5 Stunning Waterfalls Every Traveler Should See

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Bucket List Worthy  

800px-Yosemite_Falls_from_trail,_Yosemite_NP,_CA,_US_-_Diliff
Yosemite Falls (Photo Credit: Diliff via WikiMedia

Waterfalls are some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the entire world. So much so, that sometimes we’ll even plan an entire trip around visiting the more impressive ones. Everyone knows about Niagara of course, and it rightfully belongs in any discussion about the most impressive waterfalls on the planet. At 51 meters (167 feet) in height, and more than 1000 meters (3280 feet) across, it is truly a spectacular sight to see. But there are some other amazing waterfalls worth traveling for as well. Here are 5 stunning waterfalls that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. 

Yosemite Falls (USA)
At nearly 740 meters (2425 feet) in height, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the entire world. The fact that it happens to be surrounded by one of the most beautiful natural settings on the planet in Yosemite National Park, is simply icing on the cake. Yosemite Valley is a breathtaking landscape that has been captivating visitors for decades, and this amazing waterfall is simply the crown jewel atop an already idyllic outdoor playground. The best time to visit is in late spring, when the winter melt swells the falls to its highest flow.

Gullfoss (Photo Credit: WoSie via WikiMedia)
Gullfoss (Photo Credit: WoSie via WikiMedia)

Gullfoss (Iceland)
Just how beautiful are the Gullfoss Falls, located in the Hvítá Canyon in southwest Iceland? Its very name translates to “Golden Falls.” At 32 meters (104 feet) in height, it isn’t amongst the tallest waterfalls in the world, but it more than makes up for it in volume. During the late-summer, when Gullfoss is at its peak, it is easily the highest volume waterfall in all of Europe. It has a unique look to it as well, with two distinct drops at 90° angles to one another. Gullfoss is amongst Iceland’s more popular tourist attractions, and for good reason. If you’re headed to that country, you’ll definitely want to make sure a visit is on your itinerary.

Angel Falls (Photo Credit: Jlazovskis via WikiMedia)
Angel Falls (Photo Credit: Jlazovskis via WikiMedia)

Angel Falls (Venezuela)
Located in a remote jungle region of Venezuela, Angel Falls is never the less a popular destination for travelers, despite the challenge of getting there. The reason we’re willing to go out of our way, just to catch a glimpse of these spectacular falls, is that they are the tallest in the world at 979 meters (3212 feet) in height. Of that, 807 meters (2647 feet) are completely uninterrupted, which only adds to the awe inspiring view. The falls are so tall in fact, that the upper regions are often cloaked in clouds where the Gauja River flows over the side of a flat-topped tepui mountain, giving the place an even more mystical feel to it. Angel Falls is so gorgeous, that it even served as the inspiration for “Paradise Falls” from the Disney Pixar film Up.

Iquazu Falls (Photo Credit: gicar93 via WikiMedia)
Iquazu Falls (Photo Credit: gicar93 via WikiMedia)

Iguazu Falls (Brazil/Argentina)
Straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls is without a doubt, one of the most spectacular wonders of the natural world. It consists of 275 individual falls, that all converge along the same region of the Iguazu River. Most of those are roughly 65 meters (210 feet) in height, which would make them all impressive on their own. Throw them altogether in one relatively small area, and you begin to understand the allure of this setting. From end-to-end, the falls are a staggering 2km (1.2 miles) in length, and produce an amazing 1000 cubic meters of water flow per second. The lush rainforest setting that surrounds the falls, give them an even more wild, untamed feel.

Victoria Falls (Photo Credit: DoctorJoeE via WikiMedia)
Victoria Falls (Photo Credit: DoctorJoeE via WikiMedia)

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia)
The largest single waterfall on the planet is Victoria Falls. It is found in Africa, along the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and features an awe inspiring length of  1.7 km (1 mile), and a height of  108 meters (360 feet). In terms of scale, those dimensions make it roughly twice the size of Niagara, producing more than 1088 cubic meters of water flow each and every second. It is such an impressive sight, that its name amongst the local tribes translates to “The Smoke That Thunders,” a reference to the noise the falls make – which can be heard for miles around – and the mist that hangs in the air above them. If you find yourself on safari in southern Africa, you simply need to find a way to add a day trip to Victoria Falls to your schedule.

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About the Author: Kraig Becker

Kraig Becker is a freelance outdoor and adventure travel writer who covers extreme sports, mountaineering and active travel. Based out of Austin, TX he writes about his own travels while encouraging others to seek their own opportunities for adventure where ever they go.

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