Motagua River

Motagua River


The Motagua River is a 486 km long river in Guatemala. It rises in central Guatemala to the north-east of Guatemala City and runs north-east to east to the Gulf of Honduras. The final few kilometres of the river form part of the Guatemala/Honduras border. The Motagua river basin covers an area of 12,670 km2 and is the largest in Guatemala.

The river runs in a valley that has the only known source of jade in Mesoamerica, and was an important commerce route during the Pre Columbine era. The important Maya site of Quirigua, is near the river's north bank, as well as several smaller sites with jade quarries and workshops. Guatemala sits over the subduction zone of the Cocos plate, with the North American plate grinding along the Caribbean plate at the Motagua valley.


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