The tour through Hostal D'Acuna, although expensive, is a good idea for the ease and comfort of going with a group and tour guide to Coban's two greatest nearby sights. The all-day day tour costs a hefty Q250 per person, but includes both a tour of the incredible Lanquin Caves and several hours at heavenly Semuc Champey. Transportation, two meals, and entrance into both parks is included.
The hostel provides a nice breakfast at their restaurant before departure, which consists of hot coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice (that tasted mostly like the rind), a fruit salad of banana, papaya, pineapple, and cantaloupe, along with fresh bread and jam. It was simple, but very fresh and filling.
Our guide, Rene, was very friendly and did a good job explaining what we were seeing and helped us physically if we encountered anything remotely hazardous. He was also capable of remaining quiet for most of the drive to and from while we enjoyed the pools of Semuc Champey. Because of that, the day was so relaxed, I almost forgot I'd paid for a typical tour.
Lunch was also provided and was very delicious. Our sack included a large subway-type sandwich with tomato, lettuce, onion, cheese, and meat, if requested. We also had an apple, cool bottle of water, and two fresh-baked oatmeal cookies. We were allowed plenty of time to eat and were never interrupted.
Our transport was a newer style shuttle bus, and our driver one of the safest I've encountered in Guatemala. Both the driver and Rene assisted a truck that had become stuck in the mud, and also begged our way across a bridge that was under construction and barely passable. Both obstacles could have ended our day abruptly if not for their local connections and knowledge. And I'll never forget how Rene swooped in to grant my wish when I saw a cacao (chocolate) tree with a ripe pod dangling and longed for it. It had been several years since I'd enjoyed the fruit, and Rene made it happen. For these reasons, I wouldn't have wanted to attempt the day without him.
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by Jane Diddly
February 5, 2011
Rohnert Park, California
July 26, 2005
From journal En Guate '05- Coban!