This week was Antigua and Semuc Champey located in the jungle. Antigua the old capital of Guatemala is colonial town with some excellent restaurants and coffee but among the cobblestones is a vast western influence of its tourist industry like Dunkin Donuts, Yogen Fruz, and North Face stores. Despite that, we had a good experience and some excellent Korean food ( who would of guessed!)
De la Gente coffee farmers, a NGO started by an American 11 years ago has given the local community its own ability to produce and distribute coffee directly to the consumer. We did a 3 hour tour with Freddie and a glimpse into what it takes to get coffee fruit to the cup we drink. Makes you realize it’s worth considering where your coffee comes from before buying.
Before heading to Semuc Champey we thought we would take a look at an active, still steaming volcano. Volcan Pacaya last erupted in 2014 and the guide had some funny stories about the night it erupted. Signs of activity were obvious towards the base of the volcano where hot steam and hot rocks offered an impromptu sauna experience. The hike was easy and we were back in town by lunch time, although getting rid ofthe black volcano dust took a bit of scrubbing in the shower.
An 8 hour bus ride and 30 minutes hanging out the back of a pick up truck, bouncing over rocks and winding around curves, landed us in semuc champey a national park deep in the jungle. No electricity (well almost none, only between 6-10 pm), mosquitoes and other creatures with us as we stayed in a wood cabin along the river. Beautiful! We did some very dangerous (would never fly in Canada) caving as candles lit the way, swimming in the pools and even tubing. Beautiful!