The Most Incredible Hikes To Waterfalls In The World

A waterfall is defined as an area in a stream or river where running water falls down from a high place such as over the side of a cliff. Words like breathtaking, otherworldly, awe-inspiring and majestic should be added to this simplistic description. Get out there and explore the world; make one of these waterfalls the center of your next getaway.

Waterfall Hiking in Montezuma, Costa Rica

A small town on the southern tip of Costa Rica's western peninsula, Montezuma is an adventurous destination best known for its waterfall hikes and friendly monkey population. Between the trails, cliff jumps and stunning scenery, there is no lack of exciting photo opportunities. Follow the waterfall trail over several high-rise bridges to find a zip line tour.

Kilt Rock Waterfall, Scotland

Hike to the Trotternish Peninsula for spectacular views of Kilt Rock and Mealt waterfall. The Kilt Rock resembles a Scottish kilt. Mealt Falls was named after Loch Mealt, the freshwater lake it feeds. See the magnificent waterfall as it drains vertically into the sea from 170 feet high.

Ouzel Falls Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

This easy, 5.5-mile roundtrip hike from the Wild Basin Trailhead skirts past multiple waterfalls, including Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades, on its way to Ouzel Falls. You'll hear Ouzel Falls before you see it—this waterfall positively roars. Watch for the falls' namesake bird, the ouzel, which plunges into the water below the falls.

Yosemite Grand Traverse, California

Explore some of the highest points of the Sierra Nevada – reaching as high as 12,000 feet – by hiking the Yosemite Grand Traverse. This is a trans-Sierra trek that takes you through Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Wilderness. You'll pass Merced River, the lifeblood of Yosemite Valley, where the route traces the headwaters through several waterfalls.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

It's one of the most popular tourist attractions in Venezuela and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Angel Falls, the highest waterfall on Earth, is 3,230 feet in height with a vertical drop of 2,647 feet. It is only accessible by river from June to December, when the river is deep enough for boat travel. You'll also have to hike through the jungle for about five hours.

Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada

The Long Range Traverse is an unmarked and rugged backcountry route. It starts from Western Brook Pond and leads towards Gros Morne Mountain, which alone is a reason to visit Canada. Gros Morne's ancient landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.

Mount Kailash, Tibet

Trekking around sacred Mt. Kailash means walking along beautiful rocky cliffs and standing before breathtaking waterfalls, according to SnowLion Tours. Trips usually start from the town of Zhangmu, which is located in the Matsang Tsangpo Gorge, where you can see spectacular waterfalls on the both sides of the gorge.

Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

The 11-mile long Kalalau Trail offers the only foot access to the spectacular Na Pali Coast of Kauai and the hidden beaches and waterfalls along the way. The rugged trail, steep and eroded in places, traverses five distinct valleys. The trail curves around the heavily vegetated cliffs, or fluted ridges. You'll trek through a lavish jungle and gorgeous waterfalls.

Laugavegurinn, Iceland

More adventurous hikers' favorite will mostly likely be trekking the 50-mile Laugavegurinn Trail. They will see some of the most remote, wild and breathtaking scenery on the planet. Hikers will pass by unique waterfalls, glaciers, mighty volcanoes, including Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted in 2010 and stopped flight traffic between the U.S. and Europe for a while. You can also choose to hike for 15 more miles to finish at famous Skogafoss waterfall.

Fitz Roy Trek, Patagonia, Argentina

Fairly easy walks without any big climbs are ideal for trekkers who want to visit one of several large waterfalls in the area. They are usually surrounded by an idyllic lenga forest. Go on a special tour so the guides can take you to some secret, but gigantic, waterfall with Cerro Chalten or Mountz Fitz Roy in the background.

Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Iguazu Falls, which translates to "big water," is among the widest in the world and, like many other falls, associated with a legend. The story states that a deity was to marry a beautiful woman when she left him for a mortal. During their getaway in a canoe, the angry deity cut the river causing the waterfall that killed the lovers.

Wallaman Falls, Australia

This is the highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia. It is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to some of the oldest rainforests on earth and many endangered plants and animals.

Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for its 16 terraced lakes that are joined by waterfalls. The waters have flown over the limestone and chalk for thousands of years, creating natural dams which have formed some of the most spectacular lakes, caves and waterfalls.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

This magnificent 611-foot-tall attraction is just about half an hour away from Portland. The Multnomah Falls, which does not dry up in the summer unlike many other waterfalls, is an awe-inspiring cascade of icy water. See it from the Benson Bridge for an ideal view of the top tier's full 542-foot height and a knee-wobbling vantage point over the second tier's 69-foot drop.

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is classified as the world's largest sheet of falling water with a width of 5,604 feet and height of 354 feet. Spray from the falling water can be seen miles away during the wet season. The trip from Victoria Falls to about 17 miles downstream is a mixture of huge flows, water around 80 degrees, and significant drops, followed by a mile of flatwater.