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Whitewater rafting is an adrenaline-pumping adventure for everyone onboard.
When you decide to go whitewater rafting, the levels of fun come in degrees. You can choose to take a calm and leisurely ride where your guide does the paddling and you can lay back, relax and take pictures. You could also choose a trip where you help the guide with the rowing so your entire raft doesn’t capsize as you are tossed into tumbling torrents of water. Class 5 rapids are the most extreme, tenuous and adrenaline-producing rapids while Class 1 rapids on the lower end of the spectrum are more relaxed and manageable. Adrenaline junkies and laidback travellers alike can find joy in rafting adventures, and here are some of the more memorable rafting rivers found in the world.

Futaleufu River, Chile

The first thing that strikes you about the Rio Futaleufu is its colour, ranging from an almost unnaturally bright turquoise through to shades of teal, all created as a result of the minerals that are present in this glacier-fed river. You will spend your days fighting massive, intense white water (rapids go up to Class 5) and your nights relaxing in luxury accommodations that offer showers, flushing toilets, hot tubs and home-cooked meals. Every summer (Dec.-Mar.) there are more than a few companies that offer trips down the Futaleufu that range in level of accommodations, length, and difficulty; do a little research to find the trip that best suits you.

North Johnstone River, Australia

This stunning trip in the tropical far north of Queensland offers Class 4 and 5 white water amidst some of the most beautiful and unusual landscapes amidst volcanic gorges and the ancient rain forests of Palmerston National Park. At night, luminous fungi glow surreally on the rocks and fireflies dance shimmering arabesques through the forest canopy. A bonus thrill is the helicopter ride taking you to the start of the course, which is accessible only by air.

Coruh River, Turkey

The Coruh River in Turkey is one of the world’s fastest-flowing rivers, cutting through breathtaking gorges in the remote and dramatically beautiful Kackar Mountains of far northeastern parts of the country. Wildlife abounds, from bears to mountain goats to wild boar and you are sure to see some of it from the riverbanks as you are rushed down the currents. In addition to wildlife, there are plenty of fascinating historical ruins, including castles dating from the time of the Byzantine Empire alongside the river. Get a touch of history with your adventure when you choose to raft along the Coruh River.

Noce River, Italy

The Noce River is fed by melting Alpine glaciers and once you take to the waters, its immense energy will catapult you down through icy, green waters to the Val di Sole (Sun Valley) and more. It tops the list as one of the most exciting places to go white water rafting in Europe and offers adventurers a chance to ride through Class 5 rapids as you soar past and through the gorges of Mostizzolo. Beyond the intense rapids, there are different parts of the Noce River that cater to all rafting levels and it is perhaps the most accessible of all rivers listed here.

Sun Kosi River, Nepal

Head to the Sun Kosi River in Nepal between September and January for the best experience. Any other time of the year, the river’s volume triples and it’s impossible to run the river. When you put in at Dolalghat you’ll be at the beginning of an incredible 273km journey full of bouncing white-water rapids, steep valleys, white-sand beaches, remote Nepalese villages, hot days and cool nights. You’ll end at Chatra Gorge after 10 days on the Sun Kosi River with a new understanding of Nepal, its people and its stunning rafting experiences.

Pack your swimmers and a couple changes of dry clothes before you set out to tackle the best rafting rivers in the world. Consider an adventure sports travel insurance plan from Cover-More New Zealand too to round out your packing list. With travel insurance from Cover-More, you’ll have a travel insurance provider who is committed to spring into action and help you, anywhere and anytime.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Leonardo Dasilva