Whitewater rafting is one of the most popular and exciting water sports in the world.
It began to gain popularity in the 1970s when it first became a part of the Olympic Games. Today, it is estimated that around 9-10 million have tried whitewater rafting at least once in their lifetime.
Practiced commercially and privately around the world, this thrilling river activity is now a popular water sport, and there are good reasons for that.
not only allows you to view the amazing landscape of the breathtaking rivers, but also allows you to feel the turbulent water rushing down the river.
Today more and more people are planning vacations away from the urban towns, closer to nature.
Rafting provides an exhilarating opportunity for such tourists. It is a great way to spend time with friends and is one of the best ways to make your vacation a memorable one.
So if you are a nature lover and an adrenaline junkie, strap on your vests and helmets to paddle and bounce in the raging rivers.
There are numerous popular rafting places around the world which provide a quality experience. But each one is different.
No two rafting locations in the world will provide the same experience as they are not created equal. If you are looking for the best whitewater rafting experiences in the world, this post is for you.
Below you can have a detailed description of the 6 popular rafting places that will give you memories to last a lifetime.
Colorado River – USA
The first on our list in the Colorado River in the US. It is indeed one of the ultimate travel destinations of the world.
No lists of great whitewater rafting can ever be complete without mentioning the mighty Colorado River of the US.
Carved out of the Grand Canyon, the famous water way spreads for more than 277 miles along different parts of Northern Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
The best part of this river is that you can enjoy moments of gushing water followed by the serenity of the flat sections of the river. This gives you an opportunity to enjoy the special view of the Canyon.
The trekking trails and amazing campsites will follow your rafting ride. While you can enjoy whitewater rafting in as little as a single day, to make the most of your visit, you should spend at least two weeks at the site.
The whitewater rafting experience of Colorado River will give you a deep connection with nature along with moments of absolute thrill and excitement which you won’t find in any adventure park.
Therefore, this rafting experience should be on a “must-do” list of every adventurer who is planning a trip with rafting in mind.
Zambezi River – Zimbabwe/Zambia
This one has to be one of the most popular rafting places in the world. With a dramatic rafting experience which flows through 6 countries, Zambezi River is indeed Africa’s best whitewater destination.
It starts right below the magnanimous 36 feet high Victoria Falls with breathing Africa in the background. Rafting in Zambezi River is exciting because there are a total of 23 rapids within a stretch of 15 miles.
Nowhere else on the planet can you experience so many dips within such a limited stretch. This makes rafting in Zambezi River one of the best rafting experiences in the world.
A trip to Zambezi River will not only give you an enthralling rafting experience but will also provide a chance to see some of the Africa’s famous creatures including hippopotamuses, elephants and crocodiles.
A few hour trip is enough for rafting but if you intend to fully explore the region, make sure you send a couple of days.
Also, the water level in Zambezi River change significantly throughout the year. So if you are planning a trip, make sure you are aware of the seasonal changes in water levels.
Rio Upano – Ecuador
Also known as the “River of the Sacred Waterfalls”, Rio Upano is one the most popular rafting places in Ecuador. The 35 mile long river stretches from the remote town of Macas and takes you through narrow canyons along the way.
Rio Upano is one of the most popular whitewater rafting place because it offers a variety of rapids. From gentle to raging rapids, Rio Upano is ideal for both beginner and advanced level rafters.
If you want to experience a certain section of the river, a few hours trip is enough but if you want to fully immerse in the beauty of this river, then you will need a tour which continue for a couple of days.
To reach Rio Upano, you need to fly to Macas. Over the next couple of days, you can go down the river and spend the night at various camp sites.
The ups and downs of the river is not the only attraction. The scenic view of the dense rainforests which allows you encounter a variety of wildlife, makes this part of the world truly incredible.
Magpie River – Canada
Canada is the country with numerous popular rafting places but the Magpie River in the Quebec Province is just the best.
The breath taking adventure begins with a flight to Magpie River which continues for a week. It can take up to 8 days to completely descent the river itself.
As travelers move down the river, they can explore the dense pine forests which are home to numerous species of plants and fish.
While the forest provides an opportunity to be close to nature, the raged rapids of the river will give an adrenaline rush which will challenge you both physically and mentally.
When you stop over for the night, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind. You can go for a hike or enjoy fishing for trout at the perfect blue waters of the Magpie River.
In all, this rafting in this river provides the perfect opportunity of adventure along with relaxation.
Middle Fork of Salmon River – USA
The Middle Fork of Salmon River, Idaho is another popular rafting place in America. Though it is a perfect adventure for beginner rafters, the rapids along the Middle Fork can offer an exciting experience for even advanced level rafters.
From start to finish, the altitude of the river drops by 3,000 feet. However, one of the highlights of this popular rafting place is when you go through the Big Drop.
Here, you will notice an 80 feet dip in the height of the river which goes through a narrow chute which is only 18 feet wide.
The scenery along the river is just a bonus on this trip. The snow covered peaks which are way taller than the granite canyons and thick forests offer a spectacular view. This popular rafting place is an example of one of the most classic rafting destinations in the world.
Chilko River – Canada
Canada is the home to various popular rafting places. But none can be compared to the other. Each rafting place is diverse and exceptional.
This 47 mile long Chilko River is one of the many rivers which are fast and furious but truly enjoyable. The never-ending high rapids of the river are great fun whether you are traveling with friends or on your own.
The adventure filled rafting trip begins with a breath taking flight into William LakesIf you fully want to enjoy the depth of the river, it can take up to a week but a few hours rafting will give a brief view of the natural beauty along the river.
As you raft down the Chilko, Chilcotin and Fraser River in British Columbia, you get to see the lush, dense forests and travel through narrow canyons.
You can camp or hike as you stop over to spend the night or can fish in the crystalline waters of the Canadian rivers. If you want to indulge in adventure combined with serenity, Chilko River is a must visit place for you.
Futaleufú River – Chile
Only a few places in this world are as beautiful as Patagonia in the Southern part of Chile. And there are not many ways to fully explore the environment other than rafting is the Futaleufú River.
As you move along the river, you can experience a combination of high and low rapids which makes this river ideal for all types of rafters.
As you move down the river, some of the breathtaking sights are bound to distract you from the rafting adventure.
The Andes Mountain Range makes for a dramatic background to the crystal clear waters of the Futaleufú River. Rafting along Futaleufú River is a beautiful ride which is only occasionally interrupted by some powerful rapids.
There are many other popular rafting places in the world but this is our list of 6 most popular rafting places. Can you come up with some more destinations which should be added here?
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