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Río Lacanjá*, Chiapas, Mexico (area: East; click here for the Chiapas table of rivers)

Join SierraRios' trips on the Lacanjá! click here

river photo

(photo courtesy of Explora)

Class: III; Ave. Gradient: 2 m/km; Portages: at least one; Length: up to 85 km; Time: 1 to 6 days

Season: year-round; rafts? yes; Highlights: rainforest, ruins; Crux Move: bringing mosquito repellent

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Lacanjá Cansayab bridge (elev.: 300m); TO: Quiringüicharo

Description: (click here for general notes about my descriptions)

(Click here and here to see the slideshows of the Lacanjá on sierrarios.org.)

The Lacanjá is a gem of a journey through the heart of the Montes Azules (Blue Mountains) Biosphere Reserve. This is about as deep into a pristine rainforest as you can get. You will hear and probably see howler monkeys and spider monkeys along the way. The river itself has very few actual rapids, mostly it is pretty travertine ledges and falls, and long pools in between. The entire length the river stays narrow with the jungle leaning over you. There is history and culture to be experienced also, with the impressive Bonampak ruins and indigenous Lacandón villages near the PI. Note a local guide is "necessary."

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater: Chiapas & Belize guidebook.

*Note* This run is marked politically sensitive because the Lacandons do ask that tourist groups take along a Lacandon guide on all jungle excursions, including river trips. Kayak groups would have difficulty with this of course; usually the locals are accomodating, but be prepared to negotiate terms.

Flow Notes: The only gauge downstream is on the lower Usumacinta, too far away to provide significant correlation. Below I show historical INEGI data from a point downstream of the lower TO, though note that the Lacanjá's contribution will be maybe 5% of this amount. With its healthy watershed you can count on some water year-round.

cfs graph

Accommodations: At the PI there is Explora's Campamento Río Lacanjá cabins and Campamento Lacandónes.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Bonampak Mayan ruins.

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