Getting back to nature is one of the big draws of international travel. Without the pressures of work and home life, you can reconnect with nature in ways you simply can’t do at home.
When you’re travelling the world, few sites capture the awesome, raw power of nature better than waterfalls. If you’d like to marvel at these stunning natural formations, or find a place for a moment’s quiet reflection, these destinations are some of the best waterfalls in the world.
Mealt Falls, Scotland
If you find yourself on or near Scotland’s majestic Isle of Skye, a visit to the Mealt Falls is an absolute must. Together with the 90m high Kilt Rock (thus named because it resembles a folded kilt), the Mealt Falls are the natural highlights that cannot be missed. The waterfall stands high at 55m atop a portion of the Kilt Rock and plunges directly into the Atlantic Ocean, providing a dramatic view that is certainly unmissable on any trip to Scotland. Both can be viewed from the same observation point on the Trotternish Peninsula. And if you cannot get enough of towering cascades, there is a second waterfall nearby called the Lealt waterfall (height: 90m).
Barron Falls, Australia
While for the largest part of the year, Barron Falls in Kuranda is nothing more than an unremarkable (albeit steep) trickle down a tiered rocky formation, as soon as the wet season hits, the stream turns into a spectacular torrent and Queensland’s source of pride. Located within the protected Barron Gorge National Park, the waterfall’s transformation from dry to wet is nothing short of amazing. It can be reached by car, Skyrail cable car or scenic narrow gorge railway. Other activities in the region include shopping for handicrafts at the nearby Kuranda village and hiking around the park.
Krka Waterfalls, Croatia
The top attraction of Krka National Park in Croatia is, without a doubt, its stunning collection of waterfalls. The most beautiful of them all, Skradinski Buk, is actually more of a cascade than a waterfall (buk means cascade in Croatian, after all) with a massive, crystal-clear natural pool at the bottom that visitors like to swim in - just remember to bring your bathing suit or swimming trunks along so you don’t miss out!
Iguazu Falls, Argentina (and Brazil)
Located on the border between Argentina and Brazil and easily accessible from both countries, this awe-inspiring waterfall is among the most famous in the world. Drawing tourists from all over the world for its 275 cascades bordered by rainforest lined cliffs, the waterfall was also a favourite of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who upon seeing it exclaimed “poor Niagara!”. With good reason, it seems - at 269ft high and 8858ft width (twice as wide as the Niagara Falls), its sight is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Gullfoss Falls, Iceland
Iceland is already known for its mind-blowing scenic landscapes and Gullfoss Falls is definitely at the top of the island’s natural attractions. One of the three landmarks of the so-called Golden Circle, the waterfall has a strong current due to the Hvítá (White River), a glacial river flowing southward from Langjökull (Long Glacier). Its strong flow rate and majestic appearance - it initially flows through a wide canyon before being forced through a more narrow channel and plunging down a total of 32m - give it the iconic status it holds in the eyes of many Icelandic nationals. The appeal to tourists is also hard to overstate, with its close location to Reykjavik.
Nachi Falls, Japan
A waterfall registered on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list, Japan’s Nachi Falls near the southern tip of Wakayama Prefecture should certainly not be skipped. Nachi-no-Taki, as it is called in Japanese, is the country’s tallest single-tiered waterfall (it boasts a 133m drop) and used to be a site of Buddhist veneration in old times. What remains is a grand natural spectacle in close proximity to sacred sites which is sure not to disappoint.