Mother nature and South America just seem to go hand in hand. South America is home to some of the greatest natural wonders in the world, and waterfalls are no exception. Some of the world’s greatest waterfalls can be found in South America and there’s many unique ways to see them, from hiking to flying over in a helicopter or airplane.
- Iguazu Falls. Considered one of the greatest waterfalls in the world, Iguazu Falls is my runaway favorite. The waterfalls actually sit on the border of both Argentina and Brazil, diving into the upper and lower Iguazu. Iguazu is often compared to Victoria Falls, which is the largest curtain of water in the world, since Iguazu is split, but Iguazu is wider. The falls can be accessed from both the Brazil and Argentina side.
- Angel Falls. This Venezuelan waterfall goes by several different names, although most people recognize it as Angel Falls, and is significant because it’s the tallest waterfall in the world, standing at a height of 3,212 and plunging 2,648 feet. It predominantly features a straight drop from the top, but also has a cascading waterfall that runs for a quarter of a mile. This is one of the most difficult waterfalls to access on this list since it’s located in an isolated jungle in Venezuela. Your best chance is flying over or taking a river trip during the summer and fall months with a guide.
- Kaieteur Falls. Located on the northern part of South America in Guyana is the powerful waterfall of Kaieteur Falls. It plunges over 700 feet before flowing over a series of cascades. Despite being one of the shorter waterfalls on this list, it’s considered to be one of the most powerful waterfalls and you’ll quickly see why when you see it. Since it’s a major tourist destination, it’s relatively easy to make a day trip here.
- Yumbilla Falls. Yumbilla Falls, located in Peru, has only recently begun to attract worldwide attention. It’s the fifth tallest waterfall in the world, standing at a height of nearly 3,000 feet. However, it’s not a straight drop, but rather tiered, featuring several different drops. However, it’s not nearly as powerful as Iguazu or Kaieteur Falls. It’s one of the most difficult waterfalls in South America to access because of its location.
- Cuquenan Falls. Lastly, there’s Cuquenan Falls, which similar to Yumbilla, is known for being tall, but not powerful. It stands as the second tallest waterfall in Venezuela, just after Angel Falls. It’s considered the second tallest free-leaping waterfall in the world. Similar to Angel Falls, it can be difficult to access due to its isolation, but is best viewed from a distance.
What's the greatest waterfall you've ever seen? Tell us in the comments section below.
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Article and photo by Spencer Spellman