When it comes to beautiful landscapes and views, we're partial to waterfalls. The soothing sounds of rushing streams, the visually hypnotizing tumble of water into a calm pool below, the ethereal veil of mist… It doesn't get any better than that. Waterfalls also happen to be situated at the top of striking hiking trails with otherworldly natural swimming pools. Since that's definitely reason enough to plan a trip, we're highlighting 13 of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit around the world. They definitely make a case for chasing waterfalls (sorry, TLC).
Read on to start planning your next travel adventure or simply to take a break with these breathtaking cascades.
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, so if that's something you're interested in, considering adding it to your itinerary. There are a few waterfalls throughout the park, the most beautiful and accessible being Skradinski Buk. It features both waterfalls and cascades as well as a natural swimming pool. While you're in the park, be sure to 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, crowded and remote. Mantayupan Falls is a singular, super-steep waterfall with a quiet, shallow swimming pool beneath it. It's a lot more peaceful and private since it's a lesser-known tourist spot than some of the other waterfalls in Cebu.
Thor's Well, Oregon
Thor's Well is a hauntingly beautiful destination on Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast. Though it looks like a waterfall, it's basically a giant hole carved out of the basalt shore with waves crashing in and out from the Pacific Ocean. It's surrounded by miles of hiking trails, forest, and campground, so if you love outdoor adventures, it will be up your alley.
Arenal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, where lush rainforests, waterfalls, and hot springs abound. If that's the escape you're dreaming of, here's the vacation for you. Head inland to the Volcán National Park for hiking, stunning landscape views, and ziplining adventures, or go to the secluded cascades in the town of Arenal, Guanacaste.
Bigar Cascade Falls, Romania
Bigar Falls is nestled inside Nera Beusnita Gorges National Park in the western part of Romania. Cloaked in vibrant green moss, the water flows gently over the rounded stone 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-esque gazebo looking onto it.
Salto del Limón, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a colorful landscape with brilliant 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
Head 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.
Unbelievably tranquil and crystal-clear, the Havasu Falls in Arizona are truly unbelievable. The site is located on tribal land and village, Supai, inside the Grand Canyon and is absolutely worth the trek. The vivid green-blue hue of the water is unlike anything else, so if you're in the region, consider carving out some time to add Havasupai to your itinerary.
The south and east coasts of Iceland are brimming with waterfalls. Head 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, Niagra Falls is a collection of three waterfalls, two of which on the American side, and one in Canada. You can view them from walkways or take a boat ride in the rapids below. Shrouded in mist, they are truly majestic.
Faarumai Waterfalls, Tahiti
The three cascades in Faarumai are the most accessible waterfalls in Tahiti. You can literally 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
Though Cummins Falls feels like Eden, it's actually located in Jackson County, Tennesse, 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 to soak in the pleasant landscape. Now owned by Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, the land was once owned by the Cummins family.
Ban Gioc–Detian Falls, Vietnam
The Gioc–Detian Falls straddle the border between Vietnam and China. If you love the outdoors, this is the place of dreams, with running rivers and gorgeous green lagoons, isolated trails, and stunning mountain views. You can access it by boat from Hanoi.