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Are you an outdoor enthusiast that loves exploring impressive natural wonders? Visiting these majestic waterfalls brings the opportunity to view some of the most spectacular sights on earth. There are few natural wonders that are filled with such awe-inspiring beauty, capturing what’s best about being alive on this magnificent place we call earth.
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Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is the home of some of the most beautiful waterfalls on the planet, with 16 cascading lakes in crystal-clear shades of emerald and turquoise. Water flowing over the limestone and chalk over thousands of years have created the barriers, resulting in natural dams that form incredibly stunning waterfalls as well as rivers and caves.
The most photographed waterfall in the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls plunges over fiery red rocks, pooling into turquoise waters deep within a remote region of the park. Its thunderous roar can be heard from a half-mile away, echoing off the sheer rock walls that surround it.
These spectacular falls along the Iguazu River bordering Brazil and Argentina stretch across two miles of rain-forested cliffs, featuring an incredible 275 individual waterfalls, making it one of the most jaw-dropping treasures on the planet. When seeing the view for the first time, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed, “Poor Niagara!”
Gullfoss Falls, or Golden Falls in English, is one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls. It features two distinct drops in succession at right angles to each other, while spanning the entire width of the Hvítá River. On a summer afternoon, you’ll frequently see spectacular rainbows in its wafting mist.
Venezuela’s magnificent Angel Falls is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, about 3212 feet high, with the single longest drop at 2648 feet. It plunges from a tabletop mountain deep in an equatorial rainforest, with the remote region frequently shrouded in clouds and revealing this gem to the lucky few here on a clear day.
McWay Falls on California’s Central Coast near Big Sur, may not be as famous as some, but it’s no less spectacular. This 80-foot waterfall in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park plunges off the cliffs onto the sand at the edge of the Pacific, flowing year-round.
These amazing falls on Burney Creek in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park in California were called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by President Theodore Roosevelt. The roaring water comes from an underground spring above the 129-foot falls with an almost constant flow of 100 million gallons a day, even during dry summer months.
Kilt Rock Waterfall rushes down the sheer face of the cliffs on the Trotternish Peninsula between Portree and Staffin on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. With its vertical basalt columns forming the pleats and various stones and deposits representing a pattern, it’s said to resemble a Scottish kilt.
Detian Falls (translation: Virtuous Heaven waterfall) showcase a classic Asian landscape of rocky outcrops towering over lush rice paddies. Straddling the border of China and Vietnam, they produce a dream-like mist over the tiers of the 300-foot-wide cascade on the Quy Xuan River.
Yosemite Falls in California’s Yosemite National Park is the highest measured falls in North America. At 2425 feet from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls, it’s the sixth highest waterfall in the world. It flows from November through July, with peak flow occurring in May.
Manawaiopuna Falls is also referred to as Jurassic Falls due to its starring role in the film, “Jurassic Park.” The incredibly scenic 360-foot high waterfall located on the island of Kauai in Hawaii used to be a secret waterfall, but once the world got a glimpse of it on the big screen, people started arriving in droves to see it in person.
Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland, Oregon along the Columbia River Gorge is the tallest waterfall in a state filled with hundreds of magnificent falls. It plunges in two major steps, split into the upper falls at 542 feet and the lower falls at 69 feet, with a gradual nine-foot drop in elevation between the two.
No list of waterfalls would be complete without Niagara Falls, the most powerful waterfall on the continent. It’s actually the collective name of three falls along the international border between the United States near Buffalo, New York and the province of Ontario in Canada. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls sit on the U.S. side, while Horseshoe Falls drops on the Canadian side.
Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most impressive in the Pacific Northwest. Located just 40 minutes west of Seattle in the Cascade foothills, the falls spread across an entire cliff face, taking on a current form while they tumble and roar, shaking the earth and sending a blinding spray far above the gorge walls. They’ve been featured in a number of films and on the popular TV series, “Twin Peaks.”
Victoria Falls, located on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa, is believed to be the largest waterfall in the world. Its indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, is quite apt, literally meaning the “Smoke that Thunders.”
In the land Down Under, Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park is the highest permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia. It’s part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to some of the oldest rain forests on the planet as well as a wide variety of endangered animals and plants.
The Philippines’ Kawasan Falls in Badian, southern Cebu, are often found on lists of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world. They’re surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, tucked between the mountainous peaks of Barangay Matutinao and Badian. Many come to view its magnificence as well as to swim in the cool lagoons and sit underneath their spray.
Part of what makes Torc Waterfall so special is its falls fairy-tale like surroundings in Ireland’s Killarney National Park. The waterfall is 80 feet high, and by climbing the 100 steps or so just to the left of it you can also take in breathtaking lake views.
Fairy Falls is a multi-tiered cascade, deep in the Waitakere Range west of Auckland, New Zealand. The falls are made up of several tumbling tiers toward the top and a few smaller plunges in between before its final large slanting drop at the base in azure-colored waters.
Translated in English, Ventisquero Colgante means Hanging Glacier. The falls flow out of Hanging Glacier in Chile’s Queulat National Park, with a massive volume of water pouring out from underneath and plunging 1,400 to 2,000 feet below to the floor of the narrow valley.