The 20 Best Waterfalls in the World (With Photos)

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Despite R&B legends TLC’s classic admonition not to go chasing them, waterfalls remain among those magical natural features that can put a given destination on millions of people’s world travel bucket lists.

Countries like New Zealand and Norway are known for the volume of waterfalls they offer.

Argentina/Brazil and Zambia/Zimbabwe are known for the sheer size of their waterfalls, while Japan’s falls are renowned for their beauty.

Waterfalls can form cascades, horsetails, plunges, cataracts, fans, squares, and even be frozen.

Of course, measuring the biggest waterfalls in the world is complicated.

Some of the tallest waterfalls in the world are fed by small streams, with just a tiny sliver of water careening down.

Some of the most voluminous falls drop just a few feet.

We rarely think of the widest waterfall in the world, but that’s another way of measuring them.

So, when we say “the biggest waterfalls,” how do we judge?

Are we talking about the tallest waterfall?

The largest waterfall in the world by volume?

The longest waterfall in the world that free falls?

There really is no right or wrong answer… nor are the largest waterfalls always the most impressive to see.

So, in the interest of being as thorough as possible, our list of the largest waterfalls in the world goes far, wide, high, low, and in-between to point out the best waterfalls in the world travelers should visit on each and every continent.

READ MORE: 20 Largest Lakes in the World by Continent (For Your World Travel Bucket List)




Victoria Falls (Photo by otsuka88 courtesy Pixabay)

Frequently listed among the largest waterfalls in the world, Inga Falls is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It’s formed by the Congo River, which is ranked as the ninth longest river in the world.

It’s considered the largest waterfall in the world by volume, moving at a rate of over 900,000 cubic feet per second.

Though it drops only 315 feet, Inga Falls is over 9 miles long.

It’s also exceptionally wide, with an average width of 3,000 feet and a maximum width of over 2.5 miles!

At its widest, the falls separate into hundreds of different channels and rivulets.

Despite the fact that it is regularly designated as the world’s largest waterfall by volume, many consider the majority of it to be nothing more than rapids.

It does, however, have one steep drop of around 70 feet, which indisputably makes it a waterfall.

Inga Falls is the site of one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams.

It’s also close to Livingstone Falls, which is often considered the most beautiful part of the Congo River, as well as the second largest waterfall in the world by volume.

READ MORE: The 20 Longest Rivers in the World (By Continent)

Tourists in the Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls by Ian Restall at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia

One of Africa’s top tourist attractions, Victoria Falls is neither the widest or tallest waterfall in the world.

But it is sometimes considered the world’s biggest waterfall because it is both tall (354 feet) and wide (5,600 feet), producing the overall biggest sheet of falling water.

Victoria Falls is formed by the Zambezi River, which creates a natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

So it is technically located in both countries– Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The falls are formed when the river lowers in a single drop.

The waterfall is also known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates as “the smoke that thunders.” It was named by David Livingstone, the first European believed to have seen the falls, who named it in honor of Queen Victoria.

It is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under both names.

The world-renowned Devil’s Pool is a seemingly precarious place to take a dip at the top of the falls.

Kongou Falls by Lengai101 CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons

One of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Gabon’s Kongou Falls is over 10,000 feet wide and pushes nearly 32,000 cubic feet of water through per second.

It’s formed by the Ivindo River, which also features several other falls.

Kongou Falls is notable for having an unusual configuration, with several different streams, cascades and steps separated by islands.

Actually, though the waterfall itself is spectacular, it’s this lush surrounding forest that garnered its place on the list.

Part of Ivindo National Park, Kongou Falls is located in what many experts consider to be a modern-day version of the Garden of Eden.

The park was established in 2002, and a bid was put in for UNESCO status three years later (though it has never gotten World Heritage recognition).

In 2007, plans for building a hydroelectric power station nearly destroyed the falls, but environmental activists were able to stop the construction.

READ MORE: The 20 Biggest Forests in the World 

Tugela Falls first drop off by Andynct CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons

Located in South Africa, Tugela Falls makes five impressive dives, plunging for about 3,110 feet in all.

It’s globally recognized as the highest waterfall in Africa, and the second highest waterfall in the world.

Due to the five plunges (as opposed to just one), it is also considered the highest cascade on earth, which is a worthy superlative.

Tugela Falls (also known as Thukela Falls) is fed by the Tugela River, which originates from the Mont-aux-Sources.

It’s located in the Royal Natal National Park, cascading down the park’s highlight– the Drakensberg Amphitheatre, a huge rock wall that’s over 1/4-mile high and three miles long.

Tugela Falls has been remeasured and found to be over 100 feet taller than its currently recognized height, but the claim is still awaiting verification.

This increase would make it the tallest waterfall in the world, over Venezuela’s Angel Falls (an uninterrupted plunge).

Whichever side one chooses in the tallest waterfalls debate, Tugela is remarkable, as is the national park that surrounds it.

There are several routes for hiking up to the top of the falls, and it’s easy to spot from the main road of the park during rainy times.

Formerly recognized as Stanley Falls, Boyoma Falls is a cataract waterfall made up of seven relatively short, steep, powerful waterfalls and a series of rapids formed by the Lualaba River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The falls spread out over 60 miles, dropping just 200 feet along the way, with the cataracts each being less than 20 feet.

Boyoma Falls ranks as the third biggest waterfall in the world in terms of volume, with all three located in the Congo.

While Inga and Livingstone Falls are both formed by the Congo River, Boyoma is formed by the Lualaba, which then joins the Congo.

This name derives from local fisherman, called the wagenia, who have developed a unique technique for fishing the falls.



Blood Falls, the Creepiest Waterfall in the World, by Peter Rejcek via CC 2.0

When picturing waterfalls, rarely does Antarctica come to mind.

Blood Falls, though not quite the vampire’s dream-come-true one might envision, is definitely odd enough to warrant such a name.

Roughly five million years ago, sea levels rose and formed a saltwater lake in eastern Antarctica.

Antarctica’s red waterfall began to flow when water seeped through a fissure in the Taylor Glacier.

The  waterfall has never seen the light of day, and it’s completely devoid of oxygen.

As a result, when the iron-rich water spills into Lake Bonney, the air causes it to immediately rust and turn red.

Though not necessarily huge on the global scale, Blood Falls is technically the biggest waterfall in Antarctica, and it’s just too weird not to include here.



Karom, NamTok Waterfall via Canva

Karom, Nam Tok is a 1,300-foot (396 m) waterfall that originates in the Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range of Thailand.

It is considered the second tallest waterfall in Asia.

Several Thai kings and Royal Family members have visited this waterfall, and the initials of King Rama V and King Rama VI are actually carved there.

READ MORE: The 13 Most Beautiful National Parks in Thailand

Khone Falls, the Widest Waterfall in the World (Photo by Mr. ATM courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0)

Khone Falls is located in the south reaches of Laos, culminating near the border with Cambodia.

It only tumbles down a total of 69 feet over a collection of cascades and rapids.

Despite its short drop, Khone Falls could technically be considered the world’s biggest waterfall.

It’s only fifth in terms of volume, with just over 400,000 cubic feet of water per second.

But it averages over 35,000 feet across, which makes it by far the widest waterfall in the world.

During monsoon season, when the Tonle River becomes Tonle Sap Lake and backs up to the Mekong River, the waterfall basically disappears into little more than a collection of rough currents.

Khone Falls are the home of plabuck, an endangered catfish that grows to be over ten feet long and more than 600 pounds.

They’re sometimes considered the largest freshwater fish in the world, though a couple of sturgeon species and a freshwater stingray are actually bigger.

Considered twin falls, Hannoki Falls and Shomyo Great Falls are the two tallest waterfalls in Japan.

Technically Hannoki– which boasts a single drop of 1,640 feet– is both the highest of Japan’s waterfalls and the highest waterfall in Asia.

The tallest permanent waterfall in Japan, Shomyo Great Falls, measures 1,148 feet and occurs in four stages.

These two amazing waterfalls are located side by side.

They both flow through the Midagahara Plateau before falling in a V-shape into a single pool that’s around 200 feet across and 20 feet deep.

The finest view of the two waterfalls is said to be from Shomyo Bridge at the Takimi Orchard.

The best time to visit the falls is late spring and early summer, when the area’s snowmelt is at its greatest.

Ginga and Ryusei Falls are also twin falls, known as “the husband and wife waterfall.” Other admirable pairings include Amedaki and Nunobiki Falls, as well as Shiraito and Otodome Falls.

READ MORE: The Beauty of Japan in 15 Fabulous Photos

Nohkalikai Falls via Canva

Located in Meghalaya, India, Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in Asia at 1,115 feet (340 m).

This region of northeast India is considered one of the wettest places on Earth, with rainfall fueling the waterfall.

There’s an interesting legend about these falls involving a widow named Ka Likai, who remarried after her husband’s death.

The word “Noh” means jump in Khasi, so the falls were named Nohkalikai.

Thi Lo Su waterfalls, Umphang district, Thailand by Yxejamir CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL from Wikimedia

Located in northwestern Thailand, Thi Lo Su (or Black) Waterfall is the country’s tallest and largest waterfall.

It’s just under 1000 feet high and 1,500 feet wide.

While it doesn’t rank as one of the larges, it is considered by many to be amongst the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

Thi Lo Su Waterfall is located within the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bordered by Mae Wong National Park in the east, Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in the south, and several national parks in the Kanchanaburi province, it’s part of Southeast Asia’s largest protected area.

Though Thi Lo Su is huge and sometimes thundering, the Thailand waterfall is so remote that it was only “discovered” a couple of decades ago.

The waterfall is good for swimming during dry season (November to May), but is far too perilous during peak rainy season (August through October).



Sutherland Falls, Tallest Falls in Australia (Photo by Department of Conservation via CC 2.0)

New Zealand waterfalls are the biggest in Australasia.

Browne Falls is considered the country’s highest, as well as the 9th tallest waterfall in the world.

But this is not without debate: New Zealand’s other highest waterfall is Sutherland Falls.

Browne Falls is part of Fiordland National Park, a land densely populated with waterfalls, but none so high as this one.

The falls careens some 2,744 feet before bottoming out in Doubtful Sound.

But because it has very little free-falling water, some folks don’t give it its proper due.

On the other hand, Sutherland Falls is significantly shorter– a mere 1,900-plus feet.

Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to both of these New Zealand waterfalls.

The park also offers plenty of hiking trails, as well as stellar Lord of the Rings filming locations to visit.

READ MORE: Things To Do In New Zealand for Nature Lovers 



Highest Waterfall in Europe – The Vinnufossen Waterfall in Sunndal, Norway by Carl S Bj GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0

With epic mountains around seemingly every turn, Norway is often included in unofficial lists of countries with the most waterfalls.

So it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that Europe’s tallest waterfall, Vinnufallet, is located in the larger-than-life land of the Vikings.

Vinnufallet is over 2,800 feet tall, qualifying it as the sixth highest waterfall in the world.

It’s composed of four separate drops, the longest of which is just under half the total height of the falls.

This ranks as the fifth tallest single drop of any waterfall on the planet.

Vinnufallet is part of the Vinnu River, which flows down Vinnufjellet Mountain, fed by a huge glacier.

Norway is also home to the second highest waterfall in Europe, Balåifossen, which stands at a whopping 2,510 feet.

This waterfall is fed from a small watershed, so it doesn’t have much volume.

READ MORE: Our Epic Fjords of Norway Road Trip

Located in Umbria, Italy’s showpiece waterfall has a unique distinction amongst all the others on our list: It’s the only one here that was man-made.

At 541 feet high, Cascata dell Marmore is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world.

Cascata dell Marmore is fed from a portion of the Velino River, the rest of which is now directed into a hydroelectric plant.

Now the flow of the waterfall is completely controlled by the Galleto power plant, which was built in the late 1920s.

The gates that hold the water back are opened on a published schedule (typically twice a day) for tourism’s sake, and it creates the amazing effect of a full river filling an empty space in a matter of seconds.

READ MORE: Le Marche, Italy (A Local’s Favorite Places to Visit)

If Norway has the most waterfalls in Europe, Iceland is not far behind, and it also has some of the most spectacular.

Gullfoss (or Golden Falls) is one of the best waterfalls in Iceland and is part of the “”golden circle route,” which includes numerous glaciers, tectonic plates, geysers, and a national park.

Gullfoss doesn’t rank amongst the world’s biggest waterfalls, but it’s likely the most voluminous in Iceland.

In total, the water only drops 100 feet.

However, the falls are truly remarkable in that the double cascade turns the Hvítá River 90 degrees and drops it down into a crevice.

This configuration creates a unique explosion of mist and rainbows, making Gullfoss one of the planet’s most frequently photographed waterfalls.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Iceland Waterfalls

Located in Salzburg, Austria, Krimmler Wasserfälle (or Krimmler Waterfalls) is both Austria’s and Europe’s tallest waterfall at 1247 feet high.

The Krimmler Waterfall originates from a glacier stream and falls from its highest point in three different stages.

Now nearly 400,000 people visit these falls annually, and there have been some complaints about the effects this mass tourism has had on the natural environment and local community.

Because of the copious mist from the waterfall, there are many forms of moss, lichen, and ferns nearby, making the hike to see the waterfall even more stunning.

READ MORE: The 25 Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe

Biggest Waterfall in Europe -Rhine Falls via max pixel

The largest waterfall in Europe by volume is on the Upper Rhine River in Switzerland.

Though it’s only about 75 feet high, Rhine Falls is nearly 500 feet wide.

It allows an enormous amount of water to cascade through, particularly in the summer, when the snow melts in the Alps.

The Rhine Falls are believed to have formed about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. They were the result of a resilient bedrock of limestone: The falls are divided into two sections due to a pillar-like formation sticking up in the middle of the river.

Rhine Falls is also a big tourist destination in Europe, receiving over a million visitors annually.

READ MORE: The Tallest Mountains in the World



Biggest waterfall by volume in the USA- Niagara Falls via pixabay

Niagara Falls is exceptionally big– the largest waterfall by volume in the USA and the widest waterfall in Canada.

Over 20 million people a year visit Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls dumps 85,000 cubic feet of water per second.

On the Canadian side, the Horseshoe Falls section is over 2,000 feet across and drops nearly 200 feet.

The American Falls section is over 1,000 feet wide and is just under 200 feet high.

There’s also a third, smaller drop in the US that completes the falls’ three cascades.

One of the most interesting things about Niagara Falls is that it is considered to be the fastest moving waterfall in the world.

We’re not talking about the water, but the falls themselves.

Over the last 12,500 years, Niagara Falls has moved seven miles upstream due to steady erosion of the bedrock.

Aside from being stunning to look at, Niagara Falls has been the site of many daring feats.

READ MORE: Visitors Guide to the Finger Lakes Waterfalls (New York)

Tallest seaside cliffs in the world- Moloka’i, Hawaii via pixabay

In the United States, Hawaii is the state with the most spectacularly high waterfalls.

Olo’upena Falls is the tallest of Hawaii’s waterfalls, and the fourth highest in the world.

Measuring over 2,900 feet high, it is fed by only a small seasonal stream.

Consequently, it has a very thin ribbon of water that nosedives off the Haloku Cliffs, which are the tallest seaside cliffs in the world.

Originating from those very same cliffs, Pu’uka’oku Falls is also very tall– over 2,750 feet– earning it the eighth spot on the list of the world’s highest waterfalls.

Pu’uka’oku is an older waterfall that has carved away a lot of the volcanic rock upon which it flows.

Both of these falls are the two tallest waterfalls in the USA– are located on the island of Moloka’i.

They are so remote that no hiking trails access them, meaning they can only be seen from the water or from a plane.

The weather can be so intense along these immense cliffs that the coastal winds sometimes stop the falling water, pushing it upwards into a dispersed mist.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Kauai Waterfalls (and How to Get to Them)

James Bruce Falls by Klaus Johansson CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons

James Bruce Falls

Hawaii may have the tallest waterfalls in the United States.

But the highest on mainland North America (and the ninth highest waterfall in the world) is James Bruce Falls in British Columbia, Canada.

It’s located in Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park, which is surrounded by snow-tipped granite mountains that rise sharply to around 7,000 feet.

James Bruce Falls gushes some 2,755 feet down to the Princess Louisa Inlet.

The falls are named after two parallel streams that originate in snowfields, one of which melts by mid-summer and the other of which remains frozen year-round.

Just downstream from the waterfall (which feeds into Loquilts Creek) is the more famous Chatterbox Falls.

Chatterbox Falls empties into the Loquilts River, and is a popular destination for boaters.

But it stands a miniscule 120 feet tall and is a large fan waterfall, which means it widens as it drops.

READ MORE: The Best Canoe Trips (World Travel Bucket List)

Yosemite Falls via Canva

Yosemite Falls is the second tallest waterfall in all of North America.

It cascades some 2,425 feet from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall, with three drops total.

The longest individual drop is 1,430 feet.

As the name suggests, you can find this waterfall at Yosemite National Park in Yosemite Valley, California.

There is a Ahwahneechee legend that says the pool at the base of the “Cholock,” or waterfall, was inhabited by the spirits of witches called the Poloti.

READ MORE: List of National Parks by State (An Epic Guide to “Americas Best idea”)



Gocta Waterfall via Canva

Gocta Waterfall

Gocta Waterfall is the second tallest waterfall in South America and, by some measurements, the sixth tallest waterfall in the world.

It has a maximum height of 2,530 feet, with two drops, the longest of which is 1,772 feet.

This waterfall is located in the Peruvian province of Bongara, in the country’s Amazon region.

However, it was not widely known to the world outside Peru until 2006.

A German man, Stefan Ziemendorff, found the falls after taking a hike during a break from the wastewater project he was working on at the time.

But considering the waterfall is in full view of a village, it’s clear the local residents had known of its existence for nearly 50 years.

One reason the locals never said anything about the beautiful waterfall is because of a legend that anyone who revealed the whereabouts of the waterfall would be cursed by a beautiful blond mermaid who inhabits its waters.

Sixth biggest waterfall in the world – Iguazu Falls, Brazil via pixabay

Consuming the border between Argentina and Brazil with rumble and spray, Iguazu Falls stretches some 8,800 feet wide and dives down over 269 feet.

It is truly a force to be reckoned with, unloading over 62,000 cubic feet of water per second (making it the sixth biggest waterfall in the world in terms of volume).

Iguazu Falls is formed when the Iguazu River flows off the Paraná Plateau.

While much of the river’s current is cut up in separate cataracts across the waterfall’s 1.7 miles of edge, about half of the water falls into a tight spot known as the Devil’s Throat.

Nearly 3,000 feet of the edge doesn’t have any water flowing over it at all.

The falls occur after the river bends, with most of the river basin (95%) being on the Brazilian side of the border and most of the waterfalls (80%) on the Argentine side.

Together, these parks are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In terms of famous waterfalls to visit, this one ranks right up there with Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls.

There are actually two international airports located there in order to provide easy access to this wonder of the natural world.

Yumbilla Falls, Peru by Fregopie CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons

Peru is known for its Inca ruins, particularly Machu Picchu, and those ruins are famous for being located at high elevations within the Andes.

Where there are towering mountains and flowing streams, there are bound to be tall waterfalls.

Peru is home to the world’s third tallest waterfall: Tres Hermanas, or “Three Sisters,” measures 2,999 feet high.

Fed by the Cutivireni River, the waterfall gets its name from the fact that Tres Hermanas falls in three different sections.

It is located in Otishi National Park in the Junin Province of Peru, in the country’s central southwest region.

Peru is also home to the world’s fifth highest waterfall, Yumbilla Falls, which are less than 60 feet shorter than Tres Hermanas.

Created by the Utubamba River, Yumbilla drops in four or five (this is somehow up for debate) separate stages.

It’s also located in the Andes Mountains, but it is encircled by the Amazon Rainforest.

READ MORE: Meeting the People of the Amazon Rainforest

Angel Falls in South America, the World’s Tallest (Photo by David Kjelkerud courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0)

Perched high in the remote mountains of Venezuela, Angel Falls is widely considered the world’s tallest waterfall, stretching the measuring tape some 3,212 feet high.

The remote Venezuela waterfall is located deep in the jungle of Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Angle Falls location is perhaps most famous to moviegoers as the inspiration for “Paradise Falls” from the 2009 Pixar movie Up. For the most part, Angel Falls consists of a single plunge of well over 2,300 feet.

That is followed by 1,300-plus feet of sloped cascades that end in another 100-foot drop.

At the base, it measures 500 feet across.

A trip to visit the falls can be a very complicated affair involving domestic flights, boats, appropriate weather for adequate water levels, and then several hours of hiking.

Getting there may sound like an epic quest, but it’s hard to deny that the falls themselves  are pretty epic as well.


Which is the Highest Waterfall in the world?

Angel Falls, located in Venezuela, is considered the highest waterfall in the world.

It measures 3,212 feet high.

What is the Biggest Waterfall in the world?

If by biggest waterfall, we mean the widest waterfall, then Khone Falls is the largest waterfall in the world.

Even thought Khone Falls is only 5th largest waterfall in terms of volume (over 400,000 cubic feet of water per second), its enormous width averaging over 35,000 feet across makes it the widest waterfall in the world.

What is the Highest Waterfall in India?

Kunchikal Falls is the highest waterfall in India.

It is a cascading waterfall that descends 455 meters (1493 feet).

What is the Highest Waterfall in Europe?

The highest waterfall in Europe is Norway’s Vinnufossen Waterfall.

What is the Largest Waterfall in Europe?

The Rhine Falls in Germany has the largest amount of discharge averaging 700,000 liters (184,920 gallons) per second in the summer and 250,ooo liters (66,043 gallons) in winter.

What is the is the Tallest Waterfall in North America?

Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America (2,450 feet) and the tallest waterfall in the US.

It is the 5th highest in the world

What is the Highest Waterfall in Canada?

The highest waterfall in Canada is Della Falls 440 m (1,440 ft) which is located in British Columbia.

How Tall is Angel Falls?

Angel Falls is 3,212 feet tall.

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Few geographical features exemplify the beauty and power of nature as dramatically as majestic waterfalls.

The sight of tons of water spilling over the edge of a cliff or cascading over rocks never fails to impress.

While the grandest falls deserve a prominent place on any bucket list, a waterfall doesn’t have to be the tallest, widest or most voluminous to make it a worthwhile travel destination.

From powerful cataracts plunging over steep precipices to multi-step cascades tumbling gently into a series of pools, here are some of the world’s most amazing waterfalls.

One of the tallest waterfalls in Peru, the towering Gocta Cataracts near the city of Chachapoyas remained unknown to all but the locals who live beneath it until 2005 when a German engineer named Stefan Ziemendorff stumbled upon it while hunting for pre-Incan ruins.

Trails now make the waterfall easily accessible by foot or on horseback, and every room in the small hotel built near the base offers scenic views of the magnificent cataract.

Sutherland Falls

Located near the beautiful fjord of Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most popular travel destinations, the lake-fed Sutherland Falls descends in three cascades into the glacial lakes of Fiordland National Park.

While sightseeing tours by air offer glimpses of the remote falls, visitors who take the time to hike the famed Milford Track are rewarded with the best views.

A 90-minute walk from the Quintin Public Shelter on the 53-kilometer (33-mile) route leads hikers to the base of spectacular falls.

The Drakensberg Mountains in the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa is home to a series of five connected falls that collectively make up Tugela Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

The water descends in leaping falls over the stunning Amphitheatre, an imposing wall of rock that is a popular tourist attraction in its own right.

A less challenging trail takes visitors to the foot of Tugela Falls for full views of the five-tiered waterfall.

Situated near the town of Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on the planet, Nohkalikai Falls is categorized as a plunge waterfall, which means that the water loses contact with the rock as it pours over a cliff on the edge of the Himalayas.

The tallest of its kind in India, Nohkalikai is fed by rainwater collected in the forested plateau above, so its volume changes dramatically according to the time of year.

In the dry season, the water spills tranquilly into a turquoise-green pool.

Ranked as Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss is best known for the volume of water that shoots out over its edge in every season.

Located in the Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, Dettifoss can be viewed on either side of the River Jökulsá á Fjöllum that feeds the falls and plunges into the canyon below.

The east bank of the river boasts the best views and is equipped with facilities, including a car park, but the slippery paths can get crowded during the tourist season.

The tallest waterfall in the United States, Yosemite Falls pours down a cliff side in three cascades and provides picturesque views from multiple locations within Yosemite National Park in California.

A challenging all-day hike takes visitors to the summit for panoramic vistas of the majestic park and the towering Sierra Mountains beyond.

The falls vary in water flow, however, and sometimes disappear entirely during drought conditions.

The best time to enjoy the splashing water and thunderous roar of the falls is in the spring after the winter thaw.

The series of waterfalls that link the 16 lakes of the Plitvice Lakes National Park are what makes this scenic piece of landscape the most popular natural attraction in Croatia.

Situated among forested hills near the Bosnian border, the small streams, lakes and waterfalls form an appealing water garden that invites exploration.

Free boat rides take passengers from the upper to the lower lakes where visitors can view Veliki Slap, the country’s tallest waterfall.

Jog Falls, created by the River Sharavathi, falling from a height of 253 meters (829 feet), is the highest waterfalls in India.

Before the rainy season Jog Falls is nearly unrecognizable with only a pair of thin streams of water trickling down the cliff.

But during the monsoon season the waterfall comes to life and exceeds even Kaieteur Falls in Guyana in terms of height and volume.

Measuring 77.8 meters (255 feet) high and 101 meters (330 feet) wide, Huangguoshu is one of the largest waterfalls in Asia and part of a group of 18 waterfalls in the surrounding area.

A 134 meter (440 foot) long naturally formed cave in the back of the Huangguoshu allows visitors to view the waterfall from a very close range and one can even touch the water.

Once you reach the cliff edge, however, you’ll find that the coursing cascades and enormous falls actually have the highest volume in the whole of Europe.

Lying almost at right angles to one another, its two sets of falls make for an epic sight, and its gushing roar provides the perfect soundtrack to the dramatic scenery on show.

Meaning ‘Golden Falls’, Gullfoss is so named due to the colour of its waters that shimmer seductively in the sun.

Straddling the border between China and Vietnam, Detian Falls is the name given to two sets of wonderful waterfalls that lie along the Quay Son River.

While the multiple layers and drops of the falls look absolutely astounding, the picture-perfect scene is completed by the lush vegetation, majestic mountains, and karst formations that lie around them.

Long shut off to the world due to various border disputes, the Detian Falls are now an increasingly popular tourist destination; hordes of visitors take boat trips below the cascades, coating themselves in a fine mist of spray.

Known as Tis Issat (“smoking water”) in Amharic, the Blue Nile Falls are located on the Blue Nile river in northern Ethiopia.

Although much of the water is now diverted to a power dam, it is still a beautiful sight and one of Ethiopia’s best known tourist attractions.

Snaking its way through the Amazon rainforest, the Potaro River passes some of the most pristine and untouched nature on Earth until it abruptly reaches Kaieteur Falls.

Here, the water suddenly plunges 226 metres through the air to the pool below, coating the surrounding area in a fine spray.

Remarkably, the huge volume of water that courses over the fall every second makes it the largest single drop waterfall in the world.

Coming in at over four times higher than Niagara Falls, it is no wonder at all that Kaieteur Falls is one of Guyana’s most popular tourist attractions.

4. Angel Falls

4. Angel Falls

The tallest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls in Venezuela certainly makes for one of the most spectacular sights imaginable.

Shooting off the summit of Auyan Tepui mountain, the fall plunges 807 metres uninterrupted to the jungle below, with much of the water turning to mist before it reaches the ground.

Adding in its other cascades and rapids and Angel Falls’ total height is a whopping 979 metres.

Due to its remote location in Canaima National Park, Angel Falls is quite hard to visit, though its stunning setting and awe-inspiring scenery certainly makes it well worth the effort.

3. Niagara Falls

3. Niagara Falls

Lying on the border between Canada and the USA, Niagara Falls is one of the most famous and recognizable waterfalls on Earth.

While the various observation decks around the falls offer up fantastic views and panoramas, you really need to take a boat trip below them to fully grasp just how large and powerful they are.

Niagara Falls never fails to astound, and every year, millions of people come to see its staggering size and beauty.

If you thought that Niagara Falls was large, well, Victoria Falls dwarfs it with its colossal curtain of water that stretches for 1,708 metres, reaching 108 metres in height.

It is these epic proportions that make Victoria Falls the largest waterfall in the world.

Breathtaking to behold, the endless flow of water that tumbles over the cliff almost defies belief.

Fittingly, the cacophonous roar that rises from the gorge below and the fine spray that hangs in the air saw the falls named ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ in the local Lozi language.

Nestled on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls truly needs to be seen to be believed.

Made up of some 275 different cascades, falls, and drops, Iguazu Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border is the world’s largest waterfall system.

As such, it is the only waterfall that can rival or possibly even surpass Victoria Falls.

For almost three kilometres in total, gorgeous falls and cascades course over the Parana Plateau, with the undoubted highlight being Devil’s Throat Canyon.

This is best witnessed from the Brazilian side’s viewing platform, where you are greeted with teeming sheets of water, a deafening roar, and a fine spray.

With lush rainforest lying around it, the falls are a treat to visit.

Visitors can take boat trips along the Iguazu River or explore the nearby paths and trails.

Located in a stupendous setting like no other, Iguazu Falls’ sheer size, scale and spectacular scenery definitely make it one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

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