The Best Waterfalls in the World to Include in your Travel Bucket List
If you are a nature lover and need some travel inspiration, you will love this post on the best waterfalls in the world.
I have put together this huge guide with the help of well-traveled fellow bloggers who have shared useful information and stunning pictures of their favorite waterfalls, from lesser-known hidden treasures to the most popular sites.
Read on to will find some great ideas and amazing sites to add to your travel bucket list.
The Best Waterfalls in the World: Mexico
Hierve el Agua Waterfall – Oaxaca
One of the most famous waterfalls in Mexico is actually not a waterfall at all! Hierve el Agua, located near Oaxaca City, Mexico, is one of the only petrified waterfalls in the world.
This means there is actually no water falling, though it does look like there is. Over centuries, small streams of mineral-laden water have trickled down over the cliff face, leaving behind sediment and mineral deposits. This accumulated, and now it looks like a continuous flow of falling water.
This is one of the top attractions in Oaxaca Mexico, but can be a bit of a trek to get to on your own. The most convenient way to visit is on one of these best tours to Hieve el Agua, because the waterfall is located in a remote pueblo high in the Sierra mountains, about 1.5 hours from the city.
You can also go on your own with a taxi, take the inexpensive colectivo (pick-up truck taxi) or drive up in your rental car. There are also rustic cabins at Hierve el Agua, should you want to stay the night.
Besides the Hierve el Agua cascadas, which means waterfalls in Spanish, there are also pools you can swim in located at the top of the cliff. These infinity pools are just as famous as the petrified waterfalls and offer a nice, cool break from the Oaxaca heat.
By Shelley from Travel Mexico Solo
Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls – San Luis Potosì
I have finally visited the Huasteca Potosina after dreaming about it while looking at the beautiful videos of wild vegetation and turquoise waters falling down majestic limestone rock formations.
It’s a huge area with a crazy amount of waterfalls caves and rivers. I spent about 5 days there checking out as much as I could.
The most spectacular is the Tamul waterfall that you can reach by boat, but also Minas Viejas and Puente de Dios are among my favorites.
To visit the Huasteca Potosina waterfalls you can either take one of the guided tours from Ciudad Valles or you can rent a car and go on your own.
Both are possible and it’s up to you to choose what options make you feel more comfortable.
There are also quite a few beautiful boutique hotels where you can stay, right by the waterfalls, or you can stay in Ciudad Valles as a base since it’s located in a strategic position at a close distance to each waterfall.
Best waterfalls in Australia and Oceania
Northbrook Gorge waterfall in D’Aguilar National Park – Brisbane
Although it’s only one hour away from Brisbane, it took me five years to explore the Northbrook Gorge waterfall in D’Aguilar National Park.
I ignore why it is not as popular as the other waterfalls and pools near Brisbane. It’s one of the closest and the most scenic hikes around. Most waterfalls in the region are in the rainforest, so Northbrook Gorge even brings some originality.
We had to count the number of kilometers from the lookout to find the hidden tiny carpark behind the trees. Only one other car was parked there, and there was no sign to indicate it was the start of one of the most beautiful hikes of the National Park.
The waterfall is three kilometers away from the carpark. Be ready to get wet: you’ll have to swim in the river to get there. Although it also requires some scrambling in the gorge, it’s not too hard. It’s even enjoyable and refreshing on a hot summer day.
We only met a couple of small groups on the way and had the place all to ourselves the rest of the time.
Click here for more photos and information about Northbrook Gorge and other great destinations in Australia.
By Eloise from MyfavouriteEscapes.com
Millaa Millaa Falls – Queensland
Millaa Millaa Falls is one of the most beautiful falls in Queensland. They are part of the Water Fall Circuit in the Atherton Tablelands which form the backdrop to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland.
If you are based in Cairns, it is a 90-minute drive to Millaa Millaa Falls via Malanda. If you are staying in the Atherton Tablelands, the falls are 40 minutes away and you can see Zillie Falls and the spectacular Curtain Fig Tree along the way.
The 60-foot-high single-drop falls spill into a large waterhole at the base and the falls, and the whole area is framed by lush rainforest, it really is an idyllic scene. Best of all, you can swim there and get right up to the falls. And it’s safe swimming here with no crocs to worry about!
Not surprisingly, this can be a busy place – tours do go here from Cairns but for the nicest experience get there on your own early or late in the day. There are lawns, a picnic area, and changing rooms. There is water year-round, but they are at their best in the wet season from November to March.
By Natalie & Steve from Curious Campers
Mitchell Falls – Western Australia
The stunning Mitchell Falls is an awe-inspiring sight in the outback Kimberley region of Western Australia. As it’s in a very remote area, you’ll either four-wheel drive in or fly from Kununurra or Broome.
These can be arranged as a day trip or explore more of the Kimberley with week-long tours.
The falls are fed by four separate tiers, which cascade into a deep pool surrounded by lush green vegetation and rocky outcrops.
The area is home to various wildlife species, like birds, wallabies, and goannas, and offers visitors spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.
If you’re keen on hiking, I recommend the “Punamii- Unpuu Track.” This trail is 8.6 kilometers long, and the loop will take about 5 hours to complete. And, if you want to walk with others, guided tours provide detailed information about the local aboriginal history.
Additionally, Helicopter tours are available, which can fly short 10 minutes tours over Mitchell Falls. If you have the budget for flights, then I would absolutely recommend it.
You have a couple of accommodation options available while visiting Mitchell Falls. For the ultimate Kimberley experience, you can stay in a glamping-style wilderness lodge. Alternatively, you can pitch your tent in the bush camping grounds near the falls.
This is one of Western Australia’s most impressive natural features, and visiting Mitchell Falls is an unforgettable experience!
Contributed by Chris Fry the Aquarius Traveler
Fautaua Waterfall – Thaiti
Another worthwhile waterfall is Fautaua Waterfall, which is located on French Polynesia’s largest island, Tahiti. Visitors interested in seeing this 400+ feet tall waterfall can fly directly into Tahiti’s International airport (PPT).
From there, you’ll need to obtain a permit from Papeete’s city hall before you begin hiking on the trail. Once you have your permit, the trailhead is about 3 miles away and can be found using Google Maps.
During the hike, you can expect to pass through Tahiti’s lush jungle interior, ford rivers, and see the most picturesque views! There are even a few informational signs about the different plants you’ll see on the trail.
With regards to difficulty, the hike ranges from medium to hard, depending on your level of fitness. And in terms of time, you can expect the excursion to take anywhere from 5-6 hours round trip, perhaps even longer if you choose to spend more time at the waterfall.
And while experienced hikers may find it doable to complete the hike on their own, it is better to go with a specialized guide if you have no prior hiking and navigating experience.
Ultimately, Fautaua Waterfall is absolutely stunning and one of the many adventurous activities available in Tahiti. For housing, consider staying at Te Moana Tahiti Resort.
Contributed by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
Erskine Falls Great Ocean Road
If you’re lucky enough to be driving the Great Ocean Road, do yourself a favor and make a side trip to see the picture-perfect Erskine Falls.
Nestled in a lush fern-covered gully just 15 minutes from the seaside town of Lorne, this gorgeous cascade is the most popular of the ten waterfalls found in the area.
They are also the easiest to access although, you will need a car to get there.
There are two platforms from which you can see the falls. It’s just a short walk to the first one but the views are limited and I only recommend stopping here if you’re short on time.
To really experience this waterfall properly you need to climb down 200 stairs which will have your lungs screaming on the way back up!
But it’s oh so worth it.
Although its flow is narrow, this 30-metre waterfall is one of the prettiest you’re ever likely to see. Located in a rainforest they’re surrounded by walls of greenery, giant ferns, and moss-covered rocks.
At their base is a deep dark pool of water that tempts you on a hot summer’s day. Especially before the climb back up those stairs!
Audrey Chalmers from See Geelong
The Best waterfalls in Europe
The Torc Waterfall – Ireland
The Torc Waterfall is hidden in Killarney National Park in West Ireland. The national park most often is the starting and endpoint of the Ring of Kerry tour.
Most people do a road trip on the Ring of Kerry by themselves or with a bus operator in order to discover the beauty of Irish nature.
The Ring of Kerry is a 180km long, circle-shaped road with plenty of opportunities to see amazing landscapes and the most beautiful sceneries of West Ireland.
It is very easy to reach Torc Waterfall as you can easily park on the site and then follow a 5 min walk through scene woodland.
There even is a hiking trail that starts at Torc Waterfall and ends up all the on top of Torc Mountain.
Torc Waterfall is well worth visiting and looks best after a heavy rainfall. It is about 70-80 feet high and you can easily climb around there in order to get very close to it.
by Sixtina from Six Miles Away
Giessbach Waterfalls – Switzerland
The Giessbach Waterfalls are not only some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland, but they are also in one of the most beautiful areas in the world – in the region of Interlaken.
The waterfalls tumble in 14 stages and are supposedly 500 meters long.
Personally, I have seen some bits and pieces and while I cannot confirm this, I am sure this is true as it is seriously quite long and while you cannot see all of it in one place, it surely will amaze you regardless of what your point of view is.
The waterfall’s source is in the Faulhorn-Sägis Valley and it tumbles into the most beautiful lake ever – Lake Brienz – the famous turquoise-colored lake in the canton of Bernese Oberland.
So whether you see the lake from a boat, causing Lake Brienz, or see it from the Grandhotel Giessbach – each view is unique and stunning. If you say at the historic and amazing hotel of Grandhotel Giessbach (one of my favorite hotels to date) pay a few € extra and book a room with a waterfall view.
If you want to enjoy the view for free, pack some hiking shoes, get out at the boat station and hike up your way to the origin.
On your way up (the hike is not difficult for Swiss standard) take breaks and soak in the beauty – of the waterfall and the surroundings and I am sure you will not regret a trip to the Giessbach Waterfalls.
By Arzo Nayel from Arzo Travel
Pego do Inferno waterfall – Algarve – Portugal
The Algarve is a very unique place. On the one hand, it’s incredibly touristy: head to the resort towns of Albufeira or Praia da Rocha and all you’ll find are British-themed pubs and all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurants.
On the other hand, however, there are parts that are relatively unspoiled by tourism. Drive inland for twenty minutes and you’ll discover a side of the Algarve that’s a world apart from the Algarve by the coast.
One of the Algarve’s best-kept inland secrets (at least up until now) is the waterfall at Pego do Inferno near Tavira on the Eastern Algarve.
Part of the reason for the waterfall’s relative anonymity is that it’s so difficult to get there. Although there’s now a Google Map that will point smartphone users in the right direction, there aren’t any signposts or clues that you’re heading in the right direction.
The fact that you need a car to get there means that most tourists never end up visiting it. All of this has meant that, even though the waterfall is slowly becoming more known, it is unlikely to be very crowded. Definitely nowhere near as crowded as the beach.
During summer, when the temperatures top 40 °C and the beaches are crowded, it’s the perfect place to go and get away from it all.
By James from Worldwide Shopping Guide
Dettifoss – Iceland
“Easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, Dettifoss is an amazing, 144-foot tall waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park.
In fact, this waterfall is so intense that is believed to be the second most powerful waterfall in Europe, after the Rhine Falls.
So, if you’d like to visit for yourself then make a stop here along the Diamond Circle route.
Just turn onto road 682 from Route 1 in North Iceland. You’ll then see a large parking lot with a visitor center, bathrooms, and a gift shop
Just be aware that while there are two sides to Dettifoss, it takes over an hour to drive between these two sides.
Therefore, try and pick either the east or west side before visiting. Personally, we prefer the west side for several reasons.
Not only is the western entrance easier to get to since the road is paved, but you’ll enjoy a full view of the waterfall from the viewing platform.
Photos here at golden hour are also pretty amazing, although you probably will get wet while standing on the platform. Additionally, there is a lower viewpoint that you can access via a steep trail. The hike is worth it though since the views from the bottom are truly awesome.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out Selfoss Waterfall while you’re in the area since it is very close by.
By Victoria of Iceland Trippers
Skogafoss – Iceland
Skogafoss, Iceland is one of the most incredible waterfalls you can visit in the world. What makes it so noteworthy? It’s very, very large – 82 feet wide and 197 feet tall, with a torrent of water, creating a thunderous spray.
Additionally, the falls drop over a sheer cliff, creating a beautiful mist at the bottom. The sides of the falls are lined with green moss and stark black volcanic rock.
It all comes together to create a unique and stunning visual and auditory experience.
Skogafoss is located in southern Iceland, about two hours from Reykjavik. You can very easily drive yourself there while doing a Ring Road itinerary (this is a very popular way to experience Iceland), or there are tours from Reykjavik you can join. No public transit option is available.
There is no entrance or parking fee, and the base of the waterfall is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the parking lot.
There is a staircase next to the waterfall where you can walk to the top and continue on a path following the river farther on if you so desire.
Skogafoss is in the middle of the countryside, in an area that does not have a lot of towns or cities nearby.
However, there are hotels and guesthouses scattered along Highway 1 (The Ring Road). Alternatively, there is a really beautiful campsite just a ½ mile west of Skogafoss, in front of the Gljufrabui waterfall.
Contributed by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast
Kravice Waterfalls – Bosnia Herzegovina
Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia might not be one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world… but maybe they should be. Standing at 25ft tall and almost 100ft wide, they curve around in a soft arc of frothing white foam cascading down into still, emerald water.
With a rowing boat or two idling nearby and powdery sand lining the shore, the Kravice (or Kravica) Waterfalls are the centerpiece of a scene that’s almost picture-perfect. Isn’t it?!
I visited the Kravice Waterfalls as part of an organized day trip from Dubrovnik. The waterfalls are the first stop on the tour before you continue onto the village of Mostar and its iconic Stari Most bridge. You can also arrange a tour from Mostar and other cities like Split. Otherwise, the best thing is to hire a car and make your own way there.
Definitely pack your swimming costume because it’s hard to resist jumping right in. Although it’s worth noting that the water of the Trebizat River is pretty cold – at least it was when we visited in early May. You might be luckier during the hotter summer months.
The waterfalls are around a 15-minute walk from the car park and there are toilets on the beach so you can get changed after a dip.
And if you simply want to admire the waterfalls without getting wet, take a pew at one of the cafes on the beach or sprawl out on the sand with a picnic. Just make sure you have your camera fully charged and ready.
Contributed by Lucy from LucyLiveshere.com
Krka Waterfalls, Croatia
Krka National Park is in the middle of Croatia, near the city of Šibenik. There are in total 7 waterfalls in Krka National Park. Other things to see in the park are lakes, ruins, and beautiful nature.
The largest and most popular waterfall of the seven is Skradinski Buk. To admire this waterfall you need to undertake the loop hike of an hour. In the Summer the path, especially near the falls, is crowded. It’s the most popular thing to do in the park.
Roški Slap is the second most popular waterfall in the park. You can hike to it. It has 12 traps of travertine falls with a 15-meter drop at the end. All 7 waterfalls are travertine waterfalls, and they’re all situated in the Krka river.
The park is easiest to reach by car. It’s 20 minute’s drive from Šibenik. This is to the Lozovac entrance, which is the main entrance.
Take out at least a whole day to visit the park. A bus and a boat ride are needed to reach most of the attractions in the park. The park can easily be visited without a guide.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Salto do Prego in São Miguel island – Azores Portugal
Salto do Prego is a beautiful waterfall located on the east side of São Miguel island, the biggest and most famous island in the Azores archipelago, the Portuguese paradise in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
In order to reach this natural wonder, you will need to walk a bit, so don’t forget to pack a good pair of trekking shoes! Don’t worry, it’s totally possible to do this trail on your own, which has a medium difficulty level.
Drive to Faial da Terra and park around here, where the official circular trail of 4,5km starts. You will need to walk for around an hour through very biodiverse vegetation, which gets thicker as you progress uphill, and you will need to go to the right when you reach the fork, following the sign indicating “Salto do Prego”.
If you visit it during the summer months, the weather will probably be hot and humid, so have your swimsuit ready to get a very refreshing deep in the lagoon in from of the waterfall.
It’s possible to do a detour to another waterfall, Salto do Cagarrão, and the official trail continues passing by Sanguinho, a beautifully restored rural village where it is possible to stay overnight, although to make the most out of your trip to the island it would be better if you choose to stay in Ponta Delgada or Ribeira Grande.
We recommend spending the rest of the day driving along the EN1-1A road and exploring the amazing viewpoints with breathtaking views that you can find on this side of the island, like Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada, Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego or Miradouro da Vista dos Barcos.
Inês from RandomTrip.net
The waterfalls in the world: Asia
Secret Waterfalls – Dalat
When it comes to Southeast Asia countries, Vietnam is easily my favorite pick. Once a lesser-known destination, it has become more and more popular among tourists in recent years.
Travelers often go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, the most famous cities in the country, but very few people heard of Dalat, which in my opinion, is one of the most magical places in Vietnam.
At 1500m height compared with sea level, Dalat is often called ‘Eternal Spring’ for its pleasantly warm temperatures during the day and cool at night. The first thing that’ll capture your attention is its French-style architecture.
As Dalat used to be colonized by the French, it looks like a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps.
Apart from its unique architecture, Dalat attractions are abundant and it is a wonderland for nature lovers. You can go for a hike in the woods, take on a canyoning tour or visit beautiful waterfalls… The outdoor adventure is boundless!
Be sure to check out the spectacular Pongour waterfall, which is one of the most famous waterfalls in the province. It’s majestic and beautiful, especially right after a heavy downpour.
As Pongour is rather far from town (50km), it’ll take you at least 2 hours to get there by motorbike due to the poor road condition. So be prepared for a bumpy ride!
Another waterfall you shouldn’t miss is Elephant waterfall, which is about 25km far from Dalat city in the southwest. It only takes 10 minutes to reach the bottom of the falls but the way down is slippery and tricky.
The first half is on bricked stairs with metal handrails. But the second half is uneven rocks. It can get extremely slippery and muddy, so steady feet and decent hiking sandals/shoes are required.
However, all your effort is worth it as the waterfall is truly spectacular. With its majestic size and beautiful nature, Elephant Waterfall is recognized as a national heritage in 2001.
Hope you can visit Dalat soon and enjoy your trip!
Mor Paeng Waterfall – Thailand
One of Thailand’s greatest hidden treasures is the little town of Pai! Pai is becoming more touristy as you read this and the town itself is exactly what you’d expect. Plenty of clothes, food, and souvenir stalls including a delightful night market! Don’t miss that!
However, the best part of Pai is the adventures to be had outside of the town. Pai is home to three amazing waterfalls, Pembok Waterfall, Mae Yen Waterfall and the best one by far, Mor Paeng Waterfall.
Mor Paeng is less of a waterfall and more of a waterslide! Enjoy a tricky scramble across some slippery rocks to reach the top of the waterfall.
Greeting you at the top will most likely be the local Thai children who spend their day playing at the falls.
From the car park, the waterfall is a 5-minute trek away.
The car park can be easily reached by scooter, car or by Taxi services. It would take almost 2 hours if you wanted to walk there.
When we were there, the Thai children created a human chain by holding each other’s hands. They would reach out and support other climbers at the bottom to climb up. Additionally, they pulled branches and roots away from the trees and created a makeshift rope.
Finally, they spent their time slipping and sliding down the Mor Paeng waterslide and invited you to join in too! Please be aware that you can only slide down the top section of the waterfall, not the first section you see from the ground level.
The lower part of the waterfall is too dangerous to slide down and accidents are common if attempted.
Overall, it is a great day out, full of fun but very cold! Just remember to bring your swimming gear and a towel.
By Chrissie and Steve from Inspirational Discoveries
Hulugan Falls – Philippines
Just a couple of hours from Manila is Hulugan Falls – an incredibly impressive waterfall that is relatively unknown to most tourists!
At over 235 feet high, this waterfall is so magnificent and one of the most spectacular ones I have ever seen! The water is really powerful and you can swim in the pool under the waterfall, it is really amazing!
You can get public transport here from Manila (take the bus to Santa Cruz and then a jeepney to San Salvador). At the Kapitan’s House, you’ll need to register for Hulugan Falls, which costs 30 PHP ($0.50).
There is a food stall here but they don’t have so much choice so it’s best to bring something with you.
A guide will lead you down the path to Hulugan Falls. It is a very challenging path: steep and slippery, so you need to wear good shoes! It takes around 25 minutes to walk down to the falls, our legs were a bit shaky afterward but it was worth it!
You’ll hear the falls before you see them. When you catch a glimpse of Hulugan Falls it’s hard for it not to take your breath away, it’s so huge! What made it even more special was that we were the only people there for 2 hours! It was amazing having this place all to ourselves!
by Catrina from 24 hours Layover
Than Mayom in Koh Chang – Thailand
Than Mayom waterfall is a great spot to visit if you fancy a small hike and a refreshing swim. Because it’s located in the Mu Koh Chang National Park, visitors have to pay an entrance fee of 200 THB per person.
However, you can use the same ticket to visit Klong Plu waterfall which is located in the same national park for free, as long as you visit both attractions on the same day.
This scenic waterfall is located on the east coast of Koh Chang island, near the Rural road. As there’s no public transport, you can either drive there and park for free near the National Park office or get a tour.
Than Mayom waterfall is located just 300 meters from the entrance, you should follow a pebble-paved road and keep walking along the riverbank.
At some point, you’ll have to cross the river, but don’t be scared, it’s very shallow and there’s a rope for support. I recommend taking your shoes off at this point because some of those stones are slippery especially if you walk in flip-flops.
This multi-level waterfall has seven basins, but for safety reasons, you’re allowed to swim only in the two lower ones, which have plenty of small fish. With all the lush greenery around, Than Mayom makes for a scenic spot to swim and relax.
If you get hungry, pay a visit to a nice seafood restaurant located right in front of the National Park entrance. It offers delicious meals, friendly service, and a gorgeous sea view.
by Leslie from Backpackers Thailand
Mae Klang Waterfall – Chiang Mai
You will find the stunning Mae Klang Waterfall at the base of Doi Inthanon mountain in Chiang Mai. It is among the most impressive of the many waterfalls in North Thailand. While not the tallest in the area, the strength and speed of the flow of water here is incredible.
Mae Klang comprises several cascading sections along with a main 30m drop in the middle section. Viewing the falls offers a huge reward for little effort. The walk from the car park to the falls viewing platform is less than half a km on an easy incline. If you venture a little further up you will come to the cascades above the main drop.
It’s a brilliant choice for a lazy waterfront picnic if you fancy a day away from the busy streets of Chiang Mai. It is best to visit between October and April when on weekends and holidays you will see local families enjoying time along the banks. Join them by purchasing your lunch from one of the many food stalls. The rocky shoreline is a perfect place to enjoy a delicious local meal.
In summer, the pools at the base of the falls are great for a quick dip, but in the height of the rainy season the powerful force of the falls makes this far too dangerous.
You will find Mae Klang Waterfall approx 70 km from downtown Chiang Mai. Either jump on one of the songthaews to Doi Inthanon National Park or book a Grab or private driver. We rented a car for our visit but if you have a motorbike license it is very inexpensive to hire one for a day.
The entry to the falls is just outside the gates to Doi Inthanon National Park, if you don’t already have a National Park pass there is a small ticket office where you can pay on arrival. For foreigners, entry is 200 TBH.
We visited in the rainy season and it was too wet to use any of the facilities in the area so the guards just waved us on with no charge.
by Paula Morgan from Thailand Awaits
Kuang Si Falls – Laos
Heading into the dense jungle outside of Luang Prabang, you will find yourself taking in the wonderful and mesmerizing Kuang Si Falls, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. But do not let that stop you from visiting.
You can have the opportunity to swim in these calm pools of turquoise water and really enjoy the cascading falls.
Be mindful as several of these pools are considered sacred and are barred and marked signs stating not to go in.
An included bonus is the Si Bear enclosure which helps support animal tourism with this sanctuary of black bears with their own play areas, pools, and simple living. It’s wonderful to watch
The Kuang Si Falls are located less than as hour’s drive south of Luang Prabang which is where most people will stay.
Accommodations are simple, choosing either a hotel or hostel, and the falls are easy to get to from town.
If you are traveling solo or with friends, you can hire a local tuk-tuk driver to take you there. Most of the operating tour companies passing through this part of Laos include it as a stop as well, so you will have plenty of time to explore.
Or hire a private guide for a day tour. It all depends on your comfort level.
Bring swimming clothes, sit back, and just relax in the calmness this place is known for.
Nick from The World Overload
Shiraito Falls, Japan
As Japan’s current capital Tokyo is better connected to Mt Fuji, the western side of this iconic mountain is often overlooked by foreign visitors. However, do not let this be a deterrent from seeing one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country!
Located on the outskirts of Fujinomiya in Shizuoka Prefecture, the silk strand-like appearance of cascading water from Shiraito Falls owes to their name.
Spanning 150 meters in width, this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site is special as the waters are filtered for 10 years through volcanic rock created by Mt Fuji, creating their crystal-clear appearance.
The easiest way to get there is on a sightseeing bus tour with Goriki-kun, one of the most enjoyable things to do in Fujinomiya. Also visiting other significant cultural sights in the area, the bus tour can feel a little rushed however it is a great way to see a number of attractions in an afternoon if you don’t hire a car.
I was absolutely blown away by the sheer size of the falls, it was the perfect place in summer as a welcome respite to the heat.
If you’re planning to stay in Fujinomiya which I’d highly recommend, Fujikyu Hotel beside JR Fujinomiya Station is your best bet, with unbeatable views of Mt Fuji!
Contributed by Alyse from The Invisible Tourist
Best waterfalls in the world: South America
Kaieteur Falls – Guyana
The Kaieteur Falls is Guyana’s national treasure – you see it everywhere on their tourism resources. And rightly so.
Kaieteur Falls is one of the world’s most powerful and largest, yet unknown, waterfalls. In fact, it is measured to be the ‘World’s Largest Single-Drop Waterfall’.
Getting there is not cheap as the tourism infrastructure in Guyana is not as developed as in other countries. It involves a one-hour flight from the capital Georgetown to Kaieteur National Park, deep inside the forest.
Then, it is a 90-min hike to a few different viewpoints for a frontal view of the waterfall.
But when you get to the viewpoint, you’d realize that whatever effort (or costs) it takes is so worth it. Everyone exclaims ‘wow’ when faced with the sheer power and size of Kaieteur, but it is the raw beauty of the waterfall in an untouched state that entrances its visitors.
There are no guard rails, platforms or eyesore tourist shops around Kaieteur. The largest waterfalls in the world are usually packed with throngs of tourists but you may very well be the only group visiting Kaieteur Falls.
This is truly South America’s hidden natural secret.
By Owen from My turn to travel
Chile – Siete Tazas Park
Siete Tazas Park, which means Seven Cups, in Chile was one of the highlights or our three months adventure through the country.
The park is a hidden gem not many tourists know about this place mostly locals come here for weekends and holidays.
It is located 200km from Santiago de Chile, accessible by bus.
It’s an incredibly beautiful area; pine forest, canyon, turquoise color river, crystal pools, and beautiful waterfalls.
It’s a real piece of heaven and tranquillity hidden in the mountains.
The park got its name from seven rock pools in the canyon filled with crystal-clear ice-cold water. The highlight and the most beautiful and impressive part of the park is Salto de la Leona (Lioness’ Fall).
It’s a 25m high waterfall coming from a hole in the wall in falling into a pool. We’ve seen many waterfalls including the biggest and the most famous one but this waterfall is something special, a secret fall hidden in the forest.
When you approach the waterfall, first you see it from el Mirador (viewpoint) above then you can go all the way down to a small rocky beach at the waterfall’s pool. You can swim to the waterfall though the water is quite cold. It’s possible to camp in the park or to stay in a cabin.
By Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads
Iguazu Falls – Argentina / Brazil
Iguazu Falls is a magnificent system of waterfalls in South America, with roughly 275 falls, depending on which season it is. They are 2.7 kilometers wide, which is almost twice as tall and almost three times wider than Niagara Falls.
The falls are located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Which side is “the best” is a hotly contested topic! It is one of the best places to visit in Argentina and Brazil.
I highly recommend visiting both sides, as they are both very different experiences. The Brazilian side features panoramic views of the falls. Whereas the Argentine side, get’s you up close and personal with these powerful natural wonders. On the Argentine side, you even take a boat ride right into certain portions of Iguazu Falls!
A guide is not necessary for visiting Iguazu Falls. The main bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina has buses running roughly every 20 minutes. You can purchase your tickets ahead of time at the stand at the bus terminal.
For accommodation, Hotel Saint George is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu. The rates are affordable and there is a good selection of restaurants within walking distance.
by Lindsey Puls by Have Clothes, Will Travel
The Best Waterfalls in the USA and The Caribbean Islands
Y.S. Falls – Jamaica
I have lived in Jamaica for a couple of years about 10 years ago and one of the things that stuck to my mind was the number of waterfalls and rivers hiding in the thick and lush jungle.
Y.S falls is one of them. In my Jamaica Travel Guide, I will tell you how to get there besides other beautiful falls you can check out while in Jamaica.
Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Caribbean and if not the world.
Imagine crystal-clear water flowing down giant-sized boulders filled with dome-shaped pools that look like mini lagoons.
Besides being such a pleasure to look at, what makes the falls so special is that they regenerate themselves with the water from the river which flows over the travertine rock.
The effect it produces is similar to that of a thermal spring, and with the falls flowing into the sea below, you have a unique ecosystem that can only be described as one of the most remarkable waterfalls in the world.
Usually, the months between December and March are the best time to visit Jamaica and you can access the falls, which have multiple levels, by yourself or by way of a guided group tour.
The tours usually start the climb from the bottom and you work your way up in a line. The rocks are slippery so you must be careful and wear some water shoes for the climb.
You’ll make stops on the way up to swim in the lagoon-like pools. On the group tours, you get the chance to get a video or picture of yourself taken by your local guide.
You can carry your own camera but it is likely to get wet if you want to enjoy the experience to the maximum.
If you carry your camera, be sure to carry a waterproof case for protection.
There are various exit and entry points on the way up so you can experience the falls without doing the full tour, however, having a guide is useful because they show you which rocks are safe and help to deter you from slipping.
By Daniel from Layer Culture
Snoqualmie Falls – Washington
In an area known for incredible scenery and wonders, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most popular scenic attractions.
Located about 29 miles east of Seattle, between the towns of Snoqualmie and Falls City, Washington, the falls have intrigued people for as long as we know.
Natives of the area, the Snoqualmie Tribe, a branch of the Coast Salish, had meeting places and villages very near to where the cities are now.
The Snoqualmie were known as the people of the moon, and the name roughly translates as moon as well.
For them, the falls were a sacred place. There were a number of related myths, and it was believed that the mists bridged the gap between heaven and earth.
Today, the area surrounding the falls is now a 2-acre park, complete with a visitors center, hiking trails and observation decks, as well as the Salish Lodge.
The trails and observation areas are wheelchair accessible. Parking and entrance are free. There is also a gift shop that sells locally grown foods and specialty items.
Standing at 268 feet, Snoqualmie is not huge.
However, it is especially impacted by weather. Northwest Washington state is a temperate rainforest, receiving around 35 inches of rain annually.
On top of that, the nearby mountain ranges boast some of the highest peaks in North America. This can mean a lot of snowmelt.
During dry seasons and spells, the falls can shrink to a dainty 50 feet across, with boulders breaking the flow into a series of streams.
During the rainy season, it can grow to a raging torrent, a curtain 150 feet across.
When we visited in the summer, the falls were sparkling in the sunshine, but relatively delicate, with their rocky outcrop directing the flow. The mists still rose towards the heavens though, even on a sunny day.
By Roxanna Keyes from Gypsy with a day job
Multnomah Falls – Oregon
As the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, a stop at Multnomah Falls is a must when you’re visiting the Pacific Northwest.
Multnomah Falls drops 620 feet in two tiers into Multnomah Creek. The Benson Bridge crosses over the middle, which you’re able to walk over and hike to the upper falls.
There are a few ways to visit, including either by yourself or on a tour, but it’s best to visit on your own so you can choose when to go.
While it’s extremely beautiful, the viewpoint gets very busy, as it’s also extremely easy to get to! The walk to the viewpoint is just a short distance from the parking lot, and it’s also handicap accessible.
It’s best to visit early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid the big crowds.
While you’re in the Columbia River Gorge, check out a few of the other nearby waterfalls like Bridal Veil Falls, Horsetail Falls, or Ponytail Falls.
After you’re done seeing the waterfall, spend a bit of time wandering in the gift shop or eating at the Multnomah Falls Lodge Restaurant. There are also restrooms near the lodge.
by Kassidy from The Hiking Helper
High Falls – Minnesota
Located along the beautiful North Shore in northern Minnesota, you’ll find the tallest waterfall in the state.
High Falls is found in Tettegouche State Park, just minutes from the shoreline of Lake Superior.
To reach the falls, it’s just a short 3-mile roundtrip hike along the Baptism River before descending 83 stairs to reach the fantastic frontal view of the waterfall.
High Falls drops about 70 feet over the rocky outcroppings back into the Baptism River, which flows into Lake Superior.
During your hike, you can also visit Two Step Falls, which sits at the base of two hundred stairs, just before continuing on to the main falls. You can also view an upper viewpoint of High Falls over a suspension bridge.
There are bathrooms at the trailhead, which is a shared parking lot with the Tettegouche State Park Visitor Center.
During your time on the North Shore, visit the small town of Grand Marais, walk the shore of Lake Superior, and visit a few of the 8 state parks found on the shoreline.
When you’re ready to call it a night, book a stay at the beautiful Cove Point Lodge, just a few miles back on Highway 61.
by Kassidy from Kassidy’s Journey
Niagara Falls – Usa / Canada
Located on the border of New York State and Canada, Niagara Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world.
While most known for the famous Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls actually consists of three waterfalls (with the other two being Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls).
It is easily visited on either the New York or Canadian side. You can even choose to visit both sides of the falls for different perspectives; however, many would argue that the best views are from the Canadian side.
Both sides of the falls offer plenty of things to do, which can easily be seen on your own without a tour. Some not to be missed activities include the maid of the mist boat tour (which takes you to the base of the falls), as well as the behind-the-falls experience which allows you to see the power of the falls up close.
If you are visiting during the summer, make sure to check out the nightly fireworks which are set off over the falls.
Another popular activity is to ascend the Skylon Tower (on the Canadian side) and eat at one of its two restaurants. The sit-down restaurant offers views of the falls for dinner with a view.
There are plenty of hotels on both sides of the falls, with many of the Canadian hotels offering rooms overlooking Niagara Falls. The New York side is often perceived as dirtier with many people preferring to stay in Canada.
Staying the night allows for a perfect weekend getaway and allows plenty of time to participate in the many activities the area has to offer.
by Kristin Secor from World on Wheels Blog
Rainbow Falls – Hawaii
Rainbow Falls, known as Waiānuenue Falls in Hawaiian, is a picturesque waterfall that lies in the east of Hawaii’s Big Island.
Situated on the outskirts of the tropical coastal town of Hilo, the waterfall is named for the sparkling rainbows that often appear in the splash of the cascade.
Water plunges 24 metres (80ft) over the edge of a lava cave that, according to legend, is home to the ancient Hawaiian Moon Goddess, Hina.
Straddling the powerful Wailuku River, Rainbow Falls is only a short 5-minute drive from Hilo, and less than an hour’s hike for those without a car.
As a popular tourist destination, the site is included in many Big Island tours and can be busy in peak season.
Timing your visit in the early morning or late evening can help you to avoid any crowds.
On-site there is a small car park, a short trail, and two wooden lookout points, one by the parking lot and another at the top of the falls.
The 0.2 miles (0.3km) path to the upper lookout is surrounded by lush vegetation and towering Banyan trees.
The amount of water that flows over the falls depends on the amount of recent rainfall and can vary from a trickle to a raging cascade.
Chances of seeing rainbows in the splash are higher with more water flow and when the sun shines from behind the falls in the early morning.
To get to Rainbow Falls, follow Wainuenue Avenue out of town, then turn right onto Rainbow Drive which will lead you to the car park.
Those looking to make a day of it can visit the nearby Pe’epe’e Falls and Wai’ale Falls, or explore the 2-mile (3km) long Kaumana Cave, a lava tube created by the 1881 Mauna Loa eruption.
by Lucy and Dan from Thoroughly Travel
Akaka Falls on the Big Island, Hawaii
Akaka Falls State Park is home to one of the tallest waterfalls on the Big Island of Hawaii. This lush tropical park is located on the windward coast, just north of Hilo.
The trailhead is located just off the parking lot and the entrance fee is $5 per person. A 0.4-mile loop trail leads to not one but two beautiful waterfalls.
The first one you’ll encounter is 100-foot Kahuna Falls, which can only be admired from a distance. Continue on the trail and you’ll soon hear the roaring sound of the park’s star attraction, Akaka Falls, as it plunges 442 feet into its pool.
The viewing platform allows visitors to get pretty close to this majestic natural beauty.
Aside from the waterfalls, Akaka Falls State Park boasts a spectacular rainforest setting. The decor comprises giant ferns, fragrant orchids, and bamboo groves.
The trail does include some sets of stairs but overall Akaka Falls is easily accessible, also for families.
This attraction can be easily combined with other nearby activities such as the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden or the scenic Pepe’eko drive.
Some of the most unique places to stay on the Big Island are located near Hilo, from waterfall retreats to enchanting cottages.
If you prefer to stay at a hotel, then the Grand Naniloa or the SCP Hilo Hotel are both excellent choices.
Contributed by Sarah Vanheel from CosmopoliClan
Bridal Veil Falls – Colorado
Bridal Veil Falls is a tremendous waterfall located in the quaint mountain town of Telluride, Colorado.
The tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado, Bridal Veil cascades 365 feet down from the rugged mountaintops of the San Juan Mountains into the valley of the box canyon below.
Towering pine trees and a sheer rock wall are the only other things surrounding this powerful waterfall, where the mist on your face and the solitude of the area are quite soothing to behold.
Bridal Veil Falls is only accessible by a rugged dirt trail beginning right outside downtown Telluride.
This is a popular trail for hikers and is listed as moderate, with an elevation gain of 1,650 feet. There are several switchbacks but the views at every turn leading up to the waterfall are stunning. Be sure to stop and view the town below as you climb!
Trekkers can either stop at the base of the falls or continue hiking along the steep path for another 0.8 miles to reach the top.
Here visitors will find views of the entire valley, as well as an abandoned power plant. Built-in 1907 and restored in 1990, this building is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.
The waterfall can also be reached by driving a vehicle but it must be a four-wheel-drive.
The trail is regularly washed out, filled with potholes and extremely sharp hairpin turns. Many who attempt the drive end up either stuck or having to turn back.
Since the waterfall is just a short drive from downtown Telluride, it makes sense to stay in one of the hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area.
The town itself has much to offer, with locally-owned shops, bars, and restaurants all within walking distance of one another. Visitors can even ride a free gondola into the neighboring town!
For a boutique European-style chalet experience, The Hotel Telluride sits in the heart of the town and provides the perfect starting point for a weekend of adventure.
Contributed by Erin from Super Simple Salty Life
Best Waterfalls in the World – Canada
Johnston Canyon – Banff National Park
Johnston Canyon is a gorgeous canyon with stunning waterfalls in Banff National Park, Canada. There are two main waterfalls here – Lower falls and Upper falls. There is a scenic hike to Johnston Canyon waterfalls which is very easy to do on well-maintained boardwalk path trails.
Johnston Canyon waterfalls are around 30 minutes drive from the town of Banff. There is parking at the trailhead. The hike to the Lower falls is around 1.4 miles round trip from the trailhead and takes around 30 minutes. The hike to see the upper falls is around 3 miles round trip and takes around 2 hours from the trailhead.
The walk to the waterfalls is very scenic and you can see the creek along the side the entire time. The waterfalls are spectacular and huge. This is a very popular tourist attraction and you will see lots of other visitors here admiring the falls.
Johnston Canyon Lodge and Bungalows is a great place to stay at the base of the walls and have rustic cabins with forest views. The lodge also has a cafe. If doing a day trip from Banff, you can pack a picnic from one of the restaurants in Banff town.
Contributed by Anu Agarwal of Destination Checkoff
Kakabeka Falls – Northern Ontario, Canada
Kakabeka Falls, also known as the “Niagara of the North,” is a waterfall located in Northern Ontario, Canada. Less than half an hour west of Thunder Bay, the falls are located right off the Trans-Canada Highway, making them extremely easy to visit.
Kakabeka Falls are 40 meters (131 feet) tall and are located on the Kaministiquia River. Known for their beauty and power, they are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.
Once you arrive at the falls, you will find a large parking lot, several interpretive signs talking about the area’s history, public washrooms, and the boardwalk leading down to the viewing platforms. You can actually view Kakabeka Falls from both sides of the river, but the better views are on the side closest to the parking lot.
Once you are done admiring the waterfalls, be sure to spend some time exploring the awesome hiking trails in the area. There is also a Parks Canada visitor’s center and gift shop to peruse.
Kakabeka Falls are great to visit all year long. In the summer, the weather is warm, and the falls are at their most impressive. It is also the busiest time to visit.
In the fall, the leaves on the trees change colour, making for a beautiful scenic view. And although the winter can be cold, the falls often freeze over, creating a unique and picturesque scene.
The best hotels and rental properties nearest to Kakabeka Falls would be in Thunder Bay. There are also several campgrounds located near Kakabeka Falls. The most popular one is the Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, which is just a short drive from the falls.
Contributed by Marianne from The Journeying Giordano’s
Helmcken Falls – British Columbia
At 141 meters high, Helmcken Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in British Columbia and is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
The falls are located in Wells Gray Provincial Park, in the Thompson Nicola Region of Interior British Columbia. The falls are a popular attraction that draws thousands of visitors each year.
The best way to visit Helmcken Falls is by driving. Once you reach the falls there are several places to park your car or RV. From the parking area, it is a short walk to the viewpoint where visitors can take in the breathtaking view of the cascading waters.
If you’re looking for a different view of Helmcken Falls, try hiking the 8-kilometer Rim Trail – an out-and-back route that is lightly trafficked and perfect for exploring nature in its purest form.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Wells Gray offers camping as well as nearby RV parks and lodges that are conveniently located just outside the park’s main entrance.
Be prepared when visiting this area and waterfall because you are in bear country and the closest city is Clearwater, an hour’s drive from Helmcken Falls.
Helmcken Falls is the majestic centerpiece of Wells Gray Provincial Park. With a whopping 41 named waterfalls — your waterfall fantasies will come true when you visit this spectacular park!
Contributed by Debbie Fettback from World Adventurists
Waimea Falls Oahu – Hawaii
Waimea Falls is a gorgeous waterfall on Oahu’s North Shore, located inside the not-for-profit Waimea Valley Botanical Garden, a fantastic preserve that cares for the native environment and educates people about the local history, culture, and surrounding nature.
As the waterfall is inside the botanical garden, there is an admission fee to access the site.
Regular admission for adults is $25, with discounted rates for students, children, and the military.
Take your time to wander through the spectacular gardens with over 5,000 different plant species, and make sure to check if there are any of the fascinating educational talks that day.
There are snack bars and restrooms located onsite as well. The waterfall itself is easily accessible, being located down a flat, one-mile path that meanders through a lush forest full of tropical plants.
There is a shuttle service down to the falls available for those who need it. Depending on waterfall conditions, you can even swim in the pool below the gorgeous 45-foot waterfall, which adds exhilarating refreshment to your day.
The botanical garden is easy to get to on your own if you’re renting a car on the island, but many tours to the North Shore make a stop at this beautiful Oahu waterfall as well.
Contributed by Megan from Next is Hawaii
Yellowstone Falls are the largest waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park and arguably the most dramatic waterfalls in the USA.
The falls are actually divided into two and, due to a bend in the river, cannot actually be seen together.
The Upper Falls are 109 feet and the Lower Falls are 308 feet, which is more than twice the size of Niagara Falls. They form part of the beautiful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
You can access viewpoints from either the south rim or the north rim of the canyon.
You can see the Upper Falls from the North Rim at the start of the Brink of the Falls trail and the Upper Falls Viewpoints on the South Rim.
There is also a trail at the end of a short spur road that you hike down to the Brink of the Upper Falls.
You can see the even more spectacular Lower Falls from Artists Point at the end of the South Rim drive, where there is a panoramic view of the canyon as well as the falls.
There are also several viewpoints of the Lower Falls from the North Rim, including Lookout Point and Grandview.
A steep hike takes you down to the Brink of the Lower falls, and another steep trail takes you to an amazing view below the canyon rim at Red Rock Point.
It is easy to visit Yellowstone National Park on your own, though tours do also run to the park.
There are several convenient lodges and camping options, as well as dining options, in nearby Canyon Village, though you can also stay outside the park in Gardener or West Yellowstone and drive into the park each day.
Contributed by James Ian from Parks Collecting