When it comes to beautiful landscapes and views, we're partial to waterfalls. From the soothing sounds of rushing streams to the visually hypnotizing tumble of water into a calm pool below, to the ethereal veil of mist—nature doesn't get much better than that.
Many waterfalls also happen to be situated at the top of striking hiking trails with otherworldly natural swimming pools at their bases. That's reason enough to plan a trip, so we're highlighting 13 of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit worldwide. Start perusing your next calendar for potential travel dates because once you set your sights on one of these waterfalls, you won't want to leave.
Krka National Park, Croatia
The lesser-known cousin of the famous Plitvice National Park, Kyrk National Park is along a river in southern Croatia. It's closer to the coast, and you can actually swim in the lakes. There are a few waterfalls throughout the park, and the most beautiful (and accessible) is Skradinski Buk. It features both waterfalls and cascades, as well as a natural swimming pool. While you're in the park, explore the Roman fortresses throughout and Visovac, an island village dating back to 1345.
Mantayupan Falls, Philippines
Cebu is the most bustling island in the Philippines, and it also happens to be home to a plethora of waterfalls, both crowded and remote. Mantayupan Falls is a singular, super-steep waterfall with a quiet, shallow swimming pool beneath. It's a lot more peaceful and private since it's a lesser-known tourist spot than some of Cebu's other waterfalls.
Thor's Well, Oregon
Thor's Well is a hauntingly beautiful destination on Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast. Though it may look like a waterfall, it's actually a giant hole carved out of the basalt shore with waves crashing out from the Pacific. It's surrounded by miles of hiking trails, forest, and campground, so if you love outdoor adventures, definitely head to Thor's Well.
Arenal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, where lush rainforests, waterfalls, and hot springs abound. Venture inland to the Volcán National Park for hiking, stunning landscape views, and zip lining adventures, or go to the secluded cascades in Arenal, Guanacaste. If you're in the mood for something a bit more romantic, we suggest the latter.
Bigar Cascade Falls, Romania
Bigar Falls is nestled inside Nera Beusnita Gorges National Park on the western side of Romania. The water flows gently over the rounded stone, which is cloaked in vibrant moss and breaks into a thousand little streams that create a glowing effect when they hit the water. As if it couldn't get any more quaint, there's also a fairy-tale gazebo looking onto it.
Salto del Limón, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic offers a colorful landscape complete with brilliantly blue waters, glimmering sunshine, vibrant local culture, delicious food, and a relaxed island pace. Take a short trip away from Punta Cana on the Semana Penninsula, and you'll find Salto del Limón, a breathtaking waterfall with a unique seafoam green-hued swimming pool.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Make your way to Milford Sound in New Zealand's South Island for outdoor adventures like dolphin and penguin sightings, hiking, and soaking in breathtaking views of jagged, steep cliffs and falls. There are two permanent waterfalls here: Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls, which is three times higher than Niagara Falls.
Unbelievably tranquil and crystal-clear, the Havasu Falls in Arizona is truly incredible. The site is located on tribal land called Supai, a village inside the Grand Canyon. Let us just say that it's absolutely worth the trek. The vivid green-blue hue of the water is unlike anything else.
If you've ever seen Game of Thrones, you know that Ireland is brimming with waterfalls, especially the south and east coasts. Travel down to the south coast to visit Háifoss, where you'll get to see the waterfall, glacier caves, natural hot springs, and hiking trails.
While you're in the area, make sure you see Reynisfjara, the famous basalt black-sand beach.
Niagra Falls, Canada
Straddling the border between New York and Ontario, Niagara Falls is a collection of three waterfalls, two of which on the American side, and one is on the Canadian side. You can see them from walkways or take a boat ride in the rapids below.
Make sure to throw on your raincoat when visiting Niagara Falls because you will get soaked from the mist otherwise.
Faarumai Waterfalls, Tahiti
The three cascades in Faarumai are the most accessible waterfalls in Tahiti. You can drive up to the parking lot and then be over to the falls in less than five minutes. You can also opt for a hike, and the trail is just as picturesque, making it well worth the trek.
Cummins Falls, Tennessee
Cummins Falls looks how we imagine Eden to look, and it's located in Jackson County, TN, just a short drive away from Nashville. You can swim in the pools, hike, and camp nearby or just come for a day trip and soak in the landscape.
Ban Gioc–Detian Falls, Vietnam
The Gioc–Detian Falls straddles the border between Vietnam and China and is replete with running rivers and gorgeous green lagoons, isolated trails, and sweeping mountain views. The best part? You can access the waterfall by boat from Hanoi, a fun mini-adventure in and of itself.
Pack the Essentials
If you're going to be heading on a trip to visit one of these beautiful waterfalls, make sure you bring a few key items.