It’s not easy to put together a Top 10 Best Waterfalls List because it’s completely subjective and limited to each person’s experience with the falls being named.
Heck, even my wife and I couldn’t agree on our own favorites.
Nonetheless based on popular demand, we’ve finally come up with our own list of the favorites that we’ve personally visited.
While Julie and I believe that we have a pretty extensive survey of such waterfalls (covering all major regions of the world such as North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle-East, Asia, and Oceania and the South Pacific), we recognize that this list is by no means permanent, and it’s sure to change as we continue to collect more waterfall sightings from around the world.
So without further ado, here they are in reverse order…
In a country that holds a special place in our hearts, this gorgeous 580m waterfall was easily New Zealand’s most spectacular waterfall and certainly the one waterfall that was heads-and-shoulders better than the other waterfalls that Julie and I had visited in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
And given its remote location deep in the wild and beautiful Fiordland National Park (also a World Heritage Area), it was one of many highlights of the Milford Track – said to be one of the finest walks in the world.
Indeed, this waterfall had a lot going for it, and we just had to make room for it on this list.
When it came to the overall waterfalling experience, it was hard to beat this world famous attraction.
While the rest of the waterfalls on our Top 10 List are primarily singular waterfall attractions, this one was really a network of countless waterfalls (some of which were impressive enough to stand out on their own).
The waterfalls themselves segregated the many clear and colorful lakes that brought life to this lush and protected ecosystem. Plus, Julie and I walked along its boardwalks that take us under, over, and around almost all of the notable waterfalls for some of the most intimate waterfalling experiences to be had.
Add it all up, putting these waterfalls on this list was an absolute no-brainer as far as we were concerned.
It was said to be Europe’s most powerful waterfall sending glacial melt-waters over its 44m precipice unchecked at a flow of around 500 cubic meters per second.
It epitomized the wild and raw landscape that characterized Iceland, and it was certainly a favorite amongst nature lovers both from the country as well as internationally.
Its position at the head of the impressive Jökulsárgljúfur (the Icelandic version of the Grand Canyon) surrounded by three other major waterfalls on the same river made it a no-brainer for us to include it on our Top 10 Waterfalls List.
One of the more unique waterfalls we had ever seen in the world, this wild and wide waterfall tumbling on the Hvítá River in two tiers at 90 degree angles to each other was one of Iceland’s iconic natural attractions.
Part of the Golden Circle of Iceland’s main attractions in the Southwest, this was a must on our itinerary, and we think it should belong on anyone’s itinerary wishing to see the best of Iceland.
In addition to the falls’ unique shape, we were also able to see rainbows arcing over the falls when we had the benefit of cooperative weather as well as a little patience.
Even though this waterfall doesn’t flow year round, it does flow for a good part of the year and it’s one of the tallest in the world at 2,425ft.
It’s the crown jewel of attractions in the incomparable Yosemite Valley and it’s easily seen from a multitude of viewpoints and trails.
Julie and I have been fortunate to have seen this falls so many times and in so many ways that we tend to think of it like an old friend.
So given its ease of access, scenery, location, and sheer size, there was no doubt that we had to include this waterfall in our Top 10 Waterfalls List.
Said to be one of the tallest single-drop waterfalls in the world, this rectangular-shaped monster (said to be 741ft tall and 370ft wide) sat atop the ancient Guyana Shield amidst some of the most pristine rainforest left on earth!
Indeed a visit to this world wonder could yield rare wildlife settings as well as the reassurance that there were still places on the planet where nature was still allowed to thrive.
And after experiencing this for ourselves, we had to make room for this waterfall on our Top 10 List!
Plunging uninterrupted for 807m (with total drop of 979m) from a mystical tabletop mountain (tepuy) deep in a Venezuelan equatorial rainforest, it has been widely acknowledged as the tallest permanent waterfall in the world.
Its existence defies logic as its source is nothing but the soggy cloud forest on the plateau of the tepuy.
No doubt about it, there’s nothing like this waterfall and there’s just something to be said about seeing the World’s Tallest Waterfall.
Besides, the adventure to even get to this so-called Lost World (Mundo Perdido) for a chance to see this world wonder certainly left Julie and I a lasting impression, and we’re sure it will do to same to anyone else fortunate enough to make the adventure and be blessed with a sighting of this special place.
Easily the most famous waterfall in North America, this powerful waterfall also ranks as the biggest one by volume with a whopping average of about 7000 cubic meters per second!
In addition to its raw power, the falls is easily one of the easiest to access and view from all sorts of angles.
Julie and I managed to visit this waterfall twice and with each visit, we still couldn’t help but be awestruck at its sheer size and power.
While its surroundings were a bit less naturesque for our liking, there was no denying that it clearly belonged among the upper tier of our list of Top 10 Waterfalls.
Easily deserving of the top spot on this list (though it finished a very close second), it’s the largest singular waterfall in the world spanning a width of 1.7km, a height of 108m, and an average flow of 1 million liters per second!
It’s no wonder this “smoke that thunders” is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
While Julie and I had trouble staying dry and seeing through the intense mist from the ground, we also managed to experience it from the air to truly appreciate its awesome size and scale!
Indeed, it made us feel humble and awestruck, and we suspect it will do the same to you, too!
With its brink spanning a distance of an incredible 2km in its average flow of 1000 cubic meters per second, this falls tops our list of favorites.
The falls actually consists of some 275 individual waterfalls and cascades. Catwalks made it easy for Julie and I to get closeup and intimate with the many of these waterfalls, and the rainforest surroundings made the scenery feel right for a natural attraction such as this.
Put it all together and we believe this falls is heads and shoulders above the rest (except Victoria Falls) that we’ve seen!
Looking for more of our favorites?
Below are a few more Top 10 lists of the waterfalls we’ve visited.