logo smallrivers | guidebooks | forums | tips | other

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

river photo

Class: III+; Ave. Gradient: 6 m/km; Portages: wood; Length: 15 km; Time: 3 hours

Season: June to December; rafts? no; Highlights: run; Crux move: catching the water

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Agua; TO: Zacapa

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

The Río Mestelá (a.k.a. Sachisay or Chío) is a pretty creek close to Cobán. It has long flat sections but affords a nice view of the Cobán countryside. In the beginning are some (covered) fern plantations. The best parts are in the middle with nice scenery and at the end with a good sequence of class III-/III+ rapids. In between are two obstacles: a terrible log jam caused by clear cutting (portaged on RL) and a 20-foot-high dam which also must be portaged. Contact me for more information.

Descent History: I explored this solo in August 2008.

Flow Notes: High water levels are needed to kayak the Mestelá.

cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Cuevas de Rey Marcos in Chamelco.

mayanwhitewater.com, the guide to the rivers of Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua © 2008-2021