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Río Chocoljá, Main, Mexico (area: East; click here for the Chiapas table of rivers)

river photo

Class: III-; Ave. Gradient: 2 m/km; Portages: 2 x III+; Length: 15 to 35 km; Time: 4 to 8 hours

Season: June to February; rafts? with some carries; Highlights: scenery; Crux Move: applying sunscreen

Water Quality: good; Water Temperature: warm

PI: Chocoljá bridge (elev.: 118m); TO: El Eden or Bonfis or Netzahualcóyotl

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

The Main Chocoljá is a scenic float through a lovely valley. You will see many birds, and possible some howler monkeys, along the way, as well as pass a few low-volume travertine rapids which provide a bit of excitement. The Chocoljá also provides an alternative shortcut entrance to the canyon section of the Río Usumacinta.

A full description is in the Mayan Whitewater: Chiapas & Belize guidebook.

Flow Notes: There is no useful online gauge, you'll have to check the flow at the bridge. For those willing to carry once in a while, the pools can be floated and enjoyed year-round. There seems to always be enough in the lower parts for kayakers to run out to the Usumacinta. My impressions are with about 200 cfs at the highway bridge.

Accommodations: Palenque is the natural staging point and has a wide variety of hotels. There are other hotels closer to the PI on the border highway. I can recommend the economical Camino Verde hotel at km 54 (Ricardo Flores Magón village) near the Bonfis turn.

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Chocoljá waterfall; Piedras Negras ruins via Busilhá; you are also halfway from Palenque to the Bonampak and Yaxchilán ruins.

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