29 Incredible Waterfalls In North America & South America For Your Bucket List

by Jackie
We're sharing the best waterfalls in North America and waterfalls in South America. From left to right with photos: Rio Celeste Waterfall in Costa Rica, Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, and McWay Falls in California, USA

For us, seeing a huge waterfall and hearing the roaring cascades of the water rushing is one of the best experiences during our travels. Roland R Kemler describes the feeling perfectly,

“There’s no better place to find yourself that sitting by a waterfall and listening to its music”

With so many waterfalls in the world, which one should you choose for your next adventure?

We have you covered with our four-part waterfalls around the world bucket list series. In this first part, we’re focusing on incredible waterfalls in the Americas. With the help of our favorite travel influencers, they share their top 29 waterfalls in North America and South America, including what makes each of them special and how to get there. You won’t regret the breathtaking natural landscapes of North America and South America and seeing the world-famous Niagara Falls to smaller, hidden gems falls.

Now let’s make a road trip to see these falls on an upcoming vacation!

In this post, you’ll learn about the following locations. Click on the link below to jump to a certain location:

If you need more inspiration, check out our other waterfall bucket list series: Africa, Australia, and New ZealandAsia,  and Europe.

*Disclosure: Yes, we have affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us and let’s chase waterfalls!


Waterfalls in North America

Best Waterfalls in the United States

1. Havasu Falls, Arizona, USA

By Michelle, The Wandering Queen

Havasu Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. The waterfall became famous because of the stark, baby blue water that comes in contrast with the orange, brown canyons surrounding it. It’s located in Arizona in a hidden oasis of Havasupai Reservation. The reservation has four other waterfalls located on the reservation, but Havasu Falls is one of the most magical of all.

Getting to Havasu Falls is seen as a strenuous hike due to the 10+ miles (16+ kilometers) distance. The permit usually sells out within hours of going on sale, the reservation is not near any large cities, and you have to backpack your gear in all 10 miles. If you can get through the hike, you’ll surely fall in love with Havasu Falls.

Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls in Arizona, United States. Photo credit: The Wandering Queen

Read More: UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy Foodie Destinations to Visit – Tucson, Arizona

2. Burney Falls, California, USA

By Nina, Where in the World is Nina

Burney Falls is one of those places where your jaw just slacks and hits the floor. You’ve seen pictures, you’ve heard stories, but once you rock up to the waterfall and are face to face, it’s surreal.

Burney Falls is one of California’s most famous and most beautiful waterfalls without a shadow of a doubt. It rages over rocks and dribbles down its mossed sides which gives it a unique characteristic and adds to its beauty.

You’d think something so gorgeous would be hard to get to but it couldn’t be easier. The trail to get to Burney is easy and only about a mile round trip. You can walk right up to the rocks at the base and get misted in the face or take a backseat and enjoy it from the sidelines. It’s worth the visit.

Burney Falls, California, United States

Burney Falls in California, United States. Photo credit: Where in the World is Nina

3. McWay Falls, California, USA

By Raluca, Whisper Wanderlust

One of the most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls I’ve visited so far is McWay Falls, located on the Pacific Coast Highway in the US. Even if the fall is only 24 meters (79 feet) tall, it’s still impressive because it flows directly into the Pacific Ocean and the surroundings are gorgeous as well.

It’s very easy to get to it. All you have to do is pay attention to the markings on the road and stop at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park area. From there to the viewpoint, you’ll walk on a marked path. Unfortunately, you can only reach the base of the waterfall by boat because climbing is forbidden.

McWay Falls, California, United States

McWay Falls in California, United States. Photo credit: Whisper Wanderlust

4. Vernal and Nevada Falls, California, USA

By Allison, She Dreams of Alpine

Both Vernal and Nevada Falls are located on one of the most popular hiking trails in Yosemite National Park, California, known as the Mist Trail. The cost to see them is included in your entry pass into Yosemite National Park and a little bit of hiking effort on your part. Parking is available at the trailhead called The Trailhead and is near Curry Village (also known as Half Dome Village).

Hiking to the first waterfall, Vernal Falls, via the Mist Trail is a little under 2 miles (3 kilometers) round trip and is a relatively easy and short hike which makes it perfect for families or those who are looking for a short hike but with great Yosemite views. Once you reach a footbridge, you’ll be able to stop and peak up at Vernal Falls.

If you choose to continue on to the second waterfall, Nevada Falls, prepare yourself for an epic Stairmaster workout. If you’re up for the challenge though, it’s worth the workout. The views from the top are unmatched, and the hike to the Nevada Falls is one of the best hikes in Yosemite.

Nevada Falls, California

Nevada Falls in California, United States. Photo credit: She Dreams of Alpine

5. Hanakapiai Falls, Hawaii, USA

By Leah, An Adventure is Calling

Hanakapiai Falls (or Hanakapi’ai Falls) is a beautiful waterfall located on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii. The waterfall is around 300 feet (91 meters) high and is arguably one of my most breathtaking features on the island.

Seeing Hanakapiai Falls requires a strenuous 8 miles (13 kilometers) round trip hike along the Kalalau Trail (via the Nā Pali Coast). Prepare for the hike with plenty of water, snacks, and hiking stick (optional, but helpful on the rough terrain). Hiking the trail is free, but you’ll need to arrive early (before 8am is suggested) to secure a parking spot.

Start at Ke’e Beach (a lovely beach for snorkeling!) and enjoy the amazing views of the coastline for the first 2 miles (3 kilometers). At that point, you’ll reach Hanakapiai Beach. This secluded beach is lovely but not safe for swimming and has restrooms. Many travelers turn around here but continue hiking for another 2 miles to reach the falls. Reach a fork and head inland (get ready for a fun, jungle-like experience). The trail is unmaintained but completely doable for experienced hikers. When you arrive, relax and enjoy the water.

Keep in mind that leptospirosis (lepto) is present in the freshwater on the island, so pay attention to warning signs and suggestions when enjoying the water. To return, head back the same way you came in. I highly recommend relaxing at Ke’e Beach after your long hike!

*Note: As of the time of publication, the Kalalau Trail is closed due to repairs from flood damage. Please check Kalalau Trail Facebook for updates.  

Hanakapiai Falls, Hawaii

Hanakapiai Falls, Hawaii, United States. Photo credit: An Adventure is Calling

6. Manoa Falls, Hawaii, USA

By Michelle, Travel Fun Fam

The most popular hike on Oahu, by far, is Manoa Falls. It’s a short trail that is easy to manage no matter your level of hiking experience. The only difficulty is that it can get a little muddy making it slippery in some sections. We recommend wearing proper closed-toed shoes for safety. The length is approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) that takes around 30 minutes each way depending on your pace. Once you arrive at the waterfall you’ll be tempted to swim, but unfortunately, it’s discouraged.

Manoa Falls is located in the Manoa neighborhood, a university and a residential area about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Waikiki. It won’t seem like you’re headed to a hike since you’ll be going through residences. The good thing is that if you can’t find parking at the lot ($5 USD) you can always park in the residential streets. It’ll be a longer hike for you.

Manoa Falls, Hawaii, United States

Manoa Falls in Hawaii, United States. Photo credit: CraigJ via Pixabay

7. Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA

By Constance, The Adventures of Panda Bear

Multnomah Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest, this is partially due to the fact that it’s located near Portland, Oregon. Needless to say, it’s the perfect day trip from Portland, especially if you’re only visiting Portland for a weekend.

The waterfall is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon and the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. You can see the waterfall from the lower viewing area at the base of Multnomah Falls or hike up to Benson Bridge for a closer look.

From Portland, drive approximately 30 to 40 minutes on Interstate-84 to Multnomah Falls, located between Corbett and Dodson within the Columbia River Gorge. Admission is free. Don’t forget that some trails may not be open due to damages sustained in the Eagle Creek Fire of September 2017.

>> Reserve a day tour the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon, United States

Multnomah Falls in Oregon, United States. Photo credit: The Adventures of Panda Bear

8. Smith Falls, Nebraska, USA

By Theresa, The Local Tourist

Located in the Midwestern United States, Nebraska has a reputation of being a flat state with not much to see besides corn and endless horizons. However, there is more diversity to the landscape than one might expect. In fact, near a town called Valentine is a 70 feet (23 meters) waterfall. Smith Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state. The source is a small, spring-fed creek that plunges into a narrow canyon and flows into the Niobrara River. The canyon created by the falls is its own micro-environment featuring flora and fauna not found in other parts of the state.

To see the falls, you’ll pay a $10 entrance fee to Smith Falls State Park. It’s located in the north central part of the state, about four hours west of Sioux City, Iowa. The drive itself is also a destination since it’s along the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway. That’s a stretch of 231 miles (372 kilometers) that follows the path of Doc Middleton, the Jesse and Frank James Gang and other brigands.

Smith Falls, Nebraska, United States

Smith Falls in Nebraska, United States. Photo credit: The Local Tourist

9. Kaaterskill Falls, New York, USA

By James, Travel Collecting

Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall in the Catskills Mountains, about 2.5 hours north of New York City. The total height is 260 feet (79 meters). They’re so beautiful that they’ve been featured in several Hudson River School paintings. It’s possible to hike to the falls in all seasons. At the end of summer, they can be pretty small, but in spring the water is flowing. In fall, although there may not be that much water, they’re surrounded by beautiful fall foliage. In winter, the path is icy and slippery and using crampons is highly recommended, but your efforts will be rewarded with a jaw-dropping frozen waterfall.

The upper stage of the falls is in front of an enormous natural amphitheater. People do walk along a narrow ledge near the top of the amphitheater to get behind the falls, but this is dangerous and not recommended. Viewing the amphitheater from below is dramatic enough. There is a small pool at the bottom of the top cascade where it’s possible to wade in summer.

There are two trailheads to the falls – from the bottom and from the top. As you drive into the Catskills from Saugerties along New York State Route 23A, you pass a waterfall directly off the road to the right before Tannersville. There is a small parking lot after and another one before this waterfall which is also the lower trailhead to the Kaaterskill Falls. The walk from the parking area to the trailhead is right next to the road, so exercise caution! From the trailhead, it’s a short (0.5 miles/.80 kilometer) fairly steep hike up a clearly marked path. From the pool at the bottom of the top cascade, there is a path that continues around the side in the woods to the top of the falls. You can access the top of the falls directly along a short, easy path from a second trailhead. To get to this trailhead, there is a turnoff after the parking lot.  This is the easiest access to the falls.

Kaaterskill Falls in New York

Frozen Kaaterskill Falls in Catskills Mountains, New York. Photo credit: Travel Collecting

10. Watkins Glen Waterfalls, New York, USA

By Margarita, DownshiftingPRO

What will surprise you the most is how you access this beautiful Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. It’s located in the middle of town, across the street from the Schuyler County Sheriff’s.  Once you enter, you’ll begin climbing over 800 steps and see more than one waterfall so take frequent breaks and take it in.

Although the access seems unusual, you’ll be delighted to see the waterfalls and deep canyon carved out by Glen Creek. Within two miles (3.2 kilometers), the glen’s stream descends 400 feet (123 meters) past 200 feet (61 meters) cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The Rainbow waterfalls are accessed by pathways and stairs. Bring proper walking or hiking boots for comfort. The cost to enter is $8 USD per vehicle with parking available across the street for an additional cost. The Gorge Trail is open from May – October.  Check out this short video of the Watkins Glen Waterfall.

Watkins Glen Waterfalls, New York, United States

Watkins Glen Waterfalls in New York, United States. Photo credit: DownshiftingPRO

Read More: Magnificent Caves to See in Americas

11. Cummins Falls, Tennessee, USA

By Roslie, Coastlines to Skylines

If swimming and hiking in a scenic and rugged setting sounds like your ideal getaway, check out Cummins Falls State Park in Tennessee. Spanning 282 acres, on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, the park has been a mainstay for both recreation-minded locals and visitors alike. It also boasts Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall, Cummins Falls, which rises a whopping 75 feet (23 meters) high.

While many people enjoy a day of swimming in the natural pools below, there are also plentiful hiking trails, picnic areas, and a breathtaking lookout area over the falls. This is a rare example of nature’s beauty at its finest.

How to Get There

From Interstate 40, take exit 280 to TN-56 North toward Gainesboro for 7.7 miles (12 kilometers). Turn right on TN-290 and continue 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers). Turn left onto Cummins Mill Road and left onto Blackburn Fork Road until you reach the state park entrance.

If you’re traveling from Nashville, you can actually catch a Greyhound bus that runs to the park three times a day. The trip takes about an hour and 25 minutes.

Cummins Falls, Tennessee, United States

Cummins Falls in Tennessee, United States. Photo credit: Coastlines to Skylines


Best Waterfalls in Canada

12. Niagara Falls, Between Canada and United States

By Ryan, Out With Ryan

Niagara Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls to see in the world. Niagara Falls is unique because it borders both Canada and America and is famous for its beautiful blue-green water that creates hydroelectric power. Fun fact: Niagara Falls is actually three waterfalls! There is the American Falls, the Canadian Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls that collectively called Niagara Falls.

You’ll want to visit the Canada side because the Canadian Falls are bigger than the American Falls! You can also get super up-close to it on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as you stand at the top of the falls looking over. Make sure you bring a poncho or rain jacket as mist will always come at you from different angles.

It’s free to see Niagara Falls, but you can also spend money on Maid of the Mist which is a boat cruise takes you down to the water to come face-to-face with the falls. Also, consider checking out Niagara Falls Wine Tasting on the Lake.

Niagara Falls can be reached by walking or taking public transit from the Niagara Fall bus terminal. You can also take a bus from Toronto with several daily services run by Greyhound and Megabus. Journey times without traffic should not exceed 2 hours and 30 minutes.  

>> If you want an easier way to explore Niagara Falls from Toronto, sign up for a day tour!

Niagara Falls, Canada and United States

Niagara Falls is between Canada and the United States. Photo credit: Out With Ryan

13. Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada

By Sherrie, Travel By A Sherrie Affair

A 20-minute drive from Quebec City is a waterfall that you don’t hear about too often, however, it’s taller than Niagara Falls that is also located in Canada. If you Google Map the directions, you’ll be led to the upper falls where you’ll need to pay for parking at approximately $11 USD. You’re also able to purchase cable car ride that will bring you from upper falls to lower falls and back again for approximately $14 USD a person. Located at the upper falls you’ll find the restaurant, Manoir Montmorency, where you can enjoy a meal.

It’s possible to cross the top of the falls on their suspension bridge. This isn’t for the faint of heart or anyone that has a fear of heights. Once across there is a walking path and stairs that lead down to the lower part of the falls. Going down may not be too bad but coming back up is quite the exercise.

Montmorency Falls, Canada

Montmorency Falls in Quebec, Canada. Photo credit: Travel by a Sherrie Affair

14. Shannon Falls, Vancouver, Canada

By Greta, Greta’s Travels

Shannon Falls in Canada is one of the most popular attractions on the Sea to Sky Highway that connects Vancouver to Whistler. It’s 335 meters (1,099 feet) high and British Columbia’s third tallest waterfall.

Shannon Falls is an hour drive from Vancouver, well-marked and easy to find with a big parking area off the main road and trail that leads up to the waterfall. There is a wooden boardwalk all around the base of Shannon Falls, that then stretches into a network of short trails from which you can explore the area. There are also wooden picnic tables where you can comfortably sit and enjoy lunch with a view of this powerful waterfall.

It’s a very impressive waterfall and if you’re looking for the most beautiful waterfalls around the world, Shannon Falls should feature on your list.

>> Consider taking a day tour of Whistler area which includes the Shannon Falls.

Shannon Falls, Canada

Shannon Falls in Vancouver, Canada. Photo credit: Greta’s Travels


Best Waterfall in the Caribbean

15. Toraille Waterfall, St. Lucia

By Kristen, Yonderlust Ramblings

St. Lucia is no stranger to stunning natural wonders and the Toraille Waterfall is definitely one of its showstoppers. What is unique about this waterfall is that you can actually immerse yourself in the inviting pool at its base and swim right up under its falls. At least once in your life, you have to experience what it feels like to be pelted by the down-pouring of a waterfall!

The Toraille Waterfall is open to the public and costs $3 USD a person to enter. There are bathrooms and changing facilities on-site so guests can change into appropriate swimwear for frolicking in the falls.

It’s possible to visit the Toraille Waterfall by booking a tour or by self-driving. If you go on your own, tour groups frequently include these falls as a stop along their itineraries. The best time to visit is early in the morning or later in the afternoon if you want seclusion. The falls are located near the coastal town of Soufriere, on the island’s western coast.  

Toraille Waterfall, St. Lucia

Toraille Waterfall in St. Lucia. Photo credit: Yonderlust Ramblings


Best Waterfalls in Central America

16. Rio Celeste Waterfalls, Costa Rica

By Sally, LuxuriousLifestyles.co

The Rio Celeste Waterfalls are stunning. The spectacular vivid blue color of the river and falls is something so unique I have never seen anything like it in the world. The locals say the river received its color from when God painted the sky blue and he dipped his brush into the water.

The complete round-trip hike in the National Park is 6 kilometers (4 miles) round trip. The falls are near the beginning followed by a large platform offering picturesque views of the forest and Tenorio Volcano. Continuing on the trail, we passed the thermal hot springs (entering the water isn’t allowed) and the blue lagoon.   

The drive from Liberia, Costa Rica to the waterfalls takes approximately 1.5 hours. The park is open daily from 8am to 4pm. However, people are not allowed entrance after 2pm. Parking costs $2 USD and entrance into the Tenorio Volcano National Park is $12 USD for adults and $5 USD for children. Access to the park is limited to 1,200 people per day and only 400 at a time to help preserve the area.  

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Costa Rica

Rio Celeste Waterfall in Costa Rica. Photo credit: LuxuriousLifestyles.co

17. Llanos De Cortez Waterfall, Costa Rica

By Alan, More Passport Stamps

One of the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica, Llanos De Cortez is worthy of its status. It’s in a great location off one of the main highways that cuts through Costa Rica, so you can stop by when passing to or from the airport. I visited on my way back from Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste. The falls are stunning, wide with many streams splashing through the greenery covered rocks. The falls may be 5 minutes from a highway, but you wouldn’t know it when you’re there. The lush, thick forest surrounds you and you can easily get lost in nature when you combine this with the relaxing sounds of the falls. The pool at the bottom of the falls is great for swimming, but take water shoes if you have them as it’s a little rocky.

To access the falls head South on Pan American Highway (Route 1) from Liberia, heading towards the town of Bagaces. Around 13 miles (21 kilometers) past Liberia, you’ll see a rusty old sign on your right with “WATERFALL” scrawled in pink letters. You have to be looking out for it to see it! Turn right here, it’s a dirt track rather than a road. A mile or so later you’ll need to turn right, this is signaled by a lady that is collecting for the local school. The expected payment is 2000 Colones/CRC ($3.30 USD). Continue driving for a few hundred meters and you’ll arrive at a car park. The cost to park is another 2000 Colones/CRC. The falls are signposted from here and you’ll enjoy a 5-minute walk through some jungle on your way!

Llanos De Cortez Waterfall, Costa Rica

Llanos De Cortez Waterfall in Costa Rica. Photo credit: More Passport Stamps

18. La Cangreja Waterfall, Costa Rica

By Nina, Nina Near and Far

La Cangreja is a beautiful plunge waterfall found in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Costa Rica. There is a bright blue lagoon at the bottom and lots of rocks where you can relax and have lunch while enjoying the sound of the waterfall. Costa Rica is famous for its waterfalls, and one of the amazing things about La Cangreja is that it’s one of the least visited and least photographed. If you want to visit this waterfall, you have a big day of hiking ahead of you. La Cangreja is your reward for a challenging 2 hours hike along the base of a volcano.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park is only 30 minutes outside of Liberia. Go North on the highway (Route 1) that goes through Liberia, and turn right on to a dirt road after Iglesia de Guadalupe. If you reach a medical center, you’ve gone too far. This drive is best done with a GPS! Continue on Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Note that the park is closed on Mondays. There’s a $15 USD entry fee. To do the hike to La Cangreja, you have to start your hike before 12pm.

La Cangreja Waterfall, Costa Rica

La Cangreja Waterfall in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Costa Rica. Photo credit: Nina Near and Far

19. Rio Dulce Waterfall, Guatemala

By Dylan, Everywhereish

If you’re ever traveling through Central America, you’ll likely find yourself in the port town of Rio Dulce, Guatemala. And when you do, there will be one spot you definitely won’t want to miss: Rio Dulce’s one-of-a-kind hot waterfall.

Tucked into the woods of Finca Paraíso, hot springs roll down the hills to meet with the cool waters of a neighboring stream. The result: a truly spa-like experience. On my visit here, my friends and I took turns letting the hot water massage our shoulders, its steam rising around us, before walking up the hill to find the hot spring itself—and its mineral-rich muds. This may not be the tallest or most impressive waterfall out there, but it’s certainly an unforgettable one!

So, how do you get there? Plan to pay $30 quetzales/GTQ ($4 USD) to take a 45-minute colectivo ride out to El Estor. From there, it’s a short walk into the woods to find the falls. Don’t worry, the trails are easily marked—and there’ll likely be an enterprising local ready to charge you a $5 quetzales/GTQ ($.65 USD) entrance fee.  

Rio Dulce Waterfall, Guatemala

Rio Dulce Waterfall in Rio Dulce, Guatemala. Photo credit: Everywhereish

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Waterfalls in South America

Best Waterfalls in South America

20. Chorillo del Salto, Argentina

By Or,  My Path In The World

The town of El Chalten in Argentina is a base for many incredible hikes, but most of them are quite long and difficult. In case you want to take a much easier hike and see a gorgeous waterfall, Chorillo del Salto is the perfect option. The trail from El Chalten to this amazing 20 meters (66 feet) high waterfall only takes about 30 minutes to walk, and most of it passes through a beautiful, peaceful forest area. Since most people focus on other hikes in El Chalten, the waterfall is a relatively non-touristy spot, which means that it doesn’t get overcrowded even during high-season. Visiting Chorillo del Salto is free of charge.

How to Get There

The trail begins at the end of Avenida San Martin in El Chalten. You can also get to the waterfall by bicycle as the path splits into a walking trail and a bike trail.

Chorillo del Salto, Argentina

Chorillo del Salto in El Chalten, Argentina. Photo credit: My Path in the World

21. Iguazu Falls, Between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay

By Warren, Sling Adventures

Iguazu Falls has to be near the top of all-time favorite waterfalls in the world. Located on the border between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, Iguazu Falls is immense in size and the volume of caramel brown water crashing over its many cliffs creates a rampaging torrent within such a natural environment that has to be seen to be believed. An added unique, adrenaline-charged experience is to take the jet boat ride that actually goes directly into the deafening downpour of the San Martin Waterfall.

Despite being in a remote corner of three countries, access to Iguazu Falls is relatively easy. On the Argentinian side, the nearest airport less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the falls and is only a 2 hours flight from Buenos Aires. It’s a $20 USD entry fee to Iguazu Falls National Park and another $30 USD for the very memorable jet boat ride.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls. Photo credit: Sling Adventures

22. Salto del Claro, Chile

By Priyanka, On My Canvas

As my friend Alison and I started hiking to this tall waterfall which was a 4-5 hour hike away from our hostel, we realized the more we walked Google Maps showed Salto del Claro Waterfall further away. Don’t depend on Google to reach this place and you’re better off following our directions below. Your efforts to reach this place is worth it as the waterfall is gorgeous. How often do you see a secluded waterfall in the middle of lush greenery? Since the waterfall is hard to find, the first time you set your eyes upon the crystal clear water falling freely, you’ll feel that you are part of something majestic.

The waterfall is about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) out of Pucon, Chile. You can either hike all way, bike, or take a collective and walk the rest of the way. Below are the directions via walking:

  1. Start walking on O-Higgins street towards the roundabout. At the roundabout, you can go two ways — one road to Villarrica and the other goes straight. Walk straight and don’t take Villarrica.
  2. After passing two gas stations, you’ll see the speed bump and take a right to Las Calabazas road.
  3. When the road divides into two, stay left as the right side is private land.
  4. Continue walking uphill for 30 minutes and ignore any private houses. After the uphill, you’ll find the road splitting – one goes straight and the other to the right. Go straight or you can even call it the “left.” Trees surround this part of the road.
  5. Continue walking until you enter a green field. At the end, there is a fence that you have to climb. I didn’t encounter two fences in this field, but some people told me that they did. Don’t try and jump the barbed wire fence, but find another fence that is slightly right to the barbed wire one. See a tree marked with a white arrow from the fence you’re supposed to climb.
  6. Follow the marked trees (some are difficult to see) and walk downhill to reach the falls.

Tip: Carry enough water. Bring snacks and a towel, and keep your phones charged as there are no shops or restaurants near the waterfall. If you’re lucky, you can hitchhike back to the town.  

Salto del Claro, Chile

Salto del Claro in Pucon, Chile. Photo credit: On My Canvas

Read More: Explore Santiago in One DayEaster Island

23. La Chorrera Waterfall, Colombia

By Michaela, Well Balanced Adventures

La Chorrera is an under-explored waterfall about 1 hour outside out of Bogota, Colombia that also happens to be the tallest waterfall in Colombia. La Chorrera is situated in a beautiful national park that is very well taken care of. The waterfall is quite hidden, so after going up and down hills and sets of stairs, the terrain opens up to show you a beautiful waterfall. The hike in total takes about 2 hours round trip once you enter the national park, but there are some steep hills that can slow you down (especially if you’re not used to the altitude). The cost to enter the park is about 12,000 COP ($4 USD).

Tip: Make sure to buy water at the entrance if you don’t have any – there aren’t options inside of the park.

How to Get There

  1. Go to the Transoriente Bus Station in Bogota and ask for the next bus going towards La Chorrera (make sure the driver knows where to let you off).
  2. Either walk ~ 1 hour from the drop-off location to the park entrance, or pay a few USD for a pick-up truck ride to the national park. There are normally plenty of locals who are willing to give a ride!
  3. Take a tour to La Chorrera Waterfall.
La Chorrera Waterfall, Colombia

La Chorrera Waterfall in Colombia. Photo credit: Well Balanced Adventures

24. La Ventiadora, Colombia

By Daniel, Layer Culture

If you’re backpacking in Colombia and looking for one of the less visited waterfalls don’t miss out on La Ventiadora in San Cipriano. Already thinking of visiting Cali? Perfect, as this is the best opportunity to see it. I arrived here on Christmas day from Cali and there was not one soul in sight as I got revitalized by the warm, crystal clear water.

You too can easily take a day trip from Cali, you’ll need to enter the San Cipriano National Bio Reserve to get here. Look for one of the local guides and expect to pay around 30,000 COP ($10 USD) for someone to take you because it would be almost impossible to find it without someone who already knows the location.

La Ventiadora, Colombia

La Ventiadora in San Cipriano, Colombia. Photo credit: Layer Culture

25. Marinka Falls, Colombia

By Demi, Around the World with Her

It’s no secret that Colombia boasts some beautiful waterfalls. One of my favorites was Marinka Falls, a short hike away from the bohemian village of Minca. With a small cafe on-site, you can relax with a beer or juice as you listen to the soothing sounds. The cost of entrance is 5,000 COP ($1.60 USD). However, there is a toilet on-site and a huge net hammock that you can crawl onto and suspended over the water!

To get there, it’s around an hour walk from Minca. It can be hot and humid, so you’ll be happy to plunge into the freshwater of Marinka as soon as you arrive. You can also take a motorbike taxi there or back if you don’t have the energy for the walk. The moto taxis can be found anywhere in Minca and there is always one waiting at Marinka in case tourists want a ride back down.

Marinka Falls, Colombia

Marinka Falls in Minca, Colombia. Photo credit: Around the World with Her

26. Peguche Waterfall, Ecuador

By Isabella, Boundless Roads

While I investigated on the things to do from Quito, I saw the name of Otavalo everywhere. Travel agencies organize one-day trips, but I decided to explore more about the little town. I was excited to read that there is more to see besides its worldly popular market, the biggest in Latin America, and the reason why many visitors gather there at least for one day.

I decided to book 5 days in a hostel and check out more interesting sites in the surroundings. In fact, the town itself isn’t that pretty but it’s surrounded by amazing lakes, waterfalls, and mountains to hike.

Peguche Waterfall is about 45 minutes walk from the town center. The walk to the entrance isn’t particularly interesting, or you can get a taxi there for $2 USD. From the entrance to the waterfall, it’s a nice 15 minutes walk in the woods. There is no entry fee and you can walk around the waterfall, explore the caves, or have something to eat in the refreshing nature. If you aren’t fond of crowds, you should avoid weekends and festivities. I found it pretty safe as well.

Peguche Waterfall, Ecuador

Peguche Waterfall in Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo credit: Boundless Roads

27. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

By Claudia, My Adventures Across The World

Kaieteur Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. It’s located in the rainforest of Guyana, in South America, and it’s famous for being the widest, single drop waterfall in the world.

There are only two ways to get to Kaieteur Falls: a 5 days hike through the jungle of Guyana; or a day trip which includes a flight from Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, and a handful of other locations around the country.

The flight carries no more than 12 passengers, and since only one plane can stop on the airstrip at once, this means that the highest number of people there’ll be at the site can never be higher than that. In other words, visitors get to have the place to themselves.

The guided visit takes about 2 hours and it goes to 3 different viewpoints and includes a walk through the forest to appreciate some of the most unique flora and fauna of Guyana – the famous cock of the rock, Guyana’s colorful bird, lives here!

Whether you visit as part of a 5 days hike or on a day trip from Georgetown, access to Kaieteur Falls is expensive but it’s worth every penny.

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Kaieteur Falls in Guyana. Photo credit: My Adventures Across The World

28. Fure and Huaruro Waterfalls, Peru

By Tereza, Czick on the Road

If you love waterfalls, hiking and remote places with little tourists, Fure and Huaruro Waterfalls in Colca Canyon, Peru is the place to be. It’s only possible to get to this waterfalls by feet, and most probably you’ll be the only visitors there. The first waterfall lies before a little village, Fure, where you can also find simple accommodation in small wooden cottages. To the second and bigger one Huaruro, you’ll have to hike for another hour, but the view will be definitely worth it, especially in the rainy season.

The starting point is a little town Cabanaconde in the heart of the Colca Canyon. The first option is to set on a 3 days trek leading through the canyon – the first day you hike to Llahuar, the second day to Fure, the third day back to Cabanaconde. Read more about the 3-days trek in Colca Canyon. The second option is to take the bus from Cabanaconde to Llahuar, then hike to Fure (2-3 hours) see the waterfalls and either hike back to catch an afternoon bus to Cabanaconde or other villages in the canyon or spend the night in Llahuar lodge with hot springs.

Fure and Huaruro Waterfalls in Colca Canyon, Peru

Fure and Huaruro Waterfalls in Colca Canyon, Peru. Photo credit: Czick on the Road

29. Angel Falls, Venezuela

By Claire, Tales of a Backpacker

Angel Falls is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, and one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited. The journey there is an adventure in itself, as it includes a flight to the center of the Canaima National Park, then a journey of several hours in a motorized canoe along the river. We spent the night in a camp by the river, then hiked the last hour to Angel Falls the following morning. The view from across the river was incredible, even though I visited when it was the dry season you could still see the power and wonder of the falls. When we reached the bottom of Angel Falls, there is a pool at the bottom where you can swim. The water was cold but to say I swam in Angel Falls is an incredible achievement!   

Unfortunately, Angel Falls is in Venezuela, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and not an easy destination to get to. The only way to visit the falls is with an organized tour. Tours can be expensive as fewer people visit Venezuela now, and the currency fluctuations mean that prices change daily. It’s hard to say how much a tour will cost but expect around $500 USD for the three-day excursion including transport and food and drink.  

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Angel Falls in Venezuela. Photo credit: Tales of a Backpacker


Huge thank you to our travel influencers for contributing to this epic list! We encourage you to visit their blog and follow them on social media. If you love this post, please share it on your social media channels. Check out the other parts of the series – Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Which waterfalls in North America and South America do you want to visit? Are there other waterfalls in the world on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Best waterfalls in North America and waterfalls in South America. From top to bottom with photos: Havasu Falls in Arizona, U.S. and McWay Falls in California, U.S. Best waterfalls in in North America and South America, including Caribbean and Central America

Featured photo credit (left to right): Luxurious Lifestyles, My Adventures Across the World, and Whisper Wanderlust

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4 comments

Andrew Comte January 31, 2019 - 9:03 pm

There’s just something about waterfalls that draw me in. Calm yet exciting, mesmerizing and inspirational, I love them.

Reply
Jackie February 1, 2019 - 10:04 am

Thank you Andrew! We agree with you that seeing waterfalls help calms the soul.

Reply
Leah February 1, 2019 - 12:53 am

This is a beautiful list of amazing waterfalls! I would love to visit each and every one of them. I loved sharing about Hanakapiai Falls, and I hope to visit the other ones SOON! 🙂

Reply
Jackie February 1, 2019 - 10:05 am

Thank you Leah! It’s quite an epic list of waterfalls in North America and South America. We need to make a trip out to Kauai to see the Hanakapiai Falls when the trail re-opens.

Reply

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