World's most beautiful waterfalls

Yosemite Falls (Photo: Brian Bruner | Flickr)
Yosemite Falls (Photo: Brian Bruner | Flickr)


Gorgeous, dramatic waterfalls are of course popular subjects for photographers, so weasked members of to submit their favorite shots to ourphoto contest. We received images of everything from South America's Iguazu Falls to America's own Yosemite Falls, in a photo dramatized by a low camera angle that captures the rugged terrain.

The bestphotographs lend this kind of fresh perspective to waterfalls that, after all, have been photographed countless times. These photos will inspire you to gochasing waterfalls, whether in your own backyard or oceans away-and even to experiment with different angles and techniques.

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Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

Three sections make up North America’s highest waterfall, which comes tumbling off a sheer cliff at the top and ends up 2,425 feet below. Most people check out the scene from a viewing area near the Lower Falls; you can also make your way to the top of the Upper Falls via a steep hike.

Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Each year, more than 1.5 million people flock to see this dramatic, 270-foot curtain of water. It’s an easy drive from Seattle (about 30 miles), so come with a picnic and check out the falls from the observation platforms. Or bring your fiancé—it’s a popular place to get married.

Chasing Waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Not far from a dramatic black-sand beach, Chasing Waterfalls—which, of course, evokes TLC’s hit song from the ’90s—streams down about 130 feet, surrounded by an emerald-green rocky surrounding. The best part? You can actually get behind the falls, which makes for some spectacular photos.

Devil’s Punchbowl, South Island, New Zealand

True to its malevolent name, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls is no peaceful trickle or romantic cascade. During the snowmelt, the waterfall surges past the cliff’s edge and drops 430 feet through thin air, not along the rock face. The falls are a short hike from the village of Arthur’s Pass, through a lovely river valley, and can be observed from a viewing platform.

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

When Eleanor Roosevelt laid eyes on Iguazu Falls, she commented “Poor Niagara.” The falls, twice as wide as Niagara Falls and taller, serve as the border of Argentina and Brazil and are only a short distance from Paraguay. The surrounding jungle is blanketed by mist, and rainbows shimmer above—making it no wonder that the falls are among Latin America’s most popular tourist sites.

Jungfrau, Interlaken, Switzerland

The Jungfrau region is awash in hundreds of waterfalls that add to the picture-perfect scenes of flowering meadows, frozen-in-time villages, and snowcapped Alpine peaks. These mountains provide year-round entertainment, from summer hikes and picnics to skiing. 

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Of the two waterfalls that cascade from the Yellowstone River, the downstream Lower Falls has more drama—falling for 308 feet into the red-rimmed canyon. See for yourself from numerous lookout points, including along the South Rim Trail, or make the short, steep descent down Uncle Tom's Trail to a viewing platform close to the falls’ roar.

Enchanted Kawasan Falls, Cebu, Philippines

It’s a 30-minute climb to these idyllic falls (there are three in all) on the southern end of Cebu Island. Surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and hidden between the mountainous peaks of Barangay Matutinao and Badian, they are popular among locals and tourists alike who come to swim in the cool lagoons, sit under their spray, and float on bamboo rafts.

Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed this at-one-with-nature home to dramatically straddle a beautiful forest waterfall. Its rush is audible as you explore the present-day museum and National Historic Landmark.

Jägala Falls, Estonia

This scenic spot—often referred to as the “Niagara Falls of the Baltic”—is just 18 miles east of the capital city, Tallinn. The cascade is 26 feet high and especially picturesque in winter, when half of the falls freezes.

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