The 7 Best Rivers to Go Rafting

Rafting is a sport for the brave, but there are family-friendly routes as well, usually in lower whitewater rafting classes.
The 7 Best Rivers to Go Rafting

Last update: 07 March, 2020

River navigation, commonly known as rafting, is a sport in which adrenaline is surely present. Would you like to try it? In this article, we’ll tell you the best rivers to go rafting.

Seven amazing rivers for rafting

Jumping on a raft, a kayak, or a canoe and exploring the rapids of a river is, without a doubt, a wonderful experience. It’s the perfect activity to do on vacation for those who love adventure. The best rivers in the world to go rafting are:

1. Sunkoshi River, Nepal

Known as “the golden river”, it originates in Tibet and flows through the Himalayas. In a 273 kilometer route, from the Dolaghat to the Chatra Gorge, strong emotions are guaranteed: rough water, rapids, and steep valleys are waiting for you.

And not just that. Its surroundings are also tourism-worth, between mountain villages and beach camping. The Sunkoshi River (the one in the picture above) is usually best in September and January. Otherwise, it’s impassable.

2. Rafting: Upano River, Ecuador

This is one of the most important rivers in South America to go rafting since it combines quiet areas to enjoy the landscapes, and intense zones to set on an adventure.

The Upano River, one of the best rivers for rafting.

One particular place in the Upano River that you’ll want to see is the Quebrada Namangoza, with beautiful waterfalls.

3. Magpie River, Ontario, Canada

Located in Ontario, in order to get to this river, you have to go by seaplane since it’s not accessible from the traditional routes. The Magpie River allows tourists not only to do rafting in rapids of classes 1 and 4, but it also has amazing landscapes and even more spectacular auroras.

Rafting in the Magpie River

4. Rafting: Futaleufú River, Chile

Futaleufú, which means “big river”, goes through the Andes Mountains and has a total surface (shared with Argentina) of 6,788 kilometers. With blue waters coming from the melting glaciers, and rapids of classes 4 and 5, it’s possible for both beginners and experts to go rafting in it. The best season to sail Futaleufú is from December to March.

Futaleufu River, in Chile.

5. Çoruh River, Turkey

Want to go rafting overseas? You can visit this marvelous Turkish river to get your dose of adrenaline. However, this is for experts only, since the rapids are somewhat dangerous.

Coruh River, Turkey-

The Çoruh River’s natural surroundings are astonishing; between waterfalls, you’ll be able to see animals such as vultures, and the Syrian brown bear in their natural habitats.

6. Rafting: Colorado River, USA

This river has become one of the most popular rafting locations. Between Colorado’s brown muddy waters and the extraordinary Grand Canyon views, there are 42 whitewater rapids and ancient geological formations waiting for you. 

Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

So, what’s the best time of the year to go rafting in the Colorado River? Ideally, from May to October. A trip through this river can last up to 18 days and you need a special permit to access the area.

7. Noce River, Italy

Italy also has some rafting options, such as this river located north of Italy, more precisely in Val de Sole. The Noce River has rapids of all classes, including some of class 5 between the Mostizzolo gorges.

Noce River, Italy. Rafting overseas.

Without a doubt, the best time to visit the Noce River is during summer, when the riverbed increases due to the ice melting in the Alps.

Are these not enough for your adventurous spirit? Some honorable mentions are the Zambezi River (between Zimbabwe and Zambia), the Alsek River (that goes through Canada and the USA), the Franklin River (Australia), Cotahuasi River (Peru), Tatshenshini River (Alaska), Cangrejal River (Honduras), Bermejo River (Bolivia), Magdalena River (Colombia), Pacuare River (Costa Rica), Ara River (Spain), Actopan River (Mexico), Yuruaní River (Venezuela) and Manso River (Argentina).


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.