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Río San Cristóbal, Guatemala (area: Pacific Escuintla; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: IV+; Ave. Gradient: 29 m/km; Portages: yes; Length: 7.5 km; Time: 4 hours

Season: June to early November; rafts? no; Highlights: challenging creeking; Crux move: avoiding wood/sieves

Water Quality: decent; Water Temperature: not noted

PI: Finca El Baúl (525 m); TO: Santa road (310 m)

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

The Río San Cristóbal has a good bit of everything that I love, and a good bit of some things I don’t, in a Guatemalan coastal creek. Above the town of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, it has beautiful narrow jungly canyons of volcanic conglomerate bedrock with fast moving but too shallow water. With all the wood, though, you don’t want too much water. Below town, the river suffers from too much refuse.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I got on this in November 2009, with 550 cfs at the highway.

Flow Notes: It is rare to see a nice flow on the Río San Cristóbal. The Cenizas gauge can give you a hint to recent rain.

cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Sipicate beach.

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