Class: III+; Ave. Gradient: 5 m/km; Portages: if water is low; Length: 18-24km; Time: 6-10 hours.
Season: June to January; rafts? hard work; Highlights: travertine falls, wildlife; Crux move: pencilling in
Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: medium.
PI: San Benito Poite road (elev: 108m); TO: Jordan bridge
Description: (click here for general notes about my descriptions)
The Moho is a delight for fans of travertine (who isn't?) and fans of nature. The river staircases through a jungle filled with birds and howler monkeys. Commercial groups often take their time and enjoy it over 2-3 days, though it can easily be done in one day if you get an early start and are willing to keep paddling during the long stretch of flat water at the bottom.
With my pacing, I found the river divided into three equal parts time-wise. The top third of the run is the busiest, with lots of slides and waterfalls, up to 15 feet high. You'll be getting out of your boat often to scout the line. In the middle third, the drops becomed more spaced out. The bottom third is flat.
For a longer run you can start further up at San Benito Poite, which adds 6km of river and 45 m of elevation drop.
One thing that can add to the run time is the presence of a lot of logs in the river. Island Expeditions cancels their trips some years due to this issue. In 2005 it was ok, but ask Island Expeditions or SeaKunga for the latest conditions.
Flash Flood Danger: normal. There are no constricted sections, and the steepest/slowest part is at the beginning.
Descent History: The first descent was in 1993 by Tim Boys (of Island Expeditions) and his friend Silvano. It is run commercially in inflatable kayaks (by Island Expeditions and SeaKunga and others). My description is based on a December 2005 run with a flow of about 250 cfs.
Flow Notes: There is no on-line gage for the Moho or nearby rivers, so you'll have to judge it for yourself at the TO bridge. At the beginning or end of the season the river might be low and scrapy; heavy rains can make it uncomfortably high (brown and wavy at the Jordan bridge).
Shuttle Notes: To get to the TO, find the San Antonio turn off the Southern Highway, 20 km north of Punta Gorda. After passing the village of Mafredi, take your next left turn, then go straight on 16 km to the Jordan bridge (1 hour total from the Southern Highway). To get to the PI, continue 15 minutes to Santa Teresa, where you take a right turn onto the San Benito Poite road and follow it 30 minutes to the river (high-clearance required, 4x4 recommended). There is a good PI 300m up from the point where you first see the river. To get to the upper PI follow the road further until it crosses a bridge just before San Benito Poite. The road near the Jordan bridge can be underwater during rainy periods.
Accommodations: There is a basic community guest house in Blue Creek, 20 minutes before the Jordan bridge. The budget Back-A-Bush Guesthouse in San Miguel is well-reviewed, and I can also recommend the mid-range Farm Inn near San Antonio. There are several other upscale resorts in the area.
Nearby Tourist Attractions: Labaantum archeological site. In the dry season you can explore the Hokeb Ha Cave in Blue Creek.