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Semuc Champey: Natural Pool Staircase in Guatemala

A collection of turquoise pool stairs ar​e remarkable for their natural perfection, uniqueness, and beauty

Semuc Champey: Natural Pool Staircase
Semuc Champey: Natural Pool Staircase
Semuc Champey: Natural Pool Staircase
Semuc Champey: Natural Pool Staircase

As one looks at the Semuc Champey staircase the only thought that pops into one's mind is likely to be about nature's perfection—hardly any sculptor or designer could have done the same. This natural wonder can be found in Guatemala's jungles not far from Parque Nacional Grutas de Lanquín.

The pools descend downwards along the limestone bridge and are not to be missed. Be cautious as the bottom of the pools is slippery and should be traversed carefully. Upstairs you can find a gorge with the Cahabón River plunging into underground caves—​be careful not to fall in! The surrounding jungles offer more delightful scenery to enjoy. The best season to explore the area in between November and April.

Practical info

When is the ideal season to behold the magnificence of Semuc Champey?

To experience the full glory of Semuc Champey, the perfect timing to visit would be from November to April. During the rainy season, the water levels may obscure the view of the beautiful turquoise ponds, thus losing out on the allure that the place has to offer. During the dry season, the weather is conducive to explore the area, allowing hikers and swimmers to have a better experience as the water is clearer and lower. Show more

What is the location of Semuc Champey?

Located in the jungles of Guatemala, amidst the magnificent Parque Nacional Grutas de Lanquín, Semuc Champey is a natural limestone bridge above cascading ponds flowing towards the Cahabón River. The surrounding foliage is a sight to behold, and one can revel in more beautiful natural wonders like rivers, caves, and waterfalls. The region must be on the itinerary of all adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts. Show more

What is the natural occurrence behind the formation of the pools at Semuc Champey?

The natural limestone bridge over which water cascades down has resulted in the formation of the pools at Semuc Champey. For centuries, streams of water have flown downwards, creating the beautiful succession of turquoise pools. The succession of cascading pools, which appears balcony-like, is a natural phenomenon and is stunning to see. Show more

What precautions should an individual take while exploring Semuc Champey?

Exploring Semuc Champey requires caution, especially in the area around the pools. With the slippery bottom of the pools, it is best to move with care around them. Carrying enough water, sunscreen, and insect repellent is an essential precaution since the site is remote and can be hot and mosquito-prone. Show more

What are the other attractions that the jungles surrounding Semuc Champey have to offer?

The surrounding jungle areas of Semuc Champey have many tourist attractions, including the natural wonder of the Cahabón River flowing into underground caves, which make up another must-see attraction in the vicinity. The region is also known for its vast network of underground limestone caves, which thrill-seeking tourists can explore. Visitors can also visit the nearby towns of Cobán and Lanquín, which are excellent locations for learning about the indigenous culture, including the production of coffee and the traditional weaving techniques. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin