These Waterfalls Are So Big, They’ll Blow Your Mind
Waterfalls are nature’s spectacular display of power and beauty. From the roaring cascades to the gentle flows, they captivate our senses and leave us in awe. In this article, we will take you on a journey to explore the eight largest waterfalls in the world. These breathtaking wonders are scattered across the globe, each with its unique charm and grandeur.
1. Angel Falls – Venezuela
The Tallest Uninterrupted Waterfall on Earth
Our journey begins with Angel Falls, a true natural wonder. The tallest continuous waterfall in the world, Angel Falls is found in Venezuela’s Canaima National Park. It stands at a staggering height of 3,211 feet, with a plunge of 2,647 feet. This majestic marvel tumbles over the Auyan-tepui Mountain, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
Angel Falls earned its name from Jimmy Angel, an American aviator who discovered this marvel when he flew over it in 1937. Canaima National Park, where Angel Falls resides, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bolivar State. The park’s pristine beauty and rich biodiversity make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
2. Tugela Falls – South Africa
The Controversy of Heights
Tugela Falls, situated in the Dragon’s Mountains (Drakensberg) of the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa, is a contender for the title of the world’s tallest waterfall. This natural wonder consists of five free-leaping falls, with a total drop of either 3,110 feet or 3,225 feet. The height varies depending on the source, sparking a friendly debate among waterfall enthusiasts.
The best time to witness the splendor of Tugela Falls is during March and April when seasonal water flows are at their peak. Visitors can catch glimpses of these falls from the road leading into the Royal Natal National Park, making it a convenient and breathtaking stop for travelers.
3. Khone Phapheng Falls – Laos
The Widest Waterfall on Earth
Our journey now takes us to Southeast Asia, where the Khone Phapheng Falls in Laos reign supreme. These falls, nestled on the Mekong River in Southern Laos, are the widest waterfall in the world, stretching an astounding 33,376 feet or 6.7 miles wide. The highest section of the waterfall reaches nearly 70 feet tall, adding to its grandeur.
Khone Phapheng Falls consists of thousands of islands and waterways, making it a unique and mesmerizing sight to behold. As the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia, it is a must-see attraction for travelers exploring the beauty of Laos.
4. Para Falls – Venezuela
Boundaries and Beauty
Para Falls, located on the Caura River in Bolivar, Venezuela, serve as more than just a natural wonder. They act as a boundary between the Ye’Kuana and Kalian tribes due to the challenging navigation in the area. To reach these enormous waterfalls, visitors must take a boat, as there are no roads in the vicinity.
Deep within the Orinoco Rainforest, Para Falls is a horseshoe-shaped wonder consisting of 12 powerful waterfalls. It spans a staggering 3.5 miles in width and drops 230 feet, making it a sight to behold for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
5. Tres Hermanas Falls – Peru
The Three Sisters of Peru
Also known as Three Sisters Falls, Tres Hermanas is the third tallest waterfall on Earth, with a nearly 3,000-foot drop. This natural wonder is nestled in Otishi National Park in Peru, near the northern fork of the Cutivireni River.
Surrounded by a pristine montane forest, Tres Hermanas showcases its beauty in three distinct sections. However, reaching this wonder is no easy task; visitors must arrive by plane or helicopter, adding an element of adventure to this already awe-inspiring destination.
6. Kongou Falls – Gabon
Central Africa’s Natural Gem
Kongou Falls is an enormous waterfall tucked away in the Ivindo National Park in Eastern Gabon. Surrounded by dense jungle and exotic wildlife, it offers a unique and immersive experience for nature enthusiasts. Kongou Falls is renowned for being one of the strongest-flowing waterfalls globally, releasing a staggering 32,000 cubic feet per second.
To visit this hidden gem, you must trek through the rainforest and take a thrilling canoe ride, making it an unforgettable adventure for those who seek the road less traveled.
7. Olo’upena Falls – Hawaii
Hawaii’s Hidden Beauty
Olo’upena Falls is the fourth-highest waterfall in the world and the highest in the United States. Located on the island of Molokai in the northeastern region, this breathtaking wonder occurs when a small stream of water spills over one of the most enormous seaside cliffs on Earth, nestled between the Wailau and Pelekunu Valleys.
Accessing Olo’upena Falls on foot is not an option, as it can only be observed from the air or the ocean. This exclusivity adds to its allure, making it a must-see destination for those visiting Hawaii.
8. Iguazu Falls – Argentina
The Magnificent Falls of Iguazu
Our final stop on this global waterfall tour brings us to Argentina’s northeastern tip, where Iguazu Falls takes center stage. These waterfalls, situated along the Iguazu River, form one of the largest waterfall systems in the world. Some sections of Iguazu Falls reach heights of more than 260 feet, surrounded by a subtropical rainforest teeming with exotic plant and animal species.
Iguazu Falls can be found in Misiones Province at the Iguazu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park’s natural beauty and immense diversity make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking both adventure and serenity.
In conclusion, the world is blessed with an array of stunning waterfalls, each with its unique characteristics and allure. From the towering heights of Angel Falls to the serene beauty of Iguazu Falls, these natural wonders remind us of the earth’s incredible power and majesty.
1. Can you swim at Angel Falls?
No, swimming at Angel Falls is not allowed due to its remote and challenging location.
2. Are there any guided tours to Tugela Falls?
Yes, there are guided tours available for visitors interested in exploring Tugela Falls safely.
3. Can you hike to Khone Phapheng Falls?
Yes, there are hiking options available for those who wish to explore Khone Phapheng Falls and the surrounding area.
4. Is Para Falls easily accessible for tourists?
Para Falls are not easily accessible and require a boat journey, making them a more adventurous destination.
5. Can you visit Olo’upena Falls on a helicopter tour in Hawaii?
Yes, helicopter tours are a popular way to witness the beauty of Olo’upena Falls in Hawaii.