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Río Shutaque, Upper, Guatemala (area: Low Motagua; click here for the Guatemala table of rivers)

river photo

Class: III+; Ave. Gradient: 8 m/km; Portages: one class V- rapid; Length: up to 25 km; Time: up to 3 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? from San Jacinto; Highlights: creeky canyons; Crux move: catching the water

Water Quality: poor; Water Temperature: not noted

PI: Tutúnico bridge (620m) or lower; TO: Vado Hondo (420m)

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

The Río Shutaque is the largest tributary of the Río San josé, which ain’t sayin much. But if you are lucky you have a chance at some nice intermediate creeking. It moves along pretty quick without the need for a lot of scouting.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater Guatemala guidebook.

Descent History: I ran this solo in September 2008, with 100 cfs at the PI.

Flow Notes: The Upper Río Shutaque is quite hard to catch. When the Gualán gauge shoots above 2.5 you start to have a chance. The Esquipulas rain gauge can also show the rain patterns.

cfs graph cfs graph

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Copán Mayan ruins across the Honduran border; Esquipulas cathedral pilgrimage site an hour away.

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