Where the river is hidden in the mountains: A magical and amazing destination in the world


In the municipality of Lanquin from the department of Alta Verapaz in Guatemala is Semuc Champey, a natural enclave in the middle of a dense tropical forest.

This natural spectacle is marked by a natural limestone bridge about 300 meters long which flows the river Cahabón and whose surroundings are a lot of pools of 1-3 m deep, whose turquoise color changes throughout the year, varying with the weather, the sun and other natural factors. This place is visited by thousands of tourists from around the world throughout the year, revealing its splendor and majesty in their training. At the end you can see the river as an internal Cahabón is in a limestone cavern, very dangerous area to get closer into the river by the force of the water, only allowed to observe from a distance this natural geographical phenomenon.

Semuc Champey – Guatemala Christopher William Adach

This majestic destination was declared Natural Monument in 1999 by the then President of Guatemala, Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen and is very close geographically to Caves National Park Lanquín with which it shares a visitor center to cover the tourist. Because of the subtropical forest surrounding the place, it has a huge ecological wealth, among which have been identified more than 100 species of birds; 34 mammals, 25 reptiles and amphibians; and 10 fish in addition to more than 120 different species of trees. It comprising a viewpoint over 50 m in height to observe the 350 m long natural pools that make up “Semuc Champey” with waterfalls of up to 40 feet tall and all pools fed by streams of the place.

The secret of the characteristic color of this amazing tourist destination is in its formation. Famous travertine terraces of Semuc Champey formed by the wealth of elements in the water as calcium bicarbonate when heated produce calcium carbonate in the form of tufa, this causes crystals of calcium carbonate adhere to microorganisms that is in the water precipitating and litificandose order to consolidate the travertine terraces. The color of water is a refractive effect due to the presence of sediment and no pollution.


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