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10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World that You Probably Haven't Heard Of

Updated on November 26, 2018
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Jenny is a woman who is too matured for her age. She loves traveling and she is crazy for food. She has a deep understanding of life.

Plitvice...
Plitvice... | Source

Summary of the list:

1. Multnomah falls, Oregon, USA
2. Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, between China and Vietnam
3. Plitvice Falls, Croatia
4. Pearl Shoal Waterfall, China
5. Kaparkan falls, Abra, Philippines
6. Svartifoss - Iceland
7. Watkins Glen State Park Falls, New York, US
8. Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Lebanon
9. Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
10.Agua Azul, Mexico

I love chasing waterfalls.

There are 2 kinds of people in the world, the ones who love the beach and those who chase waterfalls. While most people would happily relax on a beach and marvel at the beautiful sunset, I rejuvenate by going deep into the forest and following the water until I find it's source - a waterfall.

When you chase a waterfall you submit yourself wholly to nature. Maybe it's the power of the gushing water, the sheer beauty of the lush vegetation around it or maybe the dangers that always come with the trip, but when you chase a waterfall and find it for yourself, it will move you...and change you.

For waterfall lovers out there, it is always difficult to find the most beautiful one because no waterfall is similar to the other. There are really no applicable criteria for the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and so for my list, i will strive to collect only the ones that are less popular. The likes of Niagara or Iguazu falls are indeed amazing but it has become so popular that writing about it doesn't make it any more interesting.

So, here are 10 of the most amazing and beautiful waterfalls that you probably haven't heard of.

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1. Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA

Nestled just 30 minutes outside Portland, Multnomah Falls towers at 611ft. with raging waters all throughout the seasons. Once believed to be created to capture the heart of a princess in search of a hidden place for bathing, this spectacular waterfall is partly hidden and the only way to get a full view of the 2 tiers is to walk to the viewing area carved out in the rocks.

For adventure lovers who want to get a closer view, there is a paved trail that goes up several hundred feet to the Benson Bridge. The first tier's full height is at 542 ft. and from the bridge the second tier drops 69 ft. towards the catch basin below. The micro-climate in the area is cooler all year round because of the spray and mist so visitors are always advised to bring a coat in the winter and sweater in the summer. Visitors are also allowed to visit with their pets but they should be on a leash at all times. There is no need for a northwest forest pass to enter the park.

How to get there:

The fastest way is via the I-84 from Portland. Follow the route eastbound for 30 miles and exit at 31then head to the parking area and follow the path to the viewing area. Travel time is 30 minutes.

For a more scenic route, follow I-84 and then exit at 28 and drive east along Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway for 3 miles. There will be other waterfalls along the way.

Autumn...
Autumn... | Source
Spring...
Spring... | Source

2. Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, between China and Vietnam

Ban Gioc-Detian Falls in the largest border waterfall in Asia and the 4th largest waterfall in the world behind Victoria, Niagara and Iguazu. With a total combined height of 98ft, it has numerous tiers dissected by huge boulders and trees making it an amazing setting. This natural wonder can be found between Vietnam (Ban Gioc) and China (Detian). It has graced numerous TV and movie backdrops as well as travel magazines and even became the subject for poetry and other literary works.

Since the waterfall is expansive, the best way to enjoy it from all angles is by rafting. There are rafts for rent from both sides of the waterfall where licensed guides will take you closer to the falls. Aside from rafting and swimming, visitors can also camp in the area and also hike the nearby peaks in the area.

How to get there:

The best time to visit is in May-July. It is not very beautiful when it is raining very hard as the tiers and the dissections disappear. If you are coming from Vietnam, the most common route to the falls is from Hanoi. If you are on the other side in China, you can access the falls from Jingxi County



Ban Gioc-Detian Falls
Ban Gioc-Detian Falls | Source
The Vietnam side of the falls
The Vietnam side of the falls | Source

3. Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Plitvice Falls can be found inside Plitvice Lakes National Park which is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. It is famous for its 16 lakes with varying colors interconnected by a series of waterfalls separated by natural dams of travertine. Depending on the angle of sunlight and the quantity of bacteria and minerals, the waters of the lakes takes on different hues from green to azure and sometimes blue.

With a mixture of Mediterranean and Alpine vegetation, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a sight to behold all throughout the seasons. The natural spray and mist created by the waterfalls keep the forest green in the summer and during the winter season, the frozen waterfalls are magnificent. The volume of the water is naturally higher during the spring.

How to get there:

The park is open all year round however the entrance to the Upper Lakes are closed in the winter (November-April). Only entrance 1 which is the entrance to the lower lakes can be accessed throughout the seasons.

For those who are driving, the A1 Zagreb-Split motorway is the most convenient. There are minor roads along the way but the signs to Plitvice are clearly posted. For commuters, take the bus with signboard Zagreb-Split and ask the driver to drop you off at the park's main entrance.


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4. Pearl Shoal Waterfall, China

Nestled amidst the Jiuzhaigou Forest, Pearl Shoal Waterfall is considered to be one of the definitive sites and the most spectacular waterfall in China. It sits on a national park that covers an area of more than 60,000 hectares and by extension a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and World Biosphere Reserve.

Pearl Shoarl waterfall has an altitude of 2443 meters and a width of 533 ft. with a drop of 130 ft. and is fed by the White Dragon River.

Every year, over a million tourists visit the Jiuzhaigou Forest to marvel at the spectacular sights that include lakes, mountains, flowers and primeval forests. There are over 40 lakes in the entire bio reserve and included in the massive area is the adjacent Nuorilang Scenic Area where the other spectacular falls like Nuorilang and Pearl Beach are situated. It is also the home to the famous Five Flower Lake.

How to get there:

Chengdu is the main entry point for visitors going to Jiuzhaigou. From Chengdu, you can fly to Jiuhuang airport and from there you can either take a taxi or a shuttle bus to Huanglong Reserve. There are also long distance bus station in Juizhaigou. They leave early in the morning and arrive at dawn. Long distance buses are advised for people who have trouble acclimatizing with the local high altitudes. If you are a skilled driver, you can drive your own car but if not then it is recommended to hire a car instead. the roads can be hazardous in some areas especially in the dark.

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5.Kaparkan Falls, Abra, Philippines

This is probably the most secluded and most difficult to get to among this list. Kaparkan Spring Terraces otherwise known as Mulawin Falls had been hidden for centuries and it was only discovered in 2012.The 1000 meter high terraced waterfall offers a spectacular setting beyond one's imagination. The turquoise blue waters and the canopy of trees provide for a natural picnic setting.

Since Abra is surrounded by a mountain range, the waters of the waterfall come from a cold spring and feeds into the Tineg River. What's amazing about this waterfall is that the quality of the water remains clear despite heavy rains and flooding because there is no mud or soil in the water ways. The natural rock terraces are non-slippery so it is safe and the pools have varying depths that are good for swimming, dipping or just for lounging around.

How to get there:

Abra was not a very popular province in the Philippines because it takes 8 hours of land travel from Manila, the capital. There are no flights to this province from Manila that's why it managed to keep a low profile and remained undetected under tourists' radar. The easiest way to go to Abra is to ride a bus from Manila directly to Bangued, the capital of Abra province. From Bangued, hire a tricycle and get off at DPWH compound. There, you will need to register at the tourism office and wait for other joiners.

There will monster jeepneys to take tourists to the jump-off point and the road is rough, muddy and bumpy during the 3-hour journey. When you reach the jump-off point, you will have to walk the final stretch for 30 minutes. The signs are well-posted. The time is regulated and so tourists can only stay there until 2:30pm otherwise they will be left behind by the monster trucks and will be stranded overnight.

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6. Svartifoss, Iceland

Tucked away in Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss also known as the Black Falls rages down 20 meters (80ft.) over a cliff that resembles pipes of a giant organ. This waterfall is fed by ice-cold melt water from Svinafellsjokull glacier and the black basalt column serves as a perfect contrast to the white water thus, the black falls.

This natural wonder inspired architects to design the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik and the Iceland's National Theater. The hexagonal columns, which are not native to this area, form inside flowing lava and then cool down extremely slow to make way for crystallization. Other places with similar lava formation are the Fingal Cave in Scotland, island of Staffa in Scotland and the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

How to get there:

There are 2 ways to get to Skaftafell.

By car: From Reykjavik, drive on the main road 1 towards the east and follow the sign to Skaftafell. Travel time takes 4 hours.

By bus: In the summer (May-September), there are Vatnajokull Voyager trips offered which is the quickest way to reach Skaftafell. Travel time takes 4.5 hours and the departure in Reykjavik is at 7:30am.

Once in Skaftafell, go to the visitor's center and from there you will need to hike for 1.5km which is about 45 minutes. You will see 3 other waterfalls on the way to Svartifoss.

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7. Skogafoss, Iceland

Skogafoss is one of the most sought-after waterfalls in Iceland. It is unique because the waters are fed directly from the two glaciers, Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull. Skogafoss is located in Southern Iceland where the cliffs of an old coastline still remains. Now, the coastline is 5 kilometers away from Skogar village after it has receded seaward.

Skogafoss stands at 60 meters with powerful raging waters all year round. Visitors can walk close enough to the falls and during sunny days, visitors will be treated to a sight of double rainbows. There is also a 370 steps to the top of the waterfall where visitors can enjoy the expansive views of the coastline which is also the entryway to the popular hiking route to Fimmvörðuháls pass.

Legend says that behind the waterfall is a chest filled with treasures and no one has found it yet up to this day. There were stories that a boy found the treasure but he lost it somehow and managed to hold on to the ring on the side of the chest. It was said that the ring can be found in the museum.

How to get there:

Skogafoss is very easy to get to. It is a 2 hour drive from Reykjavik which is 155km roughly. From Seljalandsfoss it is much closer at 28 km. Follow the ring road from Reykjavik eastward until you see the waterfall.

Skogafoss during winter with the spectacular Northern Lights at the background
Skogafoss during winter with the spectacular Northern Lights at the background | Source
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8. Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Lebanon

Baatara Gorge Waterfall is probably one of the most out-of-this-world on this list. It is simply amazing. The waterfall is located in Tannourine, Lebanon and it was believed that the meltwater from Mount Lebanon carved out an incredible 3-bridge chasm into the 160-million years old limestone that can be traced back to the age of dinosaurs.

With the height of 250 meters, Baatara Gorge waterfall is a marvelous sight and naturally it draws people from all over the world. It is restricted however to go on the bridge because it is slipper and since it is old and is still eroding up to this day, the bridge may collapse under the weight of many people.

How to get there:

The best time to visit the waterfall is between March and April when the snow is melting and the water is raging into the deep chasm.

It is also easily accessible from the village of Balaa which is located between Tannourine and Laklouk. From Balaa, the waterfall is only 5 minutes away.

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Dudhsagar Falls, Goa

Most spectacular during the monsoon season but still widely visited all year round, Dudhsagar falls is located in Sanguem Taluka of Goa.The name Dudhsagar literally means "sea of milk" which is a direct allusion to the white foam that the waterfall makes while cascading down to the lake.

The height of Dudhsagar is 1017ft. with a width of 100ft. It rages over the near-vertical cliff face and is separated into three streams giving it a magnificent setting. Local people call it Tambdi Surla.

As part of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife , Dudhsagar is managed by the Goa forest department. The area around the waterfall is rich in vegetation and wildlife. The roads are also well-maintained and visitors have to pay for entrance and a higher fee for photography.

How to get there:

The most popular way to get to the waterfalls is either by foot or by rail. Some people can also opt to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicles but they still have to trek 1 km to the base of the waterfall itself.

By foot: The most adventurous trek starts at the village of Kuveshi however during the monsoon season, the waterways become swollen and the routes are closed for safety purposes. The most popular way to trek then is at Castle Rock station in Karnataka. The trek is 14 kilometers in total.

by rail: Visitors can go by rail to Kulhem/Collem rail station and from there walk 11km with views of valleys and Ghats.

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10. Agua Azul, Mexico

Agua Azul is regarded by many to be the most beautiful natural attraction in Mexico. The name literally translates to "blue water" and it is no wonder why. The raging waters have a crystalline blue tinge due to the heavy deposits of limestone on the river bed which offers a stunning contrast to the green vegetation all around.

Agua Azul is a part of Blue water Biosphere in Southern Chiapas in Mexico which is 30 miles outside Palenque. It consists of a series of shallow pools and waterfalls with cascading rapids perfect for kayaking and water rafting. The biggest of the waterfalls is Misol-Ha which is a 120 ft. drop and was once considered to be the backdrop for a Tarzan film.

How to get there:

The best time to visit is during the dry months of November- May as the blue tinge in the water is at its strongest. When there's too much water, the color disappears.

Palenque is the best point to Agua Azul. There are taxis that can be hired privately or shared from Palenque to the falls. Another option is to share a taxi to Crucero de Agua Azul and from there ride a pickup truck to the entrance of the waterfalls.


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Comments

Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Burn 

    2 months ago

    Wow... Kaparkan Falls in the Philippines is on the list

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    4 months ago from UK

    This is an incredibly well-illustrated article. The waterfalls in the UK are nothing compared to these.

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