By Claire Bourgin
Last January, I took the opportunity to visit Laguna de Lachuá, north of Coban. I had heard about the place by a traveler friend and saw a few pictures which made me want to explore it.
Our trip started in Chisec, a small town 1 hour north of Coban. Early in the morning, my friends and I took a minibus to Playa Grande, which was supposed to drop us off in front of the Laguna de Lachuá Park, which lies 2 hours NW of Chisec. But the bus got a flat tire. While we were waiting, a guy in a pickup stopped and offered us to give us a ride. Mario happened to be the owner of a big finca close to the Laguna. He ended up inviting us over for a crème brulee (who can refuse such an invitation?) and then went to visit his finca. My friends even had a free horseback ride and felt like real cowboys!
When it was time to leave Mario’s company, it was already 2 pm and we had to wait for a bus to come. Though it was packed the ayudanteoffered us to put us on the roof of the minibus. 30 minutes on the roof of a minivan on a bad Guatemalan road – an adventure we’ll never forget!
Upon arriving at the park, we paid the Q40 entrance fee and hiked the 2 km through the forest to get to the mirador,which offers a beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding area. Laguna de Lachuá is renowned for being a perfectly round, pristine turquoise Lake. The colour is just amazing! It is also amazingly deep. The deepest part, at 222 m, is a full 35 m below sea level.
Another 2 km further on we arrived to the beach where during the weekend many locals come to swim and picnic. But we didn’t have much time to enjoy the environment because the last bus was at 4 pm. So we took a few pictures and soon had to head back to catch the bus. You can camp there for Q25 per night. I so wish we had seen the howler monkeys and tropical birds in the early morning, so I will have to come back!
We ended up having a ride in a pick up (which had a flat tire just before arriving in Chisec. Can you say bad karma?) and arrived back at Chisec for the night.
For more information, check out http://Lachua.org/en/laguna-Lachua-national-park.html.