Earlier this spring, we asked you, our readers what their favorite water sports were? We needed to know what to do next! Should we go kite surfing or kayaking? Kayaking won out by a narrow margin, and so we went to Croatia for a 10 day sea kayaking trip.
We are looking forward to our next adventure on the water. While thinking of our next water adventure, we came up with a list of our favourite and unique water sports we’ve done around the world.
Water Sports around the World
Table of Contents
If you want to add an element of excitement to your future travels, add these thrilling adventures around the world, to have some fun in the water.
1. Kayaking – Antarctica
We’ve done a lot of kayaking around the world, but nothing quite compares to Antarctica. Kayaking through brash ice while spotting leopard seals, humpback whales, and gentoo penguins was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives.
Paddling in silence through this last frontier on earth allows you to get so close to the wildlife that you can almost reach out and touch them. As you navigate through fields of giant icebergs and ice flows while looking at the magnificent coastline of ancient glaciers, you truly believe that you have found heaven on earth. Read more: 11 of the Best Things to do in Antarctica
2. White Water Rafting Class 5 Rapids – New Zealand
If you are looking for more of a thrill, try white water rafting on class 5 rapids in New Zealand. The adventure capital of the world boasts some awesome water sports. Expert guides will help you navigate through the big water but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work.
You have to concentrate and paddle hard to make it through the run. Be prepared to brace yourself and listen to your guide when he yells “get down!” One false move and you’ll be tossed into the icy glacial waters…Just like me! What an amazing watersport.
3. Swimming with Whale Sharks – Mexico
It is one of the most magical experiences you’ll ever had. Swimming with Whale Sharks lets you get up close and personal with the world’s biggest fish!
Reaching lengths of forty feet, these graceful giants move quickly and swimming alongside them is exhausting. But it is worth every effort to see their eyes and fins slice effortlessly through the turquoise waters. Read more: Swimming with Whale Sharks Cancun – A Massive Adventure
4. Swimming with Horses – Jamaica
This is definitely one of the most unique things we’ve ever done in the water. Jamaica is famous for the horses that love to swim. Don’t worry, if horses don’t want to swim, they won’t, so they aren’t being forced to do anything. Horses love to cool down in the water and this is a blast to give a try. Read more: Swimming with Horses in Jamaica
5. Kite Surfing – Maui
Kite surfing is one of the coolest water sports in the world and a great way to add adventure to your travels. We learned to kite surf in Maui and it was so much fun. There’s great kite surfing around the world, and if you master it, you’ll be able to go kite surfing anywhere during your travels. Read more: 26 Best Things to do in Maui
6. Self Drive Zodiac Adventure – Alaska
Ketchikan is the place to spot humpback whales in Alaska and is home to a mass of bald eagles. What better way to see these fascinating creatures up close and personal than piloting your very own zodiac? Read more: The Best Places to Visit in Alaska
Zip through the bay in the driver seat and follow your Alaskan guide along the rugged coast where you’ll view salmon farms, totem poles and experience life as a true pioneer when you stop for an outdoor cookout to roast marshmallows on an open flame.
7. Canyoning in Jordan
Imagine rappelling down a 30-meter waterfall and sliding down giant boulders in the middle of a rushing river. Now that’s a watersport. That’s what canyoning in Jordan is all about.
Take a break from relaxing in the Dead Sea and make your way over to Wadi Mujib to hike through an incredible canyon system. Take a waterproof camera because this trek is all about getting wet.
You stumble through the river climbing over rocks, floating in the current, and yes, navigating waterfalls. Read more at An Eco Adventure Thrill Ride
8. Kayaking with Beluga Whales – Canada
Most people visit Churchill Manitoba to see polar bears, but there is an amazing water adventure to be had. Get on a kayak and go out to the harbour where thousands of cute beluga whales migrate through the area. They are playful and curious and will come right up to your boat to say hello. Read more: Kayaking with Beluga Whales in Churchill
9. Whitewater Kayaking – Canada
Learning to whitewater kayak is the coolest watersport to be able to brag about. Oh Yeah, we’ve run rapids in a kayak and have mastered the roll!
Learning on the Madawaska River in Canada is one of the best places in the world, it is where our Canadian kayak team trains and we conquered that course.
10. Helmet Walk – Australia
Sure scuba diving is one of the best watersports you can choose to do, but one of the quirkiest and most unique is to put on a helmet and walk in the Great Barrier Reef. Don’t worry, no corral was harmed during our helmet walk, we kept to the sand and cage while enjoying our time under the sea. Read more: 18 Great Things to do in Queensland, Australia
11. Great White Shark Cage Diving – South Africa
One of the most incredible underwater experiences we’ve ever had was cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa. Seeing the oceans top predator helps to spread the word that sharks are magnificent creatures and conservation is needed to save them. Every time they swam by the cage was a thrill of a lifetime. Read more: Best Things to do in South Africa in 2021
12. Cage Diving with Great Whites in South Australia
We took another cave diving adventure in South Australia and it was a completely different expeirence. In South Africa they chum the water with fish guts to attract the sharks (Boat do go out to their regular feeding ground so as not to disrupt to food chain) but in Australia, they attracted the sharks with sound. As the tunes blasted from the boat, we played air guitar while waiting for the sharks to come and say hello! Read more: South Australia Photos – Journey Through its Varied Landscape
13. America’s Cup Yachting – New Zealand
Haven’t you always wanted to try your hand at sailing a multi million dollar yacht? It’s so romantic! Well, in New Zealand you can book a tour on a genuine America’s Cup yacht that actually won the event a few years back! You get to try every aspect of it. But be warned, it’s hard work! Read more: 46 Top Things to do in New Zealand
14. Surfing in Sri Lanka
If you want to try your hand at surfing but are afraid of the giant waves, Sri Lanka is the place to go. With perfect conditions for beginners and excellent waves for expert rodeo competitors, surfing in Sri Lanka was one of our favourite activities.
You can spend days hanging out on the beaches of Hikkaduwa as local guides are on hand to teach you their tricks. Unlike other areas where we’ve attempted to balance on the board, we actually managed to catch a wave or two and with a mellow break and sandy beach we had very few cuts and bruises to show for it. Read more: 21 of the Very Best Things to do in Sri Lanka
15. Outrigger Canoe – Hawaii
It’s canoeing with a twist. Get a cultural experience while you work up an appetite in Hawaii. Learn how the ancient Polynesians navigated the stars while learning how to paddle this unique ocean canoe. It’s certainly one of the most unique watersports to try in the united states. Read more: 26 Best Things to do in Maui
16. Taking the Polar and Polar Bear Plunge
Whether it’s in Antarctica or the Arctic, jumping into freezing waters offers the ultimate in bragging rights. We know we’ve done the polar plunge in both ends of the earth. It’s hard to compete with someone that has willingly jumped into sub zero waters. (note salt water’s freezing temperature is -2 degrees Celsius. See our experience What it’s Like to Take the Polar Plunge in Antarctica
17. Canoe Safari in Canada
There are canoe routes all over Canada but our favourite place to portage is in Algonquin Park, Ontario. It can be a challenge navigating through this great Canadian Wilderness, but it is worth every effort as you are nearly guaranteed to encounter a moose.
A trip can be as long or as short as you like with 1200 km of streams and rivers connecting 2400 lakes it’s the perfect adventure for the outdoor enthusiast. Campsites are scattered throughout its 7653 square kilometers where you can truly get away from it all while taking in its incredible beauty. Read: 25 Best Places to Camp in Ontario, Canada
Algonquin Park’s landscape is so stunning that the famous artists known as the Group of Seven dedicated their lives to painting its magnificent landscape. Read more: Things to do in Haliburton – A Four Seasons Ontario Escape
18. Parasailing – Key West
It’s the ultimate couch potato water sport. Just strap on a parachute, and let the captain propel you out to sea. Parasailing is a lot more fun than we thought it would be. Give it a try and check out the beach from the sky. Read: Best Stops on a Florida Keys Road Trip Itinerary
19. Explore Cenotes – Mexico’s Underground Rivers
Nothing compares to swimming in an underground cave in Mexico. Cenotes are extraordinary underwater systems that are continuously being discovered. When visiting the Yucatan Peninsula, you can swim in a cenote, snorkel in them, rappel into a cenote and even cliff dive into them. Don’t miss visiting them when you go to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. Read more: Rio Secreto Cenote – Mexico’s Magical Underground Caves
20. Cliff Jumping – New Zealand
If you want to try cliff jumping, give it a go on a whitewater rafting trip. They make you wear your life jackets, so you know you’ll be able to pop up no problem. Cliff jumping is awesome, and landing in that freezing glacier water will take your breath away (in more ways than one)
21. Swimming with Dolphins – Australia
After cage diving with great white sharks in South Australia, we hopped in the water the next day to swim with dolphins. It was a little unnerving to know that we were in the water where great whites hang out. Our guide even wore a shark repellent device on his ankle. But apparently, when dolphins are around, the sharks are away and it was the best dolphin encounter we’ve ever had! Swim with Dolphins – South Australia
22. Snorkeling in The Galapagos
Nothing quite compares to snorkelling with wildlife in the Galapagos. Swimming with sharks, playing with sea lions, spotting sea turtles and witnessing marine iguanas feed are just some of the things you will see while snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. Read more: Unique Galapagos Islands Animals in Photos
Known as one of the great wildlife spotting places on earth, the Galapagos Islands are even better underwater. The sea lions are thrilled to have someone to play with and the turtles lumber along while barely noticing you are there. With a rich ecosystem, the marine life is healthy and strong and there is no shortage of food. So you don’t have to worry about getting in the water with the Galapagos Shark, they won’t pay you any attention.
23. SUP – Costa Rica
Stand up Paddle Boarding is excellent everywhere in the world and we do it every chance we get. But getting in the turquoise waters of Costa Rica was special. The calm waters of secluded islands made for the perfect spot to paddle and explore. Check out: What to Expect on a Panama Canal Cruise with Uncruise
24. Jet Boating – Iguazu Falls
Jet boating is a thrill anywhere, but getting into a jet boat and going under one of the world’s largest waterfalls is an absolute thrill. Iguazu Falls in Brazil has the most adrenaline pumping jet boat adventures we’ve ever been on. Read more: Getting Soaked – The Ultimate Iguazu Falls Tour
25. Niagara Jet Boat
But the Niagara Jet Boat Tour is a close second. It takes you into the unnavigable class 6 rapids of the Niagara River, just down from Niagara Falls will get your heart pumping. It’s a bit terrifying to think that if the motors fail, you’ll be sucked into the whirlpool never to be seen again. Read more: Things to do in Niagara Falls
26. Exploring the Hongs of Thailand
The incredible karst formations of Southern Thailand are even more awe inspiring when you can explore them by sea kayak. Enter one of the sea caves and paddle through a hidden tunnel to the heart of one of these islands on the Andaman Sea.
When you emerge from the dark, you’ll find yourself inside a lagoon surrounded by high cliffs and lush jungle. A nighttime paddle is a must as you enter the caves at low tide and witness the phosphorescence algae ignite with every stroke of the paddle. Read more: Best Things to do in Krabi, Thailand
27. Felucca on the Nile in Egypt
The mystical Nile River is a place of legend and nothing feels more timeless than hiring a Felucca to take you down this historic passage.
As you pass by ancient wonders, you’ll be able to try your hand at steering the boat. That is if you hire your own private Felucca Tour from Aswan. Be prepared though, if the wind dies on one of these, you’ll be helping the captain row back to the dock.
If a larger cruise line is more your style, hop aboard a luxury liner to take you from one city to another and pretend to be the Queen of Sheba herself! Read more: 20 Exciting Things to do in Egypt – Plus A Few Fun Facts
And these are our favorite water sports and water adventures around the world.
What should we try next?