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Northeast of Cobán, a paved road heads off into the lush hills, connecting a string of coffee fincas. After 46km the road reaches the Pajal junction, where a branch road cuts down deep into a valley to LANQUÍN (a further 12km away). This sleepy, modest Q’eqchi’ village, where Spanish is very much a second language, shelters beneath towering green hills, whose lower slopes are planted with coffee and cardamom bushes. The village itself is very relaxed and quite attractive, but virtually every visitor in town is here to enjoy the extraordinary pools of Semuc Champey, a short ride away.

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