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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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10 Favorite Places to Kayak

10 Favorite Places to Kayak Photo

Photo by rivergirl88

Posted on August 12, 2008 in Trip Ideas

We’d guess that most travelers spend more time Kayaking plane tickets than kayaking rivers and oceans. But the paddle events underway in Beijing reminded us of all the IgoUgo members who have dipped their boats into the world’s most beautiful waters. Here are some of their picks for the best places to make waves.

1. Boulder City, Nevada: Black Canyon
rivergirl88 says: “Below Hoover Dam sits a great little secret called Black Canyon. It is gaining in popularity due to its towering cliffs, emerald-green waters, and numerous hot springs. You can kayak into sea caves, paddle onto sandy beaches for lunch, or just watch for bighorn sheep high on the cliffs. All 745 feet of the Hoover Dam tower above you...what a view!”

2. Vieques, Puerto Rico: Mosquito Bay
stomps says: “It really was an out-of-this-world experience. Adding to the glow beneath us was the glow in the sky. Looking up at the stars, we could see the entire band of the Milky Way stretching across the center of the sky. As soon as we got out of our kayaks, all of us were planning our next trip to Vieques and its fairy-dust-sprinkled bioluminescent bay.”

3. Baja California, Mexico: Ensenada Caves
ernieg23 says: “The most exciting moment of the trip had to be our wild kayaking through Ensenada’s caves and into the ocean, where we encountered many amazing sites. A gigantic sea lion attacking a 4-foot-long tuna at about 20 feet from us was a frightening rush that turned into excitement.”

4. Halong Bay, Vietnam: Surprising Cave
shammiyap says: “Kayaking is a nice way to explore the secluded places, and it helps you get really close—even touch the stone. Kayak under the grottos to another heaven on earth; you will feel that life is so peaceful at once!”

5. Moorea, French Polynesia: Les Tipaniers
aunty says: “Make sure you drive to Les Tipaniers resort, park outside, and walk through to the beach. Here you can hire a kayak and paddle across to two nearby motus (little islands). In between the two motus is a beautiful lagoon with crystal-clear water and lots of sea life.”

6. Kauai, Hawaii: Hanalei River
Idler says: “We pass under a low bridge and are now traveling through the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, home to many endangered birds such as black-necked stilts and Hawaiian geese. In fact, the best way to observe the birds of the wetlands is by boat, as access onto the refuge itself is restricted. Silently we glide along the placid river, going at my easy pace. Occasionally an oar splashes, rousting a cattle egret in a flapping flash of white.”

7. Seward, Alaska: Fox Island
Virtually There says: “This was an easy kayaking excursion that included instruction and a 3-hour guided wilderness paddle around Fox Island, one of the world's finest paddling locations and an interesting mix of temperate rain forest; sculpted cliffs; protected coves; and long, pebbled beaches.”

8. Chiloé Island, Chile: Dead Tree Valley
amylya says: “Kayaking at the Dead Tree Valley is a unique and astonishing experience and a must when visiting Chiloé. To be alone in a kayak surrounded by dead trees; wetlands; and rare, endemic birds that stay quiet while you photograph them makes you feel transported in time. Four different rivers give you alternative landscapes to enjoy. All calm water.”

9. Phi Phi Le Island, Thailand: Maya Bay
Ben the Grate says: “Eventually you'll come to a bay opening to your left. Enter this bay. Here in the entrance is some of the finest and most colorful snorkeling I've ever experienced. In fact, the fish were so prolific that when I dropped a cracker in the water it literally boiled and fish jumped INTO my kayak!”

10. Maui, Hawaii: La Perouse Bay
Cattleya says: “Unbelievably wonderful experience—green sea turtles come up for air right beside you. Fish in all the colors of the rainbow and beautiful coral formations exist in this marine reserve area that is only accessible by kayak.”

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