Semuc Champey, a nature park in Guatemala
© Joel Sharpe/Getty Image
Staircase of turquoise pools
While it's snowy and cold in much of the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, December and January are popular months to visit Guatemala, where the skies are clear, but everything is still green and lush from autumn rains. Nestled in the Guatemalan jungle, Semuc Champey is a hotspot for adventurous tourists. Its name means 'where the river hides under the stones' in Q'eqchi', a Mayan language spoken by local communities.
Our image showcases the 980-foot natural limestone bridge that crosses over the Cahabón River. Atop the bridge lies a series of stepped turquoise pools, while the main river flows beneath. The tranquil pools are a paradise of swimming holes for those intrepid enough to reach this remote locale. Truth be told, word has gotten out that central Guatemala is an up-and-coming tourist destination, with its stunning natural areas, Mayan ruins, and highland regions. Maybe it's time to plan a trip.