Coban Journals

Great Guatemala Loop Part 2 – Cobán

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A January 2004 trip to Coban by lcampbell

Coffee plants Photo, Coban, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: In Part 2 of 7 of our month-long journey around Guatemala, we learn about food poisoning, car sickness, and the quirks of getting information from well-intentioned locals while exploring a coffee farm, a limestone waterfall heaven, and an ancient cave.

Great Guatemala Loop Part 2 – Cobán

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Overview

Coffee plants Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
Cobán is located high in the Verapaces mountains, at an elevation of 1320 feet. The small number of tourists, combined with a great selection of outdoor activities, makes this a great low-key destination for intrepid travelers. Day or multi-day trips with a home base of Cobán include visits to the natural pools and waterfalls of Semuc Champey, the caves of Lanquin, the Biotopo del Quetzal biological reserve, and Laguna Lachuá National Park. This is also a primary coffee production area. I got my first tour of the entire coffee-making process (plus free samples!) while visiting the Finca (farm) Santa Margarita. Other worthwhile stops around town include a pr...Read More

Hotel La Paz

Hotel

Quote:
Our Room: The first room that we were given smelled very musty, and the sink leaked. We requested a different room the next day and the second room was much better – it was clean and dry and comfortable. We had twin beds rather than a large bed, but that was OK. Private or Shared Bath? Rooms with both private or shared bath are available. The showers were at best lukewarm. Because of the high elevation and cool nights, a hot shower would have been nice. The Atmosphere: When we first arrived at Hotel La Paz, we did not find the owners or employees to be very friendly. Maybe I had done a social no-no when checking in or something, but we wer...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 4, 2004

Hotel La Paz
6a Avenida 2-19
Coban, Guatemala
952-1358

Around town

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Story/Tip

Templo El Calvario Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
Cobán is a bustling town, with few tourists that I could see. Even when we spent a day going around to some minor "tourist" attractions, we didn’t see another confused-looking soul. While we would find the touring masses later in our Guatemala trip, for now we were experiencing exactly what we had set out to find in Guatemala – daily life going on as if we weren’t even there.Our first stop was a large park called Parque Nacional Las Victorias (entrance fee US$0.75 per person). This is a haven of green solitude right on the very edge of chaos. It was just a short walk from our hotel to the entrance of the park – enter at junction of 9a Avenida and 3a Calle. Once insid...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 4, 2004

Semuc Champey

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Attraction | "The Cascades of Semuc Champey and Cave at Lanquín"

Semuc Champey Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
The three-hour mountain drive was causing my husband to turn new shades of green. He doesn’t normally get carsick, but he was still recovering from a bout of food poisoning. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling too great myself. The bumps, curves, and drop-offs were making my stomach churn, as were the miles and miles of clear-cut forests. The forests had been cut for wood for cooking and heating in the small mountain villages, and also for planting corn and coffee. The landscape was slashed all the way up to Semuc Champey, which made me doubt my LP guidebook report that "some people consider this the most beautiful spot in all Guatemala." So I was pleasantly surprised that the beauty of thi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 4, 2004

Semuc Champey
Cahabón River Municipality Of Lanquin, Alta Verapaz
Coban, Guatemala

Proyecto Ecoquetzal

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Attraction

Quote:
Proyecto Ecológico Quetzal (PEQ) was established in 1988 with the goal of protecting the habitat of the rapidly-disappearing quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala. Since then, the organization has grown to have a much larger scope. PEQ works actively to combat deforestation in general, promotes sustainable agriculture, researches and monitors birds including and beyond the beloved quetzal, helps local Mayan Q’eqchi families to earn money through eco-tourism (teaching them that it is more profitable to keep the forests intact), and provides volunteer opportunities. Over the years PEQ has also gotten more widespread and international support, including a relationship with the US Fish and Wildlife S...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 4, 2004

Proyecto Ecoquetzal
Verepaz Mountains
Coban, Guatemala