Pasión River

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Pasión River (Río de la Pasión)
Car ferry crossing Río la Pasión at Sayaxché (1994)
Country Guatemala
 - location Alta Verapaz
 - elevation 200 m (656 ft)
 - coordinates 16°00′40″N 90°01′52″W / 16.01111°N 90.03111°W / 16.01111; -90.03111
Mouth Usumacinta River
 - coordinates 16°28′52″N 90°32′39″W / 16.48111°N 90.54417°W / 16.48111; -90.54417Coordinates: 16°28′52″N 90°32′39″W / 16.48111°N 90.54417°W / 16.48111; -90.54417
Length 353.9 km (220 mi) [1]
Basin 12,156 km2 (4,693 sq mi) [1]
 - average 322.8 m3/s (11,400 cu ft/s) [1]

The Pasión River (Spanish: Río de la Pasión, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o ðe la paˈsjon]) is a river located in the northern lowlands region of Guatemala. The river is fed by a number of upstream tributaries whose sources lie in the hills of Alta Verapaz. These flow in a general northerly direction to form the Pasión, which then tends westwards to meet up with the Salinas River at 16°28′52″N 90°32′39″W / 16.48111°N 90.54417°W / 16.48111; -90.54417 (Convergence Salinas and Pasión rivers). At this confluence the greater Usumacinta River is formed, which runs northward to its eventual outlet in the Gulf of Mexico.[1] The Pasión River's principal tributaries are the San Juan River, the Machaquila River, and the Cancuén River.

The riverine drainage system of the Pasión and its tributaries covers an area of over 5,000 km², and forms a watershed for a substantial portion of the present-day Guatemalan department of Petén's western half.[2][3]

The Pasión river basin is recognized as an archaeological region or zone, and contains a number of archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, which to an extent shared some commonalities in Maya architectural style, political history and glyphic conventions. Maya ceremonial and urban centers located within the region include Dos Pilas, Tamarindito, Altar de Sacrificios, Aguateca, Seibal and Machaquila.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d INSIVUMEH. "Principales ríos de Guatemala". 
  2. ^ Houston (1993), p.11.
  3. ^ INSIVUMEH data suggest the river basin covers a territory of 12,156 km². INSIVUMEH. "Principales ríos de Guatemala". 
  4. ^ See Houston (1993) fig.2-1, also pp.10–14.


  • Houston, Stephen D. (1993). Hieroglyphs and History at Dos Pilas: Dynastic Politics of the Classic Maya. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-73855-2.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)