The 6 Best Guatemala Waterfalls You Should Visit

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Guatemala’s diverse landscapes offer a treasure trove of natural wonders, and its waterfalls are among the most mesmerizing.

From lush rainforests to towering cliffs, the country boasts a collection of stunning and captivating waterfalls.

If you’re planning a trip to Guatemala, don’t miss the opportunity to explore these top six waterfalls that promise awe-inspiring beauty and unforgettable experiences.

1. Aguas Azules Falls

At the heart of the Petén region of Guatemala, Aguas Azules Falls is very much a hidden gem of a waterfall.

Aguas Azules (translated from Spanish as blue waters) is as serene as it is beautiful with its cascades tumbling into blue pools.

Here, you can escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and relax in the refreshing waters.

Aguas Azules Falls is located within the protected area of Cerro Cahuí Biosphere Reserve near the town of Sayaxché.

Getting there can be a bit tricky, but the journey is more than worth it. A scenic drive through the rural landscapes and forests will take you to the starting point of your hike to reach the falls.

The anticipation is thrilling, and your reward will most certainly be worth it. We’re sure your first peek at the falls will be nothing short of breathtaking.

The falls cascade into pools at different heights thanks to their multi-tiered formation on layers of limestone rocks.

Each of the different-leveled pools invites you in for a refreshing dip, with the vibrant blue waters all thanks to the water’s mineral content.

Aguas Azules Falls is a true turquoise gem of a waterfall.

2. Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey is one of Guatemala’s natural wonders that leaves a lasting imprint on visitors.

This series of terraced turquoise pools and natural limestone bridges is Mother Nature’s art at its finest. Set against the backdrop of the Languín jungle, it gives you the experience of an almost untouched wilderness to explore.

Though it’s not a traditional waterfall, it is most certainly a must-see for any waterfall lover.

Semuc Champey is a geological marvel that has been formed by the convergence of the Cahabón River and an underground river system.

The sequence of stepped pools is the result, with each naturally carved from the limestone bedrock by the persistent, albeit gentle, water flow. The pools vary in size and showcase a range of blue hues that any watercolor artist would be proud of.  

The area offers many activities including hiking to various viewpoints on natural limestone bridges, swimming in the pools and tubing in the waters.

If you want to get your adventure on, you could try caving in the nearby K’an Ba Caves where a guide will take you through the intricately formed caves, navigating the underground rivers and experiencing the all-encompassing darkness as you wander just with your headlamp to guide you.

3. Los Amates Falls

Los Amates Falls are hidden in the Alta Verapaz region among a lush rainforest paradise.

Located near the town of Cobán, the falls are relatively accessible compared to some of the others in this list.

To get there, you’re in for a scenic drive through the verdant landscapes and several small villages. Getting to the waterfall itself requires a 4×4 vehicle or a bit of a trek through the jungle, so be prepared!

Los Amates Falls boats a significant cascade with its waters plummeting from a 35-meter height.

The water falls into a serene turquoise pool that echoes the sounds and creates a picture-postcard image. Despite the force of the plunging water, the vivid blue pool is tranquil and invites you in for a swim.

Los Amates is a true hidden oasis in the Guatemalan jungle. You can also hike to the top of the falls for the most stunning of views.

Local tours here often include rappelling down the waterfall itself.

4. Chilascó Falls

Deep in the heart of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Chilascó Falls is an awe-inspiring waterfall where water tumbles down rocky cliffs, showcasing nature’s innate force.

Located near the quaint town of San Rafael Chilascó, getting to Chilascó Falls involves navigating rugged and remote terrain – but this only enhances your adventure and sense of discovery when you finally arrive there.

The journey from the town to the start of the trail is about 1.5 miles and the hike to the waterfall itself is a little under two miles.

Along the trail, you’ll pass agricultural fields where broccoli, potatoes and cabbages grow as well as through cloud forests. It can be muddy and steep!

I mentioned the force of nature felt at Chilascó, and it wasn’t poetic license!

Here, you can feel the force of the water through the ground with the cascade causing vibrations as it crashes below, slicing the jungle in two. It’s a truly immersive sensory experience at Chilascó.

5. Seven Altars

Located just three miles from the town of Livingston, Seven Altars (Los Siete Altares in Spanish) offers a unique seven-in-one waterfall experience.

Although you can visit the falls all year round, it’s an even better experience when you go during the rainy season when the waterfalls are running to the max!

To reach the falls, head inland along the beach path that heads north out of Livingston. Eventually, you’ll reach the river mouth and should take the path that heads into the forest.

From here, you’ll walk for around 30 minutes before getting to the first of the falls. All in all, it’ll take about one and a half hours to get there on foot.

You could always take a boat to the entrance of the Siete Altares if you prefer. You’ll also find a small food and drink stand near the entrance.

When you arrive, do not stop at the first of the altars (waterfalls!) you find.

It’s worth the trek up to the seventh one as it’s particularly spectacular. You can jump into the pools from the side and swim.

6. Pumpatin Canyon

Located on the northern shore of Lake Atitlan, the Pumpatin Canyon is home to hidden waterfalls that flow along a creek where wildlife abounds.

Starting in Santa Cruz la Laguna, you can take the ancient well-walked paths used by the Kachekel Maya for hundreds of years.

Not only will you see a series of stunning waterfalls, but you can also see the villagers here and how they live.

As you stride deeper into the canyon, the waterfalls get bigger and more intense.

You can journey several hundred feet above the lake and witness the breathtaking volcano views before descending into the canyon to experience the riverbanks.

There are at least five waterfalls within the canyon for you to venture to. There are many organized tours to Pumpatin Canyon and its waterfalls if you’d prefer to experience it with a guide.

Guatemala Waterfall Bucket List

The waterfalls in Guatemala are something else.

It’s definitely worth adding them to your travel bucket list. Take a flight to Guatemala City and you’ll easily find transport links to the towns and cities near the falls.

As always when you travel, it’s important to have adequate travel insurance, particularly if you’re considering clambering up waterfalls or exploring caves.

Whichever of the top six Guatemalan waterfalls you decide to explore first, you’re sure to witness Mother Nature at her finest, with each waterfall unveiling a distinct facet of Guatemala’s breathtaking landscape.

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