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Río Tulijá, Upper, Chiapas, Mexico (area: Palenque; click here for the Chiapas table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV; Ave. Gradient: 9 m/km; Portages: 5, mostly in first part; Length: up to 25 km; Time: up to 7 hours

Season: June to February; rafts? no; Highlights: clean travertine drops; Crux move: natural bridges/Cascada San Marcos

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Puente San Jerónimo (322 m); TO: Puente San Juan Tulijá

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

The Upper Tulijá is a wonderful advanced section of whitewater close to Palenque and should be considered as an additional day-trip to the similarly demanding main Agua Azul run. The water is usually clean and clear, there are numerous fun class III and IV rapids (and an intriguing waterfall), and there is the unique feature of seeing natural bridges along the river. This is a pretty full-on day’s paddle for advanced kayakers, so get an early start if you want to do it all. Otherwise, if you’re in a more relaxing mood or wanting to paddle only ~4 hours for the day, I’d suggest just doing the bottom 9 km run starting at San Marcos

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

Descent History: The river was descended by Rocky on January 24, 2012.

Flow Notes: Expect runnable flows all rainy season, and you might even get lucky in the dry season.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Palenque Mayan ruins.

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