No one loves waterfalls more than Kati. We have traveled far and wide to see some of the most beautiful waterfalls on earth and our house in North Carolina even has them on the property. Waterfalls for her are spiritual in nature and she is drawn to them.
I admit that putting a list together about the most beautiful waterfall is totally subjective. Personally, I think the waterfall on our own property is the most beautiful, but there are some spectacular waterfalls that everyone should check out.
Niagara Falls, on the border between Canada and the USA, is probably the most famous waterfall of all. Many people, therefore, automatically think that they are also the largest waterfalls on Earth. But surprise: Niagara Falls are neither the highest nor the widest in the world. Whether they are the most beautiful of all cascades is of course entirely in the eye of the beholder. After all, numerous others around the world lay claim to this title. Following is the list of the most spectacular, beautiful and well-known waterfalls in the world.
Niagara Falls in USA/Canada – The Most Famous Fall
They are neither the tallest nor widest waterfalls, but they are a record holder: Niagara Falls are considered the most famous and most visited waterfall in the world. Tens of millions of visitors marvel at the natural spectacle every year. What many do not know: Niagara Falls actually consist of two waterfalls. The American Falls, which are up to 34 meters high, are on the American side, while the Horseshoe Falls, which are even higher at over 50 meters, are in Canada are related. When it gets dark, the torrents are colourfully illuminated and brighten the night with their splendour of colour. Boat tours are particularly popular, allowing visitors to get up close to the roaring waters and feel the spray on their faces. Incidentally, unlike other natural wonders, Niagara Falls is easily accessible by car, train, or bus from the Canadian side and various locations in the United States, no wonder the falls boast tens of millions of visitors each year.
I would suggest heading over to the Canadian side (remember your passport). It has the most spectacular views and some great places to stay.
Havasu Falls in the USA – Waterfall in the Rocky Desert of Arizona
What could be more whimsical than a bubbling waterfall and pools of bright blue water in the middle of Arizona’s rocky desert? Located in Supai Village in the heart of the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is without a doubt one of America’s most breathtaking natural landmarks. Havasu Creek plunges about 30 meters here and forms a series of natural pools. Because of its high concentration of lime, the water in it appears in an almost unreal, sparkling blue, which stands in magical contrast to the red rock walls. However, travellers literally pay for the fascinating sight of this natural spectacle with sweat and sore muscles. Because the way here is arduous: Only an exhausting 17-kilometre hike over hill and dale leads to the waterfalls – one way! Hiking a total of 34 kilometres in one day is explicitly not recommended. Luckily, there are two places to stay nearby that travellers are best advised to reserve in advance. It is also theoretically possible to get to the falls by helicopter or muleback. However, both are only offered as needed and are also heavily dependent on the weather.
This waterfall has become an Instagram favorite. I typically cannot scroll through my feed without seeing some photos of Havasu Falls.
Salto Ángel in Venezuela – The Highest Free-Falling Waterfalls in the World
Hidden in the deepest jungle of Venezuela, the highest free-falling waterfall in the world rushes down: the Salto Ángel. With a loud roar, it falls 979 meters from a huge mesa. No wonder it is also called “Kerepakupai merú” by the locals, which means something like “The deepest falling water”. If you want to marvel at it, you have to face a rather arduous journey: overland, the waterfall can only be reached by a boat trip lasting several hours in combination with a hike. It goes through dense jungle and over roaring rivers – but the exertion is worth it. The majestic sight of the water flowing over a rock face into the green bed of the jungle is unforgettable. If you want to save yourself the effort, you can even admire the Salto Ángel from the air on a sightseeing flight. There is probably no perspective from which this waterfall does not look breathtaking.
Kaieteur Falls in Guyana – A Natural Spectacle in the Middle of the Jungle
The more than 200 km long Potaro River brings Guyana to the South American natural paradise’s main attraction: the Kaieteur Falls. The river falls from the plateau to the lowlands, which are about sea level, without any steps or terraces. Here it makes its way through the valley – flanked by high rock faces, some overgrown with greenery. The water masses overcome a height difference of no less than 230 meters. The originality of the surroundings characterizes the charm of the falls but makes the journey considerably more difficult: Since the Kaieteur Falls are far away from any civilization in the middle of the Guyanese jungle, most visitors choose to arrive on a propeller plane. Travellers are also unsuccessfully looking for restaurants, cafés or other tourist facilities here, only a few seating areas, a toilet and a small shop with traditional handicrafts can be found in the visitor centre of the national park. Every year, only around 9,000 explorers make the adventurous journey inland to the Kaieteur waterfall – and are rewarded with a travel highlight that will probably be burned into their memories forever.
Iguazú Falls in Argentina/Brazil – A Natural Wonder of the World
The Iguazú National Park, which is partly in Argentina and partly located in Brazil, will understand why it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984. At the heart of the park are the Iguazú Falls. Consisting of 20 larger and more than 250 smaller waterfalls, they cover an area of about 2.7 kilometres. In some places, the waterfalls are up to 80 meters deep. We definitely recommend visiting both sites when visiting. Because the two parts of the national park each have their own charm. Holidaymakers can best experience a spectacular panoramic view on the Brazilian side. Because here there is a path with various viewing platforms so that unique photos of the water masses are guaranteed. The Argentinian side, on the other hand, is particularly diverse.
Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe – The Largest Continuous Curtain of Water on Earth
Zimbabwe is a popular country for safari tours. No wonder since fascinating wild animals are at home here. However, vacationers should not miss another highlight of the country: the mighty Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Victoria Falls in the Zambezi River has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989, thanks to their sheer incredible width. They are around 1,700 meters wide and, especially in the rainy season, live up to their title as the “largest water curtain on earth”. Visitors quickly realize why the waterfall owes its nickname “Thundering Smoke”: The wet spray mist, which rises hundreds of meters around the mass of water, can even be seen 30 kilometres away. Is it any wonder that the missionary David Livingstone, who was the first European to see the falls and amazed? Even today, every visitor to the imposing waterfalls can feel this feeling very well.
Having lived in Zimbabwe and visiting Victoria Falls many times this is a favorite of mine. The rain forest that is produced besides the falls just from the mist, and the shear size will overwhelm the average visitor.
Vinnufossen in Norway – Europe’s Highest Waterfall
Europe is also blessed with spectacular waterfalls. The highest is the Vinnufossen – also called Vinnufallet – in Sunndal Municipality in Norway. The region is not called the “Kingdom of Waterfalls” for nothing. The Vinnufossen falls an impressive 860 meters over four stages and is a truly idyllic sight compared to many other waterfalls. Especially nature lovers who don’t value the almost intimidating, roaring masses of other record-breaking waterfalls should visit Vinnufossen. Falling in love with the very special atmosphere that prevails here becomes child’s play.
Our Final Word
Putting a list together of the most beautiful anything is very subjective, as not everyone will agree with the choices. If you are into waterfalls, you cannot miss with any of these on the list. And you might just see me and Kati there as well.