With the Andes running the entire length of South America, runoff from the snowy peaks provides some of the best class III to class VI white water terrain in the world.
Central America’s rivers also provide seasonal world-class rafting opportunities, with Costa Rica’s Rio Reventazon and Rio Pacuare providing the best of the pickings.
Rio Futaleufú, Chile : Thought to be one of the best whitewater rivers in the world, the Futaleufu in Chile’s northern Patagonia has stunning turquoise waters and rapids that run from class II-V.
Rio Apurímac, Peru : Running through a 9,843 feet deep canyon close to Cusco, the Apuimac River offers some of the best white waters in Latin America. Breath-taking scenery and wildlife such as Andean bears can often be seen while tackling the Class III-V rapids.
Cotahuasi River and Colca River, Peru: With 13,000 foot vertical walls, the Cotahuasi and Colca rivers run through two of the deepest and most dramatic river canyons in the world. These runs - rated as class IV to class V - are not for the faint hearted and should only be tackled by experience rafters and kayakers.
Rio Cangrejal, Honduras : Bordering the virgin rainforests of the Bonito National Park, the Rio Cangrejal offer class III–V rapids on crystalline waters that run through the spectacular jungle of the Caribbean coast.
Rio Reventazon and Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica: The best white water rivers in Costa Rica are the Río Reventazón and the Río Pacuare. Both rivers offer class II – V rapids, with the finest of thrills being found from June to October.
Antigua River and Pescados River, Mexico: While you may not always find the higher class of rapids in Mexico, this is still an excellent destination for white water rafting and kayaking. The best rivers are the Antigua (a 21km run) and the Pescados (18km run) rivers, which offer a number of class III to class IV rapids.
Cahabon River, Guatemala: Guatemala has many tropical warm water rivers that are perfect for white water rafting and kayaking, most notable being the Cahabon River, which is located in the east of Guatemala. The top time for the best rapids is during the rainy season from July to September.
Alumine River, Argentina: Owing to tourist promotion, the Alumine River is a new arrival on the top rafting destinations in Latin America. The upper portions of the river offer the best rapids that are best experienced during the winter and spring months.
Cubato and Tijucas rivers, Brazil: Untouched Atlantic rainforest and powerful rivers have made the area around Florianopolis a prime location for white water rafting. Most popular are the runs along the Cubato River (class II–III) and the Tijucas River (class II–IV).
Tuichi River, Bolivia: Running through the stunning Madidi National Park, the Tuichi River offers great scenic views of the Amazonian rainforest in addition to class II-IV white water rafting and kayaking.