Top 5 waterfalls in the world

Some of the most spectacular locations in the world include a waterfall, but if we were to check the globe for the very best cascading falls, where would they be? It seems most continents have a contender, but let’s look at the very best handful of waterfalls.

Angel Falls (photo: thecheaproute.com)
Angel Falls (photo: thecheaproute.com)

5. Angel Falls, Venezuela, is the world’s highest waterfall (979m) and one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, though a trip there is a complicated affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle. A flight from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar is required to reach Canaima camp, the starting point for river trips to the base of the falls. River trips generally take place from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough for the used by the Pemon guides. During the dry season (December to March) there is less water seen than in the other months.

bluenile

4. Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia, may lack in height but that make up for it in beauty. The falls are estimated to be around 45m high, consisting of four streams that originally varied from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 metres wide in the rainy season, and are unsurprisingly among Ethiopia’s most amazing attractions. The Blue Nile Falls isolate the ecology of Lake Tana from the ecology of the rest of the Nile, and this isolation has played a role in the evolution of the endemic fauna of the lake. A day trip to the falls is quite easy from the city of Bahir Dar.

phapheng3

3. Khone Phapheng Falls, Laos, is a waterfall located in Champasak Province on the Mekong River in southern Laos, near the border with Cambodia. It has to be included on this list because of its beauty and notoriety as the largest falls in southeast Asia – they are the main reason that the Mekong is not fully navigable into China. The highest falls reach up to 21m and provide a succession of dangerous rapids downriver on the Mekong. Considering the relatively small size, Khone Phapheng certainly has a roar of thunder if you are lucky enough to look on!

Victoria Falls (photo: National Geographic)
Victoria Falls (photo: National Geographic)

2. Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe, are known in the local language as “the smoke that thunders” and it’s no surprise to see why. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the “largest”, based on its width of 1,708m and its height of 108m, which results in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and is the highlight of a stay along the Zambezi River. Tourism on the Zambian side of the falls is booming, though political strife in Zimbabwe means that side of the falls are less well-trodden.

iguassu2

1. Iguassu Falls, Brazil & Argentina, is undoubtedly the top waterfall in the world. I have never seen large-scale waterfalls look so beautiful! It is located where the Iguassu River tumbles over the edge of the Paraná Plateau. Numerous islands divide the falls into many separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres high. There are two international airports close to Iguassu Falls: the Argentine Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport, and the Brazilian Foz do Iguaçu International Airport.

Have you been to any of these waterfalls listed above? What do you think of them? I also loved Erawan Falls in Thailand, Kuang Si Falls in Laos, and of course who can ignore Niagara Falls on the US/Canadian border? But the 5 I listed above are certainly the top 5 in my opinion!

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9 thoughts on “Top 5 waterfalls in the world

  1. Every one of them is on my must see list! I’ve visited Kuang Xi in Laos which was one of the most beautiful falls I’ve seen, and the Cataratas de Gocta in isolated Chachapoyas, Peru, I’d also highly recommend.

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