Top 5 Most Famous Rivers to Raft in South America

Top 5 Most Famous Rivers to Raft in South America

A common occurance among American raft guides is heading to South America to take advantage of some warm weather and incredible rivers to navigate in their country.  With beautiful cities, lush rainforests, and amazing rivers, South America is an unbeatable destination.  Visitors can trek through the jungle, swim in the ocean, dive off waterfalls, and even climb a volcano.  For this blog, we’re going to outline the top five most famous rivers to raft in South America so that if you’re lucky enough to get down there in your lifetime, you have a fun thing to add to your to-do list.

Rafting in South America

Futaleufu River | Chile

Regarded as the best white water river rafting destinations in the world, this very beautiful river runs from the Andes Mountains from a chain of sunny lakes in Argentina before it meets the Pacific Ocean.  Along the way, it runs through steep mountains and lively jungles filled with wind animals.  You can make a few days out of a trip on the Futaleufu River, because lots of trip operators offer private camps with hot tubs, tree houses, stone shelters with fire places and horseback riding as well.

Corcovado River | Argentina

Ideal place for daring enthusiasts without prior experience or intermediate rafters looking to add a unique and exciting whitewater trip to their list of adventures.  The waters of the Corcodova River can be heavy with salmon, mackerel, perch and trout.  Soaring in the air and perched in the foliage, birds such as the black-faced ibis, snipes, sheld geese and ducks can also be seen.  You may also catch a glimpse of a hare, a fox, or even a puma or wild boar.  Rafting begins in November, when the rivers are deeper and present more challenging whitewater.  In summer you can dive in deep pools or float with a life jacket in calm backwaters, the ultimate in leisure and relaxation.

Aluminé River | Argentina

Best suited for skilled rafters, the river is well-known for its turbulent whitewater making this section of river one of the most sought-after rafting destinations in the world. Recognized for its amazing flow, the big waves, huge holes and constant slope of the river make this section a high-voltage, ‘non-stop’ rafting decent. This river also provides views of the Andes Cordillera (the oldest extinct volcano in the area) and is surrounded by cypresses growing among the rocks and ancient evergreen coniferous trees. The beaches of the river are tucked beneath the shade of the dense foliage that grows close to the banks. Rafting trips on the Aluminé River are best in the Southern Hemisphere’s spring and summer when you can catch the fresh winter snowmelt.

Colca River | Peru

Few people have witnessed the incredible Colca River since its first descent in 1981.  Reserved for the true adventurer because the canyon is so remote and the whitewater can be intense at times.  Colca River refers to small holes in cliffs that can be seen in the valley and canyon along the river.  These holes were used in Incan and Pre-Incan times to store Andean crops such as potatoes or as tombs.  Ancient terraces still cultivated along some lower sections of the valley can be seen from the river.  Through a worldwide effort to preserve these majestic creatures, a growing population of Andean Condors can be seen soaring on the rising thermals above the river canyon while Black salmon and otter accompany the trek downstream.  The Southern Hemisphere’s summer months provide the best weather and flows for rafting trips on the Colca River.

South American Whitewater Rafting

Jatun Yacu River | Ecuador

This is an excellent river for beginners because it is wide and open, has some large waves and is also easy to enjoy for inexperienced rafters.  The fun begins right away, as rafters hit large, quick waves interspersed with calm pools.  Big sandy beaches, waterfalls, and lush green vegetation make the Jatun Yacu River a tropical paradise.  The calm sections allow the opportunity to kick back and soak in the Selva Verde rainforest scenery.  Since there are no inhabitants in the upper regions of the Jatun Yacu, the river is exceptionally clean.  The Jatun Yacu runs throughout the year, depending on rainfall.  The daytime temperatures are generally warm and perfect for river trips.

Waiting for a Colorado summer to get out on the river?  Call Colorado River Rentals to get your rafting trip on the books!