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Río Madre Vieja, lower, Guatemala (area: Pacific Suchi; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: III; Ave. Gradient: 10 m/km; Portages: none; Length: up to 24.5 km; Time: up to 4 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? yes; Highlights: none; Crux move: wearing nose plugs

Water Quality: poor; Water Temperature: warm

PI: Patulul (345m) or CA-2 bridge (225m); TO: Finca Puyumate (90 m)

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

The Lower Río Madre vieja would make a reasonable beginner/intermediate run except for the unsightly amount of trash along the river. There are not many rapids or hazards of note, and the access is easy.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I first ran above the highway in August 2003. Gary Lee Chrisman and I ran below the highway in September 2004.

Flow Notes: The Río Madre vieja maintains a borderline floatable water level most of the rainy season, but your boat will appreciate it if you wait for an extra rainy period.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Lago Atitlán, Los Tarales nature reserve.

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