Heaven on earth.
If you ask me, Lanquin (Guatemala) is a little place of heaven right here on earth. It’s a long trip to get here (we came from Flores to visit the Maya city Tikal: read about it here), especially the last eleven kilometres because you will have a VERY bumpy road. I actually loved it, because it gives you the feeling that you’re really getting into the middle of nowhere. Once you arrived in Lanquin there will be people waiting for you to bring you to one of the hostels. We stayed at Zephyr Lodge and this place is absolutely breathtaking.
The lodge is on the top of one of the highest hills which creates amazing views both sides of the hostel into the valley. And the infinity pool (and jacuzzi) increases the wow effect (and your feeling you don’t wanna leave this place). I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Even the bathrooms are amazing, because they are open at one side, which gives you an amazing view all over the valley while you’re showering.
At the time we went there it was not possible to make a reservation for a room, so you have to go up there and check if there’s room. But I think you’ll have to be very unlucky if you’re not ending up with a bed, so don’t let that stop you! The village Lanquin is very little so be prepared to eat all your food at the lodge. They have a really nice menu, especially for breakfast (the french toast is heaven) and the food is very affordable so you won’t mind. I liked that they just kept track of what you ordered and you only had to pay the whole bill while leaving instead of constantly having to pay.
Even though there are not a lot of activities to do around Lanquin and Zephyr Lodge you probably end up staying longer as planned. Chilling at the infinity pool while taking in the views or zipping a beer in the jacuzzi at night while chatting with some newly made friends: the relaxed vibe of this hostel will take you over. A perfect getaway if you’re planning to do a volcano hike (read about it here) or some other hike.
The biggest reason most travellers go to this area of Guatemala is the amazing national park Semuc Champey. And if you’re travelling to Guatemala this place should be high on your list! You can book a day tour at the hostel, where they will bring you to the park by car (it’s one hour away from the lodge). At Semuc Champey you start your day with a little hike in a cave which is amazing! You will holding a candle which is your only light and you will be into the cold water up to your shoulders or even swimming sometimes. The cave is really beautiful and at the end of the cave you can jump of a big rock into the water. It’s a real adrenalin experience! After the cave adventure you can jump into the blue clear river from a giant swing.
At our tour there was a barbecue included, which was made by local Guatemalan women, so make sure to take some money if you want to enjoy this food. The next part is the amazing park Semuc Champey itself. You will hike all the way up (read: a lot of stairs), but the view will be worth it! After that you can jump into the beautiful blue water, try a natural slide and relax a bit. Everything together makes your trip to Semuc Champey a perfect day.