The Ultimate List of the Best Places to Kayak Around the World

The following is a guest post from Adam Eyal, a fellow blogger over at Fringe Pursuits. This blog is a wonderful resource for people who like to combine travel with recreational sports. This article is his expert advice where he will tell you where to kayak around the world like a pro. For long term followers of this blog, you’d know that I rarely allow guest posts, so rest assured, this is a really good one :). Take it away Adam!


At the start of this new year, while you’re busy making new resolutions for the year ahead, why not make your list of top kayak locations that you have to visit before you die?

Kayaks can get into tighter, more secluded spots than cruise ships and tour boats, so this is the perfect opportunity to get off the beaten track. You’ll be able to see things that most tourists can only dream of as kayaking around the world will get you up close and personal with nature.

We’ve travelled the globe, so if you’re looking for inspiration on where to go for your next kayak vacation, look no further…


The Amazon

Winding for over 4000 miles through three different countries, the Amazon river is one of the most incredible nature-havens on which to kayak. We’d recommend starting out near the Brazilian region of Manaus where you can explore the jungle, waterfalls and even head out in your fishing kayak or Paddleboard (for the really courageous), to catch some piranhas! If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to attempt the whole length.


The Baja Peninsula, Mexico

The waters of the Baja Peninsula are always warm and blue, and they’re surrounded by stunning scenery. Aside from the fact that this is the perfect place to head for some winter sun, we chose it for its popularity with groups of whales. If you thought whale watching from a tour boat was an experience to remember, you’ll be blown away by the experience of watching from your kayak. To give yourself the best chances, we’d recommend visiting in the first few months of the year.


Fiordland, New Zealand

Situated along the southwest coast of New Zealand, Fiordland National Park allows you to take in some of the stunning, rugged scenery for which the country is famous, right from the comfort of your kayak. Start by visiting Milford Sound – one of the area’s most popular kayak destinations – to combine mountainous landscapes with learning about the cultural history of the region.


The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

If you enjoy kayaking but you’re not keen on the idea of taking long trips in the middle of nowhere, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast could hold the perfect balance. Explore the caves and waters surrounding the stunning Elaphiti Islands by kayak, stopping off to look around some of the charming towns along the way.


Patagonia, Chile

Torres del Paine is a popular place to start as it is home to a range of other water sports and activities which you can try at the same time. If you’re confident with your paddling, we would recommend journeying to the Canales de las Montanas. This remote area is surrounded by breath-taking, snow-capped mountains.


The Hebrides, Scotland

The Hebrides is a group of small islands situated off the north-west coast of Scotland. Separated into the Inner Hebrides and the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Harris is our favorite spot. The landscape is pretty bleak – less than 2000 residents live on the island – but the coastlines feature some of the longest, cleanest stretches of unspoilt white sand beach that we’ve ever seen. The seas are cold, but just as stunning when explored by kayak.


Glacier Bay, Alaska

Whether you’re a beginner who needs to rent a kayak for a few days or an experienced kayaker who can bring all your own equipment, Alaska’s Glacier Bay makes the most incredible kayaking destination. We’ve chosen this part of the world because it’s known for its sea life – look out for whales, seals, porpoises, otters – and maybe even some puffins or bears.


Na Pali, Hawaii

If warm water and tropical islands are more appealing to you than icy waters and snowy climes, the waters of Na Pali make the perfect kayak vacation. We love the fact that as well as offering the opportunity to explore azure waters which are sea turtles and dolphins, this is one place where the waters are so warm and clear that you won’t mind jumping in for a swim after your paddle.


Svalbard, Norway

Norway is well known for its lengthy coastline (its many fjords make it over 15000 miles long), and while your first thought might turn to exploring these on a cruise ship, we prefer to adventure round them by kayak. You could spend weeks exploring every section of the coastline, but if you’re short on time, we’d recommend Adventfjorden for its mirrored waters, its snowy mountains, and the fact that you can combine this with stopping off at a beach!


Vancouver Island, Canada

We’ve chosen Vancouver Island as one of the top places to visit for a kayak vacation due to the sheer amount of variety that it offers. You can start your trip at one of the many marinas – staying in towns and hotels overnight – but your kayak travels can take you everywhere from rainforests to beaches. For strong paddlers we recommend the rapids of Discovery Islands, but beginners should stick to the safer, calmer waters of the Gulf Islands.


Vang Vieng, Laos

If you’re travelling to Laos and like the idea of a spending a day on an excursion by kayak, Vang Vieng is a great place to explore. We like this region due to the fact that it’s so suitable for beginners – and the rugged scenery is unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else on this list. Kayaking around Vang Vieng truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


The Selinda Spillway, Botswana

Kayaking in Africa? It might seem like a bizarre suggestion for a kayak vacation, but stick with us. Botswana can offer a nature experience like nothing else on this list. Where else can you use your kayak to draw face-to-face with elephants and buffalo? The Spillway is an area where only eight visitors are allowed at a time, so there are guaranteed to be some parts seen by only a handful of people. If you have the opportunity, this is one that you cannot turn down!


Sermilik Fjord, Greenland

Greenland is yet another fantastic icy location to explore by kayak. Brimming with glaciers, fjords and icebergs, the Sermilik Fjord offers the ultimate Arctic kayak experience. Most of the time, no other larger, motorized boats can access the Fjord, so by travelling by kayak you’ll be one of a select few who get to see some of the spectacular colors and textures that nature has to offer.


Julio Moreno
Follow Me

23 thoughts on “The Ultimate List of the Best Places to Kayak Around the World

  • February 21, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Wow these are definitely bucket list worthy. I can’t imagine kayaking and seeing a huge whale like that! Would be an unforgettable experience that’s for sure.
    Rob recently posted…The Best Kayak PFD For YouMy Profile

    • February 22, 2018 at 9:16 am

      I feel like it would be one of those fear + excitement feelings.

  • March 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    All places are looking best for kayaking and spend some time with our family members and friends. Especially Alaska and chile are looking so beautiful and bucket list worth places to visit in this year. whenever I will go then I will share my experience here.

  • March 14, 2018 at 6:21 am

    I think Glacier Bay or Vancouver Island would be my choices. Safe choices.
    The Amazon would be pretty amazing, but everything there basically wants to eat you so… lol

    A whale would be cool, but you’re right, fear + excited..

    If I ever hit one up I’ll let you know!
    Jamie Wilkinson recently posted…7 Kayak Camping Survival Tips and TricksMy Profile

  • May 16, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I’m a relatively new kayaker, but when I was visiting Maui in February of this year I did some ocean kayaking and it was amazing. It was whale season, so there were whale breaching nearby, plus a group of playful dolphins. I suspect this was a perfect first time ocean kayaking experience, but I still want to highly recommend it as an addition to this list.
    Shawna N recently posted…Start Paddling With A Good Kayak for BeginnersMy Profile

    • August 16, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      That sounds super cool. Maybe you should contact the original author of the article (which isn’t me, its at the top of the article) and do a collaboration.

  • July 26, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Making a list of kayaking is not an easy task to do. You have made this. You did a great job. This post would be helpful. Thanks for sharing your great post.

    • August 16, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      You may want to check out the original author’s website. He is a kayaking fanatic. Best of luck.

  • August 13, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Patagonia, Chile is very beautiful hill station. I will go there next year with many family. Thanks for the useful information.

  • October 5, 2018 at 2:37 am

    Yes please, I’d like to go kayaking in all these places! I’ve been fortunate to kayak in Hawaii and Canada but the rest of these are pure bucket list items. I can only hope I get to them someday.

    Thanks for the great list of aspirational locales!
    Megan Jones recently posted…The Best Kayaks for Families of 2018My Profile

  • October 16, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I have always admired your site, Thanks for the great tips and work .

  • October 27, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Wow, such an amazing and refreshing post. Can’t image the beauty of “The Baja Peninsula, Mexico”
    A day spent on the water is never a waste of time.

  • December 31, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Thank you for sharing with us this place, I’ve been last summer in Patagonia, Chile with my wife and it was a great experience, especially kayaking there it was like dream.

  • January 19, 2021 at 6:11 am

    Such a beneficial article. The topic is useful for all the people who loves kayaking. Thanks for the tips.

  • September 12, 2023 at 11:50 pm

    thanks Julio Moreno, for this informative article. The list you provide its must help us a lot. Keep it up.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge