How To Travel From Lanquin To Semuc Champey: All Options Explained

Come find out how to travel from Lanquin to Semuc Champey in Guatemala. These two spots are only a short distance apart, though the dirt roads are mountainous and full of potholes.

So let’s find out how exactly I and heaps of other travelers make this journey by tour, pickup truck, walking, or taxi including how to book, prices, and more!


Semuc Champey is one of the most stunning natural attractions in Guatemala, and a must-see for anyone who loves nature, adventure, and culture. It is a series of turquoise pools and waterfalls that are formed by a limestone bridge over the Cahabon River, surrounded by lush jungles and mountains.

It’s the perfect place to swim, relax, and explore the beauty of this Central American country.

But how do you get from Lanquin to Semuc Champey? Semuc Champey is not exactly easy to reach, as it is located in a remote area of Alta Verapaz, about 10 kilometers from the nearest town of Lanquin.

Lanquin itself is about 200 kilometers from the popular tourist destination of Antigua, and the road conditions are not the best.

There is a road between the two locations, but it is a basic dirt road where potholes seem to come out of nowhere. The terrain is also mountainous so it isn’t an easy walk either, especially if you are planning to hike to the Semuc Champey Mirador at the other end.

In this blog post, I will guide you through the different options to travel from Lanquin to Semuc Champey by giving you some tips and advice on how to make the most of your trip.

Whether you want to book a tour, take a local pickup truck, hire a taxi, rent a car, or hike on foot, I will let you know all there is to know so you can confidently travel to Semuc Champey to Lanquin.

TimeCostHighlight
Tour40 minutesfrom $20.00All included
Pick Up Truck1+ hoursfrom $4.00Adventurous and fun
Taxi40 minutesfrom $20.00Easy and stress-free
Rental Car40 minutesfrom $50.00Freedom
Walk2.5 hoursFREEFor those who like nature

Lanquin To Semuc Champey: All Transport Options Explained


🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Guatemala: GuateGo


Why Visit Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey is one of those places that you have to see to believe. The contrast between the emerald green river and the bright blue pools is breathtaking, and the scenery is simply stunning.

You can spend hours swimming in the clear water, jumping from rocks, sliding down natural slides, and enjoying the sun.

But there is more to Semuc Champey than just the pools. You can also hike up to a viewpoint or mirador that offers a panoramic view of the whole area, and see how the river disappears under the limestone bridge.

You can also explore the nearby caves, where you can see stalactites, stalagmites, and bats, and even swim in some parts with a candle.

Semuc Champey is definitely worth visiting if you are looking for an unforgettable adventure in Guatemala. It is a place that will leave you speechless and amazed by its beauty and charm. Trust me, you won’t regret it!


Lanquin To Semuc Champey Distance

The distance from Lanquin to Semuc Champey is about 10 kilometers. However, this does not mean that it is a short or easy trip. The road that connects Lanquin and Semuc Champey is unpaved, narrow, steep, and full of potholes and rocks.

It can be very bumpy and dusty, especially during the rainy season (May to October).

Depending on the mode of transportation you choose, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes to travel from Lanquin to Semuc Champey. The fastest way is by car or taxi, while the slowest way is by foot.


Lanquin To Semuc Champey Travel Time

As we mentioned before, the travel time from Lanquin to Semuc Champey depends on how you decide to get there. Here are some estimates based on different options:

Book A Tour: 40 minutes by the time you go around picking everyone up

Local Pickup Truck: This method takes around 45 minutes as you will be starting and stopping quite option

Taxi: This is the fastest option as you can stop as much or as little as you wish. This will approximately take 25 minutes

Rent A Car: Only do this if you have the correct license, but it is fast just taking 25 minutes

Hike: This is the longest option taking 2 hours and 30 minutes and honestly not recommended. The road is mountainous, dusty, and hot.

Of course, these are approximate times that may vary depending on traffic, weather, road conditions, and other factors. From my experience, anything and everything can happen on the dirt road so be prepared.

map showing how the distance and travel time from lanquin to semuc champey
map showing how the distance and travel time from lanquin to semuc champey

Book A Tour From Lanquin To Semuc Champey

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get from Lanquin to Semuc Champey is by booking a tour with a local agency or your hostel. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding transportation. You just have to show up at the meeting point and enjoy the ride.

A typical tour from Lanquin to Semuc Champey includes:

  • Transportation by minibus or van
  • Entrance fee to Semuc Champey
  • Guided hike to the viewpoint
  • Guided visit to the caves
  • Lunch
  • Sometimes optional activities such as tubing or ziplining

The price of a tour from Lanquin to Semuc Champey ranges from $15 USD to $25 USD per person depending on what’s included.

When booking a tour most of the time the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

For example, by taking a tour you don’t have to worry about finding transportation, you have a guide who can explain everything about Semuc Champey, you have access to optional activities that may not be available otherwise and you will have the chance to meet other travelers who share your interests.

In contrast, the disadvantages are basically that you will have less flexibility and independence, including having to wait for other people or follow a fixed schedule and not having enough time to explore everything at your own pace.

signs showing shuttles around the country and semuc champey tour
signs showing shuttles around the country and semuc champey tour

Local Pickup Truck From Lanquin To Semuc Champey

Another option to get from Lanquin to Semuc Champey is by taking a local pickup truck that runs regularly between the two places. This is the cheapest way to get there and also the most adventurous one.

A local pickup truck is basically a modified vehicle with benches in the back where passengers can sit or stand. It can fit up to 20 people depending on how crowded it gets. The driver will stop along the way to pick up or drop off more people. This is how locals get around here, and travelers on a budget are more than welcome to join.

You can find these pickup trucks on the main street of Lanquin near the market. They don’t run on a set schedule, but they do depart rather frequently. It’s a 45-minute journey which will cost you at least $1.00, but it’s pretty normal that tourists pay more, so expect to pay up to $4.00.

The advantages of taking a local pickup truck from Lanquin to Semuc Champey are:

  • You save money compared to other options
  • You experience how locals travel in this area
  • You have more flexibility and independence

The disadvantages of taking a local pickup truck from Lanquin to Semuc Champey are:

  • You may have to wait for a long time until it fills up or leaves
  • You may have an uncomfortable ride due to bumps, dust, heat, or rain
  • You may not have enough space for your luggage or yourself
driving on the road from lanquin to semuc champey in the back of a truck
driving on the road from lanquin to semuc champey in the back of a truck

Taxi From Lanquin To Semuc Champey

If you want more comfort and speed than a local pickup truck but don’t want to book a tour or rent a car then taking a taxi from Lanquin to Semuc Champey may be your best option.

A taxi is basically a private car with a driver who will take you directly from Lanquin to Semuc Champey without any stops or detours. It can fit up to 4 people depending on how much luggage you have.

You can find taxis on the main street of Lanquin near the market or ask your hotel to order one. The price is around $20.00 for the whole vehicle, though you may need to haggle for it.

The bonuses of taking a taxi from Lanquin to Semuc Champey are that it is more comfortable, you don’t have to wait for anyone or follow any schedule and you can negotiate with the driver for extra services such as stopping for photos or food.

The downsides of this option are it’s more expensive than other options, and you may have to look for a while to find one as it’s not that common.


Rent A Car From Lanquin To Semuc Champey

If you want more freedom and control over your trip then renting a car from Lanquin to Semuc Champey may be your ideal option. You can find rental cars at some hostels or agencies in Lanquin.

The price varies depending on the type of car but it usually starts from $50.00 per day. You pay directly when you pick up or drop off the car.

The advantages of renting a car from Lanquin to Semuc Champey are that you can do what you want and stop where you would like. A huge plus is that you can stay longer at Semuc Champey without worrying about transportation.

It’s so beautiful and there are lots of things to do there, no doubt you will want to chill in the pools for the whole day.

Just be aware you will need an international driver’s license, a valid credit card, and insurance that covers rental cars.


Walk From Lanquin To Semuc Champey

If you are feeling adventurous and fit, you can also walk from Lanquin to Semuc Champey on foot. This is the cheapest and most eco-friendly way to get there, but also the most challenging one.

The hike is about 11 kilometers long and takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. You will need to follow a dirt road that goes through the jungle and along the river, passing by some small villages and farms.

Walking from Lanquin to Semuc Champey is not for everyone, but it can be a rewarding experience if you enjoy nature and solitude. You will have the opportunity to see some wildlife, such as monkeys, birds, and butterflies, and admire the scenery at your own pace.

You will also have a sense of accomplishment when you reach your destination. However, you will also need to be prepared for the heat, humidity, insects, and possible rain. You will also need to carry enough water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent with you.

view from the top of the semuc champey mirador // drying off in the shade after swimming in the pools
view from the top of the semuc champey mirador // drying off in the shade after swimming in the pools

FAQs About Traveling From Semuc Champey To Antigua

When is the best time to visit Semuc Champey? The best time to visit Semuc Champey is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and warm, the water is clear and blue, and the road conditions are better.

However, this is also the peak season, so expect more crowds and higher prices. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, is not recommended for visiting Semuc Champey.

During this time, the weather is cloudy and wet, the water is murky and brown, and the road conditions are worse. There is also a risk of landslides, floods, and road closures.

What should I bring to Semuc Champey? Make sure you bring with you swimwear, towel, sunscreen, hat, water, snacks, hiking shoes, camera, insect repellent, and money as there are no ATMs or card machines in Semuc Champey.

How much is the entrance fee to Semuc Champey? The entrance fee to Semuc Champey is 60Q / $7.80 per person per day. This fee gives you access to the pools, the viewpoint, and the caves. You can pay at the entrance gate with cash only.

Is Semuc Champey safe? Semuc Champey is generally safe for visitors, as long as you follow some basic precautions. Here are some tips to stay safe at Semuc Champey:

  • Do not swim alone or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Do not jump or dive into the pools without checking the depth-first
  • Do not swim near the edges of the pools where the current is strong
  • Do not enter the caves without a guide or a candle
  • Do not leave your valuables unattended or in plain sight
  • Do not wander off the marked trails or into private property
  • Do not travel at night or during bad weather
relaxing in the upper pools at semuc champey
relaxing in the upper pools at semuc champey

Where To Stay In Semuc Champey

Next up we have where to stay in Semuc Champey, and you will be spoilt for choice here. Though the first decision you need to make is whether you want to stay in the town of Lanquin or close to Semuc Champey.

If you want to experience more of the local side of life 100% it is recommended you stay in Lanquin. Here you will be able to try an assortment of restaurants and have a bit more freedom. You are more likely to be able to find rooms with air conditioning, 24/7 power, and wifi.

In Semuc Champey a lot of the accommodations are set up like resorts, even hostels. Basically, there is minimal reason to leave the grounds except for tours, which you no doubt booked through your accommodation.

I know this can sound a bit daunting, especially if you are a chill backpacker who likes to explore and plan things last minute. Though I loved staying closer to Semuc Champey as you were right in nature and it honestly felt so peaceful.

However air conditioning was nonexistent, and we only had power and wifi for certain times of the day.

Personally, I stayed at Greengos Hostel and had an incredible stay. It is an excellent choice for budget travelers with an included transfer from the shuttle drop off, two pools, onsite restaurant, tours, and in the most beautiful location just a 10-minute walk from the entry of Semuc Champey.

shark hostel

Greengos Hostel

A short walk from the entry of Semuc Champey and the perfect backpacker resort. Prices start from $20.00 per night.

BOOK NOW
shark hostel

Zephyr River Lodge

A party hostel perfect for those wanting to let loose and make friends. Prices start from $25.00 per night.

BOOK NOW
shark hostel

El Retiro Lanquin

Walking distance from town and set right on the river, the best of both worlds. Prices start from $9.00 per night in a dorm or $36.00 for a private.

BOOK NOW
334952593

Guayaha

Enjoy resort-style living with a glamping stay in one of the beautiful tipi tents. The super affordable tents start at just $25.00 per night.

BOOK NOW

Things To Do In Semuc Champey

There are some super awesome things to do in Semuc Champey, I mean this is the reason a lot of people travel here. This is just a quick breakdown of some of the top options:

Semuc Champey Mirador: To get the most impressive view of the pools you will need to hike the Semuc Champey Mirador. This is included in your entry to Semuc Champey, though it isn’t something everyone completes. The total hike time for the Semuc Champey Mirador is approximately 45 minutes.

Tubing: You can either do this organized through your hostel or simply with a group of friends when you are at Semuc Champey. This is certainly one of the cheaper activities to do here in Semuc Champey.

Caving: Now I have heard both positive and negative reviews about the cave tour, let’s just say it is for the adventurous. Essentially think tight squeezes, trying to keep a candle alight while swimming, and holding it while also climbing a ladder.

I didn’t do it myself, as I spent my only afternoon in Semuc Champey recovering, though I questioned the safety precautions taken.

Swim In The Semuc Champey Pools: It is a quick 5-minute walk from the entry to the main pools at the top, where there are some small cascades that you can jump off.

There are also some less busy pools lower down, though you do miss that famous infinity pool that looks over the jungle that this place is known for.

Hiking: A lot of hostels and hotels will offer hiking tours to their guests. They will organize a guide to take you through the jungle in the surrounding area. This will give you the perfect chance to see wildlife, as well as interact with some locals.


🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Guatemala: GuateGo


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o Come find out how to travel from Lanquin to Semuc Champey in Guatemala. These two spots are only a short distance apart, though the dirt roads are mountainous and full of potholes. So let's find out how exactly I and heaps of other travelers make this journey by tour, pickup truck, walking, or taxi including how to book, prices, and more!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

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