There aren’t many sights more majestic than water cascading over a breathtaking vertical drop. Cool off from summer’s heat with a look at these nine iconic waterfalls around the world. (Just don’t go chasing them.)
Multnomah Falls — Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
One of the most visited—and photographed—recreation sites in the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Falls welcomes more than 2 million visitors every year. Check out its 620-foot drop from Benson Bridge, suspended between the falls’ two cascades.
Ban Gioc-Detian Falls — Cao Bang, Vietnam
These scenic and secluded falls in Northern Vietnam are about eight hours from Hanoi, the country’s capital. Bamboo rafts can take intrepid travelers close enough to feel Ban Gioc’s misty spray on their faces.
Victoria Falls — Livingstone, Zambia
We’d be remiss not to include this world-famous stunner in our roundup. Located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the grandeur of Victoria Falls is best appreciated in person; the local Kololo tribe who lived in the area in the 1800s called it “Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smoke that thunders.”
Angel Falls — Canaima National Park, Venezuela
The world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls plummets 3,212 feet, deep in the remote jungles of Venezuela. The falls are named for U.S. aviator Jimmie Angel, who was the first to fly over them in the early 1900s (though the site was likely known to the indigenous Pémon people long before that).
Iguazu Falls — Misiones Province, Argentina
Right on the border of Argentina and Brazil, these breathtaking cascades reminiscent of Niagara Falls (but nearly twice as tall) draw more than 1.5 million visitors a year. Iguazu Falls is made up of 275 separate falls, making it the largest waterfall in the world.
Gullfoss Falls — Iceland
Just a 90-minute drive from the capital of Reykjavik lies Gulfoss Falls, one of Iceland’s most-visited natural attractions (and that’s something to be said in a country with such stunning scenery). These falls are seen from above rather than below, adding to its allure.
Plitvice Falls — Plitvice Lakes National Park
Tucked within Croatia’s largest national park, Plitvice Falls are a picturesque sight to behold. 16 terraced lakes allow its waters to tumble into a limestone canyon, rife with walkways and hiking trails.
Yosemite Falls — Yosemite National Park, California
One of America’s most iconic national parks is also home to one of the most world’s most jawdropping waterfalls. The three cascades of Yosemite Falls tumble a collective 2,425 feet into the park’s namesake creek.
Bigar Cascade Falls — Romania
These unique falls nestled within the mountains of Western Romania may not be the largest on our list, but they’re a sight to behold. Thin rivulets of Bigar Cascade Falls trickle over an almost 26-foot mossy dome, creating an ethereal spectacle.