Where to go white water rafting

Our white-water rafting map and highlights follow rivers as they flow through some of the world’s great wildernesses. You’ll float between plunging canyon walls, condors floating on air currents above; through deep forests where bears prowl abandoned mining camps, past lakes and waterfalls fed by huge upstream glaciers. Many of these wilderness areas continue to be stewarded by the Indigenous peoples who have called them home for many centuries. Our responsible rafting partners take care to acknowledge ancient territorial rights in places they pass.

1. Canada

Rafting can take you deep into the Canadian wilderness, but rather than feeling like you’re battling against nature, you feel completely immersed in it. In part that comes from the fact that it’s the river dictating the direction and speed of travel, but another element is the chance to meet with Indigenous Innu guides who can fill you in on the region’s culture as well as the various ecosystems at play.

2. Chile

The vast Patagonian wilderness can make for an epic backdrop to rafting adventures in Chile. Epic white-water sections up to Class V are interspersed with calmer stretches where you can down paddles and instead soak up the magnificent scenery here, composed of forested mountains and volcanoes. Rafting can be combined with other activities too, from hikes to horseback rides.

3. Croatia

Packrafting expeditions in Croatia see you hiking around places like Plitvice Lakes National Park with a one-person raft on your back. Whenever you reach the water you just quickly inflate it and hop in. These rafts are so small that you can access narrow channels that other vessels cannot. You, your guide and the rest of the group will very quickly be in the middle of peaceful rapids and waterfalls.

4. Montenegro

The River Tara flows through Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park, and rafting tours here roam some truly spectacular landscapes including the deepest canyon in the world. May is the perfect time for rafting in Montenegro, snowmelt giving waterfalls and rapids greater volume. There are more than 50 ‘rapid runs’ on the Tara, so expect plenty of challenge mixed with quieter patches.

5. USA

Family-friendly white-water rafting can be enjoyed in states such as Oregon and Idaho, with the Salmon, Snake and Rogue rivers all promising superb small group adventures. River guides with years of experience steward their vessels safely around the rapids. These trips also contribute to conservation projects in the wilderness areas they pass through.

6. Tasmania

Tasmania’s Franklin River is one of the world’s last truly wild rivers. It is lined with staging posts whose names give some indication to rafters of the exploits that lie ahead: the Cauldron, the Lost World, the Black Forest and Deliverance Reach. Expeditions require no previous experience, just fitness, a bold sense of adventure, and the ability to work as part of a team.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about White-water rafting or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Chandan Chaurasia] [Canada: David Stanley] [Chile: pxfuel] [Croatia: Michael Panse] [Montenegro: Jasmine Halki] [USA: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington] [Tasmania: Toni Fish]