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Río Nil, Upper & Lower, Guatemala (area: Pacific West; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV-; Ave. Gradient: 21m/km in Upper, 10 m/km in Lower; Portages: one in Lower; Length: 13.5 + 23 km; Time: 2 + 4 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? no; Highlights: beautitul jungle; Crux move: hike in on the Upper, getting around the dam on the Lower

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: cool

PI: Finca San juan Bautista (515 m), or CA-2 (237m); TO: CA-2 or Caballo Blanco (60 m)

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

The Río Nil is a gorgeous little creek and about as pristine a one as you will find on the Pacific coast. The Upper section starts in a coffee finca, and adding to the atmosphere is a 25-minute hike down a steep ravine to the PI.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I first ran the Río Nil solo in September 2005, with 150 cfs at the PI

Flow Notes: You need heavy, recent rain for a good level on the Río Nil. The gauge, when working, can give you a pretty good idea if that is happening. I don't have correlation data however. Otherwise you can check the flow at the highway bridge, km 190.1. The new El Manantial hidro project up in the headwaters may have a debilitating effect on the Nil in the future but hopefully not a major one.

cfs graph cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Takalik Abaj Mayan ruins.

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