Nature is the gift that keeps on giving. But of all of her offerings, none are as spellbinding as a cascading river falling over a cliff. Ready to discover the most beautiful waterfalls in the world?
The USA and Canada have Niagara Falls, Iceland has Gullfoss and Venezuela has Angel Falls… the list of natural water wonders goes on. I’ve been lucky to see a fair few across the world and their beauty still astounds me. Every. Single. Time.
You can find a beautiful waterfall in any part of the world, no matter how hidden away they are. From the gorgeous surrounding landscapes, glittering pools and breathtaking views – it’s little wonder that they’re renowned as some of nature’s most majestic landmarks.
These are the most stunning waterfalls in the world.
The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls At Your Fingertips
Niagara Falls, Canada + USA
Yeah, yeah. No guide to the best waterfalls in the world is complete without Niagara Falls. I know. These falls are found at the southern end of the Niagara Gorge, on the border between Ontario, Canada and New York, USA.
Niagara Falls comprises three main waterfalls which feed from the Niagara river: the larger Horseshoe Falls and the smaller American and Bridal Veil falls. The falls’ total height is about 57 m, with Horseshoe falls stretching as wide as 790 m.
There are numerous observation decks in both countries for all three falls, but the most popular viewing point is a boat cruise, which takes you to the base of the falls.
Top Tip: Book this boat tour to get up close and personal with the falls, just remember to wear a waterproof coat. Or, even better, one of those really ugly ponchos that keep you totally dry.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Argentina
Iguazu Falls is the crown jewel in Mother Nature’s waterfall collection, arguably number one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. Stretching over the Misiones, Argentine border into the Brazilian Paraná, this system flowing from the Iguazu river is the largest worldwide.
There are between 150-300 different chutes flowing down into a 60-80 m chasm known as the Devil’s Throat, a number of which can be viewed from the designated pathways and tours in both countries.
About 20% of the falls lie in Brazil’s Iguaçu National Park, compared to the 80% that falls under Argentina’s National Iguazu Park.
Top Tip: This tour, from the Argentine side, is excellent value if seeing the Iguazu Falls is on your bucket list.
Victoria Falls, Zambia + Zimbabwe
Another favourite for travellers (including myself), for this waterfall, we’re going to Africa to visit the Zambia/Zimbabwe border. Victoria Falls flows from the Zambezi river into a staggering 108 m drop, as far as 1708m in width.
There are four main streams from Zimbabwe to Zambia, with the highest stream (Rainbow falls) being right over the border.
You can view the falls from vantage points in either country, although you will need to have a multi-entry visa or purchase one at the border. There are also numerous activities to do by these falls, like bungee jumping, whitewater rafting and game fishing.
Yosemite Falls, USA
You probably already know that the Yosemite National Park in Sierra Nevada, California is filled with gorgeous natural scenery. To reach Yosemite Falls, you’ll get to do one of the best hikes in Yosemite for a spectacular view of cascading water from 739 m high.
The falls has three sections with six chutes, although only two are easily seen from the observation points. You can access the Upper Yosemite Fall (440 m) via a steep 3.5-mile trail that can be crowded in spring.
If you’re not up for the hike, you can always pick another vantage point in the valley to view the falls.
Yumbilla Falls, Peru
Next up, let’s head to South America, near the Peruvian town of Cuispes, to visit the fifth-tallest waterfall in the world: Yumbilla Falls. Visiting this waterfall in the Amazonas region is definitely among the best things to do in Peru.
This four-tiered waterfall reaches an impressive height of 895 m and is only about a 3-mile hike from town. Once there, you can enjoy a good swim in the pool at the base of the falls or lounge on the banks for some tranquil wildlife watching.
Salto del Agrio Waterfalls, Argentina
Salto del Agrio Waterfall has been on my bucket list for years – you’ll find it in the Patagonia region of Argentina near the quaint town of Caviahue. With a height of 60 m, this is one of the best natural waterfalls in the world for its colourful scenery.
This stream from the Agrio River drops into a beautiful green pool surrounded by red and yellow basaltic rocks. You can access this waterfall via the Copahue Provincial Park, and if you get there early enough (read: make sure you get there early enough), you’ll catch a glimpse of a rainbow coming off the falls.
Kawasan Falls, Philippines
From the Kawasan River in Badian, Philippines, the multi-layered Kawasan Falls is guaranteed to impress if you’re looking for pretty waterfalls.
Bring your camera – Kawasan’s two main chutes, the first measuring 40m in height and the second at 20m, drop into a turquoise pool that is great for swimming amid lush greenery.
It is a 0.9-mile hike up to the first chute, and the terrain offers a great opportunity for some canyoneering in the dry season. However, a word of warning, you’ll want to keep your eyes and ears peeled for typhoon warnings during the wet season.
Top Tip: This Kawasan Falls trip from Cebu is a wonderful way to see the falls up close – especially if you’re brave enough to try your hand at canyoneering.
Krimml Falls, Austria
It’s safe to say that, when it comes to waterfalls, North and South America pretty much reign supreme. However, you should head to Austria for the ultimate Europe bucket list experience — Krimml Falls.
This gorgeous waterfall is in the Krimml village and feeds from the Krimmler Ache River from a towering 380 m drop.
It is a three-tiered waterfall, giving off a generous amount of mist to refresh you before and after your walk. You can hike along the designated path to the upper stage drop for a full view of the bountiful greenery.
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
In the canyon of the Hvítá River in southwestern Iceland, you’ll see another of these stunning waterfalls just two hours away from the capital city. Gullfoss Waterfall, which forms part of the Iceland “Golden Circle”, plunges twice, first from 11 m, then at 21 m, into a 70 m crevice.
At the top, you’ll see a memorial statue of Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who was famously willing to sacrifice her life for the waterfall’s preservation. Today, it is well protected and best experienced in the summer between June and August.
Top Tip: Taking a Golden Circle Tour is one of the best ways to see Gulfoss and other Icelandic wonders.
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls is in the Kaieteur National Park in the Potaro-Siparuni region of Guyana. You can fly to the Kaieteur Airstrip, just a fifteen-minute walk away from this incredible waterfall. It measures 251 m in height and is one of the most powerful waterfalls, flowing at 633 cubic metres per second.
If you’re committed to a good hike, you can take a 4- to 7-day trek up to the falls, but make sure you time everything perfectly. The best time to visit is during the summer monsoons, which can make hiking difficult.
Dudhsagar Falls, India
In India’s Goa State, the Mandovi River drops into a stunning four-tiered Dudhsagar Falls that is one of the tallest in India (310 m). You’ll need to visit the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats for this waterfall.
It’s surrounded by deciduous forestry that you can access via Jeep (rented at the village Collem). The best time to visit is between October and May during monsoon season, although the falls are only accessible between 9 am–6 pm.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
This is another opportunity to start off your South America bucket list in the beautiful Gran Sabana region, Venezuela, for one of the best waterfalls in the world. Known as the tallest uninterrupted waterfall, the Angel Falls in the Canaima National Park stretches as high as 979 m in an isolated jungle.
You will need to head for the Canaima Camp, where your three-hour journey to the falls begins – on the water. There is an uphill hike closer towards the base of the falls, but you’ll definitely be able to see it, and hear it, not long after you leave.
Multnomah Falls, USA
Let’s head back to the USA for this next epic waterfall. All the way in the Columbia River Gorge, east of Troutdale, Oregon, you can access Multnomah Falls on the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate 84.
This two-tiered fall drops from the Multnomah Creek at 189 m, with the stunning Multnomah Creek Bridge stretching just over its second tier so you can have the best view.
Alternatively, you can trek the switchback trail, which ascends about 189 m above the falls, and then descends to an observation deck right over the edge of the falls!
Ban Gioc/Detian Falls, Vietnam + China
I promise I’m not neglecting Asia in this guide to the most incredible waterfalls in the world. Ban Gioc Falls sits on the Vietnam/Chinese border in the Vietnamese province of Cao Bằng in the Trùng Khánh District.
During the drier seasons, it appears as two waterfalls (thác chính and thác phụ). But during summer, you’ll see it flood into one cascading force that drops 30 m.
There are some shallow rock pools that are safe for swimming, or you can raft along the river. This is the fourth largest waterfall on an international border and is easily one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.
Havasu Falls, USA
For some more beautiful waterfalls in USA, get ready for an exciting Grand Canyon hike in Arizona in the Havasupai tribal lands. About 1.5 miles away from Supai, Havasu Falls flows from the Havasu Creek in a single chute of about 27-30 m.
The falls are only accessible via a trail, which you can only access if you make a prior reservation at the campgrounds/lodge and secure a permit. With this, you can enjoy a picnic at the falls and even a dip into the blue-green water, which is coloured by the high levels of calcium carbonate.
Ruby Falls, USA
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to head to Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga for another of the world’s best waterfalls.
And, to see Ruby Falls, you must venture into Lookout Mountain Caverns. This is a conjoined cave system comprising the Lookout Mountain Cave and the Ruby Falls Cave.
A glass-front elevator will take you to the half-mile cavern. Once in the main passage of the Ruby Falls cave, you’ll find one of the best natural beautiful waterfalls, reaching a height of 44m.
Top Tip: Try your best not to drink from the downpour. It’s perfectly safe, but high in magnesium – a natural laxative.
Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World: Map
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