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Río Negro, upper, Chiapas, Mexico (area: Far West; click here for the Chiapas table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV+; Ave. Gradient: 8 m/km; Portages: ~10 times; Length: 49 km; Time: 12:00

Season: July to October; Rafts? no; Highlights: going where few gringos have; Crux move: getting to the PI

Water Quality: decent; Water Temperature: medium?

PI: El Salto (elev: 695 m); TO: Rio Negro bridge (Pueblo Viejo)

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

The Río Negro is a beautiful little river hidden in the mountains of the Chiapas/Oaxaca border. The river is on the periphery of an area known as "Los Chimalapas" which is an important region for biodiversity and includes "the largest undisturbed cloud forests in all of Central America" according to the World Wildlife Fund. This area sees very few visitors, or locals for that matter. Note also that while most of the run is in Chiapas, the PI is actually across the border in the state of Oaxaca. The river provides a wide variety of drops through the sculpted volcanic riverbed.

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

Flow Notes: There is a convenient online gauge downstream at Santa Maria, linked to below. This spot is below the confluence of the Río Chiquito. The readings seem pretty accurate. Below I also show history from the past several years. My impressions are from a run with about 400/1200 cfs at the PI/TO.

cfs graph

height graph

cfs graph

Accommodations: There are hotels in Cintalapa.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Not too many in this area.

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