Zephyr Lodge in Lanquin, and Semuc Champey

As you know from my last post, I had made it to Rio Dulce, Guatemala, via the boat across El Golfete from Livingston. To me, it didn´t
seem as if there was anything to do there, so I wanted to continue on in the same day. My friend Elyse, however, arrived in Rio Dulce about a week after I did, and she found this cool Hotel Kangaroo place to stay on the river. There at Kangaroo, she also ran into our friends Franklin and Dennis from Caye Caulker, so I obviously missed out. After hearing about it from her, I know it would have been worth it staying at least one night in Rio Dulce.

But I didn´t know, so I kept at it. I headed towards Lanquin so that I could get to glorious Semuc Champey from there. Approximately 5 hours in a shuttle got me to Lanquin around 730 at night, so I couldn´t really take stock of my surroundings. I had the driver drop me off at Zephyr Lodge, because everyone at Casa de la Iguana back in Livingston was freaking out about how awesome Zephyr Lodge was– in fact, Rusty, the owner of Casa de la Iguana, recommended that I stay at Damon´s Zephyr Lodge in Lanquin. Fine.

So I had a good Guatemalan beer (sorry I forget the name) with my new Australian friends Will and Jessie, and went to bed in my dorm bed. No big deal. My dorm bed was right in this alcove of big glass windows, so when I woke up in the morning, it was definitely a big deal, because I saw this–

And then I saw this–

And then realized I would be eating my breakfast here–

If I remember correctly, camping cost 15Q (approx $2), and the dorm beds were about 60Q (just less than $7). I am going to get back in touch with them so that I can quote the correct price. The food there is also great. One night I had a vegetable curry with rice, and for breakfast there were crepes filled with strawberries, bananas, and chocolate. The meals are all 4 or 5 bucks. On top of all this, Damon can get you set up on a tour out to Semuc Champey for 165Q. Sure, it comes to more than $20, but this is a splurge you won`t regret.

Here`s how it works. In the morning, you, along with everyone else going on your tour, approx 10 in my group, Zephyr Lodge was hopping, pile into the back of a pickup truck with your lunch sandwich provided by Zephyr. After about 20 minutes of bumpy roads and a flat tire, yes a flat tire, you show up in Semuc Champey. First, you get the day going by leaping off the rope swing. I hurt myself horribly. Make a point of not belly-flopping. Then, Carlos takes you on a tour of the caves. You put warpaint on your face and carry a candle.

Carrying the candle gets tricky while swimming in the cave. Yes, swimming in the cave. AND the waterfall inside the cave knocked out my contact lens. Yes, there is a waterfall inside the cave, and yes, you climb up it.

Lucky how my camera just so happened to have a setting for candlelight. And is waterproof. Seriously.

Then you have the option to jump off a cliff inside the cave into a pool. Of course I drew the line there. I´ll blame it on my missing contact lens?

After the caves, you head to the actual Semuc Champey pools, hiking in flipflops 15 minutes or so up a steep trail to the mirador. You look down and see this–

The view makes you want to go for a swim or just cool off–

Our guide Carlos commandeered my sunglasses and camera and took a swim, too–

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2 Comments on “Zephyr Lodge in Lanquin, and Semuc Champey”

  1. Eric May 24, 2011 at 22:05 #

    How dare you not jump off the ledge in the cave. You are climbing moutains around the world and have to live the adventure. Keep it going.


  1. Top 5 backpacker hostels in Central America, according to me « 256 Days in a Pickup Truck - September 12, 2011

    […] So anyway I had a great time at Zephyr Lodge. You can “like” them on Facebook or check out some of the great views in some of my pics I took at Zephyr Lodge back in May. […]

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