Best White Water Rafting: Try These River Trips And Enjoy

Best White Water Rafting

Discover the best white water raft trips in our destination list.

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What are some of the best white water rafting experiences?

How do you know which one is right for you?

What are some features to look for when choosing the location that’s best for your needs?

Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Pick a place that you want to visit for other reasons, too.
  • Choose a destination you can afford to visit and stay in.
  • Find a location with rafting of the skill level you’re looking for.

Keep this in mind as you check out our list of rafting adventures around the world below.

Option #1. Grand Canyon

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$
Location: Arizona, USA

Duration of trips available:

  • Partial-day
  • Half-day
  • Full-day
  • Multi-Day

Raft through the Grand Canyon with one of several companies offering tours of this exciting landscape. There are rapids available for those with some skill as well as those who are very experienced.

Pros

  • Choose between several options when booking trips in this area.
  • There are generally tours available year-round.

Cons

  • Some tours may be very crowded.
  • Sometimes, the best white water rafting water levels may be too low for rafting.

Option #2. Futaleufu River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$$$$
Location: Chile

Duration of trips available:

  • Nine-day

This river includes rapids from Class II to Class V, so it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for when you book on this body of water.

Pros

  • There are plenty of other activities to enjoy along this river, too.
  • Most river tour companies include meals and camping.

Cons

  • Most trips are only available as packages with other activities.
  • This offer is a pricey trip.

Option #3. Zambezi River

Difficulty: Difficult
Price: $$$
Location: Africa

Duration of trips available:

  • Full-day
  • Two-day

This is a popular location that is touted as being one of the wildest single-day rafting trips around the world. The river allows both low-water and high-water rapids runs.

Pros

  • Low-water runs are exciting and turbulent.
  • High-water runs are a little slower but still quite challenging.

Cons

  • Both seasons are popular and book up fast.
  • There may be crocodiles present in this river.

Option #4. Noce River

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$
Location: Italy

Duration of trips available:

  • Two-hour
  • Half-day

This is one of the best locations in Europe for whitewater rafting. With many other outdoor activities to enjoy nearby, too, this beautiful location is perfect for a getaway.

Pros

  • Many companies also offer kayaking and canoeing options.
  • Kids are usually welcome on this river.

Cons

  • The season is short here and weather may be poor at some times of the year.
  • There aren’t many long tours available.

Option #5. Coruh River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$$
Location: Turkey

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-Day
  • Full-Day

The Coruh River in Turkey provides a great opportunity for rafting on fast rapids. This choice has become known as one of the top ten rafting locations in the world.

Pros

  • Many companies offer all-inclusive tours of this river.
  • The river is fast and intense, so it’s ideal for those who are looking for more of a challenge.

Cons

  • This river is only in season during June.
  • Although the best whitewater rafting river is open June through October, water levels are not always predictable outside of June.

Option #6. Magpie River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$$$$
Location: Canada

Duration of trips available:

  • Multi-day

For a chance to enjoy some incredible scenery and intense challenges on the best white water rafting water, too, consider the Magpie River in Canada. Most companies that tour this river will take guests for several days at a time to allow everyone to enjoy the Canadian wilderness as much as possible.

Pros

  • This river includes Class III to V rapids, so it’s a good challenge for many rafters.
  • There are plenty of plants and animals to spot along the way.

Cons

  • The water is quite cold and may be too cold at some times of the year.
  • Many of these tours are expensive in comparison to some others.

Option #7. Rio Upano

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$$$
Location: Ecuador

Duration of trips available:

  • Multi-day

There are several different levels of rapids represented throughout the Rio Upano. With many Class III rapids and a few Class IV, this is a great challenge for intermediate rafters and a fun day for more experienced rafters, too.

Pros

  • This trip includes lodging with most companies as well as rental equipment and food.
  • Many companies also include hiking and exploration options.

Cons

  • There are often only multi-day options available with no shorter trips to pick from.
  • The season is only a few months long.

Option #8. North Johnstone River

Difficulty: Difficult
Price: $$$$$
Location: Australia

Duration of trips available:

  • Multi-day

Desc

Pros

  • The trip is incredible, lengthy, and packed with amazing and indescribable scenery from start to finish.
  • These are technical rapids that are sure to please experienced rafters.

Cons

  • The season depends on rain and weather, so it usually only lasts from April through June.
  • This option is an advanced trip and inexperienced rafters will not be allowed to join.

Option #9. Sun Kosi River

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$$$
Location: Nepal

Duration of trips available:

  • Multi-day

When you’re looking for an incredible multi-day adventure on one of the best rivers in the world, look no further than Sun Kosi. This impressive river begins at the Tibet border and flows to the Ganges, and it’s packed with rapids from start to finish.

Pros

  • This offer is a great moderate adventure with a few challenging rapids and several mid-range ones.
  • The season is long and there are plenty of opportunities to book this river.

Cons

  • Most companies don’t offer a short option for this river.
  • This choice is a popular destination that may be booked up fairly far in advance.

Option #10. Rio Pacuare

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$$
Location: Costa Rica

Duration of trips available:

  • Full-day
  • Two-day
  • Multi-day

Enjoy your time rafting through the Class III and IV rapids on the Rio Pacuare. This river is 19 miles long and runs through rainforest scenery you’ll have to see to believe. You’ll view waterfalls and get up close and personal with wildlife, too, all while paddling through your watery adventure.

Pros

  • Many tours on this river include at least one meal, and some include several.
  • Overnight and multi-day tours also include lodging.

Cons

  • Some companies may not include all gear needed for your trip.
  • Some companies may require cancellation notice well in advance to avoid paying a fee for cancelling your trip.

Option #11. Alsek River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $
Location: Alaska

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day
  • Full-day
  • Multi-day

The Alsek River is in the Yukon and includes ice caps, lakes, and more among its stunning scenery. You may even see a bear or two as you race down the rapids on this river.

Pros

  • This river offers many different stretches and opportunities for difficult or moderate rapids.
  • This option is an expansive river that can be a multi-day trip if you choose.

Cons

  • There aren’t a lot of guided adventures on this river, so you may need to plan your trip on your own.
  • The river is not safe enough for most to travel solo.

Option #12. Middle Fork (Salmon River)

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$$$$
Location: Idaho, USA

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day
  • Full-day
  • Multi-day

Choose between different rapids levels when you opt for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Some rapids come in at Class I or II, while others on the best whitewater rafting river are more in the Class IV range. Many trips on this river are available as multi-day adventures for the whole family.

Pros

  • Longer trips often include other outdoor activities to enjoy on the best whitewater rafting river.
  • Many of these trips allow children as young as seven years old.

Cons

  • Many trips book a year or more in advance, so you will need to plan far ahead of time.
  • These trips may be very expensive in some instances.

Option #13. Chilko River

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$$$
Location: Canada

Duration of trips available:

  • Multi-day

Enjoy a week-long trip on the Chilko River to explore beautiful scenery and see sights you may have never experienced before. You’ll see the ecosystems around you shift from cold forests to deserts as you travel the 120 miles of this impressive river.

Pros

  • Most tours on this river include gear required for safe rafting.
  • Meals are included on multi-day adventures.

Cons

  • Most trips don’t include transportation to the departure site.
  • Children under 14 usually aren’t allowed on this river.

Option #14. Kali Gandaki River

Difficulty: Difficult
Price: $$$
Location: Nepal

Duration of trips available:

  • Two-day
  • Multi-day

Challenge yourself on the Kali Gandaki River! This river begins with some Class III rapids to help you practice and get ready for what lies ahead. From there, you’ll move into Class IV and Class V rapids for the rest of the excursion.

Pros

  • Guests can choose to go solo with a guide for a paddling adventure if they have a lot of experience.
  • Guests who are less experienced can go in a raft operated by the tour guide instead.

Cons

  • Children and inexperienced rafters of any age should not join this rafting tour.
  • There may not be as many opportunities for sightseeing on this river as there are on some others.

Option #15. Tuolumne River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$
Location: California, USA

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day
  • Full-day
  • Two-day
  • Multi-day

Near Yosemite, the Tuolumne River provides incredible scenery and exciting rapids for intermediate to advanced rafters. You can choose between many different experiences depending on the company you pick for your Tuolumne River tour.

Pros

  • Many companies offer wine and beer tasting or other add-ons along with their tours.
  • The river provides a good chance to camp and hike as well as raft.

Cons

  • Children under 16 are not permitted on many tours on this river.
  • The river may cause some rafts to flip.

Option #16. Rangitikei River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$
Location: New Zealand

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day

Enjoy rapids that begin at Class II and ramp up to Class V before tapering off once again on this river. The river can be enjoyed in just a few hours and provides lots of experiences for intermediate and advanced rafters.

Pros

  • Kids as young as 13 are welcome on this trip.
  • During the peak season, two trips depart per day with most tour companies.

Cons

  • During the off-season, companies may only run one trip per day.
  • Trips will be canceled if there aren’t enough people on a raft or if water levels are too low.

Option #17. River Sjoa

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $$$
Location: Norway

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day
  • Full-day

Families and solo adventurers alike will love the scenery and views on the River Sjoa. This is a smaller but no less impressive river than the others on our list, and companies usually give rafters a chance to learn the ropes before setting off on this body of water.

Pros

  • During some times of the year, companies may go down the best parts of the best whitewater rafting river twice.
  • Trips run during low and high water.

Cons

  • This river may not be as thrilling for advanced rafters as some others.
  • Despite being moderately difficult, younger kids are not allowed on this river.

Option #18. Tara River

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Price: $$
Location: Montenegro

Duration of trips available:

  • Full-day
  • Multi-day

The Tara River provides excellent scenery and plenty of other activities to enjoy when you’ve finished rafting, too. During peak season, water is high and the rapids are fierce; during the off-season, the best white water rafting water is low and the paddling is mild and pleasant.

Pros

  • There are plenty of add-ons and combinations available on this river from most companies.
  • The river can vary tremendously depending on the time of year when you visit.

Cons

  • Kids may not be allowed on longer trips or on this river at all during high water.
  • Some companies may cancel trips if they don’t have enough people on the raft.

Option #19. Telaga Waja River

Difficulty: Easy
Price: $
Location: Indonesia

Duration of trips available:

  • Half-day

This exciting adventure allows rafters and families alike to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bali. On this trip, rafters can view Hindu shrines and see plenty of local wildlife and plant life, too.

Pros

  • There are plenty of tours available on this river.
  • Guides are experienced and entertaining.

Cons

  • Although the best whitewater rafting river is generally safe for all ages, some companies may still have age limits.
  • The water may be very cold at some times of the year.

Discover The Best Whitewater Rafting On Your Next Adventure

Which of these destinations is the best for beginners to the world of rafting? The Noce River is a good place for beginners to test their skills and move up to the moderate level of rafting. It’s moderate, but it is possible to ease into the rapids on this river and enjoy the scenery at the same time.

On the other hand, which one is best for experienced rafters looking for adventure? The North Johnstone River is a challenging option that’s perfect for those in search of a more difficult river to tame.

Whichever river you choose, you’ll have a blast when you try any of the locations on our list above!

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