Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Guatemala Road Trip log 4 – Flores and South to Lanquin and Semuc Chamey

Guatemala Road Trip log 4 – Flores and South to Lanquin and Semuc Chamey

Saturday, 30 June 2015

Tikal Ruin to Flores - red line, Flores to Lanquin -
Semuc Chamey - blue line

Motorcycles and foot traffic only
Flores is an old city covering an entire small island in Lake Peten Itza. It is connected by a causeway to the mainland and the newer towns of Santa Elena and San Benito that have everything a traveller could need but they do not have the charm of Flores.

Most Flores streets are single lane and many are merely walkways frequented by motorcycles.

This was the view from our balcony.
The old dock level can be seen underwater.

Until recently the Malecon, the waterfront street and walk, circled the island, but last year's rains raised the lake level and has left about one half submerged. There are a lot of inexpensive hotels and restaurants so for three days we never left the island.  Boats ply the bay offering sightseeing trips and transit to outlying villages. The locals are proud of their town and are quick to smile when complimented on its beauty.

Mags having breakfast on the Malecon beside our hotel
The road south to Coban again transits Peten’s cattle country west of our Rio Dulce road north. Long straight sections in a plateau country until we reached the mountains of the Alta Verapaz. Again the jungle encroached and farms became small family efforts on the steep mountain sides between Q’eqchi’ Mayan villages. The women’s traditional woven and embroidered clothing dominating the populace.
Lanquin village

From Coban it was another 58 km winding narrow road up and then down again to Lanquin a small hilltop village about 11 km from the stunningly beautiful river pools of Semuc Champey.

The view from our bungalow deck
We stayed in the beautifully set Zephyr Lodge and let them plan a full day of adventure and travel to 1. hike and swim the K’anba caves, 2. tubing on the river, 3. diving from a giant shore side swing to the pool below, 4. hiking down to the old cable suspension bridge to 5. dive into the river and finally 6. a steep hike up to a mirador, viewpoint to see the pools from their best vantage point, and down the other side to the pools, to 7. bask in their refreshing azul water.
The view from the lookout but I didn't have my camera....
This is a photo of a photo.... but I was on that deck!
An incredible view
One of the many pools

Sleep came easy after that day.
Still more pools

The setting at Zephyr is so tranquil that another day just chilling was in order.

And so the blog was writ…….

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