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Río Tulijá, Salto de Agua, Chiapas, Mexico (area: north central; click here for the Chiapas table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV; Ave. Gradient: 10 m/km; Portages: none; Length: 4 to 7 km; Time: 2 hours

Season: all year; rafts? yes; Highlights: awesome big water action; one of the best!; Crux move: Agua Grande rapid; the Salto de Agua

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Balneario Paso Naranjo (50 m); TO: Salto de Agua

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

This run offers some of the biggest whitewater in all of Mexico with a number of wide class III and IV rapids as well as some scenic travertine falls at the end. The town of Salto de Agua (“Jump of Water” or simply “Waterfall”) at the end of the run was named precisely because of the steep cascades located just upstream of town. Río Tulijá in this section is a major river with average flow of 200 cms (7000 cfs), brought on by the >200 cm of rain a year in the drainage. All of the Upper Río Tulijá, Río Shumuljá and associated upper branches such as Ríos Paxilhá, Chich, and Hidalgo drain into here. In dozens of years of recorded flows, the river has never dropped below ~70 cms (2300 cfs).

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

Descent History: This section has been descended by many in the past, including by Scott Davis and company in rafts. Rocky did it with Ben Kvanli and crew on January 5, 2012.

Flow Notes: There is an online gauge at the TO (no calibration data though). This river has big water all year, and almost never gets below ~90 cms (3000 cfs). During the rainy season months of September–October, its average flow is ~400 cms (12,000 cfs), but it can get much higher after good storms. Higher flows can be encountered anytime June–February.

cfs graph cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Villahermosa sights, and Palenque Mayan ruins.

mayanwhitewater.com, the guide to the rivers of Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador © 2008-2016