Sea of Cortez, Mexico: The sea of Cortez is located between the Baja peninsula (the peninsula that hangs down beneath California) and the rest of Mexico. There, rugged island cliffs jut out of impossibly clear water. Take the opportunity to explore these islands, many of which can only be visited by boat. Local wildlife includes: blue-footed boobies, manta rays, and blue whales.

Hebrides, Scotland: In the Scottish Hebrides, you can kayak clear turquoise water amid seals and seabirds, explore countless islands and sea stacks, and peek into inlet caves. Aside from being incredibly picturesque, this is a great trip for beginning sea kayakers.

Fiordland, New Zealand: If you want to explore the natural beauty of New Zealand, there’s nowhere better than the Milford Sound in Fiordland, National Park. And there’s no better way to explore the Milford Sound than by kayak. Paddle past rainforests and towering mountains, and keep an eye out for fur seals, penguins, and bottlenose dolphins.

Vancouver Island, Canada: In the waters off the coast of Canada, you can paddle alongside killer whales and past the towering, snow capped peaks of Vancouver Island.

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia: From the clear, sunny waters off the coast of Croatia, you can see beautiful historical architecture or escape the crowds for the uninhabited beaches of wooded islands.

Whitsunday Islands, Australia: Get a new and magical view of this popular Australian vacation spot. Kayakers can leave the crowds behind and venture into clear waters and stunning reefs, visit empty white beaches, and see sea turtles, dolphins, sea eagles, colorful butterflies and tropical fish.

Grand Teton National Park: Explore the lakes of Grand Teton National Park, where you can see osprey, antelope, and moose along the banks. Some of the most beautiful spots in the park are only reachable by kayak, so if you plan to go, definitely plan to spend a day on the water.

Sermilik Fjord, Greenland: Time this trip carefully–Sermilik Fjord is completely blocked by icebergs during the cold months of the year. In the summer, however, the cold waters are calm and pristine, and you can paddle among the remaining ice with seals and whales.

Na Pali Coast, Hawaii: From the waters surrounding the island of Kauai, Hawaii, you can take in a unique view of this tropical paradise. See the island’s jagged green cliffs, explore partially submerged caves. Local wildlife includes: dolphins, seals, humpback whales, flying fish, and sea turtles.