In case you haven’t heard, my favorite hobby happens to be chasing waterfalls. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but no matter where I go, I always happen to find a waterfall to chase, or in some cases, they find me! Well…they don’t really find me, that would be weird, but even when I’m not actively chasing, I end up finding one anyway!
From the hidden ruins of Wiñay Wanya on the Inca Trail, to a frozen fjord in Svalbard; I’ve seen some incredible waterfalls that are definitely worth chasing!
To get you in the spirit of chasing waterfalls, you HAVE to watch my lovely little compilation video below! Then check out the 11 rare waterfalls around the world that I think are definitely worth chasing!
Here’s a tip: I usually Google “waterfalls in ______” before I go somewhere, to see if there’s any hidden ones nearby! Here are my ten favorite ones so far!
1. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss, although hard to pronounce, is by far on of my most favorite waterfalls to this day. Why, you ask? Because it was also the very first magical, mystical, massive waterfall I had ever seen before in my life! I remember seeing it on the side of the road as I drove solo on my first day in Iceland; I pulled over and literally ran up to it, not caring that I got soaked, or that people were starring at me funny for taking “selfies” in front of it.
2. Skogafoss, Iceland
I mean…COME ON! This is the most epic downpour of water onto a seemingly flat surface that you’ll ever see! I think what makes Skogafoss so awesome is that it just drops down from a massive mountain/glacier, and is just simply, boop, right there on the side of the road in Iceland, where you can just park and walk up to it…if you’re willing to get soaked.
3. Mooney Falls, Arizona USA
I thought Havasu Falls was going to be the main attraction but low and behold, Havasupai (the Indian reservation where Havasu Falls is) has quite a few waterfalls, including Mooney Fallswhich is way taller than Havasu!
4. Havasu Falls, Arizona USA
Havasu Fallsis notorious for its beautiful blue water surrounded by red rocky cliffs. It’s extremely hard to get to, both because it’s an 8 mile hike (or you can fly in by helicopter) and because it’s even harder to get a reservation to stay there overnight. You used to be able to do day hikes there which I did because I couldn’t get a reservation, but they just prohibited them so now you really have to try to get an overnight pass in advance. Oh, and check the weather…when I went there ended up being a flash flood.
5. Svartifoss, Iceland
If you’re determined to see some awesome stuff on the South East coast of Iceland, make the drive to Skaftafell National Park where you can do an easy hike to the infamous Svartifoss waterfall. It’s popular because it cascades down black basalt column cliffs, and is where a few movies were filmed, like one of the Batman’s!
6. Secret Waterfalls, El Yunque Jungle, Puerto Rico
These are some real, literal, hidden gems! The only way you can get to these secret waterfalls is if you stay at the bed and breakfast on the property called Casa Flamboyant. I found this place by literally Googling “hotels in el Yunque Jungle” and zoomed in to find it in the middle of the map of the jungle. It was freaking amazing, especially since it had its own private hikes to two waterfalls!
7. McWay Falls, Big Sur, California
Another iconic waterfall that people travel far and wide to see and take a photo of for Instagram is McWay Falls in Big Sur, California. I finally made the drive up from LA and camped near it, and found a beach with purple sand as well!
8. Öxaráfoss, Iceland
Öxaráfoss is located in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, which is a double UNESCOWorld Heritage site. The first site is the Silfra fissure, which is an underwater continental divide crack between the America and Eurasia plates that you can snorkel through (I did it! Read about it here). The second is the park itself because it’s where the first settlers, the Vikings, created the first parliament ever. What does that have to do with this waterfall? Well, Öxaráfoss gets its name from those vikings, who used to chop off the heads of enemies with an ax, and toss them off the waterfall.
9. Advent Valley, Svalbard
Definitely was not expecting to see any waterfalls in Svalbard; the arctic archipelago in between the North Pole and Norway. Low and behold, I end up having extra time on my snowmobiling tour, and my guide offers to take me to see a secret (frozen) waterfall located deep in a random nook of the frozen Advent Valley fjord!
10. Lower Calf Creek Falls, Utah
Here’s a prime example of a waterfall I found by Googling “waterfalls near ____”. I was doing an Arizona and Utahroad trip, and trying to find things to do near Bryce Canyon, when I found information on a hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. It didn’t take too long, and was definitely worth the view!
11. Secret Waterfall, Inca Trail, Peru
At some point on my 4 day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu I mentioned to my guide that my hobby is chasing waterfalls. Since he’s awesome, he surprised me on the last day of the hike by taking me on a pathway near Wiñay Wayna ruins, that leads to a secret waterfall in the jungle. It was absolutely freezing, but so cool to see amidst the portion of ruins that were overgrown with plants.
Alyssa is a self-made, full time travel blogger who loves adventure and typically travels the world solo. She's been to 53 countries and 6 continents so far, and believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!