Biotopo del Quetzal
This area is about 1000 hectares of cloud forest along the road to Coban and Lanquin. This national park was created to protect the national bird of Guatemala: the Quetzal. The bird is endangered due to the deforestation taking place in most of its natural habitat. The Quetzal is difficult to spot, but even if you don’t catch a glimpse the natural forest of this area is a great place for hiking and exploring and a host to many other species of bird and wildlife.
Lanquin is a small village where you will find various accommodations options and a few small local restaurants. It is the best place to stay if you want to explore Semuc Champey, although there are a couple of hostels and hotels closer to Semuc as well. All the accommodations in Lanquin are basic but surrounded by beautiful nature and situated along the river El Cahabón. The main attraction in Lanquin itself are the caves (in Spanish: grutas de Lanquin). We can highly recommend to take a tour of these caves where you can see huge stalactites and stalagmites. The tour is at sunset so you will also be able to see thousands of bats head out from the cave, an amazing sight.
Semuc Champey is located about 10 km from Lanquin, and only a rough bumpy road will lead there. It is often praised as one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala. Semuc champey consists of a series of pools with stunning emerald water. The river Cahabón actually flows underneath these pools, and it is a great sight to see where the raging water of the river enters underneath the pools. You can also climb to a lookout point, not easy, but you will be rewarded with beautiful views. Although Semuc Champey is difficult to reach it is definitely worth the visit!