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On the Road Guatemala: A Series on Travel Destinations

“On the Road Guatemala” is XelaWho’s somewhat-regular series on interesting travel destinations throughout Guatemala and the region. This month’s installment: The Kan’ Ba’ Caves & rafting at Semuq Champey by Claire Bourgin.

In August 2009, I went with Descubre Guatemala (a tour company from Guatemala City) to Semuq Champey for a weekend. It was my 3rd visit but my first visit to the Kan’-Ba’ Caves and going rafting.

On Saturday after the visit of the park at Semuq Champey, we went to discover the Kan’-Ba’ Caves. Tours are organized by the Posada Las Marias close to the bridge and cost 50Q/person (40Q if you stay at Las Marias). Their unique aspect? There is no light so you must hike with a candle. This is a unique 1.5-hour experience, walking in the caves with feet in the water and only the light of the candle to guide you. You even have to swim with one hand holding the candle, climb a small waterfall with the help of a ladder and climb on and down the rocks. And finally you arrive at a large room you’ll find is El Sombrero del Rey, i.e. King’s Hat, a cool rock formation and good spot for a group picture before heading back to the entrance. When we went out, it was night and that made our way back to the hostel even more mysterious.

On Sunday, up at 7 am, we started the day by going tubing on the Rio Cahabon. Everybody on an inner tube floating on the river – what a fun way to start the day! After a good breakfast, we jumped in a pick-up to go to the community of Saquija, where we got ready for river rafting. The trip took us 2 hours with several rapids of levels III, IV and V. And between each rapid we had time to swim in the river and play games, like the one where everybody had to stand up on boat boards and walk around without falling in the water. It was a nice way to do rafting, with plenty of adrenaline rushes during the rapids and some chill time in-between. We arrived just when it started raining and after a 30 minute trip by car back to the community, we had a delicious local lunch. But it was already time to head back to Lanquin, get changed (yeah dry clothes!!!) and head back to Guatemala City.

Adios, Lanquin, we had a fun time and we’ll come back!

For more information on La Posada Las Marias and the caves, check: www.posadalasmarias.com/sitio

For more information on the trips organized by Descubre Guatemala, check out: www.descubreguatemala.com.gt/

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