The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

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The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

You need to see them to believe them
The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

Guitar photographer/Shutterstock

These waterfalls are world-renowned and postcard-worthy, surrounded by picturesque cliffs or jungles and with water often cascading down from impressive heights.

Thi Lor Su Waterfall (Thailand)

Thi Lor Su Waterfall (Thailand)

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Considered by some to be the most beautiful waterfall in Thailand, the Thi Lor Su Waterfall is located in the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary. However, this spot is difficult to visit, as the falls can only be reached by a three-hour boat ride and a 6-mile or 15-mile hike.

Mealt Falls (Scotland)

Mealt Falls (Scotland)

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Lush scenery and vibrant culture are just two of the things that make Scotland one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The landscape surrounding Mealt Falls is rocky and colorful, providing a picturesque backdrop for the 328-foot falls.

Yosemite Falls (California)

Yosemite Falls (California)

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California's Yosemite National Park boasts some of the most beautiful places in America’s national parks, including Yosemite Falls. Cascading down 2,425 feet, the falls flow from November to July and peak in May. Visible from several vantage points around Yosemite Valley, the falls can also be hiked to.

Kaieteur Falls (Guyana)

Kaieteur Falls (Guyana)

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Located in the Potaro-Siparuni region of the South American country of Guyana, Kaieteur Falls is the largest single-drop waterfall in the world by volume of water at 822 feet. Set among the lush rainforest scenery of Kaieteur National Park, Kaieteur Falls is considered among the most spectacular natural wonders in the world.

Temurun Waterfall (Malaysia)

Temurun Waterfall (Malaysia)

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Cascading down from high above, the Temurun Waterfall is located in Langkawi, an archipelago off the coast of Malaysia. Nestled within Mat Chincang Nature Park, the waterfall is the tallest in Langkawi and best visited during monsoon season (September and October) when the water is flowing at its heaviest.

Marmore Falls (Italy)

Marmore Falls (Italy)

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Constructed by the Romans to help drain swamps in 271 B.C., Marmore Falls is one of the biggest attractions in Umbria, a region in central Italy. Divided into three separate falls, it’s the highest in Europe and has been a favorite of both poets and writers who have used the falls as creative and romantic inspiration.

Mantayupan Falls (Philippines)

Mantayupan Falls (Philippines)

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Mantayupan Falls is the tallest waterfall on Cebu, a tropical island in the Philippines (the home of some stunning remote islands). Located outside the municipality of Barili, the waterfall is easily accessible, and its water feeds a pond where locals and visitors alike come to fish, picnic and camp.

Seljalandsfoss (Iceland)

Seljalandsfoss (Iceland)

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A trendy travel hotspot, Iceland has so many things to do and see, including the popular Seljalandsfoss. Set along the southern coast of Iceland, this waterfall drops nearly 200 feet. With a footpath at the bottom, it’s one of the few waterfalls that allows visitors to walk behind it.

Wallaman Falls (Australia)

Wallaman Falls (Australia)

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Australia’s highest permanent, single-drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls is located in Girringun National Park. Part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the waterfall is set among some of the oldest rainforests on Earth and is known for the rainbow that appears in the mist at the bottom.

El Limón Waterfall (Dominican Republic)

El Limón Waterfall (Dominican Republic)

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Surging over the top of the Sierra de Samana mountain range in the Dominican Republic, the El Limón Waterfall drops an impressive 130 feet down into a pool below. Surrounded by a jungle landscape of palm trees, the water cascades in a see-through curtain over the mountain’s rockface.

Havasu Falls (Arizona)

Havasu Falls (Arizona)

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The Grand Canyon is unrivaled in scenery and breathtaking natural wonders. Among them is Havasu Falls. The waterfall is located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. The tribe's name means “people of the blue-green waters.” Visiting the falls requires a permit as well as a four-hour drive from Grand Canyon Village and an additional 10-mile hike.

Rhine Falls (Switzerland)

Rhine Falls (Switzerland)

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As one of the destinations abroad that every American should visit in their lifetime, Switzerland offers amazing scenery, castles and awe-inspiring places of worship to visit. Rhine Falls, located along the Rhine River in Schaffhausen, is also a must-see. Formed by glaciers, the falls are 75 feet tall and 490-plus feet wide with a heavy flow, making for a remarkable sight.

Sekumpul Waterfall (Indonesia)

Sekumpul Waterfall (Indonesia)

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Renowned for its beauty, Bali is a place you should see in your lifetime. Cascading down more than 260 feet into a forested valley, the Sekumpul Waterfall requires a three-hour trek to visit, but it’s worth it. Make the hike and you’ll see seven chutes of water descending from the high cliff above, surrounded by a tropical jungle forest.

Iguazu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)

Iguazu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)

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Millions of visitors come to see the Iguazu Falls, a system of more than 270 different falls, in Iguacu National Park. Flowing from a combination of the Iguazu and Parana Rivers, the falls sit between Brazil and Argentina. The falls are so spectacular that the spot is considered one of the most mesmerizing places on Earth.

Monasterio de Piedra (Spain)

Monasterio de Piedra (Spain)

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Located near a 13th-century Cistercian monastery that’s been converted into a hotel and park complex, the Monasterio de Piedra’s many tranquil waterfalls make the park a great place to enjoy the views or to relax, sit and meditate.

Dunn’s River Falls (Jamaica)

Dunn’s River Falls (Jamaica)

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Famous for its sunshine and upbeat island vibes, Jamaica is a popular vacation hotspot. Though it might be tempting to just laze on the beach, take a break to visit Dunn’s River Falls. Considered one of the most beautiful places on the island, the falls are a popular spot for tourists.

Strbacki Buk (Croatia)

Strbacki Buk (Croatia)

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One of Europe’s most spectacular waterfalls, Strbacki Buk is an underrated tourist destination. A frequent haunt for recreational enthusiasts, the falls top off at 72 feet tall and are most popular for rafting and kayaking.

Golden Waterfall (Taiwan)

Golden Waterfall (Taiwan)

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A must-see attraction in Jinguashi, Taiwan, the Golden Waterfall is named for its rich, orange color resulting from years of mining in the area. Viewed from a distance, the waterfall appears to be a giant golden rock cliff and is especially stunning after a heavy rain, making for one of the world’s strangest natural wonders.

Tugela Falls (South Africa)

Tugela Falls (South Africa)

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Cascading down an impressive drop of 3,110 feet, Tugela Falls in South Africa ranks among the world’s highest waterfalls. South Africa is a stunning warm-weather destination and the waterfall — set in the Drakensberg Mountains within Royal Natal National Park — is truly a sight to behold.

Jägala Waterfall (Estonia)

Jägala Waterfall (Estonia)

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The Jägala Waterfall is scenic any time of year, but winter is the best time to see it. The Jägala River freezes in the winter months, turning the falls into a massive wall of icicles, a crazy winter phenomenon.

Akaka Falls (Hawaii)

Akaka Falls (Hawaii)

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With one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, Hawaii has seemingly endless beauty. Among its many scenic wonders is Akaka Falls, located along Hawaii’s Hilo Coast in Akaka Falls State Park. An easy half-mile hike through lush rainforest will bring you to the vista of one of the island’s most famous and stunning waterfalls.

Krimml Waterfalls (Austria)

Krimml Waterfalls (Austria)

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Located in Austria, a top travel destination, the Krimml Waterfalls are actually three waterfalls in one. Nearly 1,500 gallons of water plummet over them each second, with a combined total fall of more than 1,200 feet. The falls attract more than 400,000 annual visitors, making the spot one of Austria’s most-visited tourist attractions.

Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)

Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)

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Located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the majestic Victoria Falls is absolutely massive. The edge is more than a mile long, and the fall itself is more than 350 feet, making for a breathtaking view. Victoria Falls was dubbed “The Smoke That Thunders” by the native Kololo tribe in the 1800s, and when you see the huge column of spray and hear its roar, you’ll understand why.

Ban Gioc Waterfall (Vietnam)

Ban Gioc Waterfall (Vietnam)

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Located in a remote region of northern Vietnam near the Chinese border, Ban Gioc Waterfall is actually a series of gorgeous waterfalls and pools. It’s tucked away in an enormous lush, green valley. At nearly 1,000 feet wide, it’s the fourth-largest waterfall on Earth.

Angel Falls (Venezuela)

Angel Falls (Venezuela)

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The highest waterfall in the world, Venezuela’s Angel Falls drops an astounding 3,212 feet, and it’s 500 feet wide at its base. The water falls from a towering plateau called Devil’s Mountain, and because Angel Falls is surrounded by dense jungle, it’s best seen from the air.

Burney Falls (California)

Burney Falls (California)

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Burney Falls is located within the Cascade Range’s McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park in California. At 129 feet high, it’s not exceptionally tall, but it’s simply stunning. Fed by springs and emptying into a misty basin, this beautiful waterfall is an ideal hiking destination and a hidden American gem you need to visit.

Skógafoss (Iceland)

Skógafoss (Iceland)

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Located close to Iceland’s beautiful southern coastline, Skógafoss is a popular summertime destination and one of the most stunning sunrise spots in the world. It stands at nearly 200 feet, and the river below is home to a huge population of salmon and char, making for great fishing grounds. Try to visit on a sunny day, when a large rainbow can usually be found in front of the falls.

Tavoro Falls (Fiji)

Tavoro Falls (Fiji)

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Located among the coastal forest and jungle of Bouma National Heritage Park, Tavoro Falls is Fiji’s most iconic waterfall. Fiji is a once-popular island vacation that deserves a comeback, and after viewing the falls, you can take a romantic dip in one of the park’s natural swimming pools.

Ouzoud Waterfall (Morocco)

Ouzoud Waterfall (Morocco)

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Standing 320 feet tall in the Moroccan region of Azilal in the High Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud Waterfall plunges straight into a rock-studded lush green abyss. The mist creates a permanent rainbow on sunny days, and the cool waters are ideal for a quick dip. If visiting this waterfall is on your to-do list, you should start planning now. Morocco is an international vacation you want to plan pretty far ahead for.

Langfoss Waterfall (Norway)

Langfoss Waterfall (Norway)

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Norway’s fifth-highest waterfall at 2,000 feet, Langfoss Waterfall cascades down the side of a majestic mountain and from June to October, hikers can trek from the base right up to the top. If you’d like to encounter it under less strenuous circumstances, it can also be experienced during a fjord cruise.

Kuang Si Waterfall (Laos)

Kuang Si Waterfall (Laos)

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Depending on the time of year, Laos’ Kuang Si Waterfall will appear either blue (in the dry season) or a deep green (in the rainy season). It can be accessed via tuk-tuk (an inexpensive three-wheeled motorcycle taxi), van or bicycle. You can cap your visit with a swim in a natural pool.

Torc Waterfall (Ireland)

Torc Waterfall (Ireland)

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Torc Waterfall is located only about 4 miles from Killarney Town in Killarney National Park, and a neat walking path brings you to two different vantage points to take in the 66-foot-high falls. It may not sound like much, but the surrounding nature is lush and verdant — a true embodiment of The Emerald Isle. The country's food is great too.

La Fortuna Waterfall (Costa Rica)

La Fortuna Waterfall (Costa Rica)

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In order to access La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica, visitors need to walk up more than 500 steps through a tropical forest, but they’ll be rewarded for their efforts. The 230-foot-high waterfall empties into the greenish-blue Fortuna River, and visitors can swim in the river just feet from the falls, making for a truly life-changing experience.

Shiraito Falls (Japan)

Shiraito Falls (Japan)

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Japan may be known for its cherry blossoms, but its waterfalls are also beautiful. The water of Japan’s Shiraito Falls has been compared to white silk threads. Snowmelt from Mt. Fuji passes over lava rock in hundreds of streams spread out over 650 feet and then drops from a height of 65 feet. It’s best to visit in the fall when the falls are framed by a red, yellow and green backdrop of trees.

Mumlavský Waterfall (Czech Republic)

Mumlavský Waterfall (Czech Republic)

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The rocky Mumlava River flows over some rocky steps, and even though the Mumlavský Waterfall is only 26 feet high, it’s notable for a couple reasons. First, it’s accessed via an easy trail from a nearby resort called Harrachov, and directly below the falls are two giant “pots” that have been carved out by the flowing water, known as “Devil’s Eyes.”

Niagara Falls (New York and Canada)

Niagara Falls (New York and Canada)

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The mighty Niagara straddles the American-Canadian border, and it’s one of the continent’s most-visited and beloved tourist attractions, with more than 8 million annual visitors. It’s actually comprised of three falls — Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls on the New York side, and at its tallest, it reaches 176 feet. At peak flow, more than 700,000 gallons of water per second pour over the falls. Visiting Niagara Falls is definitely something every American should do in their lifetime.

Tortum Waterfall (Turkey)

Tortum Waterfall (Turkey)

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Turkey’s largest waterfall at 157 feet, Tortum is surrounded by recreational areas and an observation platform so you can fully take in its majesty. It’s best experienced from April to June, when it’s fed by snowmelt and at its most raging, making it an ideal option for a summer trip.

Erawan Waterfall (Thailand)

Erawan Waterfall (Thailand)

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Erawan Waterfall in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, flows over seven tiers, with a total length of nearly 5,000 feet. Best of all, each of those tiers is a safe swimming area, and it’s surrounded by a nature trail.

Madakaripura Waterfall (Indonesia)

Madakaripura Waterfall (Indonesia)

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The Madakaripura Waterfall’s never-ending flow of water is thought to be blessings raining down on those below, earning it the nickname “The Eternal Waterfall.” It’s located in a valley of the Tengger Mountain range in Indonesia, and visitors must pass beneath an ethereal water curtain to reach the falls, making an umbrella essential. Indonesia is also home to Kawah Ijen Lake, one of the most mysterious places on Earth.

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