If you love whitewater rafting, and are looking for something that will take you far away from your home base, then consider these two locations. One of them will take you far up into the Canadian wilderness. The other one will send you down into the warm rain forests of Ecuador.
Below is a description of the two rivers, as well as the name of the towns where you should look to find a hotel to stay at before your trip.
Tatshenshini River In Canada: Cold Water, Glaciers, And Grizzly Bears
If you're interested in seeing Canada and Alaska, then the Tatshenshini river is ideal. This river runs through the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park. The park is world renowned as a spectacular example of glaciers, as well as wildlife such as wolves and grizzly bears. The Tatshenshini flows from Northern Canada and eventually joins the Alsek river in Alaska, where it heads out into the Pacific.
The trip will include some difficult whitewater, including some class 3 rapids, but there are also extended calm areas. The trip is best done over the course of a week or so. There are extremes in temperatures. At some points in the trip you will be passing through extreme cold temperature and will need to have insulated wet suits, while at other stretches the temperature will become humid and you will need bug spray to keep away the nasty critters (especially when you land your raft for lunch or to set up camp.)
None of the water is so treacherous as to deter novice rafters, however it is advisable to travel with a whitewater guide. They will be able to point out the wildlife, know what spots of the river need to be avoided, and also handle any trouble with the raft while on the river.
You will want to look for lodging in Whitehorse, Yukon. From there you can hook up with the rafting company that will organize travel to the launch point.
Río Upano in Ecuador: Rafting Through The Rain Forest
If you prefer a warmer climate, then a perfect destination is Ecuador. In this beautiful South American country you will find the Río Upano. This river curves its way through the lush rain forest. Here you will raft past vibrant green foliage, cascading waterfalls, see wild birds, and also experience some really wild rapids. You can see some photos of the river here. Notice the beautiful waterfalls, as well as the infamous Namangosa Gorge section which provides exciting class 4 rapids.
The rivers that come running down through the Andes provide a strong current. For this reason, this route is best suited for those people who have had some prior experience with white water rafting.
The Rio Upano is generally classed to be within the 3-5 range on the ISRD (International Scale of River Difficulty.) This is why it is very important to travel on a guided trip. The sections of the river that are class 5 are incredibly tricky to navigate for a novice.
You should plan to find a hotel in Macas. This city is located close the Upano river. From there you can find a bus that will take you to the launch point for your rafting trip.
For more information about possible hotels to stay in on your trip, contact various resorts in the area, such as The Breakers Hotel.