13 Breathtaking Waterfalls You Need to See in Your Lifetime

From the roaring Victoria Falls in Africa to the Weeping Wall in Hawai‘i, we’ve rounded up the best waterfalls in the world for you to go chasing.

Gullfoss in Iceland is one of the best waterfalls in the world

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Published 15 April 2024

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From the roaring Victoria Falls in Africa to the Weeping Wall in Hawai‘i, we’ve rounded up the best waterfalls in the world for you to go chasing.


TLC got it all wrong — whenever you get the chance, you should absolutely go chasing waterfalls. Whether short or tall, small or large, surging or calm, these natural attractions are guaranteed to impress.  

Not sure where to go looking? Take a read through our list of the best waterfalls in the world.



Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls’ nickname, “The Smoke That Thunders” should tell you everything you need to know about this waterfall: it’s large, loud and legendary. Situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia on the Zambezi River, it’s the world’s largest waterfall (measuring almost 2km wide and over 100m tall). 

In the rainy season, water flows off the expansive edge of Victoria Falls like a curtain — making it easy to see why it’s both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It’s impressive no matter which side of the Zambezi River you find yourself on, but keep in mind that the Zimbabwe side is said to provide better views while the Zambia side features the iconic Devil’s Pool swimming hole. Do with that information what you will.

Group of people wearing ponchos while getting up close to Niagara Falls
Group of people wearing ponchos while getting up close to Niagara Falls
Group of people wearing ponchos while getting up close to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, Canada and United States

It would be impossible to write a post about the best waterfalls in the world without mentioning Niagara Falls. Located on the Niagara River between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, this natural wonder attracts approximately 12 million visitors each year. 

One of the biggest draws is that there are plenty of ways to experience Niagara Falls — which is actually comprised of three waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls). Take in the cascades’ impressive scope and power from the deck of a cruise or the seat of a helicopter, zipline along the edge of the Niagara Gorge or descend 38m to a behind-the-falls observation deck. It goes without saying that rain jackets and ponchos are highly recommended here! 

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the tallest waterfall in the world
Angel Falls in Venezuela is the tallest waterfall in the world
Angel Falls in Venezuela is the tallest waterfall in the world

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Want to view the tallest waterfall in the world? Make your way to Venezuela’s Canaima National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts the incredible Angel Falls, which has a height of 929m — that’s 20 times taller than Niagara Falls, 9 times taller than Victoria Falls and almost 1.5 times taller than Yosemite Falls!

Angel Falls (known by the local Indigenous community as Kerepakupai Merú and Parakupá Vená), was named after the American bush pilot who discovered the waterfall in 1937. But the waterfall’s ethereal appearance could also have something to do with it. Due to its height, Angel Falls is often surrounded by clouds and mist; the falling water transforms into tiny particles long before it reaches the bottom.

A moonbow at Yosemite Falls
A moonbow at Yosemite Falls
A moonbow at Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls, United States

Yosemite Falls is the fifth-tallest waterfall in the world and the tallest waterfall in North America… but to be honest, it’s kind of earned these titles by cheating. That’s because it consists of three separate falls (Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades and Lower Yosemite Fall) that create an illusion of one giant cascade of water. Regardless, it’s still worth adding to this list of beautiful waterfalls — as well as your travel bucket list.

This waterfall in California’s Yosemite National Park is primarily fed by snowmelt, so late spring or early summer are the best times to visit. During these seasons, the cascade is powerful enough to be heard across the Yosemite Valley and your chances of catching a glimpse of a moonbow (aka a lunar rainbow) go way, way up.

A group of people on a viewing platform at Iguazú Falls
A group of people on a viewing platform at Iguazú Falls
A group of people on a viewing platform at Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls, Argentina and Brazil

Why travel for a single waterfall when you can travel for hundreds of waterfalls? There are 275 tiered cascades on this 3km stretch of the Iguazú River between Argentina and Brazil, with the u-shaped Devil’s Throat (which plunges 82m) being the largest of them all.

While viewable from both the Argentina and Brazil side of the river, the latter is often considered the best for panoramic views; this side is also home to several viewing platforms, which take you close enough to feel the waterfalls’ spray. As if the waterfalls weren’t enough, Iguazú Falls is situated in a national park — meaning you also have plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding rainforest. 

Gullfoss, Iceland
Gullfoss, Iceland
Gullfoss, Iceland

Gullfoss, Iceland

Located in Iceland’s Hvítá River Canyon, Gullfoss is one of the most stunning and impressive waterfalls in the world — and we have an environmentalist named Sigríður Tómasdóttir to thank for it. In the early 1900s, she prevented an English businessman from using the waterfall as a hydroelectric power plant.

Whether you’re driving along the Ring Road or taking a quick day trip from Reykjavik to the Golden Circle, make sure to stop by this natural attraction. With two falls aligned at a nearly right angle, Gullfoss appears to stretch to the end of the world. In addition, there’s a golden hue occasionally visible due to the glacial sediment in the river. It’s this latter illusion that has earned it the nickname “Golden Falls”.

Weeping Wall, Hawaii
Weeping Wall, Hawaii
Weeping Wall, Hawaii

Weeping Wall, United States

Some waterfalls are renowned for their sheer volume and power — but not the Weeping Wall in Kauai, Hawai‘i. This collection of waterfalls trickling down the moss-covered canyon walls of Mount Waialeale are more reminiscent of streams of tears (happy ones, we like to think). 

With more than 450in of rainfall each year, this is one of the wettest places on the planet. In fact, the summit of the mountain is only visible for approximately 20 days of the year; the rest of the time, it’s covered by clouds. You can hike to these falls, but the trail is quite challenging… so opt for a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride or scenic flight instead.

The Bản Giốc–Detian Falls span China and Vietnam
The Bản Giốc–Detian Falls span China and Vietnam
The Bản Giốc–Detian Falls span China and Vietnam

Bản Giốc–Detian Falls, China and Vietnam

Asia may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of famous waterfalls, but it will be after you witness the incredible Bản Giốc–Detian Falls on the Quay Son River. One of the things that makes these falls so unique is that they’re spread across two countries: the Bản Giốc Waterfall is in Vietnam and the Detian Falls are in China. 

Here, water falls into a series of tiered pools — all of which are surrounded by lush vegetation. It looks amazing, whether from a boat deck, the pathways that surround the falls or the nearby glass bridge (which gives you a birds-eye view of the entire area). Unfortunately, you can’t swim at the base of either the Detian or Bản Giốc falls, but the scenery more than makes up for it. 

Plitviče Waterfalls, Croatia
Plitviče Waterfalls, Croatia
Plitviče Waterfalls, Croatia

Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia

If the Bản Giốc–Detian Falls aren’t magical enough for you, plan a trip to Croatia. The Plitviče Waterfalls in Plitviče Lakes National Park are almost too gorgeous for words. Depending on which time of year and day you choose to visit, you’ll get to take in a collection of colours — from deep blue and emerald to bright aquamarine and turquoise.

In total, there are 16 waterfall-connected lakes to explore. This may sound like a lot, but it’s easy to navigate! The park has eight well-marked walking and hiking trails (many with wooden boardwalks that cross the lakes). Ranging from 3–18km in length, these paths give travellers of all fitness levels the ability to get up close and personal to these iconic waterfalls.  

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Angel Falls may get the glory of being the tallest waterfall in the world and also the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world… but it doesn’t get all the bragging rights. And that’s because it’s made up of multiple cascades. As a result, Kaieteur Falls in South America has earned the record for being the tallest waterfall with a single drop. 

At approximately 226m, it’s roughly twice the height of Victoria Falls and almost four times the height of Niagara Falls — and is definitely one of the waterfalls you should be chasing. That said, it’s not the easiest waterfall to visit. Hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest in Guyana, you’ll need to book a scenic flight or an overland journey to get anywhere close.

Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
Sutherland Falls, New Zealand

Sutherland Falls, New Zealand

It really shouldn’t be surprising to find a New Zealand waterfall on this list. The country’s landscape — filled with spectacular glaciers, majestic fiords and rugged mountains — was practically made for this natural wonder. There are more than 200 waterfalls to find here, but Sutherland Falls near Milford Sound is the one that most captures our attention.

Rather than being fed by a raging river, this 580m waterfall tumbles from the enchanting Lake Quill. You can get here via the Milford Track, a four-day hiking trail that requires a decent level of physical fitness, but the best views can be seen from above. Surrounded by untouched wilderness, it really does look as if it belongs in a fairy tale.

Havasu Falls, Arizona
Havasu Falls, Arizona
Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls, United States

Havasu Falls may not be very tall, large or powerful — but it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Tucked away in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the waterfall sits among the desert landscape, flowing over orange-red rocks into a bright blue pool. This contrast of colours is absolutely breathtaking and is the main feature that sets it apart from the other waterfalls on this list.

This gorgeous spot can only be accessed via a 10-mile overnight hike (which you’ll need to make a reservation and pay fees for), but it’s worth it! You can also reward yourself with a refreshing dip at the base of the falls.

Dudhsagar Falls is also known as the "Sea of Milk"
Dudhsagar Falls is also known as the "Sea of Milk"
Dudhsagar Falls is also known as the "Sea of Milk"

Dudhsagar Falls, India

Desperate to chase the best waterfalls in the world, but not too keen on hiking? Dudhsagar Falls are for you! This four-tiered cascade, situated next to the Kulem railway station in India’s Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, can be viewed outside a train window.

Measuring more than 300m tall and 30m wide, Dudhsagar Falls have a lot of speed and force — so much so that the water appears white. For this reason, it is often referred to as the “Sea of Milk”. The rainy season (okay… monsoon season) is the best time of year to visit this one so if you don’t mind getting wet, think about travelling between June and September. That said, the falls also look good in November and December — when the weather is dryer and warmer.

Honourable mentions

Our list of the best waterfalls in the world could go on and on… and on! In case the above options weren’t enough to “wet” your appetite, we’ve sourced 10 more famous falls: 

  • Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica
  • Fall Creek Falls, United States
  • Jog Falls, India
  • Tugela Falls, South Africa
  • Jim Jim Falls, Australia
  • Bigar Cascade Falls, Romania
  • Rhine Falls, Switzerland
  • Thi lo Su Waterfall, Thailand
  • Kawasan Falls, Philippines
  • Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali

 

Don’t stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to! Check out our current deals or chat with a travel consultant today so you can go chasing the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

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