10 of the Most Adventurous Kayaking Destinations in the World

Kayaking has become one of the biggest sports in recent years. According to a 2019 study, over 11 million people have taken up kayaking and it is currently the top ranking paddle sport in the world.

 For those looking to push the limits of kayaking and stretch the realm of possibilities, these 10 locations are ideal for your kayaking adventure.

1. Amazon

Amazon kayak

The Amazon is like no other place on earth. The waters are teeming with wildlife and along the river you will see small civilizations dotted along your way. Although most of the water is calm, the adventure part comes in with the amount of danger lurking beneath the water.

A variety of creatures lurking beneath the water’s surface causes kayakers to keep their guard up at all times. Additionally, the area is known to be very muddy, hot, and is one of the more remote kayaking locations around the world, so you will certainly find a little adventure here.

2. Sermilik Fjord in Greenland

Sermilik Fjord in Greenland kayaking

From the hot muggy climate of the Amazon, we take you to the frigid waters of Sermilik Fjord in Greenland. This part of the country is cold, even during the summer, but kayaking through Sermilik Fjord offers you some sites you will not see anywhere else.

The waters remain calm, most of the time, but lucky paddlers can enjoy the occasional ice burg break free and plummet into the water. While in this area, be sure to bring a good camera. The chance to see whales or seals is very high.

3. Fiordland in New Zealand

Fiordland in New Zealand kayak

Part of the adventure in kayaking is finding out of the way places far from civilization and it is difficult to find an area more remote than Fiordland in New Zealand. You will not simply be able to drive to this area or even take a standard plane.

The remote location of Fiordland, calls for more rustic forms of travel. Kayakers must hike into the place or have a helicopter drop you down.

Once here, you can rest assured, there will likely be no one around for miles, so you can kayak the calm, unspoiled waters of Fiordland for as long as you desire.

4. Ottawa River in Canada

Ottawa River in Canada kayak

The Ottawa River is a unique place to enjoy extreme kayaking. It offers, not one, but two separate avenues for your adventure. The Main Channel is the largest of the two and offers intense waves and an amazing adventure.

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The second or Middle Channel is a little less adventurous and ideal for those simply looking to zigzag along the water. While traveling on both channels, you can enjoy 175 islands, endless waterfalls, and many sandy beaches ideal to stretch out on and take a break from your kayaking adventure.

5. Sun Kosi in Nepal

Sun Kosi in Nepal kayak

This journey is not one that should be taken in just one day. To enjoy the full scope of Sun Kosi in Nepal, ideally, you need to devote 10 full days for the experience. Noted as the River of Gold by many including David Allardice, Expert Kayaker and owner of Ultimate Descents in New Zealand.

The journey is a full 170 miles and offers class 3 to 4 rapids at various sections. Throughout the area, there are plenty of camping spots to take a rest and monkeys to keep you entertained while enjoying this white water experience.

6. Pacuare River in Costa Rica

Pacuare River in Costa Rica Kayaking

If you remember the movie, Congo, you will be well versed in what Pacuare River looks like. Much of the movies scenery was filmed right here and for good reason. The river is 32 miles long and consists of class 3 and 4 rapids along with an intense Class 5 section at the river’s mouth.

Kayaking the entire length of the river takes an average of 3 days and unlike other areas where kayakers feel remote and isolated, thatched roof huts are set up along the way to provide shelter and rest for camping.

7. The White Nile of Uganda

The White Nile of Uganda kayak

When we see pictures of the Nile river, the views of calm flowing water come to mind. However, the entire Nile is not so nice. For those seeking true adventure, the first 20 miles of the Nile are known as the White Nile located in Uganda.

This area is where the Nile begins fed from Lake Victoria and offers some of the best white water rapids to be found. Additionally, kayakers will share the experience with surfers taking on the river as well. For Big Water Rapids at its best, the White Nile in Uganda simply cannot be beaten.

8. Grand Canyon in Arizona

Grand Canyon in Arizona kayak

For generations, the Grand Canyon has attracted families from around the world to witness this epic canyon in person. However, those tourists tend to stay above it all on the overlook sites, but those who seek true adventure head down to the Colorado River that runs through the canyon.

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 If you intend on taking on the whole 280 mile journey for the full experience, expect to spend 10 to 23 days making your way to the end. In addition to being one of the most adventurous kayaking spots, the Grand Canyon is also one of the most stunning natural creations on earth.

The rushing water through the canyon thousands of years has carved out a unique and awe-inspiring site to behold.

9. Futaleufu River in Chile

Futaleufu River in Chile Kayak

South America is an adventurer’s dream and for those seeking the best and most intense kayaking experience, the Futaleufu River in Chile will certainly not disappoint. This part of the world has everything you could want on your kayaking adventure including crystal blue waters, mountains landscapes, waterfalls, and much more.

Although it is not as long as many of our other rivers, the 22 miles you can white water raft on Futaleufu River is something you will never forget and it is known by many as truly the best white water experience the world has to offer.

10. North Johnstone River in Australia

kayaking in North Johnstone River in Australia

Australia is home to adventures that cannot be found in other parts of the world and for those seeking epic kayaking, the North Johnstone River in Australia aims to please. The river maintains areas of both class 4 and class 5 rapids, so you will never get bored and kayakers can enjoy views of towering palm trees and unique aboriginal caves along the way.

The river winds along for 50 miles through one of the oldest rainforests in the world, so you will not only be enjoying an adventure, but a unique view of history in one of the last remaining unspoiled locations this world has to offer.

Last Words

These 10 amazing and adventurous places to kayak can be found at various points throughout the world and be encouraged to try each and every one of them. Each one offers something unique and different and adventure seekers can enjoy the scenery along with the white knuckle adventure of extreme kayaking.

Remember to always know your limits and only take on rapids your skills will allow you to. There is a lot of fun to be found on white water rapids and even calmer areas throughout the world, so grab your kayak and get going.