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Río Ostúa, Upper, Middle II, & Middle, Guatemala (area: Southeast; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV, II, IV+; Ave. Gradient: 10 m/km; Portages: possibly, in Middle; Length: 11+8+28 km; Time: 1.5+1+5 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? no; Highlights: the creeky Upper, and pretty Middle canyon; Crux move: catching the water

Water Quality: OK; Water Temperature: cool to cold

PI: upper bridge (1100m), highway bridge (990m), Monjas (950m), or Corinto (825m); TO: Catorche I/II bridges

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

The Río ostúa is the largest river to leave the Guatemala border eastward. In El Salvador it is collected in the Lago de Güija which is a hydroelectric reservoir, then joins the Río Lempa in its long path to the Pacific. However, most of the gradient is in Guatemala, and
offers several runs of varying difficulty.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I first ran the Middle/II in September 2003, and the Upper in August 2007. I have seen the Middle with flows of 300 to 900 cfs, and the Upper with 250 cfs.

Flow Notes: The Río ostúa has a couple of usually-not-functioning guages, which makes it hard to catch, especially the Upper section. In rainy periods the Middle will have kayakable flows. Mid-September and mid-October are, as usual, your best bets..

cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: not much in this area.

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