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

river photo

Class: III; Ave. Gradient: 1 m/km; Portages: none; Length: 21 km; Time: 3 hours

Season: year-round; rafts? yes; Highlights: the Icbolay cave, and birding; Crux move: III+ San Luis Palo Grande rapid

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Rocjá Pantilá (155m); TO: highway bridge (135m)

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

The Río Icbolay is another mostly-flat river in the Chisec area, but it has some special features. one is its location, near the protected Lachuá National Park and other nearby untouched hills. This makes the Río Icbolay a good place to spot rare rainforest birds. Another feature is the Icbolay cave 5 km upstream from Rocjá Pantilá. The place where the river re-emerges is a beautiful spot and worth the trip in itself. Another nice feature is that the spring-fed river maintains some flow year-round.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: My wife, Alice Lee, and I ran this in January 2007, with a 1,400 cfs flow.

Flow Notes: The Río Icbolay always has enough water to paddle as far as I know, but follows the normal seasonal variations.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Lachuá National Park.

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