A diehard’s ultimate challenge with MTS co-founder and world-renown rafting pioneer John Yost
Adrenaline-junkies, beware: our Six-Continent Whitewater Adventure is the ultimate double-dog-dare of any of our expeditions. Spearheaded by one of the greatest rafting pioneers of all time, MTS co-founder John Yost, this unprecedented departure is more than an experience of a lifetime—it’s a lifetime of experiences in just 25 days! Nine rivers and six continents make for a fast pace, but the exhilaration is downright addictive, and river guides don’t get any more legit than John Yost; he has led more than forty first descents down the world’s greatest rivers—the Pro of the pros.
You’ll raft Class III-IV rapids through California, Ecuador, Spain, Kenya, India, and Australia and take in sights you never thought imaginable! A revolving cast of MTS’ all-star guides will be there in every country we visit, offering seamless logistical support, language skills, knowledge of the exotic wildlife, and cultural perspective on the lands and people you’ll encounter. As you race from one exciting river to another, you’ll discover the utter thrill of the ride. After all, if you want to be a legend, you need to roll like one.
16 days moderate to strenuous whitewater rafting class III-V rapids (mostly paddle boats with occasional oar options.)
8 nights camping, 11 nights hotels, 5 nights overnight on train or plane.
- Raft Class III-IV rapids through six continents—a diehard’s ultimate challenge with MTS co-founder and world-renown rafting pioneer John Yost
- Join a revolving cast of all-star guides with intimate local knowledge in every country we visit: U.S.A. (California), Ecuador, Spain, Kenya, India, and Australia
- Play hard, paddle hard, travel hard: get a lift from a helicopter to your put-in, run rapids until your smile hurts, camp along the edge of some of the world’s mightiest rivers, and jump on an overnight train or plane and do it all over again!
- Discover a cavalcade of exotic wildlife as you journey around the globe
- Enjoy some hard-earned down time in Barcelona, Nairobi, and Delhi, and catch your breath on a long, scenic drive through the Himalayas
Duration: 25 days Start Location: Fresno, California End Location: Cairns, AustraliaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Fresno
This is it—the river trip of a lifetime begins! When you arrive in Fresno, you’ll catch the free airport shuttle to the Holiday Inn Airport and check in to your room. At 6 pm we will meet in the lobby of the hotel for a brief pre-trip orientation, and then enjoy a group welcome dinner.
Day 2 : Kings River
We’ll begin with a hearty breakfast, and then our van will take us from the hotel to the put-in for the Kings River. This is an idyllic whitewater rafting wonderland with over 40 Class III rapids. At the end of a great day, we’ll head for our camp at Three Rivers for happy hour and a big river-style dinner!
Day 3 : Kaweah River
After a camp breakfast we’ll head out for more rafting in the area of Sequoia National Park. Running the Kaweah, we’ll push at high speed down narrow reed-lined passageways. Again and again we’ll burst upon fast, wild, class IV+ rapids throbbing with swift current, big drops, and chunky boulders, requiring strong paddling and expert maneuvering. In places, the Kaweah River has its quiet moods, and we’ll stream down living corridors of willow, sycamore, cottonwood, and alder. In an area known as the “Slickies,” the whole river glides down sensuous flumes and waterslides of solid granite that have been polished smooth over the eons. After the trip we’ll drive south to Kernville and enjoy a comfortable hotel night.
Day 4 : Upper Kern
We’ll board our van once more to the Kern. Depending on water levels, we’ll jet down several different sections of the Upper Kern. This is a day of Class III-IV rapids with plenty of action for everyone.
Day 5 : To Ecuador
Time to go international! Drive to LAX to begin our round-the-world travel.
Day 6 : Río Toachi
The Río Toachi flows eastwards out of the Ecuadorian highlands. Class III and IV rapids provide some excitement, but the real highlight is the incredible cloud forest environment through which this river flows. As the best known whitewater run in Ecuador, the river will lead us through the Toachi gorge, which alternates between exciting, technical class III/IV rapids, and calm pools in which to relax and appreciate the rainforest that fills the steep-walled canyon.
Day 7 : Lower Río Blanco
Starting at the confluence of the Upper Río Blanco and the Río Toachi, the combined flows of these two rivers create over fifteen rapids with enormous waves and thunderous hydraulics. This is a fairly short day, leaving us time to stop off on the way home to clean up, change, and have a bit to eat before driving to the airport for a night flight to Madrid.
Day 8 : En route
This is a long day of travel, so hopefully we all sleep well on buses and planes. With the time difference, our flight arrives in Madrid in the evening. We then connect to Barcelona and drive north towards Llavorsi in the Pyrenees where we’ll arrive after midnight at our rural hotel.
Day 9 : Noguera Pallaresa
Leisurely morning to make up for the tough day of travel. Half day of rafting from Llavorsi to Rialp on the Noguera Pallaresa, a Class III/IV mountain river. This is some of the finest whitewater that Europe has to offer!
Day 10 : Noguera Pallaresa
Raft another half-day section of this exciting river, enjoying the rapids and scenery of the high Pyrenees. In the afternoon we’ll drive back to Barcelona and check into our hotel.
Day 11 : Barcelona and on
Free time in Barcelona, a lovely city full of soaring cathedrals, and world-renowned museums. We’ll head to the airport in the early afternoon and board our flight to Nairobi.
Day 12 : Athi River
Early morning arrival in Nairobi, Kenya. We’ll be met by our local outfitter and drive straight to our put-in on the Athi River. The section of the Athi River that we run borders Tsavo National Park to the east with great wildlife spotting opportunities.
Day 13 : Athi River
Early start, so we can be on the river for the best of the game viewing. A full day of rafting (30 km) with numerous sections of class II and III white water plus two big Class IV drops.
Day 14 : Athi River & Nairobi
Our last morning on the Athi will bring us exciting rapids and dense vegetation. After lunch we’ll enjoy an easy afternoon float through the African bush on the Athi, then drive back to Nairobi.
Day 15 : Nairobi and on
Your morning is free in Nairobi. Our next flight leaves in the late afternoon for Mumbai (Bombay), India.
Day 16 : Tons River Camp
Early morning arrival in the morning in India, in time to connect with a flight to Dehra Dun, high in the Himalayas near Nanda Devi. From there we will drive to the comfortable fixed camp on the banks of the Tons River, deep in a pine-scented forest.
Day 17 : Tons River
A full day of Class III-IV rafting on the crystalline Himalayan waters of the Tons. This is a rocky and technical river with great granite gorges and lots and lots of whitewater delights.
Day 18 : Tons River and on
A half-day more on this special river will not be regretted. We’ll return to the camp for lunch and to change into our city clothes, then spend the afternoon driving back to Dehra Dun. After a great Indian dinner we’ll board the Mussoorie Express overnight train to Delhi, where we will sleep comfortably in our berths as the train speeds us across the Indian plains.
Day 19 : On to Queensland
Morning arrival into Delhi with free time. Early afternoon it’s time to transfer to the airport for a flight to Cairns, Australia.
Day 20 : Cairns
Arrive in Cairns in the early afternoon with free time to explore.
Day 21 : North Johnstone or similar
Anybody tired yet? Wait, don’t answer that…we need your strength for paddling! This will be the highlight of our trip, a departure from our short trips to enjoy one of the world’s greatest rivers. The trip starts early with a drive to Mungalli Falls and a spectacular helicopter ride into the river gorge. After a riverside lunch, the rafting begins. This river will require all the skills we have honed during the previous three weeks as it is challenging and fast, four days of world class whitewater.
At the time of writing, the North Johnstone is no longer offered as a commercial trip due to challenging logistics and demand limited by its cost, difficulty and unpredictable water levels. However, our Queensland river outfitter, with a long track record of trips on the river, is working to make it possible for our group to run it anyway. If water levels on the North Johnstone or some other unforeseen complication make it impossible for us to do so, our back-up plan is to run a section of the Herbert River. The Herbert is a bigger river, and it flows through spectacular canyons instead of rainforest, but it is equally challenging and pristine, with excellent rapids and some easy portaging. We may not know which river we'll run until we are en route, but for simplicity the following descriptions of our days in Queensland are based on the North Johnstone."
Days 22 - 23 : North Johnstone or similar
The North Johnstone is a steep, natural flowing river that carves its way through a spectacular volcanic gorge. Infrequent departures, small group sizes and stringent National Park regulations ensure that the North Johnstone and the surrounding ancient rainforests are preserved for all time, offering rafters a rare glimpse of a very precious and untouched part of North Queensland’s World Heritage Rainforests. From the exhilarating helicopter ride in, through four days of gigantic Class V rapids, breathtaking scenery and unforgettable companions, to the serenity of camping three nights under the stars in riverside rainforest clearings, you’ll never experience anything like it. We’ll explore waterfalls (including one 600 feet high!) and creeks, camp in little pockets inside the rainforest, and listen to the songs of the birds as we navigate.
Day 24 : North Johnstone or similar/Cairns
Just one more big day of rafting before we drive back to Cairns, where we’ll arrive in the evening. Tonight is our farewell dinner.
Day 25 : Cairns and Departure for the U.S.
We have a free morning in Cairns to rest and pack for the final push home, or head for the beach. Our long mid-afternoon flight gets into LAX at around 10 pm as we benefit from the International Date Line. You may sleep now.
DATES: Best time to go: May Departures: No group departures scheduled.
$8,695 (6-12 members)
Round-the-world airfare is not included in the land cost of the trip. Approximate price $5,500 per person (Economy Class)
Note: We also offer shorter versions of the trip. (May 9-23 starts in Fresno, California ends in Naiorobi, Kenya) & (May 19-Jun 2 starts in Nairobi, Kenya ends in Cairns, Australia). Please call for details at 1-800-282-8747.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Follow-the-leader trips take you to special places you’d never find on your own, places that a veteran MTS leader has longed to visit. The leader’s knowledge of group travel and the expertise of our local contacts will make sure things run smoothly and safely. Although additional guide assignments can change, your lead guide will be John Yost.
John is the Co-founder of Sobek Expeditions (now Mountain Travel Sobek) which became the largest international rafting company in the world. He has run over 30 international river exploratories, has run all but a couple of rivers Sobek runs or at one time ran commercially, and has boated most of the rivers in the western US. He has been a consultant with international “eco” lodges around the globe and was recently named a member of the board of directors with Friends of the River, a non-profit organization working to protect California rivers. John is known for his culinary skills in the kitchen, and will make his famous Omo Chicken Curry for you on the trip, which was named during the first descent of the Omo River in Ethiopia in 1973.