Waterfalls radiate suspense and power as water spills over the edge, crashing into the earth below. People craving adventure have always been drawn to the natural beauty of these water features. Those of us who don’t have any desire to live that kind of thrill are still enthralled by the allure of waterfalls. These natural wonders are scattered across the globe. Wherever your next travels take you, fall off the beaten path and explore the nearest water features.
Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Located along the U.S. and Canada border, this natural wonder is known for its raw power. An average of 150,000 gallons of water cascade over the edge every second. Niagara Falls experiences the maximum water flow during the summer months of June, July and August. There are actually two sections of Niagara Falls, separated by an island. The iconic Horseshoe Falls are on the Canadian side and the American Falls are on the U.S. side of the border.
If you’ve seen Disney’s Up, you already know about Angel Falls in Venezuela. Angel Falls is considered the world’s tallest waterfall. The River Kerep rolls over the steep tabletop mountains, dropping 3,212 feet. In perspective, a building that tall would have over 200 stories. The best time to visit this waterfall is between June and December, because the river will be at its fullest. Canaima National Park was founded around the falls in 1962, and it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
Victoria Falls located between Zambia and Zimbabwe is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Native people know Victoria Falls as the “The Smoke that Thunders.” It’s the biggest waterfall in the world when you consider its height of 354 feet and width of 5,604 feet. The Zambezi River plunges over a large plateau, generating mists and rainbows. Brave adventurers can swim along the water’s drop-off in the Devil’s Pool, a small section that’s protected from the rushing currents. This area is only accessible in the dry season between August and January. Travelers who want to see Victoria Falls at its peak should visit sometime from February to May.
New Zealand has several incredible waterfalls, but most people agree that Sutherland Falls is the most impressive. Sutherland Falls is located in the remote areas of Fiordland National Park. Although not easily accessible, this spectacular water feature is worth the effort. One of the tallest waterfalls in the world, Sutherland is actually three separate drops that add up to the 1,902 foot plummet.
Gullfoss Falls and Dettifoss Falls
Gullfoss Falls and Dettifoss Falls are both set into the rugged landscape of Iceland’s natural beauty. Also known as Golden Falls, Gullfoss is notable for its unique shape. Water cascades over two smaller ledges, falling into a canyon below. On sunny days, surrounding mist creates rainbows around the waterfall. The Dettifoss waterfall is less popular, but just as striking as Gullfoss. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and discharges an impressive volume of water. The force of all that water careening over the edge is so powerful that it causes surrounding rocks to shake.
If you’re just starting to wet your feet with waterfall enthusiasm, or you prefer “staycations” to remote jungle adventures, Nebraska has five notable waterfalls. These beautiful natural landmarks are hidden in the western part of our state along the Niobrara River. Smith Falls is the tallest waterfall, dropping nearly 70 feet. Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge near Valentine features a picturesque waterfall known as Fort Falls. Snake River Falls, also near Valentine, is a popular place to fish and relax on a warm summer day. Nebraska boasts several small waterfalls, mostly unnamed and unnoticed, but these unexpected features all contribute to Nebraska’s uninterrupted natural landscape.
Waterfalls are one of the most striking features of nature. They’re icons of adventure and beauty that can be appreciated from every corner of the globe. Whether your travels consist of wild thrills or relaxing moments of calm, waterfalls are a great destination across the globe.