What better way to cool off during your summer travels than taking the plunge on a water slide with speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour?
From the Kilimanjaro in Brazil, to the Aqualoop in Mexico and the Mammoth in Indiana, here are nine of the best water slides in destinations around the world:
1. Mammoth, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Indiana
The world’s first six-person water coaster covers over three acres of the Splashin’ Safari park and has a length of just less than a third of a mile.
“It’s powered with LIMs (linear induction motors), which is the same technology used for roller coasters and light rail transportation,” explains Ruth McMahon, former director at ProSlide Technology Inc.
“These specially adapted LIMs are responsible for the Mammoth’s incredibly fast and steep uphill and downhill sections.”
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, 452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, Indiana; +1 812 937 4401
2. Aqualoop, Ixtapan Parque Acuatico, Mexico
The Aqualoop is one of the few water slides to feature an almost vertical loop-the-loop.
Riders start by standing on a trapdoor. The drop that follows allows them to gain enough speed – up to 60 kilometers an hour – to make it around the loop.
“With the unique slide path, we had to optimize the shape of the loop to maximize the range of riders that could use it while making sure no one got stuck,” says Bruce Bradley, senior engineering specialist at WhiteWater West theme park designers.
Considering the transparency of the slide, that could certainly prove to be embarrassing.
The park is located about 90 minutes by highway (106 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City.
Ixtapan Parque Acuatico, Plaza San Gaspar S/N, Barrio San Gaspar, Ixtapan de la Sal, Estado de México, Mexico; +52 721 143 0878
3. Aquaconda, Aquaventure Waterpark, Dubai
The Aquaconda is the world’s first dual slide-within-a-slide, comprising an enclosed tube slide that weaves in and out of the framework of a flume-style ride.
It’s made from translucent plastic, so passengers on one section can watch those whizzing down the other.
“Before translucent technology, enclosed water slides were dark, almost industrial looking,” says Geoff Chutter, chief executive of WhiteWater West.
“Transparent fiberglass lets in more light and creates beautiful prismatic effects, while also putting on a great show for both spectators and people waiting in line.”
Aquaventure Waterpark, Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; +971 4 426 0000
4. Behemoth Bowl, Chimelong Water Park, Guangzhou, China
Water slide enthusiasts will tell you how the Behemoth Bowl revolutionized water slides with its water injection system, patented corkscrew exit and central drop chute.
But we just love the thrills.
“This is the largest bowl water ride in the world, with a massive 18-meter-diameter,” explains Ruth McMahon at ProSlide Technology Inc.
“The size and shape allow passengers to speed around the perimeter and make multiple revolutions with maximum centrifugal force.”
Chimelong Water Park, Panyu Da Dao, Guangzhou, China; +86 20 8479 2222
5. Tsunami Surge, Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta
The world’s first hybrid zero-gravity slide features a five-story drop and a ride in a whirlpool bowl that spins around at 360 degrees.
Pumping 300,000 gallons of water per hour, Tsunami Surge combines two extreme slide thrills.
The pièce de résistance comes towards the end of the ride, when riders are swept down an enclosed tube into a 40-foot-wide bowl, where they apparently experience a “moment of zero-gravity.”
It’s based at Hurricane Harbour, which launched at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2014, replacing the Southern Star Amphitheater.
Hurricane Harbour, Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway Southwest, Austell, GA 30168; +1 770 739 3400
6. Insano, Beach Park, Brazil
At 41 meters, Insano is the same height as a 14-story building and takes just four to five seconds to reach the ground.
Open since 2012, it remains one of the tallest water slides in the world and is located in Beach Park, the largest Latin American water park.
Beach Park, Rua Porto das Dunas, 2734 - Porto das Dunas, Aquiraz - CE, 61700-000, Brazil; +55 85 4012-300
7. King Cobra, Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa, Turkey
Maxx Royal Resort in Turkey is one of the few places you can whiz along the body of a cobra before sliding up the inside of its mouth – at 51 kilometers per hour.
“It’s regarded as a game-changing waterslide,”says Sohret Pakis of Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems.
“It’s a high-capacity ride with two double tubes, and it’s interactive, because the passengers race each other.
“It has a strong visual impact and a unique spectator appeal, with integrated special effects, such as hissing sounds.”
Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa, Iskele Mevkii, Belek, Turkey; +90 242 710 27 00
8. Super S Slide, Ocean World at Daemyung Resort Vivaldi Park, South Korea
Super S Slide is one of the world’s scariest water slides thanks to its banked twists and turns, unbelievably tight corners and a six-meter-wide enclosed section that sends riders flying up the sides.
“We maximized wall height while eliminating turnover risk,” says Bruce Bradley of WhiteWater West.
“We wanted to design a slide that gives passengers the thrilling feeling that they’re going to flip over when they fly high up on the slide walls, but obviously they don’t!”
Ocean World at Daemyung Resort Vivaldi Park, 262 Hanchigol-gil, Seo-myeon, Hongcheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea; +82 1588-4888
9. Kilimanjaro, Aldeia das Águas Park Resort, Brazil
Named after the famous mountain in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is 49.9 meters tall and has a drop height of 164 feet.
Currently the world’s tallest water slide, it reaches speeds of nearly 100 kilometers per hour and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The slide can be found at the 330 thousand square meter Aldeia das Águas Park Resort, which is located around about 120 kilometers from the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Aldeia das Águas Park Resort, BR-393, s/n, Barra do Piraí - RJ, Brazil; +55 24 2433-1122
Originally published in 2014, updated in 2018.