Ah, there’s nothing quite like the breathtaking beauty of waterfalls. These magical displays of rushing water synergize the best parts of hydrology, geology, and gravity to form one awe-inspiring sight. Read on to learn about the most beautiful waterfalls in the world– from North and South America to the African continent.
Let’s start with one of the world’s most famous waterfalls of all time. Located between the border of the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is two waterfalls with an island between them. On the Canadian side, the water drops an amazing 173 feet (53 metres) before it hits the river below. It’s an absolutely breathtaking sight.
For much more on Niagara Falls, make sure to visit our sister site, Secrets of Niagara!
Angel Falls/ Kerepakupai Meru
The tallest waterfall in the world is Angel’s Falls in Canaima National Park in beautiful Venezuela. The water crashes down for a staggering 3,212 feet (979 meters) over the edge of Auyán-Tepuí mountain. The water drops so far that it atomizes into the air and then recollects down the face of the mountain before it even reaches the bottom. This is an essential site on any nature-focused itinerary in Central America.
Victoria Falls/ Mosi-oa-Tunya
This waterfall, located between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is classified as the world’s largest waterfall because of its impressive height (180 meters) and width (1,708 meters). The water (from the Zambezi river) moves across a flat basalt plateau and tumbles down into a sheer crevice formed by a fault line. The Tonga name for the falls means “Smoke that Thunders.” Wildlife enthusiasts will adore Victoria: it is home to one of the world’s most biodiverse natural reserves, so in between admiring the roaring falls, you’re likely to see a variety of magnificent wild animals and plant species. The area is especially renowned for its breathtaking elephant and buffalo migrations.
The Iguazu Falls is located along the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is classified as the largest waterfall system in the world, featuring over 275 different cascades. Though it’s not a tall waterfall, it makes up for a lack of height by offering sheer scope. If you’re planning on visiting South America and Argentina, this is definitely a natural site to beeline to.
Located in Guyana, these falls are famous for both their beauty and remote location. Surrounded by wilderness on all sides, these falls attract fewer tourists than comparable wonders around the world, principally due to the lack of local infrastructure to support them. On the upside, you can experience Kaieteur in comparative solitude, taking in the surrounding wild landscapes in near silence and peace. On the downside? You’ll have to be prepared for a long journey to get there– best accompanied by a private guide.
Gullfoss (Golden Falls) in Iceland
For those who prefer their waterfalls in a more northern clime, Gullfoss is a magnificent falls located in the southwest of Iceland. Though it’s not as high or wide as other falls we’ve mentioned, it’s still incredible to see because the crevice the water falls into makes it seem that the river disappears into an abyss. You can also read more about it and other sublime falls in the country in this guide to the 100 best sights in Iceland. Also make sure to check out the many breathtaking and dramatic geysers that dot the wild countryside.
The highest waterfall in the United States, Yosemite Falls drops 2,435 feet and is located in the Sierra Nevada region of California. Fed by melting mountain snow, these Falls are truly an unforgettable sight. The amount of water cascading over the edge depends on the time of year and snow conditions, but this is a magical destination year-round.