With all due respect to 90s supergroup TLC, sticking to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to is terrible advice. Especially when there are extraordinary waterfalls to chase from Morocco to Laos to New Zealand! Did you know there are 10 different types of waterfalls? Punchbowl! Plunge! Cataract! There are so many ways the water can flow past your feet and we want you to see them all. Get ready to feel the rush of rapids or the slow trickle of time as we showcase some spectacular chutes from 10 different adventures.
1: Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe
Forming the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Plumes of mist can be seen for miles around which explains why it’s locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates to The Smoke that Thunders.
See it for yourself on: Botswana & Victoria Falls Adventure
2: Iguassu Falls, Brazil & Argentina
Taller and wider than Niagara Falls, you can view this horseshoe-shaped stunner from Brazil or Argentina. It features more than 275 cascades which all combined makes it the largest waterfall system in the world.
See it for yourself on: Iguassu & Beyond
3: Gullfoss, Iceland
It was hard to choose which foss to make a fuss about in Iceland, because they are all spectacular in their own right. As for Gullfoss (which means Golden Waterfall), this massive cascade tumbles over three steps before plunging into a deep crevice.
See it for yourself on: Best of Iceland
4: La Fortuna Waterfall, Costa Rica
Sitting at the base of dormant Chato volcano is a 200-foot waterfall plunging through dense jungle greenery. Whether you get there on horseback or hike 15 minutes down the stairs, you can cool off in the chilly pool below and take plenty of impressive pics.
See it for yourself on: Costa Rica Quest
5: Pamukkale Petrified Waterfalls, Turkey
Translating to ‘cotton castle’, Pamukkale’s snow-white cascade has formed over milennia as calcite-rich waters trickled down the hillside. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can go for guided walks along the travertine terraces and icy blue water.
See it for yourself on: Absolute Turkey
6: Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos
Framed by jungle landscape, these multi-tiered waterfalls make the ultimate place to hang on a visit to Luang Prabang. You can dip into the incredibly turquoise pools as the soothing sound of rushing water brings you inner peace.
See it for yourself on: Indochina Encompassed
7: Roberto Barrios Waterfalls, Mexico
One way to beat the heat and humidity of dense jungle is to head off the beaten path near Palenque. Howler and spider monkeys play in the canopy above as you swim into underwater caves, climb up the pools, zip down natural slides, and tuck behind waterfalls.
See it for yourself on: Mayan Adventure: Mexico, Belize & Guatemala
8: Doubtful Sound Waterfalls, New Zealand
Once you board a cruise through Fjordland National Park, you’ll be spoiled by a series of waterfalls, some of which even have names like Browne, Helena, and Stella. The waters below are also home to dolphins, penguins, and seals so keep an eye out for them too.
See it for yourself on: Highlights of New Zealand
9: Ouzoud Falls, Morocco
High in the Atlas Mountains you can pass by olive trees, macaque monkeys, and Amazigh villages to marvel at the second tallest waterfall in Africa. Fair warning: it’s a popular place and you’re unlikely to enjoy it alone but it makes for a stunning day trip from Marrakech.
See it for yourself on: 18-to-Thirtysomethings Marrakech Mini Adventure
10: McWay Falls, United States
The very definition of postcard perfect, McWay Falls is a must-stop moment on any Big Sur road trip. Its majestic 80-foot stream tumbles perfectly onto the pristine beach and turquoise water below. Time it for golden hour and your pictures get even prettier!
See it for yourself on: Best of California