The Top 17 Best Waterfalls in the World

Discover the best waterfalls in the world, there’s always something impressive about seeing tons of water pour over a cliff or cascade over rocks. Majestic waterfalls are among the top geographical features that most vividly represent the beauty and force of nature.

A waterfall doesn’t have to be the biggest, broadest, or most voluminous to be a desirable travel destination, however, the most magnificent falls should undoubtedly occupy a prominent spot on any bucket list.

These are some of the best waterfalls in the world, ranging from strong cascades that plunge over sheer cliffs to multi-step cascades that gently tumble into a succession of pools.

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The Top Best Waterfalls in the World

Criteria for Selection

In compiling the list of the best waterfalls in the world, we employed a rigorous selection process that considered several criteria. These criteria were essential in identifying the most awe-inspiring and captivating waterfalls from around the globe. Below are the main factors we took into account:

  1. Height: The height of a waterfall is a significant factor in determining its grandeur and impact. We prioritized waterfalls with impressive vertical drops, as taller waterfalls often command a greater sense of awe and admiration.
  2. Volume: The volume of water flowing over a waterfall contributes to its power and majesty. We sought out waterfalls with substantial water flow, as larger volumes of water can create more dramatic cascades and breathtaking displays.
  3. Beauty: Beauty is subjective, but we aimed to include waterfalls that are universally recognized for their natural splendor and scenic beauty. Factors such as the surrounding landscape, the shape of the cascade, and the clarity of the water all played a role in our assessment of each waterfall’s beauty.
  4. Accessibility: While some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls are remote and difficult to access, we also considered the accessibility of each waterfall. We included a mix of easily accessible waterfalls and more remote ones, ensuring that our list offers options for all types of travelers.

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The Top Best Waterfalls in the World

1. The Niagara Falls

One of the most well-known and identifiable waterfalls on Earth is Niagara Falls, which is located on the border between Canada and the United States. Its never-ending wall of rushing water, which is made up of American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls, looks to go on forever.

You have to take a boat ride underneath the falls to appreciate their size and force, even if the different viewing decks around them provide breathtaking views and panoramas. Millions of tourists visit Niagara Falls each year to take in its breathtaking beauty and enormous magnitude, and it never ceases to amaze them. Niagara Falls is undoubtedly one of the best waterfalls in the world.

2. Angel Falls

Angel Falls, the world’s tallest waterfall, is located in Venezuela and is undoubtedly one of the best waterfalls in the world, offering breathtaking views you can imagine. Launching from the peak of Auyan Tepui mountain, the waterfall drops 807 meters to the jungle below without any interruptions. Most of the water turns into mist before it hits the ground.

When one considers all of Angel Falls’ numerous cascades and rapids, the overall height is an astounding 979 meters. Angel Falls is somewhat difficult to see due to its isolated location within Canaima National Park, but the breathtaking setting and breathtaking landscape make the effort worthwhile.

3. The Victoria Falls

victoria falls

If you thought Niagara Falls was big, Victoria Falls dwarfs it with its enormous water curtain, which reaches 108 meters in height and spans 1,708 meters. Because of its enormous size, Victoria Falls is considered one of the best waterfalls in the world. The unending stream of water that cascades down the cliff is astonishing to witness and nearly seems unreal.

Appropriately, the falls are known locally as the Smoke that thunders because of the loud roar that emerges from the gorge below and the fine spray that lingers in the air. Victoria Falls, which is tucked away on the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia, must be seen to be appreciated.

4. The Iguazu Falls

One of the best waterfalls in the world, Iguazu Falls, is located on the border between Argentina and Brazil and consists of around 275 distinct cascades, falls, and drops. It is the only waterfall that can therefore compete with Victoria Falls or potentially even surpass it.

Beautiful falls and cascades crisscross the Parana Plateau for about three km, Devil’s Throat Canyon being the unquestionable highlight. From the viewing platform on the Brazilian side, where you are met with teeming sheets of water, a deafening noise, and a fine spray, this is best observed.

The falls are a joy to explore, surrounded by a verdant rainforest. Travelers can explore the surrounding walks and trails or take boat cruises along the Iguazu River. Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world because of its immense magnitude, breathtaking beauty, and unique environment.

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5. The Kaieteur Falls

The Potaro River meanders through the Amazon rainforest, passing through some of the planet’s most beautiful and unspoiled environments before it abruptly ends at Kaieteur Falls. Here, the water drops abruptly (226 meters) through the air to the pool below, sprinkling fine spray all around.

It is the largest single-drop waterfall in the world, astonishingly, because of the enormous amount of water that flows over the fall every second. Given that Kaieteur Falls is more than four times taller than Niagara Falls, it is understandable why it is one of Guyana’s most visited tourist destinations and among the best waterfalls in the world.

6. The Blue Nile Falls

The Blue Nile Falls, also known as Tis Issat or “smoking water” in Amharic, is situated on the Blue Nile River in northern Ethiopia. Despite a significant portion of the water being diverted to a hydroelectric project, they remain one of the best waterfalls in the world and a stunning sight, attracting many visitors to Ethiopia.

7. The Detian Falls

Among the two of the best waterfalls in the world along the Quay Son River are called Detian Falls, and they span the border between China and Vietnam. The lush flora, gorgeous mountains, and karst formations that surround the falls complete the picture-perfect environment, even though the falls’ various tiers and drops are truly breathtaking

The Detian Falls, which were once closed off to the outside world owing to different boundary conflicts, are becoming a more and more well-liked tourist attraction. Countless tourists enjoy boat rides beneath the falls, dousing themselves in a fine mist of spray.

8. Huangguoshu

Huangguoshu, one of the best waterfalls in the world and one of Asia’s biggest waterfalls, is 77.8 meters (255 feet) high and 101 meters (330 feet) wide. It is one of eighteen waterfalls in the vicinity. Near the rear of Huangguoshu is a 134-meter (440-foot) naturally formed cave where guests may see the waterfall up close and even get a chance to touch the water.

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9. The Jog Falls

The Jog Falls, regarded as one of the best waterfalls in the world, is India’s tallest waterfall, created by the River Sharavathi, plunging from a staggering height of 253 meters (829 ft). During the dry season, Jog Falls is nearly concealed, with only two small streams trickling down the cliff face. However, come the monsoon season, the waterfall springs to life, exceeding even the height and volume of Kaieteur Falls in Guyana.

10. The Gullfoss

The Gullfoss

Because Gullfoss is one of the best waterfalls in the world, tucked away in a massive chasm that slashes across the otherwise desolate Icelandic countryside, its immense size and scope only become clearer the closer you go. But as soon as you get to the brink of the cliff, you’ll discover that the massive falls and gushing cascades have the biggest volume in all of Europe.

Its two sets of falls, which are almost at right angles to one another, present a breathtaking spectacle, and the sound of its flowing roar perfectly complements the dramatic nature on display. Gullfoss, whose name means “Golden Falls,” gets its name from the color of its waters, which glisten enticingly in the sunlight.

11. Nohkalikai Falls

Nohkalikai Falls, which are located close to Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth, are classified as plunge waterfalls, meaning that as the water cascades over a cliff on the edge of the Himalayas, it loses contact with the rock.

The Nohkalikai waterfall, one of the best waterfalls in the world and the tallest of its kind in India, sees a significant variation in volume depending on the season. Fed by rainwater collected on the forested plateau above, it peacefully empties into a turquoise-green pool during the dry season, but during the monsoon, the water shatters into a whirlwind of white spray

12. The Tugela Falls

One of the best waterfalls in the world and one of the tallest, Tugela Falls, is made up of five connected falls located in the Drakensberg Mountains of the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa. Overlooking the breathtaking Amphitheatre, an impressive rock wall that is a well-liked tourist destination in and of itself, and the waterfalls in jumping falls.

Hikers can reach the summit of Tugela Gorge after a six-hour journey that crosses the river several times. For a complete perspective of Tugela Falls’ five tiers, hikers can descend a less strenuous walk to the waterfall’s base.

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13. Plitvice Waterfalls

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is renowned as one of the best waterfalls in the world and is the most visited natural site in Croatia due to its picturesque terrain and the cascades that connect its 16 lakes. Nestled in wooded hills close to the Bosnian border, the charming water paradise created by tiny streams, lakes, and waterfalls beckons exploration.

It is simple to explore the park on foot thanks to a network of bridges, platforms, and plank walkways. The tallest waterfall in the nation, Veliki Slap, is visible from the lower lakes, which are accessible by free boat excursions from the higher lakes.

14. The Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls, one of the best waterfalls in the world and the largest in the United States falls down a cliff face in three different ways and offers stunning views from several spots inside California’s Yosemite National Park. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the magnificent park and the high Sierra Mountains beyond by hiking to the peak, which is a strenuous all-day trek.

However, the water flow of the falls varies, and during dry spells, they can completely evaporate. After the winter thaw, spring is the ideal season to take in the roar of the falls and their tumbling water.

15. Dettifoss

Dettifoss, considered one of the best waterfalls in the world and the strongest in Europe, is mainly recognized for the amount of water that spills over its edge year-round. In Northeast Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park.

Dettifoss is visible from both banks of the River Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which feeds the falls and plunges into the canyon below. Although there’s a parking park and some of the nicest views on the east bank of the river, the slick trails can get congested in the summer months when tourists are visiting.

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16. The Sutherland Falls

Situated close to Milford Sound, a stunning fjord that is a well-liked tourist attraction in New Zealand, the lake-fed Sutherland Falls cascades down into three glacial lakes that are part of Fiordland National Park.

While airborne tourist trips provide a peek at the inaccessible falls, those who choose to walk the well-known Milford Track are rewarded with views of some of the best waterfalls in the world. Hikers can reach the base of the magnificent falls on the 53-kilometer (33-mile) route in 90 minutes on foot from the Quintin Public Shelter.

17. Gocta Falls

Cataracts in Gocta

The towering Gocta Cataracts near the city of Chachapoyas, one of the best waterfalls in the world and tallest waterfalls in Peru, was unknown to everyone except the natives who live underneath it until 2005 when a German engineer by the name of Stefan Ziemendorff happened upon it while searching for pre-Incan ruins.

Today, the Peruvian government’s development in the area has made the two-tiered cataract a famous tourist destination. The waterfall is now easily accessible on foot or by horseback thanks to trails, and the tiny hotel located near the base gives picturesque views of the impressive waterfall from every room.

Tips for Visiting Waterfalls

Visiting waterfalls can be an exhilarating and memorable experience, but it’s important to be prepared and mindful of safety considerations.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your waterfall adventure:

  1. Check Local Regulations: Before visiting a waterfall, research any regulations or restrictions in place, such as park entrance fees, permits, or trail closures. Respect these regulations to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.
  2. Wear Appropriate Footwear: Many waterfall trails can be slippery and uneven, so be sure to wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good traction. Avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals, as they can increase the risk of slipping and falling.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Spending time outdoors, especially near waterfalls, can be physically demanding. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you’ll be hiking or exploring for an extended period.
  4. Pack Essentials: Along with water, consider bringing snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. Additionally, don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning scenery and memories of your visit.
  5. Respect the Environment: Help preserve the natural beauty of waterfalls by practicing Leave No Trace principles. Stay on designated trails, pack out any trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife or vegetation.
  6. Stay Safe: Be cautious around slippery rocks and fast-moving water, especially near the edge of cliffs or waterfalls. Heed warning signs and barriers, and never attempted to climb or dive from waterfalls.
  7. Observe Wildlife from a Distance: If you encounter wildlife during your visit, maintain a safe distance and observe them quietly without disturbing their natural behavior. Avoid feeding or approaching animals, as this can be harmful to both them and you.
  8. Be Mindful of Weather Conditions: Weather can change rapidly in outdoor environments, so check the forecast before your visit and be prepared for changing conditions. Avoid visiting waterfalls during heavy rain or thunderstorms, as this can pose safety risks.

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In conclusion, Waterfalls are nature’s masterpieces, each offering a glimpse into the awe-inspiring power and beauty of the natural world. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to reconnect with nature, exploring these best waterfalls is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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