I’ve always had a special affinity for waterfalls. I enjoy hiking in our North Carolina mountains just to see the small little cascades of water we have scattered around the western part of the state. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I get a kick out of a little splash of water coming down a mossy hill, I would really enjoy seeing these top waterfalls in the world:
1. Niagara Falls. Everyone knows that if you live in North America or Canada then you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit this set of waterfalls that straddles both countries. It is a family-friendly spot that is also very romantic.
(Again, so many wonderful things right in my own backyard. MUST put this on the short list of places to visit in the next few years.)
2. Iguazu Falls. This set of waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil is twice as large as Niagara Falls and arguably twice as beautiful. It actually has a lower amount of annual water flow compared to Niagara Falls but its surface area is larger so it looks really grand.
(In the Smithsonian list I posted, I mentioned how much I’ve become obsessed with this one. I haven’t had any more dreams about it though)
3. Victoria Falls. This is one of the largest sets of waterfalls in the entire world. It is located in South Africa on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Clearly, that’s not something that you should miss out on if you get the chance to check it out.
(My good friends Lydia and Steve went to Africa for their Honeymoon and rafted the Zambezi River, which has its start at Victoria Falls. The photos and the video are AMAZING!)
4. Boyoma Falls. This set of waterfalls is technically the largest set of falls in the world as measured by volume. It consists of a series of seven different falls. It is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This war-torn region isn’t very conducive to travel but maybe at some point in the future it will be so you can put this on your “one day” travel list.
5. Angel Falls. (Venezuela) At more than 3,000 feet in height this is the tallest waterfall in the world. To see water crashing that far down is absolutely amazing. It is indescribable and something that just has to be seen in person.
(Ok, I think I would usually prefer the wider, “horseshoe” shaped water falls. However, this is the waterfall that Up modeled its “Paradise Falls” after, and I LOVED that movie, so this one has a special place in my heart just for that. Plus, there isn’t a stream at the top that leads to the waterfall. Here’s an article about the how meteorology.)
6. Dettifoss. This is the largest waterfall in Europe when measured by volume. It is located in Iceland so it is surrounded by unique natural beauty. You have to be willing to put in some effort to see these cool waterfalls though because they aren’t accessible by road.
(I imagine “putting in some effort” would be rule of the day when traveling in Iceland)
7. Willamette Falls. This Oregon waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls in North America. It doesn’t quite compare to the power and beauty of Niagara Falls but it’s definitely a must-see destination spot. It is horseshoe shaped which makes it a unique type of waterfall.
8. Havasu Canyon Waterfalls. This is a set of waterfalls located in Lake Havasu, Arizona. This is a short driving distance from the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon, which is something to think about as you plan your trip. What is really cool about the waterfalls here is that you can swim underneath some of them. That’s a fantasy that a lot of people have when it comes to waterfalls. There are multiple waterfalls of varying heights here. The more you’re willing to hike in, the better the waterfalls that you will see.
(Well, now that I know about it, I can plan to stop by this little spot when I visit the Grand Canyon! And how frickin’ cool would it be to swim under a waterfall?)
9. Kaieteur Falls. This waterfall is both tall and powerful. This makes it a very impressive sight to see. It is located in Guyana (which is on the northern coast of South America). It is inside of a national park so it is very accessible to people who are visiting the area. In fact it is a major tourist attraction of this area.
10. Gocta Waterfall. This is an average waterfall in terms of size. It is tall (over 2,000 feet) but not particularly wide. What makes it a must-see waterfall is that it’s a newly discovered waterfall. Although the people of Peru who lived near it had been aware of it for centuries, it wasn’t something that the wider world new about until 2005. This makes it a waterfall that not a lot of other travelers have seen which is neat for some people.
(Isn’t it awesome that we’re still ‘discovering’ things? That this world is so big, there are parts so remote, that they have yet to be discovered?)
Anyone else share my love of waterfalls? Have a cool waterfall nearby that you love? Anyone have an idea why people like waterfalls so much?