Lanquin National Park was one of the first protected areas and one of the top attractions in Guatemala. It is an enormous and beautiful complex with limestone formations of extraordinary beauty. Lanquin caves are also a sacred site used by many of the Mayas from all over Guatemala, who believe the cave is the “heart of heaven”, and that in the depths of the cave “the secret of centuries is hidden”.
There are many things to see here, such as a sharp-pointed rock altar, where modern Mayan people carry out ceremonies and rituals the same way their ancestors used to do. Also, from the depths of the cave, the Lanquin River emerges.
Lanquin is a small indigenous & colorful town located in the Alta Verapaz department, Central Highlands of Guatemala. Although it is the closest town to the super popular caves of Lanquin Guatemala it hasn’t grown that much, and you won’t find many hotels in it. The most common way to get there and the place where you will find hotels, restaurants, and other services are from the nearby and the much bigger town of Coban. Here’s a short guide of things you can do in Lanquin, Guatemala.
This tiny town is just minutes away from one of Guatemala’s most famous attractions after Antigua, Atitlan Lake, and Tikal National Park, the Lanquin Cave System. Lanquin is a series of limestone formations under the ground so big that no explorer has ever gotten to where they end. Inside of these formations, some modern Mayas still perform their ancient rituals.
As a matter of fact, no one has ever discovered the end of this cave system, but there are a 400m lighted trail inside that takes you for a 45 min round trip. There are bridges and stairs to facilitate access, however, it is always humid and a bit slippery.
There are many fun things to do around here on the many natural attractions of the area. Below is a list of some of my favorite ones.
Things To Do In Lanquin, Guatemala
- Horseback riding through the Guatemalan rainforest
- Different levels of rafting in the Río Cahabón
- Hiking the Lanquin Caves (well marked and illuminated)
- Swimming at the Semuc Champey turquoise pools
- Go hiking and Exploring at the Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera
- Check out the Candelaria Caves National Park
- Take a chocolate tour in Utopia Cacao Farm
- Have a wild adventure on board of a mountain bike
- Fly over the forest at Canopy Guayaha
More places to visit in Lanquin, Guatemala
Natural Monument Semuc Champey
Semuc Champey is located 11km to the south of Lanquin town. There is a 300m long limestone bridge, on top of which there are several natural pools of different sizes filled with crystalline mountain spring water. The pools are 3-14 ft. deep and form a 40ft waterfall.
To get there you’ll see a large metal bridge over the Cahabon River and a trail that leads from the bridge to a shelter below the cave entrance. It is located about 500 ft. before the entrance to Semuc Champey. This is also the starting point for tubing tours in the Cahabon River.
Here you can see stalactites and stalagmites, a large bat population, spiders, and crabs. It is muddy and slippery and has some rooms that are very steep to enter, making it necessary to use ropes. So this would be perfect for those looking for some extra excitement. To get there, you will have to take a 45min hike and caving takes about 1 hour. The nearby villagers use the cave for ceremonies.
El Cabro Waterfall
El Cabro waterfall is located in the village of Chitzubil in a forested valley to the northeast of Lanquin. It is a series of waterfalls, some of which reach 70ft and form small pools where you can swim. This is the perfect place for travelers looking for unique, almost untouched waterfalls in Guatemala to visit. There is no infrastructure, so it is highly recommended to have the company of a local guide at all times.
How to get to Lanquin Guatemala?
If you are leaving from Guatemala city you need to take CA-14 highway to get to Coban, however, I recommend that you don’t drive.
The best way to get there. Pretty much every travel agency in the country should be able to hook you p with a shuttle with private options. Making it an extremely accessible area to visit.
Take a look at this map to get a better idea of where it is located.
There is no way to reach it by air, so you will have to endure the 6 to 7.5 hour drive to the town. But it will be worth the trip. It is also a good place to spend a couple of days as you make your way from the attractions in the Central Highlands like Atitlan and Antigua to the Northern Mayan Ruins.
This secluded place of Guatemala, which holds some of the best natural beauties of the country, Lanquin is waiting for you!! Now that you know more things to do in Guatemala there are no excuses for not visiting it.
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