When it comes to Mother Nature’s wonders, waterfalls are among the most complex. These stunning drops are formed over time as rivers erode and carve away bedrock with fascinating results – there are all kinds of different types and combinations from chutes (when the water is forced through a narrow passage) to staircases (multiple waterfalls falling one after the other into a pool). Here at tentree, we appreciate the finer things in Mother Nature, and so we have gathered up the ten most beautiful waterfalls to add to your bucket list:
1. Ban Gioc/Detian Falls, China
This set of waterfalls along rocky swells and rice paddies sits on the border of China and Vietnam, so it has a different name depending on which country you’re in. In the summer, the rain can join up both waterfalls into one spectacular cascade.
2. Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Straddling Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. It’s actually 275 individual waterfalls colliding over rainforest cliffs into one, making it a must-see for any travel addict or nature buff.
3. Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia
This series of waterfalls, caves and lakes was created thousands of years ago by travertine barriers depositing into natural dams. So of course, trekking through Plitvice Lake National Park is the ultimate adventure, from ducking beneath drops to glimpsing rare wildlife.
4. Dettifoss, Iceland
Standing next to Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, will make you feel incredibly small and flimsy in comparison. The rapids stretch over 100 meters long, dropping 45 meters into a canyon below.
5. Angel Falls, Venezuela
This is the world’s tallest, uninterrupted waterfall, falling vigorously down a steep mountain. Angel Falls isn’t far from the capital, Caracas, but it’s still not easy to reach – the area is only accessible by river or air through an isolated jungle.
6. Niagara Falls, Canada
Not only is North America’s strongest waterfall a beauty, it’s also an important source of hydroelectric power for the continent. There are power stations located throughout the area, and a new tunnel built in 2013 has tapped the Niagara River farther than ever before, providing electricity for 160,000 households.
7. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is a whopping 1,700 meters wide, falling as a sheet into gorges made of volcanic dikes. The drop gives off a silvery mist up to 30 meters above the water, thus the literal translation of its indigenous name – “The smoke that thunders”.
8. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Okay, so let’s just put Kaieteur Falls into perspective for a second – it’s about four times higher than Niagara and twice as high as Victoria Falls. The movement of this 226-meter-high single drop is absolutely incredible, plunging over a sandstone cliff into sharp and fierce cascades.
9. Manawaiopuna Falls, Hawaii
You remember the waterfall from Jurassic Park? You got it. Unfortunately, Manawaipuna lies on private land so the only way to see it is by helicopter, but it’s certainly worth it.
10. Wallaman Falls, Australia
Australia’s highest single-drop waterfall is surrounded by some of the world’s oldest rainforests, and many endangered animals and plants. The area, Wet Tropics of Queensland, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.