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Seven Great White Water Rafting Destinations

Seven Great White Water Rafting Destinations
June 17
08:00 2015

White water rafting is a wonderful way to experience the thrill of careering down a river gorge and bouncing through some of the biggest rapids possible, and it is an activity that has become very popular around the world. There are certain features that make for great rafting destinations, and along with the exciting rapids there also needs to be beautiful scenery and generally a natural rhythm to the river, where the rapids build up into the larger grade rapids, to give people time to acclimatize. Here are seven of the top destinations in the world if you are looking for a rafting trip.

Rangitikei River, New Zealand

As the world’s capital of adventure sports, it is no surprise to see that New Zealand has embraced white water rafting, and the Rangitikei River is probably the best in a country which has a wealth of rafting options. Set in a lovely rural part of the North Island, the rapids here are superb, with ten different grade V sections located within a single half day trip, and the warm welcome offered by the riverside lodge at the end of the rafting trip really helps to make this a special experience.


Zambezi River, Zimbabwe & Zambia

Often overlooked because of the fact that it is in Africa, the Zambezi River offers some of the best rafting in the world, and in a single day trip can cram in over twenty individual sections of rapids that are truly spectacular. The chance to visit the nearby Victoria Falls and enjoy other activities such as going on safari also helps to make this trip special, and is a run that will leave you exhilarated and exhausted by the end of the day.

Grand Canyon National Park, USA

The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic locations in the world, and while the rapids are good, it is the scenery that many people will come here for. The rafting here is very good, although the crowds in the summer means that the best experiences are usually had in spring or fall, when there are fewer people around. The trips along the river range from shorter three day trips up to two week adventures, meaning this is a great destination for those looking for a longer vacation on the river.


Pacuare River, Costa Rica

The setting for this rafting trip on the Pacuare River is one of the best in Central America, with a route that runs from the Arenal Volcano down towards the nearby Caribbean Sea. The rapids here are mainly grade III and IV, but they come thick and fast and make for a really exciting trip, while the narrow river gorge provides the best of the action, before opening up into a valley where you can really appreciate the natural surroundings.

Tryweryn River, National Whitewater Centre, UK

Located in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park, this adventure provides some excellent rafting conditions through mainly grade III and IV rapids. As the river is controlled by a dam release at the top of the river, it means the conditions are consistent for much of the year, and the Ski Jump is a two tier rapid which is one of the most exciting along the route.


Rangitata River, New Zealand

When you get off the bus to start your journey, you might find that the stunning valley before you looks a little bit familiar, because like many parts of New Zealand it was selected to appear in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy. The rest of the journey is very beautiful too, although the thrills of the grade V rapids will distract you for a while. The beautiful surroundings and the barbecue at the lodge at the end of the trip complete a great day in this part of the South Island.

Rio Misahualli, Ecuador

Considered to be the most technical and challenging rafting trip available in Ecuador, the white water here is very good, and is usually undertaken as a day trip through the river valley where there are plenty of big rocks and big rapids to traverse. When the rapids do give you a few moments of respite, you can appreciate the beauty of the surrounding jungle before you hit the next section of white water.

About Author

Michael - Go See Write

Michael - Go See Write

In late 2008, Michael closed down his legal practice of ten years to embark on a quest to circle the globe without getting on a single airplane. Sixteen months, six continents, and forty-four countries later, he succeeded and he has just kept going since. He is a permanent traveler that specializes in slower, overland travel all around the world. Go See Write


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