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Río Chisná, Guatemala (area: Pacific West; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV; Ave. Gradient: 26 m/km; Portages: 1 or 2; Length: 6 to 10 km + Río Naranjo; Time: 1.5 to 4 hours + Río Naranjo

Season: June-October; rafts? no; Highlights: beautiful narrow gorges; Crux move: a prayer to the river gods

Water Quality: good (until Río Naranjo); Water Temperature: cool

PI: upper bridge (elev: 420 m); TO: Río Naranjo highway bridge

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

Ríos Chisná and Ixtal are two accessible creeks that flow into the Main Río Naranjo run. The Río Chisná is mostly class III but includes a spooky class IV shallow gorge section that is hard to scout in the blind turns but is quite beautiful. This section is just above the Santa Clara car bridge, so you have the option of skipping it.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: First and only descent by me, Greg Schwendinger, in September 2007. I saw about 350 cfs at the PI.

Flow Notes: There is no online gauge, though the Río Nahuatán gauge near Pajapita and the Río Ocosito gauge at Caballo Blanco, if working, may give a hint to relative levels. The flow is not very reliable (especially June to August), so you may want to drive to the lower Chisná bridge the day before to scout it.

cfs graph cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: The beach at Tilapa, and the Manchón Guamuchal Wetland Preserve nearby.

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