El Salto de Chilascó : This waterfall, among Central America’s highest, can be reached with moderate effort from a nearby community on the fringes of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve.
Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera : Also known as the Quetzal Biotope, this beautiful mountain park conveniently situated along the road to Cobán is the easiest way to explore the region’s cloud forests and try your luck at glimpsing Guatemala’s national bird, the resplendent quetzal.
Rafting the Río Cahabón : Adventurers won’t soon forget a white-water rafting trip down the Class III–IV Río Cahabón, where you can battle rapids with names such as Rock and Roll, Sex Machine, and Corkscrew Falls between more peaceful stretches. You can also explore caves and thermal hot springs along the forested riverbanks.
Semuc Champey Natural Monument : The turquoise limestone pools and waterfalls of Semuc Champey are among Guatemala’s most exquisite natural attractions. Don’t miss a somewhat difficult trail up the side of a mountain for a fantastic view of the pools from above.
Cancuén : This Mayan site, still being excavated and restored, has yielded new insights into the last days of the Classic Mayans and lies in the remote jungles straddling the border between Alta Verapaz and Petén.
Candelaria Caves National Park : This large cave complex is among the most impressive in all of Latin America. Don’t miss the chance to explore underground rivers by cave tubing or rafting into its depths.
Parque Ecológico Hun Nal Ye : One of Guatemala’s best-kept secrets is this private 135-hectare nature reserve where you can swim in pristine rivers, visit a limestone sinkhole, ride horses, and zip across the forest canopy. It’s also the site of one of the Maya world’s rarest finds — a carved stone box now housed in a Guatemala City museum.
Laguna Lachuá National Park : This exquisitely beautiful and remote lagoon lies in the northwest corner of Alta Verapaz surrounded by dense rainforest and is thought to have been the site of a prehistoric meteor impact. The surrounding forests and the azure jungle river known as Río Ikbolay are worth some exploration.