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Top 10 Famous Rivers in Mexico

The deep canyons of Mexico are a blessing for the country. Most of the cities in Mexico prefer to obtain water from natural sources like rivers or lakes. Hence they make all possible efforts to protect these rivers flowing through the country. There are nearly 245 rivers in Mexico. It is quite a large number to fulfill the water requirement of 31 cities and the federal capital of the country. It is obvious that we cannot mention all rivers in Mexico though we have arranged a list of the longest and famous rivers in Mexico. So go through the list and acquire some knowledge about the famous rivers in Mexico.

List of Popular Rivers in Mexico 




1. Rio Grande

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Rio Grande

The Rio Grande is the longest river flowing through Mexico city. It originated from the  Gulf of Mexico and flowed through the United States and Mexico. The major part of the Rio Grande river flows through the Mexican country, i.e, more than 3000 km, and it is the largest portion of any river flowing in Mexico. There are so many bridges built over the Rio Grande river for both vehicles and pedestrians. These bridges built on rivers play a vital role in connecting two different parts of the city. 

Length: 3,034 km

Flowing through: United States, Mexico

Read more: Mexico to Visit on Christmas Eve

Read more: Famous Waterparks Near Cozumel, Mexico

2. Riviera Maya

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Riviera Maya

The 120 km of the crystal-clear turquoise shoreline of Riviera Maya is truly a pleasure to the eyes. The white-sand beaches on the coastline with the landscape view are also a motivation to come to Mexico. There are numerous resources built on the coastline that are ideal spots for tourists throughout the year. From June till November, the water stream is at its highest speed. You will be able to hear the sizzling sound of Flowing water from a distance. We consider Riviera Maya as one of the beautiful rivers to visit in Mexico because of its pictorial view.  

Length: 140 km

3. Rio Secreto

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Rio Secreto

Rio Secreto is a massive underground river in Mexico that flows beneath the thick bushes of the Riviera Maya. We consider Rio Secreto as a famous tourist destination in Mexico because of its remote location. Rio Secreto is also an ideal place for couples as it disconnects you from the entire work and hides you under the lap of nature. Visitors can easily reach the attraction point of Rio Secreto by hiring a private taxi from downtown Mexico. The mysterious landscape is located about an hour south of Cancun.  

Length: 38 km

Flowing through: Quintana Roo, Mexico 


4. Colorado River

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Colorado River

After the Rio Grande, the Colorado River is the second-longest river in Mexico, flowing through the country. Colorado originated from the Gulf of California and covered the entire country. It is also flowing through a few states of the USA, including  Yuma, Moab, Austin, San Luis Río, Colorado, Havasu lake city, and Bullhead. The overall length of the Colorado River in Mexico is 2,334 km. 

Length: 2,334 km

Termination point: Gulf of California

Flowing through: Bullhead City, San Luis Río Colorado, Yuma, Moab, Austin, Lake Havasu City, Glenwood Springs

Read More: Most Spectacular Mountains In Mexico

5. Grijalva River (Tabasco River)

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Grijalva River (Tabasco River)

Grijalva River is a famous river in Mexico located in the southeastern part of the country. It has an overall length of 480 Km. The former name of Grijalva is Tabasco River, and local people still call it by the same name. Juan de Grijalva, a Spanish conquistador visited Mexico in 1518 and found this river hence named as Grijalva River. The fast-flowing water of the Grijalva River looks disastrous from the shores. 

Length: 480 km

Flowing through: Villahermosa, Tabasco

Origin: Chiapas Highlands

6. Culiacán River

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Culiacán River

Culiacán River is one of the longest rivers in Mexico, with a measurable length of 875 km. It is a junction of two small rivers named Tamazula River and Humaya River. Most of the water scarcity of Sinaloa city is fulfilled by the renowned Culiacán River. If you are exploring the list of longest rivers in Mexico then do not forget to know about the Culiacán River.  Though Sinaloa is a state in Mexico, it is still famous in the entire country as it has the fifth largest river in Mexico. Culiacán River ends its journey by flowing down into the Gulf of California in the Pacific Ocean.

Length: 875 km

Source: Tamazula River and Humaya River

Termination point: The Gulf of California in the Pacific Ocean 


7. Balsas River (Atoyac River)

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Balsas River (Atoyac River)

Balsas River is one of Mexico’s longest rivers, with a length of nearly 771 kilometers. San Martin and Zahuapan rivers combinedly create the Balsas river in Guerrero district, Mexico. Another name of Balsas River is Atoyac River, and people mostly call it by this name only. The river is famous for its disastrous flood story, when in 1992 more than 500 houses located on the shore of the river were washed away by this river. The Balsas River originates from the San Martín River and terminates its journey in the Pacific Ocean.

Length: 771 km

Source: San Martín River

Termination point: Pacific Ocean

Read More: Beautiful Churches in Mexico

8. Rio Lerma

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Rio Lerma

Lerma river occupies the seventh position in the list of longest rivers in Mexico, with a total stretch of 750 km. The long river originates from the Mexican Plateau in west-central Mexico and ends in Lake Chapala. From the origin till its termination point, it flows through Querétaro, Michoacán, and Guanajuato states in Mexico. This river was formerly used for irrigation purposes by local peoples in the Spanish period. Due to agricultural run-off and dumping of industrial waste, now it has been turned into the most polluted river. As per a report issued by the Scientists, there is no oxygen left in the water; hence biologically, we can also call this a Dead river.

Length: 750 km

Origin: Almoloya del Río, Mexican Plateau 

Terminating point: Lake Chapala

9. Rio Conchos

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Rio Conchos

Five hundred sixty kilometers long river Conchos is one of the top 10 longest rivers in Mexico that passes through fourteen municipalities in Chihuahua state. The Sierra Madre Occidental is the origin point of the Conchos river which is also the tourist destination of the country. The cool breeze flowing across the Conchos river will definitely soothe your soul. So, if you are exploring the famous rivers in Mexico then you can definitely place the Conchos river on your list. Conchos is the major irrigation source for the north Mexican people. Conchos is also one of the six rivers combined for the tourist destination of Copper Canyon.

Length: 560 km

Source: Sierra Madre Occidental

Endpoint: Rio Grande 


10. Fuerte River 

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Fuerte River

The Fuerte River in northwestern Mexico originated from the Chihuahua state. It is a junction of two less-known rivers named Verde and Urique. The overall length of the Fuerte River, including the Verde and Urique river, is 540 km, and it flows through multiple states in Mexico. The Sierra Madre Occidental is the origin of the Fuerte River; it ends down in the Gulf of California in Mexico. 

Length: 540 km

Endpoint: Gulf of California

Starting point: Sierra Madre Occidental

Read More: Best Places to Visit in Cozumel

Rivers are an integral part of the ecosystem, and in Mexico, there are plenty of them. We have accumulated a list of some important rivers located in Mexico City. Some of these rivers are also listed among the longest rivers in Mexico. The broad Caribbean coastline is enough to tell us that the city has many rivers that supply water to the country for different purposes. 

Ritu Singh

Hello everyone,
I am Ritu, a Travel guide at Adequate travel. Here I am sharing my personal experiences which can be helpful to you while planning your trips.

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