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Río Arriquín, Guatemala (area: High Motagua; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV+ (V-); Ave. Gradient: 13 m/km; Portages: maybe a couple; Length: up to 18 km; Time: up to 5 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? no; Highlights: lots of gorges; Crux move: some technical challenges

Water Quality: decent; Water Temperature: cold

PI: Estanzuela bridge (1510 m), or Potrero Viejo Tres hike-in (1575 m); TO: Puente El Arco (1350 m)

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

Thee Río Arriquín is a dandy when the water is way up. The best section is the lower 11 km from the Estanzuela bridge to the Puente El Arco. It contains more gorged-in class IV rapids than perhaps any other run in Guatemala. In between the gorges with rapids, are more gorges without rapids. In other words, it is awesome. The rock varieties you see are also fascinating if you allow yourself to be distracted.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I got on this one in October 2014, on a much higher than average flow day, with about 225 cfs below Potrero Viejo Tres and 700 cfs at the TO.

Flow Notes: The closest online gauge is way downstream at Gualán, which was not working the day of my run. The gauge at Morales is even further downstream. You need the luck of recent heavy rain to catch this one. However, I would think twice about putting on if you see extra high flows (> 500 cfs at Estanzuela, rare).

cfs graph cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Mixco Viejo Mayan ruins near the PI for the Río Motagua Middle section.

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