Three of the most important aspects of choosing a whitewater adventure is: Callenge, Good Guide and Scenery. It's important to choose a rapid that challenges you, starting out on a class III and working your way to the top (class V). Second item to look for is a challenging guide. Guides come in all shapes and forms. Depending on your group skills the guide can make any rapid more exciting with tricks and hidden gems. I remember my two day adventure on the American River, lead by a air force guide who knew the river like the back of his hand. He would guide us to the most exciting parts of the rapid, passing us over shallow rocks, spinning our raft, catching waves, diving us into unsuspecting holes. He made class three rapids into a terrain park for a raft, challenging us at ever turn.
The last most important characteristic when choosing a rapid is scenery. Most of the time, no matter how challenging the river, you will lazily be floating down smooth segments. This is the time to relax, sit back, and enjoy the views around you. This can be jungle, sky scraping mountain ranges, lush meadows, busting towns, dry desert, steep canyon walls, or green forests. This is a great way to travel and see a new country. This is why picking a river where you will enjoy the scenery is one of the most important reasons to pick a rafting adventure.
These are a few of the rivers on my bucket list:
14. Colorado River - Arizona, USA
The Colorado River in Arizona carved out one of the largest canyons in the world. It's strong Rapids shaped the famous Grand Canyon. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to raft down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The steep orange/red rock towering around you as you try to stay inside the raft, makes this trip one of the most spectacular and adventurous Rapids in the world. Trips range from 6-14 days many incuding hiking in and out. This breathtaking trip is not for the poor or spontaneous, you must book at least a year in advance and pay upwards of $4,000 for longer trips.
15. Rio Upano, Ecuador
Translated as River of Sacred Waterfalls, this challenging River dives deep into the Ecuadorian rainforest. With a rapid named Godzilla, with 15 ft waves, toppling many rafts that dare to attempt it's wrath, why not take on the challenge.
16. Sun Kosi River, Nepal
While in Nepal, I heard many stories about the spectacular rafting trips through the Himalayas. Since returning I have dreamt about the day I can return to take on the challenge. The Sun Kosi River, translated as River of Gold, combines spectacular views of the Mount Everest Rigion and challenging whitewater. With many tours leaving from Kathmandu it's easy to book when you arrive. Most trips last between 10-14days.
17. Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho, USA
Salmon tastes good and is very health for you, but that's not the reason you raft down the Salmon River. This is one of the most challenging rivers in North America and one of the most popular whitewater destinations in the USA. The river is sandwiched between beautiful evergreen forests, towering mountains and North American wildlife.
18. Zambezi River, Zambawe/Zambia
This is the forth largest River in Africa and boasts one of the worlds most challenging stretches of high adrenaline, class V madness. The rafting starts just below Victoria Falls. Trips range from day trips to week long expeditions, where you can enjoy riding by local African wildlife, including the most dangerous animal in the world, the hippopotamus. Dangerous Rapids and dangerous animals, sounds like my kind of adventure.