Offbeat Nature grass Waterfall mountain water outdoor nature reserve water resources watercourse water feature chute hill station landscape escarpment mount scenery sky national park tree hill cliff

The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

We're suckers for a gorgeous waterfall, especially when the sun hits just right. From California to Croatia, here are eight jaw-dropping cascades to visit now.

Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.

See recent posts by Chelsea Bengier

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Just a half-hour drive from Portland, Columbia River Gorge is, ahem, overflowing with waterfalls. There are more than 50 to choose from, but the most impressive one is Multnomah. The two-tier cascade towers at 611 feet, and has a charming bridge that connects two easy hiking trails. On the way there, make sure to take the Historic Columbia River Highway, a winding back road that takes you past fresh berry stands and the Vista House, a scenic half-way point overlooking the gorge.

Iceland Offbeat Packing Tips Style + Design Travel Tips grass outdoor Nature animal grassland pasture mammal horse horse like mammal mountain sky highland grazing rural area hill Wildlife mane herd tree national park landscape livestock ecoregion mustang horse meadow mount scenery field bovine area
Offbeat Nature outdoor Waterfall water body of water vegetation mountain water feature sky formation landscape rock watercourse terrain escarpment cave cliff geology tree chute grass national park stream computer wallpaper
Offbeat Nature grass Waterfall mountain water outdoor nature reserve water resources watercourse water feature chute hill station landscape escarpment mount scenery sky national park tree hill cliff

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Although the Blue Lagoon tends to steal the spotlight, Iceland is full of natural wonders. Start off on the southern side of Ring Road, a 827-mile trek surrounded by glaciers, waterfalls and fjords, and stop at Seljalandsfoss. At 200 feet high, it’s not the tallest waterfall around, but it is the only one that visitors can actually walk behind for that perfect Insta shot.

RELATED: The Best Time to Visit Iceland: A Season by Season Breakdown

Book Hotels in Iceland
Offbeat Trip Ideas tree outdoor Nature reflection atmospheric phenomenon water aerial photography body of water River atmosphere of earth reservoir morning Lake bridge landscape water feature
Offbeat elephant tree outdoor water animal sky indian elephant mammal elephants and mammoths fauna Wildlife River Lake african elephant Safari trunk
calm golden hour majestic mist Nature Offbeat Outdoors remote rushing water Safari serene silhouette sunrise Sunset trees Trip Ideas Waterfall Waterfalls tree outdoor atmospheric phenomenon water body of water reflection morning water feature season sunlight woody plant leaf Forest autumn flower evening branch

Photos courtesy of andBeyond


Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

It may take more than a day to reach Victoria Falls, but trust us it’s worth the trip. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it's is right up there alongside Everest, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Grand Canyon. For a postcard view, visit the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe, which has paths overlooking the main falls, Horseshoe Falls and Rainbow Falls, or take a sunset river cruise along the upper Zambezi. If you're looking to get your blood pumping, don't miss a dip in the Devil’s Pool located on the Zambian side. The natural rock pool juts out over the very edge of the thundering falls.

RELATED: The Best Hotels Near Niagara Falls

Book Hotels in Africa
Lakes + Rivers Offbeat Outdoors + Adventure Trip Ideas mountain grass outdoor Nature mountainous landforms valley mountain village canyon sky green mountain range mount scenery vegetation wilderness highland alps Village hill station tree landscape rural area cloud meadow hill national park morning house bank sunlight background field grassland lush pasture computer wallpaper tourism hillside grassy

Staubbach Falls, Switzerland

Wildflower-filled meadows, charming alpine villages, craggy snow-capped peaks. There’s nothing quite like the Swiss Alps. But while most crowds make a beeline for Jungfraujoch (known as the Top of Europe), we suggest you head to the lower valleys of the lush Bernese Oberland. There you’ll find Staubbach Falls, a 1,000-foot sliver of a stream that spills into the Lütschine River at the town of Lauterbrunnen. Make a day trip out of it by jumping on the 20-minute train from Interlaken and spending the early afternoon at Lauterbrunnen before continuing up to the peak of Kleine Scheidegg, where you can hike six miles down to Grindelwald to catch the train circling back to Interlaken.

Book Hotels in Switzerland
Offbeat Nature outdoor sky tree Waterfall water body of water River water feature landscape rock Coast wave stream Sea reflection rapid surrounded Forest

Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

Stretching across Argentina and Brazil, these rushing rapids make up one of the world’s biggest waterfall systems. While most of the falls are located on the Argentinian side of the river, it’s best to stay on the Brazilian border. Bed down at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas—as the only hotel in Iguaçu National Park, it claims prime real estate on the lip of the largest falls. The concierge can hook you up with a hair-raising helicopter ride over the gorge as well as a jungle trek to see colorful toucans, giant butterflies, and more wildlife.

RELATED: 30 Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Book Hotels in Argentina
Offbeat Nature tree Waterfall outdoor water body of water green vegetation water feature watercourse Forest rainforest River wasserfall Jungle stream surrounded wooded
National Parks Offbeat Travel Tips Trip Ideas tree water outdoor River body of water watercourse Nature tourism rapid waterway water feature wave surrounded
Offbeat Travel Tips Trip Ideas tree Nature Waterfall outdoor body of water wilderness ecosystem water water feature landscape canyon valley fjord park flower reflection national park Lake stream surrounded Forest hillside lush

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Stretching across Plitvice in central Croatia is a fairytale landscape made up of 16 crystalline cascading pools in a rainbow of azure blue, turquoise, and emerald green. Stroll along the boardwalk for spot-on views of the waterfalls, fir tree forests and hidden caves around the park. Just don't forget your camera.

RELATED: The Best of Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast

Book Hotels in Croatia
National Parks Offbeat Outdoors + Adventure Trip Ideas mountain outdoor highland mountainous landforms Nature geographical feature landform mountain range hill rock fell cliff valley mountain pass landscape ridge alps plateau terrain hillside

Photo courtesy of Visit Sacramento


Bridalveil Fall Yosemite, California

When it comes to picking the best national parks in the US, Yosemite National Park makes our top five. The sweeping Sierra Nevada Mountains serve as a backdrop for the park’s waterfalls, wetlands and forests. We especially love hiking to Bridalveil Fall, which flows 600 feet off a cliff across from El Capitan, one of the most striking rock formations in the area.

RELATED: 22 U.S. National Parks to See Now

Book Hotels in California
Faroe Islands Japan Jordan Michigan Montenegro Offbeat Oregon Patagonia Travel Tips Trip Ideas grass sky outdoor highland mountainous landforms Nature green mountain geographical feature mountain range landform grassy lush field hill pasture grassland valley fell loch tarn mountain pass landscape plateau rural area alps meadow Lake hillside fjord aerial photography Terrace lake district rock
Faroe Islands Japan Jordan Michigan Montenegro Offbeat Oregon Patagonia Travel Tips Trip Ideas grass Bird outdoor puffin animal fauna standing aquatic bird beak seabird colorful water charadriiformes organism duck Wildlife colored
Faroe Islands Japan Jordan Michigan Montenegro Offbeat Oregon Patagonia Travel Tips Trip Ideas Nature sky outdoor mountain water rock Waterfall geographical feature landform Coast body of water cliff Sea Ocean terrain islet landscape cape Island bay fjord cove hillside

Mulafossur Waterfall, Faroe Islands

Hidden between Norway and Iceland sits the Faroe Islands, a rugged archipelago home to 18 remote inlets dotted with green fjords, volcanic mountains, and colorful fishing villages. One of which, Gasadalur, hovers atop a windswept, coastal cliff marked by the Múlafossur waterfall , which plunges into the sea below. Stay at the area’s first inn—a cozy, four-guestroom cottage and café— that just opened this summer.

Want More?



All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.