The Most Spectacular Waterfalls in the World - Part 1

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No fantasy movie is complete without a giant waterfall, tropical forest and colorful birds flying in the background. Better than movies however, is the real thing. These spectacular waterfalls are some of the world’s greatest cascades and some of them are in fact also featured in movies.

Seljalandsfoss

KarlH's picture

Location

South Iceland
Iceland
63° 36' 56.412" N, 19° 59' 18.924" W
IS

Seljalandsfoss is a highly picturesque waterfall on the south coast of Iceland. The waterfall has ended up in many books and postcards about Iceland and it has become one of the most famous waterfalls in the country.

This waterfall of the river Seljalandsá drops 60 metres (200 ft) over the cliffs of the former coastline. The specialty of Seljalandsfoss is that you can go behind the waterfall to get a view from a different perspective.

Detian Falls

TomassoRizzi's picture

Location

Daxin
China
22° 51' 20.808" N, 106° 43' 23.088" E
CN

The setting of Detian Falls showcases a classic Asian landscape of rocky outcrops towering over lush rice paddies, with the waterfalls cascading on the Guichun River. This is something that is pictured in numbers of Chinese paintings.

The waterfall is separated into different falls by rocks and trees with a total drop is 30 m (98 ft). It is located on the border of China and Vietnam but despite the proximity of the neighbour, crossing between the countries can be a hassle.

Gocta

KarlH's picture

Location

Chachapoyas
Peru
6° 1' 22.836" S, 77° 53' 12.264" W
PE

Gocta is perhaps the most interesting of the waterfalls we know today. Most of the biggest waterfalls of the world have been in general awareness for centuries already. Gocta however was known only by local villagers until 2005. That year a German called Stefan Ziemendorff made an expedition to the falls. He persuaded the Peruvian government to map the falls and to measure their height.

The falls were measured to be an unbelievable 771m tall! They ranked the third tallest free-leaping waterfall in the world. The ranking has since been disputed though. Regardless of the ranking, these huge falls are a majestic sight.

Bigăr Waterfall

Location

Bozovici
Romania
45° 0' 12.312" N, 21° 57' 34.56" E
RO

Bigăr is one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world. The water falls on the green moss covered cliff and spreads into tiny threads of water creating a graceful water veil. The evenly dropping water threads simply look amazing and hypnotic in a way.

The origins of the water are in an underground water spring that spills into the Minis River. The waterfall is located in the forests of the Anina Mountains exactly on the 45th parallel in the half way from Equator to North Pole.

Iguazu Falls

KarlH's picture

Location

Puerto Iguazu
Argentina
25° 41' 12.012" S, 54° 26' 40.992" W
AR

Iguazu Falls, in Iguazu River, are one of the world’s largest waterfalls. Experiencing the incredible power and noise of the falls and cascades is simply a jaw dropping experience. These falls have got to be one of our planet’s most awe-inspiring natural sights.

The falls lie split between Brazil and Argentina surrounded by rainforest with unique flora and fauna. 275 falls collectively make up Iguassu Falls, with the “Devil’s Throat” being the tallest at 80 m in height. The average flow of these falls scattered in a horseshoe is an imposing 1000 cubic meters per second.

Kaieteur Falls

KarlH's picture

Location

Kaieteur National Park
Guyana
5° 10' 30" N, 59° 28' 49.8" W
GY

Kaieteur Falls is often regarded as one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. It is a rare combination of a very tall waterfall on a high volume river making it one of the most powerful waterfalls on the planet.

The total height of the falls is 251 meters and the width varies between 76m and 122m. Watching the 30,000 gallons of water per second shot out over a 251m cliff in the middle of a misty, untouched jungle without no tourists in sight is a once in a lifetime experience. Long before you even see the mist of this magnificent cascade, you will hear the thunder of the falls. Kaieteur Falls is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Guyana.

Langfossen

KarlH's picture

Location

Etne
Norway
59° 50' 43.908" N, 6° 20' 21.948" E
NO

Langfoss trundles down into the Åkrafjord like a nature made roller coaster. The total fall of Langfoss is around 612 meters and it is one of the highest in Norway and Europe. The surroundings are magnificent and CNN even placed it on the list of the World’s 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls.

Langfoss is easily accessible. Being right next to E134 highway, only few other waterfalls in the world will allow you to get as close in your car as Langfoss. The parking lot and tables next to the waterfall allow you to stop for a picnic. If you didn´t bring your own food, there is a Kiosk selling fast food, homemade baked goods, and local food products as well as some handicrafts.

Burney Falls

Location

California
United States
41° 0' 43.524" N, 121° 39' 7.2" W
US

When Teddy Roosevelt saw the Burney Falls, he described them as the “eighth wonder of the world”. If not the eight wonder, they still are impressive falls with an almost constant flow of 100 million gallons a day, even during dry summer months.

The roaring water comes from an underground spring above the 129-foot falls. The region is volcanic and that is the secret behind the constant water flow. The layered, porous basalt created over a million years ago, retains rainwater and snow melt, which forms a large underground reservoir where the water originates from.

Ventisquero Colgante Falls

Location

Queulat National Park
Chile
44° 26' 14.28" S, 72° 30' 20.052" W
CL

Ventisquero Colgant, is a clacier hanging above a ravine of bare rock and dominating the valley in the Queulat National Park, in Chile. The glaciers meltwaters create two towering waterfalls dropping an estimated 600 meters on top of a huge slab of angled bedrock.

The height of the waterfalls coupled with the high volume of water flowing from the glacier makes Ventisquero Colgant easily one of the top five waterfalls in all of South America.
The falls are visible and flowing all year round but due to the ablation of avalanches at the base of the falls, as much as half of the falls can be covered by snow and ice during the late spring and early summer.

Baatara Gorge Waterfall

ErichSpiez's picture

Location

Tannourine
Lebanon
34° 10' 24.348" N, 35° 52' 13.332" E
LB

This cave bridge waterfall ain´t a scifi movie scene. It’s a real limestone cave carved out of Jurassic limestone over millions of years by winter meltwater. The place is also known as “Three Bridge Chasm” because of the three naturally created bridges hanging one on top of the other.

During the spring melt, a 90–100-metre (300–330 ft) cascade falls behind the three bridges and then down into the 255-metre (820 ft) chasm. The water emerges from underground at a spring in the nearby town of Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir.

The best time to view this waterfall is in March and April, when the snow in the mountains melts. At other times the chances are the waterfall will be dry.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

Location

Azilal
Morocco
32° 0' 55.008" N, 6° 43' 7.464" W
MA

Ouzoud Waterfalls are among the most majestic natural wonders of Morocco. The 110m high waterfalls consist of several smaller cascades and plunges down in 2-3 tiers.

The Ouzoud cascades have stayed refreshingly uncommercialized. There are several small stalls selling fresh squeezed oranges juice and at the summit of the falls, there are a dozen old small mills that are still in use.