Going sightseeing for waterfalls is a beautiful way to ground yourself in nature and explore parts of the globe that you would otherwise never have thought to visit. Waterfalls are natural formations that are carved into our planet over the ages. The sheer scope of them, in terms of size and occasional violence, is just simply staggering. If you think that seeing one waterfall means you have seen them all, well, to put it mildly: you are wrong. We decided to take a visual tour around the globe in order to bring 11 of the most awe inspiring waterfalls in existence to your monitor. If any of these waterfalls inspire you to look for cheap ticket packages and hotel reservations then we have done our job. Until then, enjoy these 11 waterfall wonders of the world.
If you are the kind of person that wants to take a cheap flight somewhere beautiful in order to soak up all the prettiness that nature has to offer then head to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Located in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park looks like something pulled out of the Garden of Eden. There are 16 crystal clear lakes with beautiful waterfalls submerging into them. Water moves over both limestone and chalk to create natural dams and the constant flow of water has also etched out beautiful caves. Walking through this park and dipping your toes in the water is nothing short of magical. Bring a camera and prepare for one of the prettiest parks on the planet.
This waterfall was founded by a Scottish missionary named David Livingstone back in 1855. The explorer named the waterfall in honor of his queen at the time, Queen Victoria, not realizing that it had already been discovered by an indigenous tribe who named it Mosi Oa Tunya which translates to “The Smoke That Thunders”. Located in South Africa on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is considered one of the largest waterfalls on the planet. The average flow rate of the water is over 38,400 cubic feet per second and the water descends from a height of 355 feet. The waterfall is located amidst one of South Africa’s most enduring national parks which hosts a population of hippo, elephants, lions, leopards, and cheetahs among other creatures. To say that Victoria Falls is an important natural formation would be an understatement as it is truly a wonder in this world. With affordable airfare you can spend the rest of your money for a quality hotel reservation near the park.
If you want to see something truly extraordinary you need to go visit Angel Falls, located in Venezuela. The Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world with a straight flow down for over 3,212 feet. The waterfall is located in the Canaima National Park, which is meticulously preserved and protected, and it is named after the initial discoverer of the falls: Jimmie Angel. Jimmie Angel was a pilot who was the first person to ever fly over the waterfall. The Falls were first discovered in the middle of the 20th century. If you want to visit the falls you will have to jump through some hoops to get there. Angel Falls is located deep in the jungle and will require a flight from Bolivar and a river trip in order to get to the base of the wonderful, beautiful natural monument. Angel Falls is featured in the remake of Point Break which showcases extreme athletes in beautiful places all over the world.
For North American waterfall fans, you don’t always have to leave the country to get some great views. Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular national parks on the planet and it pulls in tourists by the handful for good reason. Located in the park is Yosemite Falls which is the highest waterfall in all of North America. Yosemite Falls drops for 2,425 feet but this plunge changes based on the amount of snow in the park at the time. The source of the waterfall, as we alluded to above, is melting snow. This means that your majestic view isn’t always going to be so majestic. So if you want that perfect picture then make sure to go during the right part of the season!
We don’t need any convincing to make our way over to New Zealand but Sutherland Falls sure makes it even easier. Sutherland Falls is located in Fiordland, New Zealand, and it showcases a spectacular 1,902 foot plunge. Donald Sutherland discovered the waterfall in 1880 and he was the first to set his eyes on the gorgeous three tiered cascading fall. With a gorgeous lake at the top of the falls and mountains embedded in the background there really is no poor view. Come here for the Lord of the Ring movies and stay for the beautiful pictures and nature.
We are suckers for Asia and the beauty of the landscape so Detian Falls was an easy sell on us. Detian Falls translates to “Virtuous Heaven Waterfall” and it really does give off that vibe. This waterfall is located on the border of China and Vietnam and it is about 300 feet wide and feeding off of the Quy Xuan River. Located in the foreground are beautiful rice paddies and the background is nothing but jungle. While the Detian Falls may be gorgeous they are not respected as one of the best waterfalls on the planet and we think that isn’t fair.
The McWay Falls is located on the Central Coast of California near Big Sur. While this waterfall looks downright miniature compared to many others on this list, it is still a worthwhile destination. This waterfall is only 80 feet tall but it feeds into a beautiful cove right off of the Pacific Ocean. With endless ocean to your left, a waterfall to your back, and comfortable rocks keeping you in the cove there is no more beautiful place to bea.
While Gocta Falls has been an important place for the locals of Peru for centuries it wasn’t really discovered by the rest of the world until 2005! This is an incredible fact considering that the Gocta Falls are among the five highest waterfalls on the entire planet. This is probably the most remote trip on the list but the views are worth it. Located east of Lima, the Gocta utilizes the Cocahuayco River to fuel its 2,530 foot plunge. Though this area is completely remote the Peruvian government has begun working to create a more tourist friendly experience.
Baatara Gorge Waterfall
The Baatara Gorge Waterfall is located in Tannourine, Lebanon and consists of an extreme 837 foot drop straight into the Baatara Pothole which is a cave made out of limestone from the Jurassic Period. This waterfall was first discovered back in 1952 by the French and since then has become one of the largest tourist attractions in the area. In order to take advantage of the beautiful sights herein you will have to take a hike past Mount Lebanon to get there. The most awe inspiring aspect of this waterfall is the three natural bridges that expand over the pothole. If you are afraid of heights make sure to take a step back before you pose for your picture.
We can’t begin any discussions on waterfalls without talking about the ones we are most familiar with, yet still completely inspired by. Niagara Falls sits in between New York and Canada and the natural wonder has a fantastic view from either side of that divide. The Niagara Falls actually is named for three giant waterfalls all formed together near the Niagara Gorge. With a height of 167 meters and a flow rate of 85,000 cubic feet per second, you are going to be absolutely floored by the beauty and force of the formation. You can get a nice view from the sidelines but to really enjoy the Falls you will want to take the boat tour. Make sure to bring a poncho and some goggles.
Located in South America, Iguazu Falls is in Argentina and it showcases 274 individual waterfalls that are connected to span more than two miles of nature. The Iguazu Falls run from the Iguazu River while serving as a divide between the upper and lower portion of the South American river. There are many stories surrounding these epic waterfalls but one revolves around a woman named Naipi. The Spanish legend goes that Naipi fled from her immortal lover, Taroba, with a canoe. In his rage Taroba cut the river in half, thus creating the waterfalls, while killing both himself and his lover. The waterfall was first found in 1541 by Alva Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish conquistador. You might recognize the waterfalls from their appearance in the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The waterfall is 270 feet high at its peak and almost 2 miles wide with an epic flow rate that could easily drown a swimmer.