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

Class: III?; Ave. Gradient: 2 m/km; Portages: unknown; Length: up to 35 km; Time: up to 10 hours

Season: after recent rain; rafts? no; Highlights: Cascada Welib-Ha; Crux Move: brush

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: warm

PI: Cascada Welib-Ha (185 m); TO: Main Chocoljá

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

Río Chancalá is a tributary of Río Cholcoljá, entering on RL, 7 km downstream of the highway bridge (Main Chocoljá PI). The Chancalá offers an alternative float on a smaller river with similar pool-drop character of ledges and rapids (well, actually mostly pool and a little bit of drop). But possibly the most appealing aspect of this river is the Cascada Welib-Ha, a ~8 m high clean falls that looks like a hoot to huck. The main falls is located 35 km upstream of the confluence where the river is just a small creek.

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

Descent History: Scott Davis and friends descended Río Chancalá, starting near the town of Chancalá, in the 1980s or 1990s.

Flow Notes: This is a very small river with a bit larger drainage area than the Chacamax. Unless you’re just interested in hucking Cascada Weilib-Ha, it would be best to try a descent when the water is up, usually August–November or after recent rains.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: the ruins at Piedras Negras, Bonampak, and Yaxchilán, down the Fronterizo del Sur highway.

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