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Río Copón, Lower*, Guatemala (area: Chisec; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: III; Ave. Gradient: 4 m/km; Portages: none; Length: 20 km + Chixoy; Time: 3 hrs + Chixoy

Season: year-round; rafts? yes; Highlights: pretty gorges; Crux move: making nice with the locals

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: cold

PI: Ascención Copón (300 m); TO: Lower Chixoy

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

*This run is in a politically sensitive area. The villagers in the Copón area are maintaining a no-visitors allowed policy. One person
entering the area who was working for the Project was killed in 2006, and anyone suspected of similar activities risks the same fate. Don't chance it.*

The Lower Río Copón would normally be run as part of a full Copón expedition. However, this area is extremely delicado due to the long-standing opposition to the Xalalá hydroelectric project proposed for the Río Chixoy, which would flood this entire section.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: The first descent was a rafting expedition with one paddle raft and two oar rafts, camping 4 nights on the river, executed in January 2006 by trip planner Roberto Rodas with head guide Bruce Keller.

Flow Notes: The only useful online gauge is far downstream on the larger Río Chixoy; it may give a hint about relative levels. This section always has enough water for kayaking, though I would not suggest it for raft ing from March to May.

cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Getting to and experiencing this remote part of the country is an experience in itself.

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