Coban Journals

En Guate '05- Coban!

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A March 2005 trip to Coban by bjoelle@msn.com

Lanquin Caves Photo, Coban, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: Coban was our first stop on a wide loop around Guatemala. I was thrilled to see Coban, a town nestled in the cloud forests of the Verapaz region of Guatemala. This region is known to be one of the few remaining habitats for Guatemala's elusive national bird: the rainbow-colored quetzal.

En Guate '05- Coban!

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Overview

Lanquin Caves Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
Central Plaza- Visit the strangely shaped plaza that sits at the highest point of Coban. It is the best spot from which to people watch and the old church is very pretty.Lanquin Caves- A popular day trip from the city lands you at these huge caves where descendants of the Maya still perform rituals.Semuc Champey- Paradise on earth! The natural phenomenon of a river plunging into an underground cavern creates a mysterious bridge of limestone that cradles pools of spectacular blue and green water.Quick Tips: If you have more time than I did in Coban, try to see: Vivero Verapaz- An orchid farm with over 20,000 plants. Best to go...Read More

Hostal D' Acuna

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Hotel

Hostal D' Acuna Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
According to the guidebooks I consulted, Hostal D'Acuna was the place to stay. As I wearily left the Monja Blanca bus north of town and hopped a taxi, I was confident that I'd find great accommodations here. The taxi dropped me off by the sign that said Hostal D' Acuna, and I asked the driver to wait while I made sure there'd be room for me to stay that night. I stepped inside the doorway into a green courtyard, but no one was around. Next to me was a pastry cabinet filled with goodies, and in the back of the courtyard were the tables of an empty restaurant in mid-afternoon. Where was the reception? Where was the staff? Eventually, after searching hurriedly, I found an annoyed local who wave...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 23, 2005

Hostal D' Acuna
Corner of Avenida 3 and Calle 4
Coban, Guatemala
(502) 79 51 04 82

Hostal D'Acuna's Restaurant

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Restaurant | "El Bistro: Hostal D'Acuna Restaurant"

Quote:
This is where Hostal D'Acuna shines. Their meals are fabulous. Meals here cost a pretty penny, but are definitely worth it, if only for one night. Located at the back of the hostel’s courtyard, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Our waiter was very friendly and accommodating, making sure that we had a bouquet of fresh flowers on our table and that we were kept dry as the rain began to fall. His spirits were high and smile bright, even as the lightning picked up intensity and the electricity was knocked out. Lucky for us, our entrées were being cooked over an open grill, and even in the storm, the cook took great care in the preparation and the smoke enticed our growing ap...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 24, 2005

Hostal D'Acuna's Restaurant
South of the plaza
Coban, Guatemala
9521547

Hostal D'Acuna Tour: Semuc & Lanquin

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Attraction | "Hostal D'Acuna Tour: Semuc & Lanquin"

Hostal D'Acuna Tour: Semuc & Lanquin Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
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 fillin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 26, 2005

Hostal D'Acuna Tour: Semuc & Lanquin
Corner of Avenida 3 and Calle 4
Coban, Guatemala

Semuc Champey

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Attraction

Semuc Champey Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
Cost of Admission = Q25 (March '05) Semuc Champey is truly a natural wonder and not to be missed! I'd read all about it before ever arriving there, but I have to say that I was still overly amazed at what I actually saw.What is the park of Semuc Champey? It is a unique stretch of the Cahabon river that plunges with immense force into an underground cavern. The sight of that alone is absolutely exhilarating. The water gains so much momentum before being sucked underground that the ground is carved into a semi-circular shelf of rock. One can imagine how many years the water has done this to create such formations in stone.Above the spans of river that is raging bene...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2005

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

Lanquin Caves

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Attraction

Lanquin Caves Photo, Coban, Guatemala
Quote:
The Lanquin Caves have a long and interesting history. It was, and still is, used by Mayan Indians who believed strongly in a link between the underworld and this world, with caves being important as a bridge between the two.The cavern is a piece of history, and it is incredibly interesting to visit. It lacks the built-in safety features one would see in caves used for tourism in the US. The cave is extremely slippery. I'd been warned, but even my best shoes had me slipping and sliding. Another tourist, Andreas from Germany, slipped as if on a banana peel and injured his arm and hit his head on the cave floor. Luckily, he was able to continue. There were no helmets issued and f...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 26, 2005

Lanquin Caves
Outside Coban
Coban, Guatemala

Getting to Coban: The Worst Way

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Not all travel agencies in Antigua are the same. They hang the same signs outside advertising great prices to all destinations Guatemalan, but be forewarned: shop around. Shalom Travel Center (1a Calle Poniente No. 24 A) sold us a "shuttle" ticket to Coban for US$13 each. This was one of the lower prices advertised in Antigua. Victor, behind the front desk, was friendly and efficient, and our ticket for the next morning was bought with ease. But that was all very misleading. Getting to Coban was a long and tiring experience. Cheap as it was, our money was ill spent. The next morning, we were ready to go at 8:30am, but the shuttle didn't arrive for another 40 minutes. And we w...Read More