Amazing pictures of the world’s most impressive waterfalls

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Slide 1 of 38: Impressive doesn't always just refer to height or world records, although some of the waterfalls on this list certainly meet that criteria and make for superb bucket list destinations. It includes the sheer simple spectacle of water running off rock in some of the most unusual and scenic settings that will take your breath away. Here are 37 of the best.
Slide 2 of 38: Straddling the borders of Brazil and Argentina, the Iguazú Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world. While it may not be the tallest, it's certainly one of the widest. It’s also one of the most distinct in shape because it has a staircase formation: water flows over two steps made from basalt. Most people try and get a shot of the Devil’s Throat canyon, a bowl that shows off the sheer might of all that water.
Slide 3 of 38: Although you have to hike over four hours to get to the falls, the scenery is bar none. Located in the Grand Canyon, it’s one of five Havasupai Falls on the Havasupai Indian reservation, so you have to get a permit to visit. You're advised not to hike in the middle of the day and camping is available for a more leisurely trip. The waterfall is one main fall over a vertical cliff and has a stunning turquoise color because of the calcium carbonate in the water.
Slide 4 of 38: Located between the towns of Corbett and Dodson, you can access this beautiful waterfall from the state highway and it’s just a five-minute walk from the car park. Visit in fall when the surrounding foliage is awash with burning reds and golds, and at 620 feet, it’s the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. There’s also a local lodge that was built in 1925, where you can have lunch and buy gifts.
Slide 5 of 38: It may be a small country but Iceland is packed with waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss, in the south, only drops 200 feet but what makes it special is that it's one of the few waterfalls you can walk entirely around. The waterfall's spray also creates an unusual microcosm of flora and fauna: the grass is exceptionally green, and yellow and violet flowers grow in the surrounding area.
Slide 6 of 38: Forget hiking into rural mountain ranges, the Pliva waterfall is right in the middle of the town of Jajce. The cascade is only about 50 feet, but it's been named one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. After admiring the stunning falls, explore some of the historical buildings (it’s a 14th-century town) and if you hire a car, there are mountains nearby for hiking.
Slide 7 of 38: Set in the magnificent landscape of Yosemite National Park which is home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada, is the Yosemite Falls. It’s divided into three sections: the Upper Yosemite Fall is one of the 20 highest waterfalls in the world with a drop of 1,430 feet; the Middle Cascades drop another 675 feet; and the Lower Yosemite Fall is 320 feet long. They range in accessibility – Upper Yosemite is reached via a historic, old trail but it’s often crowded and difficult, while Lower Yosemite has a lodge nearby so it’s much easier.
Slide 8 of 38: One of Norway’s tallest waterfalls with a single drop of 902 feet, Vettisfossen can be accessed via an hour’s hike to the lower end of Utladalen valley, in the central region of the country. The scenery, carved by the Sognefjord, is dramatic and atmospheric – you half expect Norse gods to come tramping along the mountain range.
Slide 9 of 38: Be warned, this is one of the most difficult waterfalls in the world to access, but that’s also what makes it such a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The world’s fifth largest waterfall – it's nearly 3,000 feet high – also boasts some amazing jungle, and while walking around, you may see orchids, Andean parrots and yellow-tailed monkeys. To get there, you have to head to the northern Peruvian town of Chachapoyas. It’s then a two-hour drive to the village of Cuispes (via a dirt road) and from there, an hour by foot.
Slide 10 of 38: Located in Meghalaya in eastern India, the rainiest place in the world, Nohkalikai Falls is set against an emerald green backdrop. It's India’s tallest waterfall with a 1,100-foot drop. The plunge pool is an unusual shade of green, and there are stairs at strategic points to view it in all its glory. Nearby are the double-root bridges – living tree bridges created by the local people to allow them ways to get from village to village in times of monsoon.
Slide 11 of 38: An 18-minute drive from Vagar airport, an island in the Faroe Islands archipelago, will take you to Gásadalur, where the Mulafossur Falls pour over the cliffs and into the sea. This is one of the most special places for remote beauty. The Faroe Islands are located between Iceland and Scotland and the landscape is like something from a dream: green mountains, thunderous sky cut with slivers of sun, surrounded by azure waters.
Slide 12 of 38: Otherworldly is the only word to describe the Bigar Waterfall, which falls over a carpet of moss creating a veil of water. Located in the protected Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park in Romania, it's still a fairly uncrowded spot and there are small rustic lodges if you want to stay in the area.
Slide 13 of 38: It may not be the biggest or the tallest, but Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic and has a distinctive green color due to a mix of rock flour and salts. It's a collection of three waterfalls that pour across the border of the US and Canada, comprising the Horseshoe falls, the American falls and the Bridal Veil falls. There are plenty of ways to enjoy them from the Maid of the Mist boat tour that takes you to the bottom, to a restaurant with glass panels overlooking the top of the falls, as well as an observatory deck and plenty of hiking trails nearby.
Slide 14 of 38: They may not be the world’s highest or the tallest at 255 feet, but these falls are undeniably pretty. Set in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the surrounding area is remarkably scenic and home to 16 lakes. The highest waterfalls are at the end of the Lower Lakes where the Plitvica river cascades.
Slide 15 of 38: Technically these are hot springs, but the cascade of the water helps them to edge into the waterfall category as well. Good thing too, because you can swim in the waters and they're said to have therapeutic properties. Located near the pretty village of Saturnia in southern Tuscany, the water is a balmy 37.5°C (99.5°F) but smells on account of the sulphur.
Slide 16 of 38: Located in the southern Croatia's Krka National Park – one of the most pristine national parks in Europe – is a series of seven waterfalls. You can also go for a dip at the bottom, especially at the Skradinski Buk waterfall which has a clear, natural pool. There are local hikes in the park, a tiny monastery and even a boat excursion.
Slide 17 of 38: Set in the middle of the Tat Ton National Park in central Thailand, the namesake waterfall is one of many in the area, but arguably the most beautiful as it cascades over rock plateaus. There are hikes in the park, but another area of interest is the Chaopho Tat Ton shrine which honors a holy man from the Khmer region.
Slide 18 of 38: One of the most iconic among the many waterfalls in Iceland, Gulfoss is where water in the Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, and cascades 105 feet. It’s one of the top sights on the Golden Circle sightseeing route from Reykjavik, around southwest Iceland. The loop also takes in Þingvellir National Park and the Geysir Geothermal Area.
Slide 19 of 38: In Yellowstone National Park, there are some gorgeous hikes and lakes, wildlife to spot and the dazzlingly colorful Grand Prismatic hot spring. Leave time to behold the Yellowstone Falls, made up of two waterfalls. The first plunges off into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the second is the largest volume waterfall in the Rocky Mountains. Read more about the incredible national park here.
Slide 20 of 38: Wallaman Falls is part of the traditional lands of the Warrgamaygan Aboriginal people, and it’s a glorious, special experience. Not just because it’s the highest single-drop waterfall in Australia at 879 feet, but because it is considered a sacred place and home to some of the oldest rainforest on Earth which you can explore afterwards.
Slide 21 of 38: The largest waterfall in Europe is quite a monster, formed in the last ice age. Standing at the top, you can feel the vibrations of the water. There's a massive rock located in the middle of the waterfall that has survived the force of water, and is where visitors can stand and watch the falls roar past.
Slide 22 of 38: The mist generated by the Blue Nile Falls in northwestern Ethiopia is so thick, it’s referred to as the ‘great smoke’. Straddling the White and Blue Nile rivers, it's pretty dramatic as waterfalls go. The drop is between 114 feet to 140 feet in length, and 1,312 feet wide, with a perennial rainforest at the bottom.
Slide 23 of 38: Iguazú Falls may hog all the attention, but Caracol Falls comes a close second. Set in a beautiful pine forest and cascading over 400 feet from basalt cliffs, it’s the icing on the cake after a long hike. You can see the falls from an observatory tower that requires a separate ticket in addition to a park entry fee, but if you’re feeling fit and able, walk the 730 steps down to the bottom of the waterfall.
Slide 24 of 38: At a height of 2,313 feet, it’s northern Europe’s tallest waterfall, and the surrounding area of craggy rocks and crystal clear Eikesdalsvatn Lake make for a stunning backdrop. Water from the flow is used in hydroelectrics and it’s just a short 1.5 mile walk from the nearby car park. Take a raincoat though, as the splashback from the cascade is immense.
Slide 25 of 38: What this series of waterfalls lacks in height, it makes up for in sheer, ethereal beauty. Located on the Isle of Skye against the Black Cuillin mountains, Fairy Pools is a favorite spot for wild swimmers as the water is crystal clear and a supernatural shade of blue. Don’t be fooled though, it’s freezing so bring a wetsuit if you're planning on taking a dip.
Slide 26 of 38: President Roosevelt called them ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ and while that didn’t quite stick, it doesn’t mean the Burney Falls in northern California aren’t jaw-dropping. Found in the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, the water pours from an underground spring and drops 129 feet with a constant flow. Funnily enough, the best views of the falls are from the parking lot.
Slide 27 of 38: The second highest plunge waterfall in Karnataka, India makes the list because it has a unique method of falling: it doesn’t flow in a tiered fashion against the rocks. The segmented cascades are set within an extremely lush, untamed backdrop of verdant rainforest, so there's plenty to admire.
Slide 28 of 38: For a more tranquil waterfall experience without hordes of people around, head to the Yerköprü Waterfall in southern Turkey. It's a stunner, with water cascading into a vivid turquoise lake, and two observation decks to soak it all in.
Slide 29 of 38: Straddling the Chinese border, where it's called Detian falls, and the Vietnamese border, where it's known as Ban Gioc, the waterfall switches between one waterfall when the rains are high, and splits into two cascades when the rains are low. Located in a stunning region of karst mountains, the falls are powered by the Quay Son river which originates in China. You can hire a raft on either side to take you close to the waterfall’s drop.
Slide 30 of 38: The high amount of rainfall in the area means this is a spectacular waterfall no matter the time of year. The bad news is... the high amount of rainfall. However, Hawaii is warm and tropical so it’s more bearable than most rainy regions. Akaka Falls has a 442-feet drop and there's a loop trail around it meaning you can see it from different heights and vantage points.
Slide 31 of 38: Described as one of the seven wonders of Wales and Britain’s largest single-drop waterfall, Pistyll Rhaeadr in the north of the country doesn’t disappoint. It’s created by the Afon Disgynfa which falls in three stages over a 240-foot cliff face into the river below. Bonus points for the little café at the bottom which serves tea and cake. In the words of 19th-century English poet George Borrow: “I never saw water falling so gracefully, so much like thin, beautiful threads as here."
Slide 32 of 38: Located in the remote part of Fjordland in the South Island, Sutherland Falls isn't easy to reach. Either you have to do the Milford Track or you can nip in by helicopter, but once there it is well worth it. Hidden in the bushland of some of the most pristine jungle, the falls thunder down from a 1,900 feet height.
Slide 33 of 38: The highest waterfall in Africa, Tugela is spectacular. The sight of the water pouring across The Amphitheatre – the cliff face in the Drakensberg mountain range – is arresting and when it gets cold, the upper falls can sometimes freeze, forming pillars of ice. It’s not easy to get there either – you’re looking at a three to four mile hike.
Slide 34 of 38: Reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss is located in the Vatnajökull National Park. Due to sediment churned up in the water, it's white and looks like it's constantly frothing. The strong force is generated by the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which flows from the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull.
Slide 35 of 38: The king of waterfalls, Angel Falls is the world’s tallest fall (at 3,211 feet) and the surrounding scenery is no less dramatic. It drops off the edge of the Auyán-tepui mountain in east Venezuela, a striking stone structure with sheer faces and clouds wreathing the treetops below. It's best viewed between June and December when the waterfall and river Kerep is at its fullest.
Slide 36 of 38: The world’s largest single-drop waterfall looks like something from a picture book. Framed in leafy Guyanese rainforest and rainbows, mist rises from the thundering water below. It’s located in the Kaieteur National Park in west Guyana and is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
Slide 37 of 38: Located in the village of Balaa in north Lebanon, this is one of the most unusual waterfalls as it drops 837 feet into a limestone cave that's divided into three separate natural bridges. It can only be seen in March and April when the snow melts and Mount Lebanon looms in the distance.
Slide 38 of 38: Classed as the largest waterfall in the world, based on its width – 5,604 feet – Victoria Falls, located on the Zambia and Zimbabwe border, is overwhelming in size. Those brave enough can take a dip in the Devil’s Pool, a little pocket of water on the edge of the abyss which looks like you’re about to tip over the edge (but don't worry, you won’t because of the rock edge).For more daring spots to visit, check out the world's most impressive bridges and the world's most dangerous attractions.

Incredible cascades

Iguazú Falls, Brazil & Argentina

Havasu Falls, USA

Multnomah Falls, USA

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Pliva Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Yosemite Falls, USA

Set in the magnificent landscape of Yosemite National Park which is home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada, is the Yosemite Falls. It’s divided into three sections: the Upper Yosemite Fall is one of the 20 highest waterfalls in the world with a drop of 1,430 feet; the Middle Cascades drop another 675 feet; and the Lower Yosemite Fall is 320 feet long. They range in accessibility – Upper Yosemite is reached via a historic, old trail but it’s often crowded and difficult, while Lower Yosemite has a lodge nearby so it’s much easier.

Vettisfossen, Norway

Yumbilla Falls, Peru

Be warned, this is one of the most difficult waterfalls in the world to access, but that’s also what makes it such a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The world’s fifth largest waterfall – it’s nearly 3,000 feet high – also boasts some amazing jungle, and while walking around, you may see orchids, Andean parrots and yellow-tailed monkeys. To get there, you have to head to the northern Peruvian town of Chachapoyas. It’s then a two-hour drive to the village of Cuispes (via a dirt road) and from there, an hour by foot.

Nohkalikai Falls, India

Mulafossur, Faroe Islands

Bigar Waterfall, Romania

Niagara Falls, USA & Canada

It may not be the biggest or the tallest, but Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic and has a distinctive green color due to a mix of rock flour and salts. It’s a collection of three waterfalls that pour across the border of the US and Canada, comprising the Horseshoe falls, the American falls and the Bridal Veil falls. There are plenty of ways to enjoy them from the Maid of the Mist boat tour that takes you to the bottom, to a restaurant with glass panels overlooking the top of the falls, as well as an observatory deck and plenty of hiking trails nearby.

Plitvice Lakes National Park waterfalls, Croatia

Terme di Saturnia, Italy

Krka National Park waterfalls, Croatia

Tat Ton National Park waterfall, Thailand

Gulfoss, Iceland

Yellowstone Falls, USA

In Yellowstone National Park, there are some gorgeous hikes and lakes, wildlife to spot and the dazzlingly colorful Grand Prismatic hot spring. Leave time to behold the Yellowstone Falls, made up of two waterfalls. The first plunges off into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the second is the largest volume waterfall in the Rocky Mountains. Read more about the incredible national park here.

Wallaman Falls, Australia

Rhine Falls, Switzerland

Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia

Caracol Falls, Brazil

Mardalsfossen, Norway

Fairy Pools, Scotland

Burney Falls, USA

Jog Falls, India

Yerköprü Waterfall, Turkey

Ban Gioc-Detian Waterfall, Vietnam & China

Akaka Falls, Hawaii

Pistyll Rhaeadr, Wales

Sutherland Falls, New Zealand

Tugela Falls, South Africa

Dettifoss, Iceland

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Baatara Gorge, Lebanon

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia

Classed as the largest waterfall in the world, based on its width – 5,604 feet – Victoria Falls, located on the Zambia and Zimbabwe border, is overwhelming in size. Those brave enough can take a dip in the Devil’s Pool, a little pocket of water on the edge of the abyss which looks like you’re about to tip over the edge (but don’t worry, you won’t because of the rock edge).

For more daring spots to visit, check out the world’s most impressive bridges and the world’s most dangerous attractions.

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