From the highest falls in the world to cascading clear waters over the lush rainforest, these five waterfalls are something you have to see to believe!
1. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Located in Canaima National Park in the heart of Venezuela, an absolutely serene waterfall is constantly flowing over a table mountain with overwhelming force. An impressive 15-times taller than Niagra Falls, Angel Falls is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to natural attractions. It is the tallest waterfall in the entire world, towering over the surrounding landscape at 3,212 feet. The massive table top mountain of Auyantepui can take most of the credit for this waterfall’s record-breaking height, as the Churum river plunges over the edge. Angel Falls is at its peak between June and December — this is when the Churum river is raging at maximum speed and the falls are at their most impressive width. This tourist hotspot should definitely be near the top of your South American itinerary.
2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
Africa has no shortage to beautiful geological treasures. Nestled between the states of Zimbabwe and Zambia is a waterfall that needs no introduction. Victoria Falls is massive, with water falling from over 354 feet with a total width of 5,604 feet. The first European believed to have discovered this geological masterpiece was Scottish explorer David Livingstone in 1855. Livingstone named the falls after Queen Victoria of England, but the indigenous name still rings true. Mosi-oa-Tunya — meaning “the smoke that thunders” in the Tongan language — perfectly describes the raging cascade that falls over the cliff into the abyss below. Located on the Zambezi River, this waterfall is breathtaking to say the least. Planning a trip between February and May allows you to see the falls in their most active state. Take a swim in the Devil’s Pool, a small, secluded pond of water just off the edge of the falls, or schedule a private tour of the area.
3. Havasu Falls, Arizona
Traveling west to explore the Grand Canyon? Don’t head back home without seeing Havasu Falls up close and personal as well. The contrast of the red rock landscape against the clear blue-green water of the falls is enough to leave anyone in a trance. You can hear the water roaring from half a mile away, and once you near the falls you will notice lush greenery unlike the rest of the desert that surrounds you. Havasu Falls is literally a piece of paradise in the middle of the Grand Canyon — and no, it is not a mirage! It takes a ten-mile hike or a ride by helicopter to get there, but this waterfall is well-worth the journey. Standing at around 100-feet tall, you can’t miss this vertical oasis in the middle of the badlands.
4. Yosemite Falls, California
A trip to the Sierra Nevada mountain range is not complete without a stop at Yosemite National Park. Whether or not you plan on hiking or backpacking through one of the many mountain trails, you need to make your way to one of the park’s most famous attractions. Yosemite Falls is the largest waterfall in the entire park, and it drops a total of 2,425 feet with overwhelming intensity. This enormous force of nature is made up of three individual falls, the upper fall, middle cascades, and lower fall. A hike to the top of Yosemite Falls takes a whopping eight hours, but the view is beyond spectacular. If you aren’t up for a strenuous hike, the falls are visible from pretty much anywhere around the park, with the best views at Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Planning a trip to visit the falls? Make sure to arrive sometime between November and July, May being the best time to see it in action. Yosemite Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in all of North America, making it a definite must-see for nature-lovers and thrill-seekers alike.
5. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
If South America isn’t yet on your bucket list, the unmatched sight of the Kaieteur Falls may change your mind. Located in Guyana, on the northern, Atlantic coast of the continent, Kaieteur Falls is unlike any other waterfall on this list. Situated in an extremely remote area, accessible by plane or a three-day trek, the natural splendor of this waterfall is nevertheless known across the globe. The River Potato feeds this roaring beast, as one 370-foot wide cascade of water disappears 741 feet into the jungle below. Kaieteur Falls is one good reason to pack a bag and travel into the most intimate depths of the South American rainforest, for an inspiring sight you won’t soon forget.
The most beautiful places in the world aren’t man-made. These waterfalls are proof that the world’s natural attractions never disappoint. Add one of these stops to your next getaway and see for yourself!