the tour so I had to give it a miss on this occasion; yet another reason to visit Guatemala again.
Sayaxché, on the south bank of the Río de la Pasión, 61km southwest of Flores, is the closest town to nine or so scattered Maya archaeological sites, which are both tricky and expensive to get to. For the majority of travelers, including me, it was little more than a transit hub for Flores. I spent one night here, at Hotel Del Río, simply to break the journey up.
Flores is spectacularly located on an island in Lago de Petén Itzá. Small hotels and restaurants line the lakeside streets, meaning you don’t have to shell out too much money to get a room with an awesome view. It does have a slightly twee, built-up edge to it, though, and many Tikal-bound shoestringers opt for the natural surrounds and tranquillity of El Remate, just down the road. More on this in my next post.