Waterfalls, perhaps one of the most majestic creations we’re blessed with on this earth. For those of you who are curious enough, we say, disobey TLC and go chase those waterfalls. Sit back, relax and enjoy this blog filled with unique and beautiful waterfalls from around the world. Try to get to the end, before packing your bags and hopping on the first flight to one of these water wonderlands.
Here are 9 of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world:
1. Horizontal Falls, Australia
📷 Thanks for this fantastic picture @enrodphotography! For more dreamy photos check out his Instagram.
Let’s kick this blog off with one close to my home. While you might be thinking ‘that’s a little bias of you, Simone’ (you’d be kinda right) but you’re kinda wrong too. I’m not the only one who found myself, in proper Aussie form, ‘gobsmacked’ by this impressive natural phenomenon. Everyone’s favourite, David Attenborough has described the Horizontal Falls as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world”. You’ll find the ‘Horries’ (us Aussies love to shorten words) in the Kimberly region down under in Western Australia. The impressive horizontal waterfalls, reaching up to 25m in width, are created by a break in-between the McLarty Ranges. When water builds up faster on one side of the gap, the waterfall is created. If this natural phenomenon wasn’t mind-blowing enough, when the tide changes, the falls reverse.
Height/Length: around 10m
Hot Tip: Hop on a seaplane or helicopter tour. To get that 360 / ‘Instagram worthy’ birds-eye shot, without a drone, why not take a scenic flight or helicopter tour from Broome. If you’re after that extra rush of adrenaline and going with the flow (pun intended), perhaps a float plane that lands on the falls themselves is more up your stream.
Check out our Broome hostels close by!
2. Staubbach Falls, The Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
📷 Thanks for this fantastic picture @_kenny_j! For more travel inspo check out his Instagram.
Okay, if I could add audio to this image I would insert Owen Wilson’s famous ‘wow’, because, well, wow! Now that’s off my chest, Staubbach Falls is located in Lauterbrunnen valley and is just one of 72 waterfalls that call this valley home. While this incredible scenery seems like a scene from a movie, it’s as real as it gets. The town’s most noticeable landmark is a waterfall that flows into the village below – Staubbach falls is hard to miss. This incredible and unique location – a waterfall right by a village – with the Swiss Alps as a backdrop, gives new meaning to the word ‘picture-perfect’.
Hot Tip:At night-time, the falls are lit up, which allows a different perspective. Photographers out there, this might just be the perfect sunset shot!
Check out our Lauterbrunnen hostels
3. Victoria Falls
📷 Thanks for this fantastic picture @pstravelography! For more breath-taking photos check out her Instagram.
Considered the largest and only waterfall in the world that spans over a kilometre in length, Victoria falls is definitely one for the bucket list. Located along the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, it’s said that you can hear the falls from 40 kilometres away! The spray and mist from the falls rises to over 500 meters high and can be seen from an impressive 50 kilometres away, talk about impressive.
Hot Tip: There really is no best time to visit the falls. Different seasons offer different things to do, so pick the season that best fits your needs and travel plans. To witness the falls in peak flow, visit between the months of March and June. However, if you’re interested in visiting Devil’s pool it will be closed during this time of year. Those keen for white-water-rafting, travelling between August and December is best, when thewater-level is low. To find out more about the weather, check out the official website.
Check out our hostels in Victoria Falls!
4. Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon
📷 Thanks for this fantastic picture @jeffvedenoff! For more ‘travel goals’ check out his aesthetic Instagram.
The contrasting and complimentary colours are what makes this waterfall special. Havasu Falls really is a treat to the eyes, with water spilling over dark orange cliffs into a gorgeous ‘Maldives’ blue oasis. A stunning juxtaposition of intense desert and bright blue topical dreams.
Hot Tip: Check out the other 4 waterfalls located within the Grand Canyon while you’re there: Navajo Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. To maintain and look after this stunning natural paradise, the Havasupai tribe limits the number of visitors allowed in. For this reason, be sure to make a reservation and pay in advance (part of the protocol). For more info and prices check out the tribal tourism website.
Stay right by the action at Grand Canyon International Hostel!
5. McWay Falls, California
📷Thanks for this fantastic picture @crusader_flickzhy! For more impressive photos check out his Instagram.
Can it really get any more majestic than a beautiful waterfall on the beach? My mind thinks not. Lovers of both the beach and waterfalls will be in awe of this stunning scenery. In an untouched cove along the California Coast, you’ll find this masterpiece tucked away in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur. Back in the day, the waterfall used to flow right into the ocean. But nowadays, due to a landslide, there is a sandy cove which only connects with the ocean during high tide when the waves crash upon the shore – how picturesque.
Hop Tip: To get a breath-taking view, find the overlook that sits above the ocean at Trail’s end. You’ll also need 10 USD on standby to enter the park.
Compare our hostels in Monterey
6. Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National Park
Okay, when I first discovered this waterfall my first thought was; photoshop… surely? So much of what we see on social media these days is edited, but to my surprise I was wrong. Fire you ask? Nope. Let me explain. At the end of February each year, this spectacular sight occurs when a few conditions work in perfect unison. Kinda like Ross and Rachel finally working out (only that took 236 episodes -I’m fine!). Okay, back to the conditions needed for this glowing waterfall. Firstly, Horsetail Fall must be flowing. If there is not enough snowpack on top of the mountain, there will not be enough snowmelt and you won’t get the snowball (pun intended) effect. It also needs to be warm enough for the snow to melt the snowpack, creating the flamboyant flow on the falls. Lastly, the sky needs to be clear at sunset. Any clouds will block the sun’s rays and the falls won’t appear to be glowing or ‘on fire’. It’s said that cloudy days can often clear by sunset. So, should you visit on a day that starts off overcast, don’t panic there is still hope. If all these conditions are just right, the ‘Yosemite Firefall’ will light up for about 10 minutes. Good luck!
Hot Tip: This is probably a bit obvious but check the weather to see which days have the best weather to give you the greatest chance to see this stunning site.
Check out our nearby hostels in Yosemite!
7. Detain Falls, China/Vietnam
Detain Falls is located on China and Vietnam’s border, surrounded by stunning scenery and impressive peaks. Divided into 3 layers, you’ll see a domino effect where waterfalls flow into waterfalls. This creates a marvellous multi-dimension stream of waterfalls and respective plunge pools. Plus, you’ll find scenic walking paths where you can witness the falls from several angles.
Hot Tip: For the largest water flow the best time to visit is between April and November.
Stay nearby at Cao Bang Eco Homestay hostel
8. Ruby Falls, Tennessee
📷 Thanks for this fantastic picture @abbytheexplorer! For more travel pics check out her beautiful Instagram.
The tallest and deepest accessible underground waterfall in the US, Ruby Falls is nothing short of spectacular. Not only is the site itself impressive but for the romantics out there, you’ll love the story behind the falls. Back in 1928, when Leo Lambert and his team discovered the falls he decided to name it after his wife, Ruby – how sweet! Located within Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, a trip to this unique and special waterfall is definitely one for the bucket list.
Hot Tip: Don’t waste time waiting in line for tickets, instead reserve your preferred tour time online in advance. There are a couple of different tour options so book ahead and chose the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to have a cheeky look around their website and explore the event options too. For those who are looking for a little more adventure (because you know, a waterfall. Underground. In a cave. Just doesn’t cut it?) you can take part in their Zipstream Aerial Adventure where you’ll soar along zip lines and tackle obstacle courses up in the treetops.
Compare our Chattanooga hostels
9. Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park
I’ve included Johnston Canyon in Banff, despite there not being a specific waterfall – there’s a whole waterfall adventure! Canada is sure to be on most people’s bucket-lists, and if it isn’t on yours already, let Johnston Canyon convince you that it really should be. Hike through both the lower and upper falls to take in as many breath-taking waterfalls as possible. The best time to visit for the most water-flow is June. While visiting in July and August will be the warmest, and in September you’ll have the fall foliage to add to the magic.
Hot Tip: If you decide to drive from Banff to the park you’ll need a park pass, so be sure to grab one, no one likes fines (aintnobodygottimeforthat). Alternatively, there is a shuttle from Banff to Johnston Canyon that departs daily between May 18th and October 6th. For those who make it all the way up to the upper level falls, keep going and make your way to the crystal-clear Ink Pots at the top.
Check out our hostels in Banff.
Okay, that’s enough chit-chat from me. Now that I’ve blessed you with just some of the most beautiful waterfalls from around the world, it’s time for you to create your own memories (and, we say – start chasing as many waterfalls as possible!). Let’s be honest, life’s too short to stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to (because only 1 TLC reference isn’t enough). A special thanks if you’ve made it this far, for sticking out my puns and mediocre jokes. All the best with your travels and be sure to tag us @hostelworld in your adventures so we can keep up.