A white-water rafting trip can be an adrenaline junkies dream, particularly for those who love being in nature. There’s the thrill of the rapids, but also the scenic views unlike any other along the way. White-water rafting is considered one of the most popular adventure sports the world over and for good reason. So where are the best places around the globe for hitting the rapids? Here’s a quick list of some of the best locations to brave the rapids.

Río Pacuaré, Costa Rica

Winding through the Cabecar Indian Reservation rainforest in Costa Rica, the Rio Pacuare is home to 38 individual rapids over the course of 67 miles. Costa Rica’s untouched wilderness abounds with opportunities for seeing jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, and dwarf leopards as well as other wildlife. The river offers class III and IV rapids and rests in the valley of the Talamanca Mountains, not to mention the Huacas Waterfall which cascades down a stunning 150-foot drop into the river. The rapids here generally aren’t too challenging, so this river would be a good spot for beginners, and there are tour options available. 

Colorado River, United States

Winding 226 miles through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, the Colorado River passes through the Grand Canyon, offering both high powered class IV-V rapids and stretches of calm water in the world’s deepest gorge. Along with the adventure provided by the river, you can also choose to explore dry land along the banks with opportunities to visit Navajo ruins, hiking trails with waterfalls, and campsites. The length of the trip can range anywhere from 18 days to just a half-day excursion. Ideally, you’ll want at least three days to get the best experience.

Zambezi River, Zambia

The Zambezi is Africa’s most famous big water river. It’s 15-mile course narrowly skirts between the cliffs of Batoka Gorge beginning just below the 360-foot drop of Victoria Falls. The river provides 23 hair-raising class IV and V rapids, and there’s the potential for keen-eyed adventurers to see crocodiles and hippos along the banks of the river. Trips can range from half-a-day up to eight days. 

Sun Kosi River, Nepal

For scenic adventure, the Sun Kosi River begins its journey from the highest peaks of the Himalayas in Nepal. It flows through narrow gorges and forested canyons, eventually merging with the Ganges. The last leg of the journey runs through a dense tropical jungle. With numerous class V rapids and narrow passages, this course can provide challenges for even the most experienced rafters. 

When it comes to adventure, you really can’t beat white-water rafting. There are so many of these adventures out there waiting for anyone with enough gumption to take them on. The few listed here are among the best in the world.