The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

| Sneha Chandrashekar / Unsplash
Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

The magical sight of cascading water, smothering glassy rock faces and dampening luscious greenery on its way down an epic slope, is one of the most effortlessly inspiring encounters you can have on your travels. We’ve put together this list of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, which you can visit with Culture Trip.

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Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Maybe it’s the way rays of sunshine sneak through tropical boundaries to shimmer across the water, or maybe it’s the way the falls reveal themselves like an oasis, seemingly out of nowhere, but a jungle waterfall has a truly mystical quality to it. Kuang Si is arguably the finest example of jungle falls on the planet. It’s certainly the most beautiful thing to see in Laos. The almost milky turquoise water, which flows down through the jungle and into gorgeous tiered limestone pools, sets this unique natural phenomenon apart from most waterfalls. The main drop is of a similar height to Skógafoss, but the joys of Kuang Si come from the unique-looking pools themselves, and the little mini cascades linking them all together. You’ll go on an amazing tropical rainforest hike on our Thailand and Laos Rail Trip, eventually reaching the falls, where you’ll have a few hours to spend finding the perfect selfie spot and splashing around with your fellow travellers.

From US$1686

Next available from 5th Apr 2025

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Bangkok, Thailand

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ENDS AT

Bangkok, Thailand

DURATION

14

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Light

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STYLE

Discovery

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A cyclist takes a break, sitting overlooking a pair of waterfalls in a green and rocky canyon

Baños Waterfall Route, Ecuador

The route from Baños to Puyo in Ecuador is one of the most scenic on Earth, locally known as the Ruta de Las Cascadas (Waterfall Highway) due to the seven waterfalls (some say as many as 12) you pass along the way. Highlights include Agoyán, the largest waterfall in the Ecuadorian Andes, and Manto de la Novia – or the the Bride’s Veil, thanks to its pure white colour of its twin cascades. The most impressive of the lot is without doubt Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron), which you’re likely to hear before you see thanks to its dramatic position within a fairly narrow gorge. The 80m (262ft) drop is quite the sight to behold and it’s perhaps best viewed from the wobbly suspension bridge that crosses the gorge. You’ll get to cycle the magnificent Baños route on our eight-day Adventurous Ecuador tour – our tip, don’t go too fast or you might miss some of the smaller falls!

From US$1649

Next available from 24th Aug 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Quito, Ecuador

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ENDS AT

Quito, Ecuador

DURATION

8

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Shifen Waterfall, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Shifen Waterfall, Taiwan

This majestic waterfall in northern Taiwan is more notable for its width than its height, crossing 40m (130ft) of the Keelung River and earning it a nickname, the Little Niagara of Taiwan. It’s beautiful to observe this unique geological phenomenon – formed by rock formations that go against the flow of the river – from pretty much every angle. There’s the misleadingly serene emerald waters at the top of the waterfall and the sudden layered downfall, causing a rushing stream that often produces mini rainbows in the sun. The best viewing point is on a platform that offers brilliant panoramic views of the full width of the falls, as well as the luscious surrounding greenery. You’ll get to visit Shifen Waterfall, as well as the charming nearby old town, on day seven of our Taste of Taiwan itinerary.

From US$1777

Next available from 17th Aug 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

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ENDS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

DURATION

9

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Banyumala waterfall in North Bali island, Indonesia

Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, Bali

Gitgit is probably the most famous waterfall in Bali but, trust us, your best bet is to head to the gorgeous split waterfalls of Banyumala. This picturesque spot, set amid a backdrop of tropical rainforest, sees a steady flow of water slide down multiple routes into a refreshing rock pool. It’s one of the most idyllic swimming spots in all of Bali – which is really saying something – and you’ll get to go for a dip here on the morning of day three on our Blissful Bali trip. We’ll chill at the falls for a little while, allowing plenty of splash time before tucking into a traditional Balinese picnic of nasi bungkus (rice wrapped in a banana leaf, typically served with meat and vegetables). You might not have ever had such a scenic lunch in your lifetime.

From US$1616

Next available from 15th Jun 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Bali, Indonesia

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ENDS AT

Bali, Indonesia

DURATION

12

GROUP SIZE

18

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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