There is something irresistibly attractive about the sight of a waterfall, the drama of water crashing from height onto rocks and rapids. Impressive waterfalls are found all over the world, often in wildly remote locations and areas of stunning natural beauty, so are enticing subject matter for photographers.
This post brings together a selection of amazing waterfall photographs, 26 examples of these extraordinary sights. Each photograph is accompanied by a location and a description of the waterfall, to help you learn more about each waterfall.
Enjoy, and if you have taken any photographs of waterfalls yourself, show us in the comments!
1. Iguassu Falls
Iguassu Falls, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, is a breathtaking series of 275 individual cascades along the 2.5-mile rim of a crescent-shaped cliff in the Iguassu River. The largest cataract in the waterfall system is known as The Devil’s Throat, an awesome U-shaped cliff with an 82-metre drop.
2. Angel Falls
With a terrifying drop totalling 979 metres in height, Angel Falls (Kerepakupai merú in the local Pemon language) is the highest waterfall in the world. The water flows from the tabletop mountain Auyantepui, in Venezuela’s Canaima National Park, and falls such a long distance that it is atomised and turned to mist before it reaches the ground. The falls are named after 20th Century American aviator Jimmie Angel who was the first person to fly over them in an aeroplane.
Gullfoss, or Golden Falls, is a mighty double-cascade waterfall where the Hvítá River drops into a 32-metre crevice in southwestern Iceland. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the falls are one of the country’s most popular attractions; this photograph shows visitors admiring the scene in March, when the river’s banks are covered in snow and ice.
4. Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is often cited as the tallest waterfall in North America. There is some dispute over this claim, but at 739 metres the fall’s drop is undeniably huge. According to the legends of the local Ahwahneechee people the spirits of evil witches haunt the fall’s plunge pool.
5. Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls is a wide system of cascades straddling the border between USA and Canada, formed during the last ice age when a vast glacial sheet ripped through the region of the Great Lakes. Today the falls are both a popular tourist destination and an important source of hydroelectric power. The Niagara River drops through two major waterfall sections that are separated by Goat Island; the two features are named Horseshoe Falls and American Falls, which is the waterfall shown in this photograph.
6. Giessbach Falls
This photograph captures the attractive cascades of Giessbach Falls, which tumble down a series of ten steps on a thickly wooded hillside above Lake Brienz in Switzerland.
7. Kjerag Waterfalls
This waterfall drops 715 metres over a sheer cliff on Kjerag Mountain in Norway’s Rogaland County. Far below the cliff top a cruise ship can be seen breaking the serene blue waters of Lysefjord.
8. Hukou Waterfall
The strikingly coloured Hukou Waterfall is the second largest falls in China, found where the Yellow River flows through the Jinxia Grand Canyon.
9. Gocta Waterfall
Gocta Falls is a 771-metre two-stage drop in a remote region of Peru. Although visible for miles around, locals were reluctant to reveal the fall’s location to the outside world because they feared the curse of a mythical blond mermaid said to live in the water.
10. Della Falls
At a height of 440 metres, Della Falls is probably the tallest waterfall in Canada. It is formed were Della Lake drains into Drinkwater Creek and plunges over a cliff edge into Great Central Lake.
11. Zhaga Waterfall
Zhaga Waterfall is a 104-metre calcified cascade in the picturesque Mounigou Valley in Sichuan, China.
12. Krka Waterfalls
The River Krka meanders through verdant canyons on its journey to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, dropping through a series of waterfalls the way, including this impressive staircase cascade.
13. Alfred Creek Falls
The waterfall seen here is in British Columbia and is one of the tallest in North America. A stream pours off the Alfred Glacier and then falls 700 metres over a sheer cliff face in a single drop before landing on a large alluvial fan, where the water slows and spreads on its descent into the valley.
14. Jog Falls
Jog Falls on the Sharavathi River is the highest single plunge waterfall in India. While there are higher ‘tiered’ cascades in India, Jog Falls has the longest uninterrupted drop at 253 metres. This photograph captures the falls during monsoon season when the river is roaring at full pelt.
15. Triberg Waterfall
The Triberg Waterfalls are a series of attractive cascades on the Gutach River that flows through the Black Forest in southwest Germany.
16. Victoria Falls
The dramatic Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia. They are often referred to by the indigenous name Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means ‘The Mist That Thunders’. The waterfall is massive, with a width of 1,708 metres and a drop of 108 metres. While it is neither the tallest or widest waterfall, these dimensions produce the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
17. Ruby Falls
Ruby Falls is a 44-metre underground waterfall falling through limestone caves inside Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, USA.
18. Nachi Falls
Nachi Falls is a 133-metre waterfall in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture. Close to the base of the waterfall is a Tendai Buddhist temple, a sacred site and pilgrimage destination.
19. Cucumber Falls
This mid-winter photograph captures the frozen water of Cucumber Falls in Pennsylvania, USA.
20. Powerscourt Waterfall
At 121 metres, Powerscourt Waterfall in County Wicklow is Ireland’s highest falls.
21. Irenggolo Waterfall
Irenggolo Waterfall is a pretty staircase cascade located in mountainous Indonesian forests.
22. Elakala Waterfall
This photograph shows a mesmerising swirling pool amongst moss-covered rocks beneath Elakala Waterfall in West Virginia, USA.
23. Smoo Cave Waterfall
A 20-metre waterfall drops into Smoo Cave under the Scottish Highlands. Unusually, some parts of the cave system are formed by the action of seawater whilst others are carved by freshwater streams.
24. Johnston Canyon
The Johnston Creek is formed in the glacial valleys of the Canadian Rockies. During the winter, intrepid ice climbers scale frozen cascades such as those shown in this photograph.
25. Amagoi Waterfalls
The Amagoi Waterfalls are series of waterfalls found in Japan. This photograph shows a pair of twin cascades with Odaki, Male Falls, on the left, and Medaki, Female Falls to the right.
26. Trümmelbach Falls
High in the Swiss Alps, water drains off glaciers on the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains and pours into Trummelbach Falls. Huge volumes of ice melt flow through a series of ten waterfalls inside Trummelbach Mountain, with the underground cascades made accessible by illuminated tunnels and suspended walkways.