There is nothing like seeing a massive waterfall. The towering view of a mountain with additional roaring water and power overloads your senses with beauty. Such memories are why it is worthy to add a few waterfalls to your bucket list. A visit to a waterfall can be a life-changing moment!
Here are the 12 of the best waterfalls in the world to see before you die!
1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
The Iguazu Falls are a series of 275 waterfalls at the border of Argentina and Brazil, creating the largest waterfall in the world! The Iguazu River pours down its water into a large crevice, showing a magnificent display of mist that nourishes the Amazon. With such a beautiful sight, the Iguazu Falls deserve to be on top of your list of waterfalls to visit in South America.
2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
Victoria Falls is one of the most impressive landmarks in Africa and is aptly named The Smoke That Thunders. The Zambezi River pours down a chasm called The First Gorge, creating a misty sheet of thunderous, falling water heard from kilometers away. The bottom of the gorge can be covered by smoky mist, conveying otherworldly power and force.
3. Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
The Niagara Falls are a group of waterfalls at the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. The Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three falls – the two other falls are the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls – and is the most powerful waterfall in North America by flow rate! The falls are incredible whether you view them from above or below. The boat rides and cliff hikes make the experience even more memorable.
4. Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia
While smaller than other well-known waterfalls, Plitvice makes up for it with its majesty. Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia contains many tranquil tufa lakes connected by waterfalls. The national park is home to hundreds of individual waterfalls, the most notable ones being the Veliki Slap and the Veliki Prstavac. The lakes and rivers are well-protected, and you can enjoy viewing their turquoise, crystal clear waters.
5. Yosemite Falls, California, USA
The Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park. When you visit the park, you will be in awe of the multi-tiered waterfall that flows down steep rock faces. It is easiest to reach the lower Yosemite Falls. But if you are adventurous enough, there is a hike that you can take to go to the Upper Yosemite Falls to see the beautiful waterfall from above.
6. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
The Kaieteur Falls may be one of the lesser-known gorgeous waterfalls hidden in the Amazonian wilderness of Guyana. The Kaieteur Falls has a single drop height of 741 feet combined with a strong flow rate to leave any traveler in awe. You can reach Kaieteur Falls either by plane ride or by an exciting overland trek. Hiking can lead you through pristine jungle wilderness, where you will see rare wildlife such as golden dart frogs!
7. Kawasan Falls, Cebu Island, Philippines
The Kawasan Falls is a small, multi-tier waterfall in Cebu, Philippines. While the waterfalls themselves are beautiful, what brings tourists to Kawasan is the clear, turquoise water. Each waterfall drop has pools of cool, turquoise water that you can swim in. The lowest part of the falls is usually the most crowded, but you can take small hikes to the higher pools, adding some trekking to your swimming experience!
8. Kuang Si Falls, Laos
The Kuang Si Falls is a three-tiered waterfall near Luang Prabang. The gentle waterfalls flow down to tranquil blue pools that tempt you to swim in. Giant reeds, cascading water, and lush greenery all around can make this place seem like a hidden paradise! There are also many pools that people should not swim in due to their sacredness in Laos culture. The hike to Kuang Si Falls is nice and relaxing, taking only around 15-20 minutes one way. Once you get to the top, there is a breathtaking view of the surrounding area amidst calm, running water.
9. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Don’t forget to visit the Angel Falls deep within the jungles of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park. Angel Falls or Salto Angel is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, towering over the land with 979 meters in height! The mountain that the waterfall is in only adds to its mysteriousness. Venezuela is home to a unique mesa called a tepui, a flat, steep mountain that isolates its top from the surrounding area. This isolation makes them develop unique, unexplored ecosystems.
10. Jog Falls, India
The Jog Falls is a gorgeous waterfall on the Sharavati River in India. With a height of 253 meters, it is the third-highest waterfall in India. During the monsoon season, the roaring water is truly a sight to behold as the mist adds to the lush greenery and wetness of the rainy season. It is also possible to hike down to the base of the waterfalls to add another viewpoint of its magnificence.
11. Ban Gioc Waterfall, Vietnam
The Ban Gioc Waterfall takes its water from the Quây Sơn River, around 8 hours away from Hanoi. Lush jungle and rice paddies surround the multi-tiered waterfall. It also never dries up, making it great for visiting all year round. The waterfall also sits at the border of China and Vietnam, which has a lot of history.
12. Gullfoss (Golden Falls), Iceland
Gullfoss or Golden Falls flows from the Hvítá River in Iceland. It falls in a canyon that creates a staircase-like flow. It is easy to see why Gullfoss is a popular tourist destination in Iceland. The natural beauty of Gullfoss was almost lost when they planned to make it a hydroelectric powerplant. The Golden Falls was preserved, thankfully, due to Sigríður Tómasdóttir, a now-famous figure in Iceland for environmentalism.
There is nothing similar to visiting a great waterfall. You know that you are in for a great experience no matter which country you pick. Make sure to bring a camera for professional photography because even though it is hard to completely capture the sensory experience of your waterfall visit, you will be able to capture a little bit that you can cherish for years to come.