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Río Pantaleón, Upper, Guatemala (area: Pacific Escuintla; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV-; Ave. Gradient: 32 m/km; Portages: rare; Length: up to 16 km; Time: up to 2 hours

Season: June to early November; rafts? lower part?; Highlights: surfing a volcano; Crux move: finding a rest eddy

Water Quality: decent; Water Temperature: not noted

PI: Finca Tarro (733m) or Pantaleón II bridge (415 m); TO: CA-2 bridge (285 m)

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

The Upper Río Pantaleón is the very definition of continuous. Imagine kayaking down a washboard lined with sugarcane. There are no big boulders blocking your way, or your view. If it wasn’t so fun it would be boring. The only problem is catching your breath, because it is hard to stop in the small eddies on the gravelly riverbed.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: Andrew Hawley, Logan Hartle, Maarten Bleijerveld, and I did much of this run in August 2010 with 500 cfs at the highways. I found the higher PI a couple months later, starting with 300 cfs.

Flow Notes: The Río Achiguate gauge, when working, hints to relative water levels.

cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Sipicate beach, Antigua town.

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