Waterfalls are one of nature’s most beautiful creations, and come in all shapes in sizes. Here are some of the most incredible waterfalls on Earth.
1. Alamere Falls (California)
Alamere Falls, which is located in Pt. Reyes National Seashore near Bolinas, Calif., is actually a rare “tidefall,” meaning if flows right into the Pacific Ocean. This multi-tiered waterfall is active year round, but is especially impressive during the winter months, which are also the months of the rainy season.
2. Angel Falls (Venezuela)
At 3,212 feet, Angel Falls, which is in Venezuela’s Canaima National Park, is the highest waterfall in the world. The water from the Río Gauja travels down Auyan Tepui, a sandstone plateau-mountain, and vaporizes into a column of fine mist by the time it reaches the bottom. The best way to see Angel Falls is by plane during the wet season (May to December).
3. Gullfoss (Iceland)
Gullfoss, which means “Golden Falls,” is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions. Located in the Hvita river, Gullfoss boasts a 105-foot double-cascade, and is considered Europe’s most powerful waterfall. It is best to visit during the summer, and many tours are available.
4. Hanakapi’ai Falls (Hawaii)
Located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Hanakapi’ai Falls can be found deep in Hanakapi’ai Valley. Seeing the falls will take some effort. You first need to hike two miles on the Kalalau Trail before trekking another two miles inland. The hike is strenuous, and is eight miles round trip, but your efforts will be rewarded with a view of one of Hawaii’s most beautiful falls.
5. Havasu Falls (the Grand Canyon)
The blue-green waters of Havasu Creek flow over photogenic Havasu Falls into a swimming hole where the water is always around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Havasu Falls is a great place to take a dip in the sun or enjoy a picnic. The best times to visit are May/June and September/October, although the weather is best from March to November. The falls is located on the Havasupai Reservation, which is in the Grand Canyon.
6. Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil)
Semicircular in shape, Iguazu Falls is surrounded by subtropical rainforest and is made up of 275 independent falls over 1.67 miles. The highest section of the falls reaches 269 feet. You can access the falls from Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil or Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. Although the falls is shared by Brazil and Argentina, you can also visit from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, which is across the river from Foz do Iguaçu. There is no “bad” season to see Iguazu Falls, but the area is less crowded in September and October.
7. Niagara Falls (New York and Ontario, Canada)
Arguably the most famous falls, Niagara Falls is comprised of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. This popular tourist destination offers double the fun, as both the Canadian and American sides are home to additional attractions. You can see the falls any time during the year, but you will have the best weather if you visit between mid-May and mid-September.
8. Rhine Falls (Switzerland)
At about 500 feet wide and 75 feet high, Rhine Falls ranks as Europe’s largest waterfall. Located near Schaffhausen, Switzerland, you can access the falls via public transportation, car, on foot or by bike. During the summer months, one of the best ways to see the falls is from the deck of a Rhine River tour boat.
9. Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)
Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1 mile wide and 360 feet high, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall on earth based on width and height. It is also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “smoke that thunders.” There are a number of way to see Victoria Falls, including bungee jumping, white water rafting and helicopter rides. Check out the ones on the Zambia and Zimbabwesides.
10. Yosemite Falls (Yosemite National Park)
Yosemite Falls is actually made up of three separate falls: Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall. When measured from the top of the upper fall to the bottom of the lower fall, Yosemite Falls is 2,425 feet, making it one of the tallest in North America. Yosemite Falls is also famous for its moonbows. You can see Yosemite Falls from locations around Yosemite Valley, or participate in a strenuous hike to the top. It is best to visit Yosemite Falls in the spring or early summer, as the waters flow strongest from November to July and reach their peak in May or June.