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While the speed of travel continues to accelerate, it’s good to know there are (and will always be) places you can only reach slowly, and by water.

This post was produced in partnership with our friends at Mountain Travel Sobek, who run trips to every one of the places featured below. Click the logo above to visit their website, and follow them here:

ALL OF MY TRAVELS have been informed by the search for water, or as those in my crew often call it, “flow.” Whether it’s looking for solid wave conditions which leads us to difficult-to-reach stretches of Pacific coastline in Central America, or working as raft guides or safety kayakers in Patagonia just so we could spend more time on the river — there is something about being on the water that feels surreal.

Part of it is simply the view. Growing up paddling in Georgia, it always amazed me how just being in a boat looking up at the riverbanks and inevitable bridge-crossings (as opposed to sitting in a car on the bridge in traffic), gave you an entirely different perspective on the world.

It’s in this spirit that I’ve collected the following places you have to see by water. The majority of them are strict in the sense that you can’t really even access them except by boat. Those that still have some kind of overland access (like the Middle Fork of the Salmon) are included because seeing them via water is really the only way to do it in style. Stay safe out there.

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About The Author

David Miller

David Miller is Senior Editor of Matador (winner of 2010 and 2011 Lowell Thomas awards for travel journalism) and Director of Curricula at MatadorU. Follow him @dahveed_miller.

  • Naviguru Travis

    drifting away on a tide now brother – thanks :)

  • Naviguru Travis

    drifting away on a tide now brother – thanks :)

  • Scott Hartman

    Ahhhhhh yes, water… As Eisley said, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” Great list, to which I might add The Inside Passage and The Grand Canyon (from the water, a whole different thing:)…

  • Scott Hartman

    Ahhhhhh yes, water… As Eisley said, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” Great list, to which I might add The Inside Passage and The Grand Canyon (from the water, a whole different thing:)…

  • Tran Chuyen

    wow…water…thank!

  • Jonathon Engels

    Great list. Thanks. I’ve got quite a few new places to go.

  • Martha Jo Cooke

    ok I’m goin.

  • Maureen Lewis

    Amazing!

  • Benny Blocksberg

    Don’t forget Croatia!
    Easily explored in a charter yacht or sea kayak, and some of the finest rocky beaches in the Med.
    It really is spectacular. Great list though, David. Cheers!

  • Tim Anderson

    I’ll second Croatia :)

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