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Río Calá, Guatemala (area: Cobán; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV-; Ave. Gradient: 14 m/km; Portages: none; Length: 13 km; Time: 2.5 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? no; Highlights: remote area; Crux move: making nice with the villagers

Water Quality: fair; Water Temperature: not noted

PI: Ojo de Agua (1080m); TO: Los Pajales (900m)

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

The Río Calá (a.k.a. Río Blanco) is an intermediate-level creek hiding out in a remote corner of the quiché Department. It has a lot of fun and easy class III drops on the way. The rapids become steeper and more bouldery near the end, leading into a short and shallow mini-gorge that is worth a scout. Unfortunately, the villagers at Los Pajales are suspicious of outsiders, and I don’t recommend venturing in here without prior negotiation. There is no road access in this area anyway, and it is a long and steep hike out. Contact me for more information.

Descent History: Maarten Bleijerveld and I explored this in July 2007.

Flow Notes: This run needs recent rains. There is no online gauge.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: not much in this area.

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