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35 Biggest Waterfalls in the World – Explore the World

biggest waterfalls in the world

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Waterfalls are awe-inspiring natural wonders with their sheer power and breathtaking beauty. From the thunderous roar of cascading water to the mist that envelops the surroundings, waterfalls have a way of captivating our senses. However, are you willing to learn about the biggest waterfalls?

The list of the biggest waterfalls includes Gocta Cataracts, Sutherland Falls, Tugela Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, Dettifoss, and others. 

In this list, we explore 35 of the biggest waterfalls worldwide, each with its unique charm and magnificence. So, keep on reading and learning about them.

What is Waterfall?

A waterfall can be defined as a natural phenomenon where a body of water, such as a river or stream, flows over a steep vertical or sloping rock formation, creating a cascade or plunge of water. It is a captivating display of nature’s power and beauty, often accompanied by rushing water and misty spray.

Waterfalls vary in size, from small gentle cascades to towering and mighty falls. They are found in various landscapes worldwide and are admired for their scenic charm and the mesmerizing effect they have on observers.

How Did We Measure the Largest Waterfall 

When determining the largest waterfall in the world, it is essential to clarify the measurement criteria. While some may focus on the most prolonged single fall within a waterfall, a more accurate approach is to consider the overall width of the fall system.

By analyzing the width, we can ascertain which waterfall holds the title of being the largest. It is worth noting that the most significant waterfall does not necessarily have to possess the longest drop. Therefore, emphasis is placed on the expansive width rather than the length of a single fall when determining the largest waterfall in the world.

35 Biggest Waterfalls in the World

It’s time to explore the largest waterfalls in the world. Here we will discuss 35 biggest waterfalls in the world.

1. Gocta Cataracts

Gocta Cataracts Waterfalls

Gocta Cataracts is one of the tallest waterfalls in Peru; the impressive Gocta Cataracts near Chachapoyas were unknown to the wider world until 2005. Discovered by a German engineer named Stefan Ziemendorff, the waterfall has since become a popular tourist attraction. Accessible by trails and offering scenic views, a small hotel near the base accommodates visitors.

2. Sutherland Falls

Sutherland Falls

Located near the stunning Milford Sound in New Zealand, the lake-fed Sutherland Falls cascades in three stages into the glacial lakes of Fiordland National Park. While sightseeing tours by air offer glimpses of the falls, those who hike the renowned Milford Track are rewarded with the best views. A 90-minute walk from the Quintin Public Shelter leads hikers to the base of these spectacular falls.

3. Tugela Falls

Tugela Falls

Found in the Drakensberg Mountains within the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa, Tugela Falls is a series of five interconnected falls, collectively making it one of the tallest waterfalls globally. The falls descend over the impressive Amphitheatre, a popular tourist attraction itself. Hikers can embark on a six-hour trek up the Tugela Gorge, crossing the river multiple times to reach the top. Alternatively, a less challenging trail leads to the foot of the falls for a full view.

4. Nohkalikai Falls

Nohkalikai Falls

Situated near Cherrapunji in India, Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in the country. Fed by rainwater from the forested plateau above, the volume of water dramatically fluctuates throughout the year. During the dry season, the water gently spills into a turquoise-green pool, while in the monsoon season, it crashes down with white spray. Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth, adds to the allure of the falls.

When you’re looking for waterfalls in India, you can check for Goa waterfalls.  

5. Dettifoss

Dettifoss

Known as Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss is renowned for the sheer volume of water that plunges over its edge throughout the year. Found in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, the falls can be viewed from both sides of the River Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The east bank offers better views and is equipped with facilities, although paths can become slippery and crowded during the tourist season.

6. Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the United States, descends in three cascades within Yosemite National Park in California. The falls provide picturesque views from various locations within the park, and a challenging day-long hike leads to the summit, offering panoramic vistas of the park and the towering Sierra Mountains.

However, the water flow of the falls varies, and they may even disappear during drought conditions. The best time to experience their splendor is spring after the winter thaw.

7. Plitvice Waterfalls

Plitvice Waterfalls

The interconnected series of waterfalls that unite the 16 lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park make it the most renowned natural attraction in Croatia. Nestled among forested hills near the Bosnian border, the park features small streams, lakes, and captivating waterfalls, creating a picturesque water garden that invites exploration.

Visitors can easily wander through the park on plank walks, bridges, and platforms. Free boat rides transport passengers from the upper to the lower lakes, where they can witness Veliki Slap, the tallest waterfall in the country.

8. Jog Falls

Jog Falls

Formed by the River Sharavathi, Jog Falls is the highest waterfall in India, plunging from 253 meters (829 feet). Before the rainy season, the falls are barely recognizable, with only thin streams trickling down the cliff. However, during the monsoon season, the waterfall comes to life, surpassing even Kaieteur Falls in Guyana in height and volume.

9. Huangguoshu

Huangguoshu

Standing at a height of 77.8 meters (255 feet) and stretching 101 meters (330 feet) wide, Huangguoshu is one of the largest waterfalls in Asia. It is part of a group of 18 waterfalls in the surrounding area. A natural cave measuring 134 meters (440 feet) long allows visitors to observe the waterfall from an up-close perspective, even being able to touch the water.

10. Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Tucked away within a colossal crevice that cuts through the otherwise barren Icelandic landscape, Gullfoss reveals its immense size and scale as you approach. Once you reach the cliff edge, the coursing cascades and enormous falls, with the highest volume in Europe, come into full view.

The falls consist of two sets at nearly right angles to each other, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The name “Gullfoss,” meaning “Golden Falls,” is derived from the shimmering golden color of the waters as they glisten in the sunlight.

11. Detian Falls

Detian Falls

Straddling the border between China and Vietnam, Detian Falls consists of two sets of stunning waterfalls along the Quay Son River. The falls’ multiple layers and drops create an awe-inspiring sight, complemented by the lush vegetation, majestic mountains, and karst formations surrounding them.

Formerly inaccessible due to border disputes, Detian Falls has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. Visitors can take boat trips below the cascades, immersing themselves in the fine mist of spray.

12. Blue Nile Falls

Blue Nile Falls

Known as Tis Issat (“smoking water”) in Amharic, the Blue Nile Falls are situated on the Blue Nile River in northern Ethiopia. Although a significant portion of the water is now diverted to a power dam, the falls remain a breathtaking sight and one of Ethiopia’s most renowned tourist attractions.

13. Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls

Snaking its way through the Amazon rainforest, the Potaro River encounters pristine and untouched nature until it abruptly reaches Kaieteur Falls. Plunging 226 meters through the air, the water coats the surroundings in a fine spray.

With a remarkable volume that makes it the largest single-drop waterfall in the world, Kaieteur Falls stands more than four times higher than Niagara Falls, making it a popular tourist attraction in Guyana.

14. Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Located in Venezuela, Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall in the world and offers a truly spectacular sight. Cascading off the summit of Auyan Tepui mountain, the falls plunge 807 meters uninterrupted to the jungle below, with much of the water turning to mist before reaching the ground.

Including its other cascades and rapids, Angel Falls measures a staggering total height of 979 meters. While its remote location in Canaima National Park poses challenges for visitors, the awe-inspiring scenery and stunning setting make it well worth the effort.

15. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Straddling the border between Canada and the USA, Niagara Falls is among the most famous and recognizable waterfalls globally. Consisting of American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls, the endless wall of gushing water creates a mesmerizing sight.

While observation decks offer fantastic views, experiencing the falls from a boat trip below truly reveals their immense size and power. Niagara Falls never fails to astound, attracting millions of visitors each year.

16. Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Towering over Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls impresses with its colossal curtain of water spanning 1,708 meters and reaching a height of 108 meters. As the largest waterfall in the world, the constant flow of water cascading over the cliff is nothing short of breathtaking.

The deafening roar from the gorge below and the fine spray in the air led to the falls being named “The Smoke That Thunders” in the local Lozi language. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls must be seen to be fully appreciated.

17. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Comprising 275 cascades, falls, and drops, Iguazu Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border is the world’s most extensive waterfall system, rivaling Victoria Falls in grandeur. Stretching for almost three kilometers, the falls cascade over the Parana Plateau, with Devil’s Throat Canyon a prominent highlight.

Viewing the falls from the Brazilian side offers a stunning perspective, with immense sheets of water, thunderous noise, and a fine mist. Surrounded by lush rainforest, Iguazu Falls is an incredible destination, combining size, scale, and spectacular scenery, making it one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

18. Livingstone Falls

Livingstone Falls

Named after the famous British explorer David Livingstone, Livingstone Falls is situated on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With an average width of approximately 2,300 feet, these falls are a potential site for the Grand Inga hydroelectric project, which aims to become the largest hydroelectric power generator globally.

19. Inga Falls

Located downriver from Livingstone Falls on the same river, Inga Falls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo span about 3,000 feet in width. Already hosting two hydroelectric dams, the falls are poised for further development projects to harness the immense power of the water.

20. Wagenia Falls

Wagenia Falls

With a width of approximately 4,500 feet, Wagenia Falls can be found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While not having a significant vertical drop, these falls are renowned for the unique fishing methods employed by the local Wagenya people. They were previously known as Stanley Falls and are sometimes collectively referred to as Boyoma Falls, encompassing all the falls in that area of the Lualaba River.

21. Celilo Falls

Celilo Falls

Larger than Victoria Falls, with a width of 5,800 feet, Celilo Falls is situated in Oregon, United States, in the country’s northwest corner. Also known as Wyam or “the sound of water on the rocks,” these falls were historically significant to native communities and were a prominent fishing site along the Columbia River.

22. Vermillion Falls

Vermillion Falls

Located in Alberta, Canada, Vermillion Falls spans a width of 6,000 feet. Situated on the Peace River, these falls create challenges for navigation in this section of the river. They are the largest falls in Canada and are aptly named in Cree, “where the waterfalls.”

23. Patos e Maribondo

Patos e Maribondo

Situated in Brazil along the Rio Grande River, the Patos e Maribondo falls captivated with their impressive width of 6,600 feet. However, their grandeur has been partially diminished due to the construction of a dam upstream, resulting in the submergence of the falls under a growing lake. As the water levels continue to rise, these falls face the prospect of being entirely engulfed, ceasing to be included on the list of magnificent waterfalls.

24. Mocona Falls

Mocona Falls

Nestled along the Rio Uruguay in Argentina, the Mocona Falls surpass the previous waterfalls in size, spanning approximately 6,775 feet in width. Their unique bend sets them apart, allowing fortunate onlookers to stand opposite the falls and witness their majesty. Thankfully, these falls remain untouched by obstructive dams, enabling their continuous flow and serving as a popular tourist attraction.

25. Kongou Falls

Kongou Falls

Found in the stunning landscapes of Gabon, the Kongou Falls leave onlookers awe-struck with their staggering width of 10,500 feet. Initially intended as a massive hydroelectric dam project site, these plans were halted due to concerns regarding the potential environmental impacts on this biodiverse region. The Kongou Falls stands as a testament to the delicate balance between development and preserving nature’s wonders.

26. Guairá Falls

Guairá Falls

Once among the world’s most impressive waterfalls, the Guairá Falls sits on the border between Paraguay and Brazil, shaped by the mighty Parana River. Stretching an astonishing 15,840 feet wide, these falls were unfortunately engulfed by water, robbing the world of their magnificent presence. Their submersion invoked a sense of grief and frustration as humanity lamented the loss of this natural wonder.

27. Pará Falls

Pará Falls

Hidden in the remote wilderness of Bolivar, Venezuela, along the Rio Caura, the Pará Falls span an impressive 18,400 feet in width. Accessing this awe-inspiring sight requires a challenging journey via boat, as the absence of roads makes reaching the falls a true adventure. Despite their vast size and potential for harnessing hydroelectric power, the unique geological characteristics of the area have prevented the falls from being utilized for such purposes.

28. Khone Phapheng Falls

Khone Phapheng Falls

Claiming the title of the largest waterfall on Earth, the Khone Phapheng Falls proudly cascade along the Mekong River in Laos, stretching 35,376 feet in width. These falls captivate with their sheer scale and serve as a natural barrier, rendering the Mekong River unnavigable into China. Their imposing presence and power stand as a testament to the raw force of nature, leaving visitors in awe of their grandeur.

29. Urubupunga Falls

Urubupunga Falls

Located on the Rio Paraná in Brazil, the Urubupunga Falls share the same width as their predecessor, measuring 6,600 feet. Similarly affected by human intervention, these falls have also experienced partial inundation, diminishing their visibility. With time, these falls, too, will likely disappear as an above-water falls system, leaving behind memories of their once awe-inspiring presence.

30. Skógafoss

Skógafoss

Skógafoss is a magnificent waterfall and one of Iceland’s top attractions. With a dramatic drop of over 60 meters, it captivates visitors with its raw beauty. The water plunges down onto a bed of black stones, creating a striking contrast against the vibrant green slopes surrounding it. This enchanting scenery has even graced the screens in the popular TV series, Vikings.

You can also check for Top Tourism villages in the world

31. Vinnufallet

Vinnufallet

Moving on to Norway, we encounter Vinnufallet Waterfall, proudly holding the title of the highest waterfall in Europe. It boasts an impressive depth of 865 meters, making it a true spectacle. Located near the charming town of Sunndalsøra, this waterfall is easily accessible, beckoning travelers to witness its awe-inspiring beauty on their Norwegian adventures.

32. Olo’upena Falls

Olo'upena Falls

Nestled on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, Olo’upena Falls offers a mesmerizing sight. Plummeting a remarkable 900 meters, this waterfall is surrounded by majestic mountains and benefits from the frequent rainfall that graces the region. The cascading waters create a series of consecutive falls, forming a truly extraordinary display of nature’s power and beauty.

33. Epupa Falls

Epupa Falls

Our final stop takes us to the remote corners of Namibia, where Epupa Falls awaits. Despite its maximum drop of 20 meters, this waterfall on the Kunene River is an oasis for nature enthusiasts. It enchants visitors with its stunning landscape, featuring a succession of falls cascading between the rocks. Epupa Falls is one of the prominent waterfalls in southern Africa, offering a captivating conclusion to our journey through the world’s most impressive waterfalls.

34. Ban Gioc–Detian Falls

Ban Gioc–Detian Falls

Ban Gioc–Detian Falls is the largest waterfall in Asia. It is located along the border between China and Vietnam. The falls are known for their picturesque beauty, with cascading water surrounded by lush greenery.

The waterfall is divided into three sections, offering a stunning natural spectacle. Ban Gioc–Detian Falls attracts numerous visitors who witness its grandeur and enjoy its scenic surroundings. It is considered one of the must-see destinations in the region for nature lovers and tourists alike.

35. Browne Falls

Browne Falls

Browne Falls is a notable waterfall in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. It is renowned for being one of the highest waterfalls in the world, with an estimated height of around 836 meters (2,743 feet). The waterfall flows down a steep cliff face into Doubtful Sound, a picturesque fjord known for its stunning natural beauty.

Browne Falls is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, making it a popular attraction for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Its impressive height and remote location add to its allure, attracting visitors who seek to admire its majestic cascades in a pristine wilderness setting.

Here is another article suggestion: World’s Greatest Places 

FAQs

Below, we’ll talk about some commonly asked questions. 

What is the largest waterfall in the world?

The Khone Phapheng Falls, situated along the Mekong River in Laos near Cambodia, holds the title of the largest waterfall in the world. These falls stand out as the largest in Asia and pose a significant challenge for colonial explorers attempting to navigate the Mekong River.

Which waterfall is the tallest in the world?

The honor of the tallest natural waterfall in the world goes to Tugela Falls, towering at 3,225 feet. Recent measurements using improved techniques have established that Tugela Falls surpasses Angel Falls by about four meters. This remarkable waterfall, found in South Africa’s Royal Natal National Park, is seasonal in nature.

Which waterfall boasts the longest single drop?

Angel Falls claims to have the longest single drop among waterfalls worldwide. Plummeting from a height of 2,648 feet, the water cascades down in a breathtaking display. Situated in a remote region of Venezuela, Angel Falls is so immense that the water transforms into mist before reaching the bottom. The mist from the falls can be felt on the skin up to a kilometer away when it flows at its peak.

What is the largest waterfall in Asia?

The largest waterfall in Asia is the Ban Gioc–Detian Falls. It is considered the fourth largest waterfall along an international border, with only the Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls, and Niagara Falls being larger than it.

You can also read – 30 Most Beautiful Countries in the World

Final Words

As we conclude our journey through the 35 biggest waterfalls in the world, we are left in awe of the tremendous forces of nature. These majestic cascades, with their immense size and mesmerizing beauty, remind us of the raw power and elegance of the natural world.

From the remote corners of Venezuela to the picturesque landscapes of Norway and beyond, these waterfalls have captured the imaginations of explorers, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts throughout history. 

 

 


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