While hiking around Costa Rica, I’ve developed a slight obsession for waterfalls. Seriously — encountering a waterfall at the end of a long, sweaty hike makes all the pain worth it, especially if its safe enough to take a swim. All the recent waterfalls i’ve seen here have got me thinking about which waterfalls are considered the world’s best.
Let’s take the plunge and join Holiday Lettings in a look at the world’s mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls.
The World’s Most Amazing Waterfalls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Photo credit: Anne Dirkse (license) via Wikimedia Commons
Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River is one of Africa’s, if not the world’s, most breathtaking natural marvels and the biggest ever sheet of falling water. The 2km-wide Zambezi River plummets over 100m into a sheerly-sided gorge. Dubbed Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) by locals, you’ll still hear its grand echoes and see the shimmering mist clouds at 50km away. Up close, the falls are even more awe-inspiring.
Adrenaline junkies seeking total immersion will be excited by the torrential waters. Why not try the wildest one-day white water rafting trip possible? If that doesn’t get your heart racing, there’s the 111m-tall bungee jump and a fear-inducing gorge swing. Recover with a cruise on the river, elephant ride or a spot of fishing.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Photo credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen (license) Flickr.com
The world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls (Salto Ángel), tumbles over the edge of a table-top mountain in the depths of the rainforest into the Devil’s Canyon, 979m below. In fact, the falls are so high that much of the water turns into a fine mist on its way down, never even reaching the ground.
Take a dip in one of the refreshing natural pools below the majestic falls and glance up to see a rainbow created from the dance of the mist and the tropical sun. You can go for a hike or a boat ride through the jungle and may even see a puma or giant anteater.
Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup (license) Flickr.com
Iceland’s most famous waterfall is as elegant as it is vast. As you pass two smaller falls, you’ll hear it. Then you’ll glimpse an L-shaped curtain tumbling 21m into a 2.5km-long chasm. If you’re there in winter, admire the gorgeous filigree ice formations. You’ll probably see a rainbow if it’s sunny.
You should visit the nearby memorial to Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who is credited with saving the waterfall when she threatened to throw herself over the falls if it was dammed for hydroelectric production. Public opinion was overwhelmingly on her side and the hydroelectric company’s contract simply expired. It became a national park in 1979.
Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
Photo credit: almassengale (license) Flickr.com
You’ll first see Sutherland Falls as a sparkling glimpse through the trees. As you advance, a low rumble turns into a roar until at last you’re faced with the full height of the waterfall as it takes three jumps of 249 metres, 229 metres and finally 103 metres into the giant pool at the bottom.
Sutherland Falls lies right on the edge of the Fiordland National Park. You’ll be dazed by the dramatic scenery and understand why Lord of the Rings was filmed here. Get on the water in a kayak to make the most if it. As you paddle you’ll see dozens of temporary rain waterfalls careering down the sides of the mountains.
Nohkalikai Falls, India
Photo credit: Pankaj Kaushal (license) Flickr.com
This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful waterfalls and, at 340m, one of the tallest. Cascading from a verdant plateau into an aqua-green plunge pool in the Khasi Hills, the flow of water is particularly dramatic during summer when their capacity increase 20-fold. The flow recedes over the winter to a small stream.
In nearby Cherrapunjee, you can cross amazing root bridges made from living rubber fig-tree roots. Resourceful locals have trained them to grow across streams to create natural paths. Stoop through Mawsmai Cave, a 150m-long natural limestone structure. Take a walk on surrounding grassy moors, strewn with Khasi monoliths in memory of ancestors and heroes.
Note: This content was produced exclusively for Something in Her Ramblings by Holiday Lettings.