After an exciting week in Coban, all 21 of us hopped into the school bus and drove to a hostel located in Lanquin called “El Retiro”! Our adventure week started as soon as we had the opportunity to put down our bags. We went straight to grab some inner tubes from our hostel and hopped into the back of a pickup for a bumpy ride to the beautiful river we would be tubing down. As we hopped into the water, our tour guide began tossing us cans of coke that we sipped on while relaxing on the slow moving river.
Our second day in Lanquin was a jam-packed day at Semuc Champay! We all piled into the back of another pickup early in the morning and made our way up and down some very beautiful and bumpy roads-always allowing locals to ride with us of course! As we waited for our adventures to start, our guide named “Antigua” (haha) equipped all of us with war paint on our faces using the juice of a mystery plant. Once we all had on our “war paint” we grabbed some candles and marched into some elaborate, but very dark caves following our guide blindly. It was an amazing experience maneuvering through the caves with only a candle to light the way. You could hear the chorus “this little light of mine” echoing from our group as we explored, holding on to our candles for dear life.
After caving, we jumped off of the rope swing into one of the beautiful lakes of Semuc, and grabbed tubes for some more river tubing! This time there would be rapids to watch out for! Once we reached the shore we had the opportunity to jump off of the bridge into the lake. (Don’t worry moms, it was safe… we promise!)
For our third adventure of the day, we hiked up to the lookout that showcased all of the beautiful pools of Semuc Champay! The hike was vigorous but so worth it once we all arrived at the top and had our breath taken away by the beautiful view.
We soon hiked our way down and spent the rest of our day swimming in the pools and sliding down natural rock slides- what a day!
The next day, a new adventure began as we took a boat to Denny’s beach. We were taken aback by how quiet snd surreal the beach was with only the sound of our laughter and waves to break the silence. Part of our goal for this relaxation and adventure week was to hear from our leaders. Each one lead a session that applied to “knowing ourselves” While at Denny’s beach, we heard from Swiff (Andrew) on the different roles in family and how our families have the ability to affect us. We also heard from Sherk (John) on our love languages and Renee on crucial conversations. Later in the week, Alanna led a session about technology, relationships, and the impact we want to have on the world. After every session you would always be sure to find us jumping into the lake for a quick swim!
On our third day at Denny’s beach we took a boat to an unknown island where we swam in warm pools and jumped off is steaming waterfalls. How’s that for an adventure!
Sadly, after many hours in the water and jumping off waterfalls, we had to leave our beautiful beach getaway, and head to yet another beautiful location, Tikal.
Tikal is a national park where a whole bunch of temples and monuments have been found and restored from historical Mayan locations. Our group had the pleasure of roaming the park and climbing some of the temples. I for one, was pumped to climb temple four as one of the scenes from “Star Wars a New Hope” was filmed there many years ago. It took many stairs to reach the top but the view was like no other. You could see the temples 1, 2 and 3 from the lookout point.
Phew, what a week! A week of exploring
caves, waterfalls, temples, hidden islands, and tubing down crystal clear streams, Outtatown never ceases to amaze me!
Paz de Guatemala,
Jenn (aka Avena)