After the excitement of seeing a live volcanic eruption at Fuego we headed into the jungle and to Semuc Champey. There was a draw for a couple of reasons, we'd had a lot of recommendations to visit a hostel there and also to see the actual natural pools themselves.
The hostel we stayed in was Zephyr River Lodge, just outside of the Semuc National Park. It had a lot going for it, amazing views over the valleys, an infinity pool and a real good social side. The remoteness of the lodge means it's targeted a bit at the higher end backpackers and holiday makers so a bit pricey but worth it. We had a few of the guys with us from Antigua and had a real good laugh meeting new people as well!
The day tour you do to the National Park was one of the best we'd done in a long time as well. It started with a long walk/ climb/ swim and jump though a network of dark caves, some filled with water and natural ledges and slides. You're guided by a local that stays with you for the day and the only lights in the caves are with candle light, funny trip!
When the caves are finished you make your way to the underside of the Semuc pools and do some cliff jumping into the pools below the waterfalls. The jumps were pretty high, between 3 and 12 meters!
After the jumps you make your way back to the lodge by 'tubing' down the river. At the end of the tubing we then got to jump of a bridge into the river, this was 10m but seemed much higher!
A quick spot of lunch (and not really sure why it's organised so you hike after food!) and we hiked to the view point which looks over the whole park and the cascade of beautiful turquoise green coloured 'Semuc' natural pools. The view was amazing!
The walk down was easier than the walk up but it was stiflingly hot so could have been better! Once we arrived at the bottom we were met with the natural pools which were amazing. Our local guide took us on a route so we got to see all of the different areas, showing us jumps and slides and even a cave inside the rock that you had to swim underwater to enter!
Great day and good to do it with a local who knew exactly what was best to do all the way through!
The rest of the time we made the most of the hostel pool. Chilling, swimming, eating and having a few drinks. A Welsh guy we met in San Pedro travelled from Antigua with us to Semuc and is possibly one of the funniest people we'd met travelling so that made the afternoons in the lodge extra funny!
Great four days for sightseeing and chilling, little break from the madness again, good that we've managed to get a few in recently as our stop home for the wedding is coming around really fast!! Can't believe Latin America will be over in less than 4 weeks... Scary thought...!