Would you like to get thrilled with some of the most beautiful views in the world, since the beginning of time? We found the perfect destinations for you, your family and friends…and anyone else on earth (maybe excluding robots…maybe): waterfalls. In this article we will show you the top 10 most beautiful waterfalls you can ever find around the world. You will discover what makes them unique and where to find them.
Let’s start from the beginning: what’s a waterfall?
“A waterfall is a place where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf.”
We can find several types of waterfalls, each have their own beauty:
- Ledge: the water descends vertically over a vertical cliff, maintaining partial contact with the bedrock;
- Plunge: fast moving water descending vertically, losing complete contact with the bedrock surface;
- Horsetail: the descending water maintains contact with bedrock most of the time;
- Cascade: the water descends a series of rock steps;
- Tiered/Multi-step/Staircase: you enjoy a series of waterfalls one after another of almost the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool;
- Cataract: large, powerful waterfall;
- Segmented: as it descends, it creates separate flows of water;
- Frozen: having some element of ice or snow;
- Moulin: a waterfall in a glacier.
Now that you know the basics, let’s discover how stunning waterfalls can be in the real life.
11. Detian Waterfall, China and Vietnam
Also knows as “Détiān Pùbù”, it was said to be the Asia’s largest transnational waterfall, because it was shared by both China and Vietnam. What makes it so scenic are the picturesque karst peaks that surround the waterfall. It’s 200m wide with a 75m long drop.
10. Jog Falls, India
It’s created by Sharavathi River and drops 253m (830ft), making it the second highest plunge waterfall in India. It’s located near Sagara taluk, Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka. It is a segmented waterfall and you can see it transform itself into a plunge waterfall, depending on rain and season. The falls are a major tourist attraction and ranked 11th in the world by the waterfall database.
9. Mardalsfossen Fall, Norway
This waterfall drops 297m down into the valley and it’s considered the fourth highest in the world. You can appreciate it mainly from 20th June to 20th August each year, when the hydroelectricity company releases the water, giving the waterfall an impressive sight. You can grab some info for your next trip on VisitNorway.com.
8. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
It’s considered one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls in the world and you can find it in Kaieteur National Park, South America. It’s a fearsome sight for any visitors in Guyana. Four times taller than Niagara Falls, this single drop waterfall shows an astonishing coffee coloured flow. If you are among those who prefer to visit a place quietly, this is one of the best places for you, since travellers generally visit the falls in small groups and the area is never crowded.
7. Yosemite Falls, USA
Located in the Yosemite National Park, Califoria, home to countless waterfalls, the Yosemite falls is 739m (2,425 ft) high, making it one of the tallest on the planet. Made of three separate falls, it delights the visitors with a roaring runoff from April through June, and with ice cones at the base of the upper fall during winter. More info on the National Park Service website by U.S. Department of the Interior.
6. Waihilau, Hawaii Islands, USA
One of Hawaii Island’s most breathtaking and accessible waterfall located in the Waimanu Valley (one of the amphitheatres that formed on the flanks of the extinct Kohala Volcano). Named the third-tallest waterfall in Hawaii and 13th-highest in the world, it offers an impressive 790m (2,600 ft) height. White water drops down a tremendous cliff covered in lush green vegetation.
5. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
It’s one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. Dropping 60 m (197 ft), it’s part of the Seljalands River that originates in the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull. What’s the spectacular thing? Visitors can walk behind it into a small cave.
4. Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
It doesn’t need any presentations: it’s probably the most known in the world (thanks to Hollywood too -Ed.). It’s big, bold, simply beautiful…and can be seen from two very distinct sides (Canada and United States). Haven’t visited it yet? This is an interesting article to discover which side of Niagara Falls you should visit.
3. Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Another example of how to enjoy a waterfall from two distinct sides: Zambia or Zimbabwe. One of the most visited locations by tourists in Africa, this waterfall lets people immediately know “who’s the boss” with its powerful big water flow and sound. And if you have the chance to spot the rainbow, it will be like magical. With its combined width of 1,708m (5,604 ft) and height of 108m (354 ft), it’s classified as one of the world’s largest waterfall.
2. Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
Originated from the Iguazu River, they are located on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. They are considered the largest waterfalls system on earth, one of the most majestic natural wonders of the world, thanks to 275 drops of different heights and widths. Special walkways have been built to bring the visitors straight into the heart of this spectacular place. If you don’t know which side to choose between Argentina and Brazil, this guide will help you straight away.
1. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Also called Salto Ángel, this is the tallest waterfall in the world dropping about a kilometre (979m or 3,212 ft) and with a plunge of 807 meters (2,648 ft). If you would like to visit it you just need to travel to the Auyán-tepui mountain in the Canaima National Park.
The 979 metres consists of the main plunge, 400 metres of sloped cascade and rapids below the drop and a 30 metres high plunge downstream of the talus rapids. It takes the name from the US aviator Jimmie Angel who was the first person to fly over the falls.
Although Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, it’s not easy to visit it, since it’s located in an isolated jungle. Despite that, the falls receive approximately 900,000 visitors per year.
Have you ever visited a waterfall in your life? Which one do you like most that you wish to add to the list? Tell us your story by commenting below.