The American Falls with a rainbow in front on the left, as seen from the Canadian side.
North America,  Waterfalls

30 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls in North America

There’s a song that says: ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls’. But we’re doing exactly that. Last month we went on a chase for the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe and found 30, now we’re focusing on North America and boy do they have some beautiful waterfalls! From Canada all the way to Cuba, waterfalls abound. I’ve asked my fellow travel bloggers to help and here are our 30 waterfalls in North America.

Waterfalls in North America

Niagara Falls, Ontario/New York, Canada/USA

American Falls from the side on the Cave of the Wind tour
American Falls from the side on the Cave of the Wind tour

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Niagara Falls on the border of Canada and the USA is one of the most famous and largest waterfalls in the world. Niagara Falls consists of 3 waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Bridal Veil Falls is what you usually see on pictures of Niagara Falls.

90% of the water of the river Niagara passes through the Horseshoe Falls, 10% passes the American Falls. The Horseshoe Falls are 790 meters (2600 feet) wide, this and the amount of water passing through, is what makes the Niagara Falls so spectacular. The height is only 54 meters.

On the American side Buffalo in the state of New York is where the American Falls belong to. On the Canadian side are the Horseshoe Falls and is the touristic town of Niagara Falls in Ontario. There’s no entrance fee to see the falls, but if you want to see the fall from up close, you do have to pay.

You can come really close to the American Falls on a boardwalk and stairs. The Cave of the Wind tour costs $19.00 US from 13 and up and $16.00 US for 6 to 12 years old. On the Canadian side there’s the Journey Behind the Falls tour, which brings you close to the side of the Horseshoe Falls and behind it. This is $23.00 CAD 13+ and $15.00 CAD for 6-12 years. You can also come up close to the falls aboard the Maid of the Mist. Experience the falls and the mist of the Horseshoe Falls aboard the boats. It’s $22.25 US for 13+ and $13.00 US for 6-12 years.

Niagara Falls definitely qualifies as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North America.

Niagara Falls, with in the back on the right the Horseshoe Falls, in the front on the left the American Falls. In front the Niagara river with a Maid of the Mist boat, these are one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North America
Niagara Falls

Ball’s Falls, Ontario, Canada

Contributed by Sarah from in Search of Sarah.

A visit to Ball’s Falls is like a trip back in time. It’s home to some of the most beautiful trails in Ontario, two stunning waterfalls, and the historical village of Glen Elgin, lovingly restored to reflect what life was like in the early 19th century.

Located in Lincoln, Ontario, in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment, this beautiful area offers the perfect day out for families or couples with lots of neat things to see.

The Lower Falls is quite impressive during the end of winter and beginning of spring, when torrents of water tumbles 90 feet over the edge. In the drier months, you’re able to hike right up to the base of the falls by meandering your way up the creek for a spectacular view point from below.

The Upper Falls is only a 35 foot drop, but you can reach the top of the falls for some dramatic views, especially during the fall change of season.

If you visit for day use, it’s $8 per adult and $6 for students and seniors, or $24 maximum per car load. You can also take historical village tours from Victoria Day through to Labour Day for an additional $2, making it a great value-added activity!  

Ball's Falls Lower Falls, now only a river and a tricle the waterfall because it's a fall photo
Ball’s Falls Lower Falls by in Search of Sarah

Hoggs Falls, Ontario, Canada

Contributed by Stephanie from The World As I See It.

One of Ontario’s best waterfalls is small but also mighty. Hoggs Falls is classified as a plunge waterfall as the Boyne River drops down seven meters (23 feet) off the Niagara Escarpment, and is located in Ontario’s Grey County, two hours north-west of Toronto. There is a small free parking lot off of Lower Valley Road with trail access that will take you to the top of the falls. If you’re not afraid to get a little dirty, you can even use the rope along the embankment to descend down to the base of the waterfalls for an incredible view of this powerhouse.

If you’re looking for more things to do in the area, you won’t be disappointed! Hoggs Falls is one of the many waterfalls in Grey County. You can make a whole day of chasing the area’s waterfalls, exploring the charming small towns, or visit a winery or two. And if you’re up for a solid hike you can hike between Hoggs Falls and nearby Eugenia Falls along the Bruce Trail, which is approximately 5 kilometres one way.

Hoggs Falls, flowing off a small ridge further in the river Surrounded by green trees and bushes.
Hoggs Falls by The World As I See It

Kakabecka Falls, Ontario, Canada

Contributed by Stephanie from The World As I See It.

Kakabecka Falls is one of Canada’s most epic waterfalls. Located thirty minutes outside Thunder Bay, Ontario, Kakabecka Falls is known as the Niagara of the North. While it isn’t as popular as Niagara Falls it is almost as big, taking number two spot on the list of the highest waterfalls in Ontario. The Kaministiquia River plunges 40 metres (130 feet) and standing near it you’ll realize how Kakabecka Falls, which comes from the Ojibwa word meaning ‘thundering water’, got its name. To visit the waterfalls go to Kakabecka Falls Provincial Park, where you’ll find a large parking lot, visitor centre, and even camping. But note that there is an entrance fee of $12.25 per vehicle. The park also has an incredible boardwalk and trail around the waterfall with a multitude of amazing viewpoints.

A visit to Kakabecka Falls is one of the top things to do in Thunder Bay. But if you’re looking for more to do in the area there is a ton to offer for every type of traveler, from chasing more waterfalls to exploring Thunder Bay’s art or food scene. So, be sure to add Kakabecka Falls to your North America waterfalls bucket list!

Kakabecka Falls flowing over a ridge, the color of the falls is really yellow
Kakabecka Falls by The World As I See It.

Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

The Montmorency Falls are just 12 kilometers away from Old Quebec City, in the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. The waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls, with its 84 meters (276 feet) and is at the mouth of the Montmorency river in Quebec. The falls have 2 drops and the second one drops over the cliff shore into the Saint Lawrence River. The large fall dominates its surroundings and is beautiful to see.

There’s a $6.96 CAD entrance fee for 18 and over. There’s a suspension bridge over the crest of the falls, which gives beautiful views and access to both sides of the park. Next to that there’s a zipline, a Via Ferrata, staircases and viewpoints to see the falls from different perspectives and a funicular to bring you to the top of the falls.

During the Summer there’s an international fireworks competition, where the falls serve as a backdrop. Which is unique for the North American waterfalls.

Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls

Chutes de la Plaisance, Quebec, Canada

Contributed by Meghan from AfterNoon Tea Reads.

The Chutes de la Plaisance is a real hidden gem in Plaisance, Québec, between Montreal and Ottawa. This beautiful waterfall is the second tallest waterfall in Québec (after Montmorency falls). It’s a whopping 63-metre drop!

But what makes the Chutes de la Plaisance stand out is that it’s also a protected historical site. North National Mills was a small town and sawmill business set up around the falls in the 1850s. Not too much remains, but you’ll be able to see and learn a bit more about it on your visit.

It cost $7 to see the falls (there are discounts for students and seniors). This gives you access to lookout points, picnic areas, and a 1 km walking path.

There’s quite a bit to do within driving distance of the falls. You can visit the Plaisance. You can visit the Plaisance National Park for more nature, or Park Omega to see local Québec wildlife. You’re also a close drive to Montebello with bars and restaurants, and the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, if you’re looking for a place to stay.

Chute de la Plaisance, cascading down over 2 drops in the river, surrounded by green forest
Chute de la Plaisance by AfterNoon Tea Reads

Beulach Ban Falls, Nova Scotia, Canada

Contributed by Jenn from Will Save For Travel.

In the Aspy Valley of the world famous Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia you’ll find Beulach Ban Falls. Gaelic for White Gorge, these falls tumble 65 feet, and you’re able to get up close and personal with them. When you visit, you are able to drive down to the parking lot close to the falls, so anyone is able to see this waterfall – no hiking required! There’s also a 5.7 mile (9.2km) hiking trail that is moderately difficult. You’ll definitely want to visit the Cabot Trail during the Autumn season. The fall colors are spectacular, and definitely something everyone should see. The Cabot Trail is a great long weekend drive on your Nova Scotia road trip! Include Fort Louisbourg and Halifax Citadel in your Novia Scotia itinerary, two of the greatest forts in the world.

Beulach Ban Waterfall flowing/dropping a rock in between trees
Beulach Ban Waterfall by Will Save for Travel

Brandywine Falls, British Colombia, Canada

Contributed by Greta from Greta’s Travels.

If you’re looking for the best waterfalls in North America, Brandywine Falls in Canada needs to feature on your list. Located in British Columbia, it’s one of the most popular stops for anyone doing a road trip on the Sea to Sky Highway.

Access to Brandywine Falls is free. From the parking area you have to walk for around 15 minutes on a easy trail, through trees and over streams. As you get closer you will be able to hear the loud sound of the falls, pointing you in the right direction.

The falls have a clean 70-metre drop, which makes it particularly imposing. There are a number of viewing platforms along the edge from which you can admire the waterfalls, as well as a viewing platform that faces the other direction over the surrounding countryside. This 360 view covering both the falls and mountains around it is simply stunning.

Brandywine is in itself a very imposing and breathtaking waterfall. Pair that with the free entrance and ease of visiting it, and it quickly becomes one of the must-see waterfalls in North America.

Brandywine Falls plunching down into a pool in a clearing in between high rocks.
Brandywine Falls by Greta’s Travels

Takakkaw Falls, British Columbia, Canada

Contributed by Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes.

Takakkaw Falls, located in Yoho National Park, is the second highest waterfall in Canada. It’s about a 20 minute drive off of the main Trans-Canada Highway, making it a great road trip stop. Yoho National Park is often overlooked by tourists, since it’s next door to the famous Banff National Park. However, driving between the two parks is one of the most scenic highways in Canada. A day pass for Yoho National Park is $9.80 CAD (~ $7.50 USD) per person.

The height of Takakkaw Falls is 383 m (1,223 ft), with a main drop of 254 m (833 ft). Once you arrive at the parking lot, it’s a short 1.3km roundtrip hike, which takes you to the base of the falls. The first part of the hike takes you on a flat path across the rushing Yoho river. After the bridge, it’s a short walk to the base of the falls, giving stunning views along the way. Takakkaw Falls is formed by meltwater from the Daly glacier above.  

Fun fact: Takakkaw means “wonderful” in the Cree language.

Takakkaw Falls seen from below, dropping down in between a rock/mountain.
Takakkaw Falls by Groovy Mashed Potatoes

Grand Portage, Minnesota/Ontario, USA/Canada

Contributed by Tom from MN Trips.

The High Falls of the Pigeon River is the main attraction of Grand Portage State Park on the border between Minnesota and Ontario. These falls, the highest in Minnesota, drop 120 feet (37 meters) down the black basalt face. The falls are an easy half-mile (800 meter) walk along an asphalt paved trail from the parking lot. One viewing platform is accessible to wheelchairs, a rarity in the state parks.

The Grand Portage State Park is odd among the Minnesota State Parks for a couple of reasons: there are no camping facilities, and it’s the only one that doesn’t require a permit to drive into.

The High Falls, and many other waterfalls and rapids along the last stretch of the Pigeon River, are what gave the site its Grand Portage name. Early traders had to carry their cargoes overland for the last 8.5 miles to the Superior shore because the river could not be navigated by canoe. The actual end point of the Grand Portage was at the trading post at what is now the Grand Portage National Monument, which is six miles back down Highway 61.

Grand Portage, in the far back dropping down a rock into the river, which cascades again further on. Surrounded by greens on the rocks/mountains
Grand Portage by MN Trips

Kaaterskill Falls, New York, USA

Contributed by James from Travel Collecting.

Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains, a short drive from the Hudson Valley, is the highest cascading waterfall in New York State. It has two main drops totaling 260 feet. The upper falls cascade down in front of a large amphitheater, which helps make these waterfalls incredibly beautiful. 

The falls can be accessed from below or above.  There is no fee to enter.  Access from the bottom is nicer, but the hike is longer (and steeper).  There is only a small parking area near the trailhead, and you need to walk along a very narrow shoulder on the side of the road to get to the trailhead.  From there, it is a somewhat steep hike up to the falls.  It is also possible to continue from the bottom of the falls up through the surrounding woods to a viewing platform above the falls.  This viewing platform, can also be accessed along a short and easy hike from the much larger upper falls parking lot. 

The nearby town of Tannersville has cute stores and restaurants and is a highlight of a visit to the area. If you like hiking, the nearby Hudson Valley has plenty of great hikes.

The falls are best seen in spring, when they are strongest; fall, when the surrounding foliage is stunning; and winter, when they actually freeze.  Keep in mind, though, that the trail gets very slick in winter and shouldn’t be attempted without crampons.

Kaaterskill Falls in winter time, frozen over, 'dropping'down a rock
Kaaterskill Falls by Travel Collecting

Taughannock Falls, New York, USA

Contributed by Carley from Home to Havana.

Located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Taughannock Falls is a stunning 215-foot-high waterfall that plunges dramatically from a 400-foot gorge above. Carving out a massive bowl into the shale, Taughannock Falls creates a dramatic sight with a massive natural pool below and the soaring gorge walls around. There are plenty of hiking opportunities nearby and several trails through the park, including a three-mile rim trail loop around the falls and the surrounding upper and lower gorges. The falls feed into Cayuga Lake, and the park at the lakeside nearby makes for a great place to swim, boat, picnic, and more. Taughhanock Falls State Park also has a camping area and pavilions.
 
Taughannock Falls is an easy visit even for those not looking to hike in – there is a scenic overview that can be visited for free overlooking the falls and gorge, just steps away from the parking lot. If you can, try to visit in the fall, when the trees change color and the entire gorge is rimmed with a remarkable display of some of New York State’s most impressive fall foliage.

Taughannock Falls, in the far back you a waterfall dropping down in the middle in a lake. Surrounded by trees and rocks. Overcast sky above.
Taughannock Falls by Home to Havana

The Flume, New Hampshire, USA

Contributed by Jamie from Travel Addict.

The Flume is one of many beautiful sites to see in New Hampshire and consists of a stunning gorge formed into the natural granite of New Hampshire over thousands of years. A waterfall feeds the river that flows through the gorge and visitors walk along a boardwalk built into the side of the deep gorge to appreciate the beauty of the gorge, waterfall and river. It’s a unique experience that can be enjoyed during any season.

It’s located within Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire, within the White Mountains and near the resort town of Lincoln, and near I-93.

There is a $16 entrance fee to access the Flume, and children under 5 get in for free. You can buy combination tickets for the Flume and the Aerial Tram at Cannon Mountain for a small discount between the two nearby attractions.

The route to see the Flume involves a delightful hike through the nearby woodlands and across a covered bridge. It can be shortened by taking a free shuttle bus from the visitor’s centre to a halfway marker, where you join the immediate trail to access the Flume. You do need to be somewhat mobile as the boardwalk through the Flume includes stairs and winds upwards on a slight incline.

The Flume, falling down a rock in steps.
The Flume by Travel Addict

Crabtree Falls, Virginia, USA

Contributed by Erin from Go Hike Virginia.

Tucked away in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest, Crabtree Falls is a stunner for its dramatic cascades and rewarding views across the Blue Ridge Mountains and Tye River Valley from the top of this 1,214-foot tall falls.

Crabtree Falls is said to be the “highest vertical drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River.” It’s taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet) and the Eiffel Tower (984 feet). It’s also within inches of the Empire State Building, which tops out at 1,250 feet.

This show-stopping waterfall wows with five tumbling cascades that are within view nearly every step of a 1.7-mile hike (one-way) to the top along burbling Crabtree Creek.

Crabtree Falls is accessible to those of all ages and abilities. From the parking area, the Lower Falls is a short walk on paved trail to a wooden observation deck.

Situated in the Crabtree Falls Day Use Area, there is a $3 fee per vehicle. Here you’ll find picnic tables, restrooms and a delightful 110-foot wooden bridge that crosses the rolling Tye River.

Crabtree Falls, cascading/flowing down the rocks
Crabtree Falls by Go Hike Virginia

Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee, USA

Contributed by Jordan from The Homebody Tourist.

Fall Creek Falls is a 256-foot magical waterfall tucked away in the Southeastern United States. Located in Fall Creek Falls State Park (only 72 miles outside of Chattanooga and 129 miles from Nashville), this waterfall will leave you breathless!

After parking at the overlook parking lot, you just have a short paved walk to the top of the falls. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can take a short (but rocky) hike to the bottom of the falls. In the summer you will oftentimes see swimmers, but the colder months will lead to a more peaceful visit.

It is a popular state park, so I do recommend arriving early to get a parking space and to avoid the crowds. Fall Creek Falls is free to enter and completely dog-friendly. You will not want to miss this beautiful sight!

Tip:: Visit towards the end of October to see all the beautiful fall colors and spend the whole day exploring this amazing state park! 

Fall Creek Falls, plunching down over the edge in a deep pool, a free space in the colorful forest.
Fall Creeks Falls by The Homebody Tourist

Lula Falls, Georgia, USA

Contributed by Alanna from Periodic Adventures.

Lula Falls in Lookout Mountain, Georgia is an incredible 120 foot free fall waterfall only accessible via the Lula Lake Land Trust, a non-profit conservation organization. Because it is on private land, reservations are required and the area is only open to the public on the first and last weekend of the month. You typically need to make reservations two months out, because they do sell out. Proceeds go towards the preservation of Lula Lake!

There are numerous trails throughout the property including the Classic Loop, which is a moderate 3.5 mile trail, and a paved road that gets within 0.1 miles of the waterfall, accessible via the Lula Falls Trail. Don’t miss the smaller waterfall (0.3 miles south of Lula Falls) that has beautiful turquoise waters! It’s seen best from the paved trail.

Visiting Lula Falls is one of the best cheap things to do near Chattanooga, Tennessee since it only costs $15 per car and is 9 miles from Chattanooga! Other attractions in Lookout Mountain, Georgia include Rock City Gardens, hang gliding, and Cloudland Canyon State Park.

Lula Falls drpping down, surrounded by rock.
The highlight of Lula Lake Land Trust is Lula Falls! by Periodic Adventures

Yellowstone Falls, Wyoming, USA

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

The Yellowstone Falls are 2 of at least 45 waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. There’s the Upper and Lower Falls. The Lower Falls of Yellowstone Falls is 94 meters (308 feet) and the highest plunge type waterfall in the park. It’s also the largest volume waterfall in the USA Rocky Mountains part. The Upper Falls are 33 meters (109 feet) high. The Yellowstone river coming from Yellowstone lake goes through the Hayden Valley and then plunges over the Upper Falls, after 400 meters it plunges over the Lower Falls into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The falls flow over first hard rhyolite lava flow and after the Upper Falls over weaker glassy lava.

The falls themselves don’t have an entrance fee, but Yellowstone National Park does. The entrance fee for a car for 7 days is $35 US.

The falls can be viewed from several viewing points and a few trails lead to the falls. There’s a trail to the brink of the Lower Falls and one that leads to the top of the Lower Falls. Uncle Tom’s Trail is another trail that offers views on the Yellowstone Falls.

The Yellowstone Falls are grand to see, but definitely not the only attraction inside the national park. There’s enough to be exploring for days.

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone Falls, plunging down over a ridge in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone Falls

Havasu Falls, Arizona, USA

Contributed by Andrea from Our BeaUTAHful World.

Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in North America are located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. This popular destination is only accessible via permit and the Havasu Falls Hike is 22 miles round trip. However, once you arrive in Havasupai, your efforts will be rewarded with the most amazing turquoise blue waters and not just one, but several waterfalls- Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls. The permit you obtain will either be for the lodge or the campground which will dictate the amount of time you can spend in the area. Once you arrive in Havasupai, you can continue on to the Confluence of the Havasu River and the Colorado River or spend your time enjoying the nearby falls.

Havasu Falls as seen from below, in the back plunging down the rocks into a pool.
Havasu Falls by Our BeaUTAHful World

Toketee Falls, Oregon, USA

Contributed by Sophie from We Dream of Travel.

Toketee Falls can be found nestled amongst the lush vegetation of Umpqua National Forest, between Bend and Roseberg in Southern Oregon.  While it’s not the largest waterfall in Oregon, it makes up for its size with its breathtaking scenery.  Framed by columnar basalt rock formations, reminiscent of a fossilised tree at first glance, Toketee Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon, if not the entire US!

Parking at Toketee Falls is easy and the parking lot can be found on Google Maps.  There is also no entrance fee to visit, making it even more popular!  From the parking lot, a short trail through thick green forest brings you to a viewing platform from which you can take in the mighty, cascading falls.  

Nearby you will also find many other stunning waterfalls, including Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls and Clearwater Falls.  So make sure you plan some time to visit all the beautiful waterfalls nearby too!

Toketee Falls, taken from above, falling down a rock in a pool underneath, with rocks and greens surrounding it.
Toketee Falls by We Dream We Travel

Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA

Contributed by Eden from Rock a Little Travel.

Multnomah Falls is a stunning two-tiered waterfall located in northern Oregon along the border with Washington state. This area is known as the Columbia River Gorge which is home to over 90 waterfalls, the highest concentration of waterfalls in the entire United States. 

Despite the large number of waterfalls in the region, Multnomah Falls is by far the area’s biggest attraction. At 620 feet high, Multnomah Falls has earned the distinction as the tallest waterfall in Oregon. 

Visitors can enjoy viewing the falls from an observation deck at the base of the falls located just a short walk from the parking lot.  

Those looking to get a closer look can make their way up the 0.2 mile path to the Benson Footbridge. The footbridge spans 45 feet across the lower section of the falls with an observation deck on the other side. The views from the footbridge are incredible and well worth the effort to get there. 

Those looking to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls can do so by hiking another mile along the Larch Mountain Trail that picks up after the Benson Footbridge. From the top of the falls, visitors can reach another section of trails called the Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop. This 4.9 mile loop trail will take you to several other waterfalls in the area, then back to the Multnomah Falls trailhead. 

Multnomah Falls are open year round but do expect the falls to be frozen in winter. Parking and admission are free.

Multnomah Falls, dropping in down in 2 drops, with a bridge above the second drop. Green coverings on the rocks around it.
Multnomah Falls by Rock a Little Travel

McWay Falls, California, USA

Contributed by Kay from PCH1 Road Trip.

McWay Falls located in Big Sur is one of the best places to stop on a Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip in California. The beautiful waterfall is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and is pretty famous with Bay Area locals and visitors alike. 

McWay Falls is a tidefall meaning it falls directly into the ocean at high tide. There is usually a beach at the base of the falls, however, it is covered at high tide and can be seen only at low tide. This beach is caused by erosion from the cliffs. 

While visitors cannot directly reach either the base or the top of the falls, it is possible to see the falls on a half a mile hike through the state park. The trail takes visitors to an observation platform that has a really good view of the falls.

McWay Falls, down below, dropping down on the beach and then flowing into the ocean. Coming off a cliff.
McWay Falls by PCH1 road trip

Yosemite Falls, California, USA

Contributed by Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear.

Yosemite Falls is a popular, but also namesake waterfall located in Yosemite National Park, one of the most visited national parks in California. The falls can be found smack dab in the middle of the famous Yosemite Valley. The waterfall is the highest in the park, it has a 2,425 foot drop from the top of the upper falls to the base of the bottom of the falls. 

Take the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail to get an amazing view of the base of the falls. The hike is a quick 1 mile loop and takes approximately 30 minutes. For a longer, more strenuous hike, you can visit the top of Yosemite Falls by taking a 7.2 mile round trip trail that takes approximately 6 to 8 hours. 

A quick day trip to Yosemite National Park is more than enough time to visit the waterfall and see the Yosemite Valley. Entry to the park costs $35 per vehicle, the pass is valid for 7 days after payment.

Yosemite Falls seen in the end in between tall trees, falling down from high.
Yosemite Falls by The Adventures of Panda Bear

Waimea Falls, Hawaii, USA

Contributed by Sydney from A World in Reach.

Hawaii is home to dozens of breathtaking waterfalls. If you’re visiting Oahu, one of the most popular waterfalls to visit on the island is Waimea Falls. This gorgeous waterfall is located in Waimea Valley, a historic area with a botanical garden and archaeological site on Oahu’s North Shore.

Waimea Falls is one of Hawaii’s most accessible waterfalls. To get to the falls, you can go on a relatively easy, 1.5 mile round-trip hike. The walk is on a mostly paved path and takes around 20 minutes each way. As you make your way to the waterfall, you’ll stroll through the valley’s botanical garden, seeing local flora and fauna along the way. The gorgeous botanical garden combined with the beautiful waterfall makes the hike to Waimea Falls one of the best hikes on Oahu. If you’d rather save your energy for swimming in the falls (included with admission to Waimea Valley), you can also opt to take the shuttle for an extra fee (NOTE: due to COVID-19, the shuttle is currently not operating).

Standard admission to Waimea Valley is $12 for adults, with discounts available for students and seniors. Admission includes access to Waimea Falls as well as the other attractions in the valley.

Waimea Falls flowing/dropping down a rock in a pool surrounded by lush greens
Waimea Falls by A World in Reach

La Soplaera Waterfall, Puerto Rico

Contributed by Martha from Quirky Globetrotter.

Relaxing in icy cool pools under the shade of palm trees and other rainforest fauna is the best way to spend an afternoon in Puerto Rico. La Soplaera Waterfall offers adventurers a glimpse inside the hilly, rainforest terrain that comprises the heart of the island. Located nearby Peñuelas, La Soplaera Waterfalls is low-key and not on many tourists’ radar. In fact, most visitors luck out and are the only travelers enjoying the rejuvenating waters. There is no entrance fee for this waterfall. Renting a car is required and the road is very windy through the mountains. All this extra trouble is well worth it. This stop is a once in a lifetime experience and a must-see on your Puerto Rico road trip. Your next stop is south to the coast to swim in a bioluminescent bay.   

La Soplaera, on the left dropping down in a pool, on the right rock.
La Soplaera by Quirky Globetrotter

Agua Azul & Welib Ja, Chiapas, Mexico

Agua Azul cascading down, with trees on the left.
Agua Azul by The Orange Backpack

Contributed by Maartje from The Orange Backpack.

The Chiapas area in Mexico is known for its massive waterfalls and the city of Palenque might just be the perfect base to visit the most beautiful of them. Besides the well-known Palenque Mayan ruins, the area is perfect for waterfall hopping. Our favorites are the big Agua Azul and the less-visited Welib Ja.

Agua Azul is one of the bigger waterfalls in the area and very popular with Mexicans for day trips. It’s a 1,5-hour drive from Palenque. The Agua Azul consists of many long cascades, creating a long yet not very steep waterfall. There is a path along the entire edge, covered with small food stalls and souvenir shops. Where you can try authentic Mexican food. At three places, you can actually swim in the water. Choose the two spots at the end of the waterfall and not the one at the entrance where it’s most crowded.

But we prefer the Welib Ja waterfall. It’s close to Palenque and less touristy. The entrance was only 20 pesos per person and there was only one Mexican family beside us visiting this place. You can go for a swim and go near the waterfall.

Welib Ja, plunching down into a small lake,someone is standing close to the waterfall.
Welib Ja by The Orange Backpack

La Paz Waterfalls, Costa Rica

Contributed by Pubali & Indranil from Paradise Catchers.

How about visiting not one, but five different waterfalls in a single day? Only 46 km/ 28 miles away from the capital city of San Jose lies the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. If you are flying in to Costa Rica through San Jose, it is quite easy to pack in a day trip to La Paz before you proceed to explore the rest of this beautiful country.

As you walk the waterfall trail at La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, you get to see each of the five different waterfalls from various viewing platforms. La Paz waterfall itself is also visible from the highway outside the nature park and thus is free. However, the other waterfalls, that you can access from only inside the park, are also quite impressive. One of the five waterfalls, the Magia Blanca waterfall is so pretty that the location is also used for destination weddings. So, although you can technically see La Paz waterfall for free, it is actually worth paying the entrance fee of 48 USD + taxes to spend a day at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Besides, this nature park also contains rescued animals and birds, a hummingbird garden and a trout lake among other attractions. You can also combine this trip with another nearby attraction, Poas Volcano National Park.

La Paz waterfall, falling down between lush greens.
La Paz Waterfall by Paradise Catchers

Uvita Waterfall, Costa Rica

Contributed by Pubali & Indranil from Paradise Catchers.

Do you want to slide down a waterfall and jump into a natural pool? The Uvita waterfall, located in the Osa Peninsula region of Costa Rica, provides you that opportunity. The waterfall is set amidst lush green rainforests near the South Pacific coastal town Uvita, the namesake of the waterfall. It is a short drive from the town center and located inside a private property. The entrance is well marked and there is a small entry fee of 1500 CRC (~US $3) which includes parking.

The structure of the waterfall and the deep pool have resulted in a natural slide. If you are feeling adventurous, it is a must-do activity to slide down the gushing water and plunge into the pool below. Also, the stream flowing through the property has created multiple natural pools and rapids which are great for relaxing. Feel the cool water or go for a swim while listening to the macaws or toucans in the surrounding rainforests. Do not miss the butterfly garden near the entrance as it houses several species of tropical butterflies. If you are visiting the South Pacific region of Costa Rica, Uvita waterfall is among the top things to do in Uvita.

Uvita Waterfall, flowing down a rock into a pool, with lush green surrounding it.
Uvita Waterfall by Paradise Catchers

Vegas Grande Waterfall, Cuba

Contributed by Linn from Brainy Backpackers.

Cuba is packed with lush jungles and refreshing waterfalls. One of the most beautiful is the secluded Vegas Grande waterfall which you should definitely add to your Cuba itinerary. The waterfall is situated in Topes de Collantes National Park and easily reached by taxi from Trinidad and then an hour’s hiking. The first part of the hike is fairly easy, but the last bit is steep before you meet the mesmerizing view of the waterfall wrapped up in lush green and falling down in a turquoise refreshing pool waiting for you to go swimming in.

I recommend you go early so that you avoid crowds of tourists as it’s a popular hike among travelers. Behind the fall you can find a cave (Warning: home to thousands of bats) but you can also climb onto a rock and jump through the waterfall itself. Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Cuba if you want to get out of the cities.

Vegas Grande Waterfall, in the back flowing down in a pool, between rocks. In front a woman sitting on the rocks watching the waterfall.
Vegas Grande Waterfall by Brainy Backpackers

Salto El Limón, Dominican Republic

Contributed by Christian from Punta Cana Travel Blog.

Salto El Limón is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Dominican Republic and a perfect day-trip from Punta Cana, Las Terrenas or Santo Domingo.

The waterfall is located on the beautiful Samaná peninsula, which is famous for its pristine beaches, millions of coconut palm trees and gentle hills. What makes Salto El Limón unique is that you have the choice of 5 different hiking trails from 3 different directions, giving you plenty of options to explore the area. All trails are between 1 and 2.5 miles (one-way) long. My recommendation is the hiking trail “Sendero El Café” as this includes a spectacular view of the waterfall from the opposite side. Once arriving at the waterfall, you can refresh yourself in the natural swimming pool and take marvelous photos.

To visit Salto El Limón, you have different options. You can either arrive on your own with a rental car and go on the different hiking trails mentioned above. At the start of each trail, locals are also offering horseback riding services, but I would recommend walking. If you decide to go on your own, there is a 1 USD (50 DOP) entrance fee shortly before you reach the falls.

Alternatively, you can book a guided excursion from Las Terrenas or Punta Cana. There is also the option to fly from Punta Cana to Samaná when booking an organized tour, which cuts travel time significantly. However, the best option is to plan multiple days in Samaná (the best places to stay are Las Terrenas and Las Galeras) to explore the other hidden gems of the peninsula as well.

Salto El Limon, in the back flowing down on a rock in a clearing on the lush green forest
Salto El Limon by Punta Cana Travel Blog

So that’s a wrap on our list of waterfalls in North America,

from Quebec to Cuba and from Costa Rica to New York you can chase beautiful waterfalls! Next time we’ll be chasing waterfalls in South America!

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