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Driving to Semuc Champey Guatemala

Houston, Texas
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2 posts
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Driving to Semuc Champey Guatemala

The below is an old forum post that was closed, but we just went to Semuc and I wanted to answer their question with new information:

Old Question:

Does anyone know if the road to lanquin and semuc champey has improved?

I've seen a few posts about driving there yourself which said it's not advisable unless having a 4x4 but these were all quite old posts.

A few also mentioned that they were working on paving the road. Anyone know if this has been completed?

2 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Driving to Semuc Champey Guatemala

We rented a Toyota Corolla and it could have made it all the way to Semuc, absolutely. The last part of the road from Coban to Lanquin is actually worse than the road from Lanquin to Semuc, as far as ground clearance and rocks, and the Corolla made tit to Lanquin, though more slowly than the 4x4s that passed us. When we got to lanquin, I was going to drive our Corolla all the way to Semuc, but one of our Guatemalan friends texted us and said it would be too hard and of course, all the tourist trucks said it was too rough, so they'd take us for Q300.

Anyway, i folded and got a ride (we actually only had to pay Q25 pp because we had a room reserved at the Greengos hostel right by Semuc, and they came and picked us up. But while standing in the back of that very small pickup, i studied the road to Semuc. Our Corolla could have done it more easily than the last stretch to Lanquin. I was upset that I had been talked into getting a ride. It wasted almost and hour and a half just to get the ride in the first place too. Anyway, you'll be fine in a Corolla or anything bigger, as long as it is dry, as it was for us. Ground clearance won't be an issue at all from Lanquin to Semuc, except for one small 40yrs stretch uphill at the very end, but it is still doable. You just have to go slow, just like the pick up did. There were a couple steep climbs for 50yrds or so, but on dry ground a car can go nearly as straight up as a truck.

Anyway, I hope that helps save you some money and, more importantly, time on your vacation.

And P.S. Semuc is still so gloriously beautiful. Remember to go all the way back to the first pool. You'll see a roped off section that wasn't roped off when I went 10 years ago. I'm not recommending it because its against the rules, but if you do go pass the ropes, in about 10 yards, you'll see the river dive into an underground cave, which is the source of all the cascading pools. It was incredible---and there weren't any workers or guards or anything :)

Also, I totally recommend the cenotes (grutas) right next to Semuc. Its undeveloped except for a rope so it feels raw. No one in our group got hurt and it was fantastic. You carry a wax candle for you light source :) (We also brought headlamps).

Paris, Canada
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2. Re: Driving to Semuc Champey Guatemala

Although prices for the pick-up trucks from Lanquin to Semuc Champey seem to have gone up a lot (it was Q10 in 2014) the normal rate seems to be Q25 now. As for the road... I would be worried about damaging my rental car and/or getting stuck (I would certainly not try it in the rainy season). It is a rough road.

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