The Agua Azul

By Ben Stooksberry

Copyright © 2004, Ben Stooksberry and Oregon Kayaking. No part of this page may be reproduced, linked, or copied without the express written permission of Ben Stooksberry and the Oregon Kayaking Webmaster.

All of the drops featured in this report can be seen in the upcoming film from Ashland Mine Productions, No Big Names II: AMPED.

The Rio Agua Azul is located in Chiapas, Mexico's southern most state. At first glance, the Agua Azul appears to be just another tourist attraction, but the avid class V creek enthusiast will find much more! The boating in this area is best immediately following the rainy season in December and January.

With three major one mile long traversing channels, the Agua Azul is the creeking equivalent of the White Nile. You can spend an entire day hiking, boating, and swimming each channel.

Maybe my Embudo will keep me off the bottom... Ben Stookesberry rips over a 55 footer in the river-right (first) channel on the Agua Azul.

Ben runs a large dome-shaped falls downstream on the first channel

The middle channel on the Agua Azul offers a nice mix between huge travertine (limestone) slides and a amazing double drop. The pictures included here are from a high water day after a bit of rain.

Eric Seymour runs a long slide in the middle channel of the Agua Azul

Ben runs the first part of a large double-drop in the Middle Channel

Looking upstream at the double drop

The river left or 3rd channel contains the best travertine (limestone) slides on the run. Some of these are over 1/2 mile long.

Ben runs the 3rd channel on the Agua Azul

Along with the three main sections, there are numerous other lower volume subchannels that wind through the jungle..

Goofing off a little on one of the subchannels.. Joe Ellis does a flip into a pool below a small ledge

After about two miles, all of the Agua Azul's channels come back together for a grande finale cascada. These are the five fabled falls of the Agua Azul.

On Christmas day 2002, Joe Ellis and Eric Seymour completed the first complete raft descent of this lower section.

In the middle of the five falls section..

Eric and Joe brace for impact on the last of the five falls