It’s hard to qualify what makes the best waterfalls. Seeing a waterfall could be one of the most beautiful things in this world. Endless rushing water creates a peaceful vibe that can be almost therapeutic. There are millions of waterfalls to be discovered and as time passes we tend to preserve them for future generations. Almost everywhere you go in this world you’re bound to find a gushing river that leads over the falls. Here is our list of the best waterfalls from around the world.
The best waterfalls: Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls is large enough to cover viewpoints from both sides of the Canadian and United States border. On the American side, known as the Bridal Veil, the waterfall reaches a height of 176 feet and it drops roughly 567811 litres per second. On the Canadian side, known as Horseshoe Falls, it stands at 167 feet, dropping 2,271,247 litres per second of water. Travellers from both countries visit the waterfall, and access it in different ways. Niagara Falls has their own bus station that runs Greyhound Coaches departing both from Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, United States (NY). The buses run frequently throughout the day and both take roughly 1.5 – 2 hours to get to the waterfall. From there, you can view Niagara Falls from the Hurricane deck – or if you’re feeling brave, you can venture down into a boat and see it firsthand it will be sure to please you with its spectacular view of worldly mist and water.
Yangtze River Waterfalls, China
The Yangtze is the third largest river in the world, and is reputable because of the history and culture that exists around the river itself. To this day, the Yangtze is the largest water source in China, providing China with the largest Dam project and hydro-electric power station in the world. The river is known historically as being the dividing line between the areas of North and South – areas where the cultures were considered different. It is said that the source of the water of the Yangtze River is from the glaciers of the Tanggula Mountains. The Yangtze River runs through 9 major cities, and ends in Shanghai, so getting to the river isn’t difficult – the best way to see all that this historical and cultural river has to offer is best on a River Cruise. You can get on a cruise from ports at any of the major cities which have ports, including Chongging, Yichang and Wuhan.
A beautiful sight, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall stands out amongst the cliff faces and greenery of rural Iceland. The waterfall itself has a drop of over 200 feet, and there are trails behind the waterfall for hikers that offer spectacular views of the waterfall and its’ surrounds. There are stairs that go up and behind the waterfall, so the hike isn’t particularly difficult – but be wary of the trail and stairs when it’s wet, as it can get slippery and icy. To get to the Seljalandsfoss, you will have to drive (as you will with most places in Iceland) on Road 1, from Selfoss. After approximately 20km, from Hvolsvollur, take the exit onto Road 249 to Porsmork. The waterfall is shortly after the exit on a ring road, and you should be able to see it from Road 1 if the conditions are clear.
Triphammer Falls, USA
What makes Triphammer Falls so interesting is their location. The falls consist of two drops, the first drop is partially obscured, whilst the second half is in full view and can be seen from the street and bridge on East Avenue, Ithaca New York. The waterfall is an urban one – set in the middle of the campus of Cornell University, and at the bottom, also visible from East Avenue is an abandoned power station. The whole scene gives off quite an eerie vibe, but that’s what makes it so interesting – it’s nature’s way of disturbing urban growth.
Madhabkund Waterfall, Bangladesh
The Madhabkund is one of the most popular tourist spots in Bangladesh, not only for its wonderful waterfall but also for the surrounding forest – which is an area great for picnics, parties and day trips. The waterfall drops 200ft into the water below, a river which flows into several smaller streams in the surrounding green forests. You can make your way to the Madhabkund via train from the Dakshinbagh railway station, on the Kulaura track line, which is about 5km from the waterfall. The train ride itself is quite beautiful, offering zigzagging scenery that is luscious and exotic.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Argentina
Located on the border between Argentina and Brazil is the Iguazu River, home to the Iguazu Falls. Legend says that the falls were formed in a rage by a god, who once planned to marry a beautiful woman. But she fled in a canoe to meet another lover. In his rage, the god separated the river, creating the stunning waterfalls that exist today. Aside from the beauty of the falls themselves, the surrounding country is equally as beautiful. Thick luscious forestry around the river and the waterfall, there are a number of viewing points which give different views and perspectives of all of the misty glory that the waterfalls have to offer. To get to the waterfalls, you can travel from either the Argentine Cataratas International Airport or the Brazilian Foz do Iguacu International airport, where buses and taxi services can transport you directly to the river. The buses and taxis run on several trips daily, so you won’t miss out on any opportunity to see these stunning set of waterfalls.
The Skogafoss could be referred to as the diva of waterfalls, as it is the sight in which some filming for the Hollywood Marvel movie Thor: The Dark World occurred. Aside from that, the Skogafoss is one of the largest and unique looking waterfalls in Iceland. It resides between two mountains, both of which dip down providing a large open space for water to drop 200 feet. What makes it the most unique is that the waterfall, unlike its counterpart the Seljalandsfoss, the Skogafoss has an astounding width of 82 feet. You can also hike up and around the waterfall, giving 360 views and leading up to the glaciers that provide Skogafoss with water. You should opt for driving to the Skogafoss, and you can see the waterfall from the Ring Road 105km east of Selfoss city.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls are easily the most recognizable feature of popular Disney movie Up. Yep, you got it, the waterfalls and cliffs featured in the film are called Angel Falls are in fact located in Venezuela. The name “Angel Falls” only came to be in the early 20th century, when US aviator Jimmie Angel was the first recorded person to fly over the beautiful scene. There’s no doubt that Angel Falls are one of Venezuela’s biggest tourist hot spots, but making a trip there isn’t easy. The falls are located amongst isolated jungle, and in order to see the falls you must stay in a camp at the falls base in the jungle. For eager travellers, you should catch a flight from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolivar to reach the Canaima camp, where you can join a river trip. Keep in mind that river trips normally run from June to December, when the water is high. Why not just attach some balloons to your house and join the adventure of Up, too?
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Located in the mountainous central Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a protected area home to over 296 square kilometres of cliffs, forests, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and underground caving systems. In 1979, the national park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, due to the sedimentary rocks and vegetation in the area. Among the large number of lakes within the national park, there are two major waterfalls. Veliki Slap waterfall is approximately 78 metres high, and the smaller waterfall Galovacki Buk sits at 25 metres. Overall the area holds great significance historically, as it once was the location of the Ottoman Wars, where the Croatian Military Frontier resided. Today, however, it remains an environmental sanctuary and one of Croatia’s largest and most protected tourism spots. To get to the Plitvice Lake National Park, fly into Zagreb as it is the nearest International airport and from there you can get bus transfers. Most hotels or information centres run shuttle buses to the National Park on a daily basis.
The Litlanesfoss is a breathtaking waterfall quite unlike any other. Located in Iceland, this waterfall is unique because of the beautiful rock formations, each of which are cut in the shape of hexagons and are a range of sizes and heights. The rock formations are the result of rapid cooling of basaltic magma that occured over 60 million years ago. The rock formations give the impression of a cliff of stepping stones, leading up to the top where the water drops from the Lagarfljot Lake above. Similarly to the legend of the Scottish Loch Ness, there is believed to be a large serpent living in the Lagarfljort. Drive from Egilsstahir heading south on the Ring Road (ROAD 1). From there, take a right onto Route 931 and follow it towards Lagarfljort where you will cross a bridge and reach a three-way junction. Turn left onto Route 933 and the turnout for the car park is shared with that for the Henigfoss waterfall above the Litlanesfoss.
Havasu Falls, USA
Havasu Creek in the Grand Canyon, Arizona and home to the tribal lands of the Havasupai is where Havasu Falls are located. The falls have a main drop of approximately 90 feet and are surrounded by bush and canyon desert. The location is great for family picnics and day trips, as there are also great swimming locations behind the falls where the water is deep. You must hike to reach the falls, and in order to do so you must drive to the Hualapai Hilltop via Route 66 and then turn off to Indian Road 18, where you will find a monitored parking lot. From there you can locate the trail head and hike to the bottom, where you can grasp a real sense of nature and the culture of the tribal area. Please keep in mind that there are no facilities at the park – bring enough water, food and petrol as extra supplies are not available.
Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, Philippines
Located at the Villa Escudero Resort in The Philippines, this restaurant gives guests a dining experience quite unlike any other. You can enjoy your meal as water from the falls behind you stream underneath your table, over your feet and into surrounding streams. The inside of this restaurant is a great example of civilisation meets nature. Almost all of the waterfall is untouched and natural, running freely through the establishment. There are also large trees throughout the restaurant, giving you the feeling of eating in the middle of a rainforest. It’s truly a unique experience. To get to the resort, you should take the south highway from Alabang and exit at 50A. Take a left at the Sto Tomas junction, by passing Alaminos and San Pablo City until you reach the Quezon arch.
Multnomah Falls, USA
Located on the. Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge are the Multnomah Falls, a two tier waterfall that has an equal total drop of 620 feet. There is a bridge located nearby that allows visitors to cross the 105feet of the lower tier of the falls, giving spectacular views of the waterfall and of the surrounding gorge and forest. The trail that leads to and around the foot bridge is also quite beautiful, immersed in deep forests which look the most spectacular in the autumn time, when the weather is cool and the leaves are changing colour.. The falls are just a 30 minute drive from the area of Portland and can be accessed only by foot.
Seven Sisters, Norway
A waterfall that consists of seven separate streams, the tallest with a drop of 820 feet is located on the Geirangerfjord in Norway, which is one of the most brilliant and spectacular places to visit when in Scandanavia. The falls are UNESCO World Heritage listed, due to their location and importance to river flow in the area. The best way to see the Seven Sisters is by boat, and so the best option is to take a cruise – particularly a day trip ferry out onto the waters of the Geirangerfjord. Day trips port from Geiranger and Hellsyt daily.
Skradinski Buk, Croatia
Located in the Krka National Park in Croatia is the Skradinski Buk waterfalls, surrounded by a massive natural pool and amazing forests. The waterfalls of Skradinski Buk are considered to be one of the most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls in all of Europe. The perks to visiting the waterfalls is that in the national park there are a total of 17 waterfalls to see, as well as the beautiful surrounds of the Krka National Park. You can travel to the park via car or bus from Split to Krka in the A1 and then enter via the Skradin entry. From here, you can get a boat directly to the waterfalls.
Glory Hole Waterfall, USA
For travellers who enjoy a solid hike, then look no further than the hike to the Glory Hole waterfall in Deer, Arkansas. The hike to the waterfall is entirely uphill, but the end location is a guaranteed “worth it”. The glory hole waterfall is entirely unique in that the running water has gradually eroded a hole in a hollowed cave and now water plummets through the hole into the underground. The trailhead is located off the Highway 16, approximately 2 miles west of Edwards Junction, Arkansas. Keep in mind there are no facilities, so bring water and good shoes on your hike.
Victoria Falls, Zambia
The Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe are often described as some of the most majestic waterfalls in the world. The falls are high, flowing from basalt cliffs that create a fantastic rough and dramatic torrent below, which is great for white water rafting. Victoria Falls are not a one day trip. Whilst in the area you should opt for going on lion walks, white water rafting, swimming, river boarding, kayaking and on an elephant back trail ride. There are a number of vantage points around the falls that offer panoramic views. It’s suggested that when in Victoria Falls, you stay at a local hotel or lodge to get the most out of the amazing area.
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Amongst the thick, luscious jungle of Guyana in South America are the Kaieteur Falls. The total drop, including the series of tumbles at the bottom, is a total of approximately 822 feet, making it four times the height of Niagara Falls. There are a number of hiking tracks through the jungle and around the falls, and it’s great to keep an eye out for local wildlife. The best way to get to the falls is by booking a day trip that departs from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. Day trips normally include a small plane flight over the jungle and above the falls – great for photos, and then arrival at the Falls airport, where you will be guided to vantage points and trails.
Gotca Falls, Peru
Flowing from the Cocahuayco River are they Gocta Falls, located in the Chachapoyas providence of Peru. The waterfall has two major drops and has only recently become “world-known” after a German expedition led into the jungles of South America in 2005. The total height of the falls measures 2530 feet. It wasn’t until 2006 that the Peruvian government began to encourage tourism to the area. Since then, a few trails have been made to surround the falls but overall it remains quite untouched. If you’re interested in visiting a touch of the great unknown, this is the place to be. You can speak to hotel concierge about organising a mototaxi direct from Pedro Ruiz to Cocachimba.
Watkins Glen, USA
Located in New York State the glen’s stream within the Watkins Glen State Park extends over two miles, descending 400 feet and flowing into 19 waterfalls in the area. Visitors to the park have the option to marvel over the fantastic array of waterfalls, or to swim, camp, fish or go on tours of the gorge whilst visiting the park. The Watkins Glen is a great place for families to go camping or on a picnic, as it isn’t too far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but far away enough for you to enjoy the beauty of simplicity and nature. Keep in mind that the park only operates in warmer the months, reopening in mid-May and then closing again come November. To get to the park take the I90, exit 42 to Route 14 south or from the I86, take exit 52A to Route 14 north.