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Río Anamorós, El Salvador (region: East; click here for the El Salvador table of rivers)

river photo

Class: III; Ave. Gradient: 5 m/km; Portages: none; Length: up to 24 km; Time: up to 4 hours

Season: June to October; rafts? no; Highlights: easy creeking; Crux Move: catching the water

Water Quality: ok; Water Temperature: medium

PI: Los Umanzor (elev.: 205m); TO: El Sauce

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

The Anamorós is a fun little creek that's hard to catch. But if you're looking for class III in eastern El Salvador or southern Honduras, it's your only option.

A good portion of the class III is packed in the first 8 km between the upper PI at Los Umanzor and the town of Anamorós. In this mostly road-side section the river is fairly wide open and the rapids are straigtforward.

Below Anamorós things are a little more varied. The first 6 km are similar to the above section and also road-side. The next 4 km or so you find the trickiest rapids of the river and a pretty mini-gorge. The volcanic bedrock formations are quite striking. The rest of the run is mostly class I and II to the first bridge at El Sauce.

For barely-intermediate paddlers, or those looking for a not-too-long run, I recommend taking-out after the first 14 km. The only tricky part here is coordinating the exact spot. There are several potential access points, none of which I've actually investigated to detail, so I can only suggest scouting out a suitable spot with your driver somewhere on the Anamorós road in the 5 km south of town (Google Earth will help here).

Expect (hope for) brown water.

Flash Flood Danger: normal.

Descent History: The only known descent was in July 2005 by Greg Schwendinger.

Flow Notes: You have to be lucky to catch a boatable flow on the Anamorós, though an online gage at the TO helps considerably. The other interesting gage is Río Goascoran-Oriente upstream of the confluence with the Goascorán. My impressions are with 200 cfs at the PI.

cfs graph

click here for the SNET boletín, or go to the maps

Shuttle Notes: Find the turn-off to Anamorós about 3 km east of Santa Rosa de Lima on the Ruta Militar highway. From there it's about 20 minutes north to Anamorós on a paved road. To get to the upper PI, find the dirt road on the other side of town heading to Lislique and follow it 5.8 km (3 km before Lislique) to an area called Los Umanzor with some houses and a 50m-long path leading to the river. There are other potential access points north and south of Anamorós.

To reach El Sauce, backtrack towards the Ruta Militar but turn east onto a paved road 3 km before reaching it. In 10 minutes you will reach El Sauce. There is a bridge on the north/upstream side of town which makes a good meeting spot.

For those without a car, there is public transportation on these roads, but I don't know how often.

Accommodations: You can find a hospedaje in Anamorós, or stay in Santa Rosa (30 minutes away) or San Miguel (90 minutes away).

Nearby Tourist Attractions: There are little-visited secluded islands in the Gulf of Fonseca that you reach via La Unión.

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