This is a great little traveller retreat in a beautiful setting by the river. It is located very near Semuc Champey (falls and swimming pools) and there are caves to explore for the adventurous.
Accommodation is in simple wooden huts on stilts with hammocks, the grounds are very lush and green. There is a great little restaurant near the river complete with swinging bar stools.
If you're there on the right night, expect a party atmosphere, this is a great place to meet other intrepid travellers. It's not an easy place to get to so it tends to attract only people who can be bothered to make the effort!
The facilities are what you'd call eco- long drop toilets (v.clean) simple showers. We didn't want to leave.
Get here from Coban (which itself is five hrs from Guat.city). It takes about two hours in a collectivo to get to Lanquin from Coban. Or try the great tour from dona victoria hostel in coban of semuc champey/ caves and they'll drop you off at El retiro on request! El retiro arrange a direct shuttle to Antigua (this took us 7 hours and was well worth the $15-20) and I think maybe they offer shuttles to Tikal.
Semuc Champey is called the eighth wonder of the world by locals. We were cynical because of the hundreds of other 'Eighth Wonders' we've encountered on our travels, but this is truly breathtaking.
Semuc is a series of natural sparkling turquoise pools in the middle of the jungle, that form a bridge over a buried river which shoots out the other side. If it's hard to imagine, that's because it is just so unbelievable it beggars description. It's worth the detour from the main backpacker trail.
Swim, lounge, hike to a viewing point in the jungle or follow a local guide who will show you which rocks are safe to jump from. We tried a terrifying 10m dive from a cliff. This place is absolute paradise.
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