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active 2 hours ago

Yenyi Fu

I love exploring new destinations and new cultures, I feel it is a way of opening myself up to new ways to think about the world and new ways to interact with people.

When I travel, I love mixing up off the beaten track adventures on parts of the trip, with a beautiful hotel or restaurant experience - why not experience all the aspects that the destination has to offer!

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I spent 2 months in Guatemala, and in the two-month there, I learned so much about the culture of the country, and also challenged my own expectations. My most memorable experience is going to Semuc Champey. Semuc Champey, is a set of turquoise pools flowing through the dense forest.

I knew it was going to be an adventure getting there from my base in Antigua, but it was even more than I expected. The roads are shockingly bad on the way to Semuc Champey. Our little shuttle van (license for 12 people), had at least 25 people crammed inside, with 5 additional people sitting on the roof. The van would often go off the road, to avoid parts where mudslides from previous winters had covered the paved road.

The van arrives at Lanquin, the closest "big town" to Semuc Champey. When we arrive, there are lots of men and boys yelling destination to smaller towns nearby, including Semuc. We follow a young boy of 12 or 13 years old to a pickup truck. We jump into the pickup truck, luckily, they had added a handle bar to the middle of the truck bed, and we hold on for dear life as the truck takes us down rocky roads to the hostel.

The hostel we stayed at is right next to Semuc Champey.
We woke up the next morning to the sounds of the jungle, different birds singing. We decided to start the day with a short hike to the Mirador overlooking the pools. The view was magnificent, overlooking the seven limestone pools below. We hiked down to the pools and just swam and relaxed in the waters.

What was amazing was the fact that we were in such a magnificent location, surrounded by nature, yet very few tourist around us. We felt privileged to have been able to experience this location before it is "discovered" by the rest of the world, and the whole adventure getting here made it all the more memoriable."

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