Guatemala has enormous natural and cultural wealth. Both attributes make us a country with a high tourist potential. In addition, since 2010 Guatemala is part of the Select Group of 20 Similar Megadiverse Countries; that is, it has a high index of biological diversity on earth.
All of this makes it possible for the main tourist destinations in the country to be protected areas. However, having the commitment to prioritize the conservation of biological diversity and natural resources, since life depends on them, tourist destinations in protected areas must implement good practices, in order to make conservation and tourism compatible.
Within this framework, Inguat delivered the distinctive Green Q Seal to the Semuc Champey Natural Monument, which guarantees that quality and sustainability standards have been implemented in operations.
The Green Q Seal is aimed at archaeological parks and protected areas, with three principles: ecological, social – cultural and economic sustainability. These hallmarks of tourism quality and sustainability, the Q Seal and the Green Q Seal, are an effective tool for promoting good practices, not only in the provision of services, but also in the management of tourist destinations, strengthening the environmental, sociocultural and economic for each one.
This achievement was possible thanks to the work of all the resource guard, technical, administrative and regional director staff, an effort that was recognized thanks to the good performance and commitment of each collaborator, in order to provide tourists with a quality service in the protected area. .
Semuc Champey, in the Mayan q’eqchi’ language, means “where the river hides underground.” It is located in the Sierra de Chamá, in the municipality of Lanquín, Alta Verapaz; It is made up of a natural stone bridge that is 300 meters long on which pools of different sizes are formed, fed by crystalline waters from forest springs; The Cahabón River extends below this bridge, which enters through the site called El Sumidero and exits through El Manantial to continue along its natural course.
Due to the fragility of the system of turquoise water pools, nestled in an extraordinary and wonderful tropical landscape and due to the biological diversity it houses, Semuc Champey was granted the category of Natural Monument in 2005, through Decree No. 25- 2005, and is part of the Guatemalan System of Protected Areas (Sigap).
Among the attractions that Semuc Champey has are the viewpoints; the highest one measures more than 50 meters and from the top it is possible to appreciate an aerial view of the 350-meter long natural pools that make up the protected area, with waterfalls up to 12 meters high and all the pools fed by streams of the place.
The Semuc Champey Natural Monument is one of the five most visited tourist destinations in the country within protected areas; the peak visiting season is Easter, as well as the months of December and January.