If you’ve run Lava Falls on the Col­orado or the Bull Sluice on the Chat­tooga then you know a thing or two about the biggest rapids in North Amer­i­ca. But if you’re look­ing to expand your hori­zons, then look no fur­ther: Here’s a run­down of some of the fiercest rapids in South America.

Rio Futaleufú, Upper Sec­tion, Chile
The low­er sec­tion of the Futaleufú Riv­er might not pose much of a chal­lenge for sea­soned rafters, but you’d bet­ter have years of expe­ri­ence under your belt before you even con­sid­er tack­ling the upper sec­tion. Class V rapids dom­i­nate the area with tena­cious rides like the Gates of Infer­no and the Per­fect Storm, both apt­ly named.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futaleuf%C3%BA_River

Rio Cañete, Peru
The Rio Cañete is friend­ly fare most of the year, but when the rain begins to fall in droves between Decem­ber and April, the riv­er and rapids begin to run high. You’ll find Class V+ rapids that only expe­ri­enced rafters should attempt to tra­verse. The more dif­fi­cult pass­es can take up to four days and are found south of Lima.https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsilenus/

Rio Col­ca, Peru
Runs on the Rio Col­ca vary between too easy for begin­ners to near­ly impos­si­ble to pass. The tough­est pass occurs from Jan­u­ary to April in the area just above the La Calera Hot Springs to the town of Chivay. With­out rain­fall, the area isn’t too dif­fi­cult but once the wet stuff comes pour­ing in and water lev­els rise the riv­er turns into V+ rapids.https://www.flickr.com/photos/14154463@N00/

Men­doza, Argentina
Argenti­na has a wealth of white­wa­ter rapids, but only Men­doza offers any­thing resem­bling a chal­lenge. You’ll need to work your way up into the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to find them, but the Class V rapids here are worth the effort. They might not give you the great­est thrill of your life, but they’ll cer­tain­ly give you a wild ride.

Rio Apurí­mac, Peru
The area around Cus­co is wide­ly known as one of the best raft­ing spots in the world, thanks main­ly to the Rio Apurí­mac. While many of the rapids here tap out around Class III and IV, a lit­tle plan­ning and per­fect weath­er will place you on top of some fan­tas­tic IV and V runs. Trips here typ­i­cal­ly last between three and for days, so it’s a quick in and out for any­one look­ing for a chal­lenge with­out much time to spare.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apur%C3%ADmac_River

Rio Can­gre­jal, Honduras
Okay, so tech­ni­cal­ly Hon­duras is part of Cen­tral Amer­i­ca, not South, but it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away so we decid­ed to include it. The rapids out­side the Pico Boni­to Nation­al Park rain­for­est range from Class III up to Class V. The riv­er is 20 miles of rapids wind­ing through boul­ders and vary­ing land­scapes. It’s impor­tant to be care­ful when raft­ing in the area—one good down­pour can cause water lev­els to rise 30 CFS overnight, so pay atten­tion to the fore­cast ahead of time lest you get stuff in the mid­dle of the rain­for­est with no way out.https://www.flickr.com/photos/31486092@N05/