When it comes to looking for a location where interesting and new experiences can come together in the form of a fantastic vacation, a trip to South America may be just what is needed. South America is known for many things. It features high mountain peaks, thick tropical jungles, beautiful beaches, exciting urban population centers, and a completely unique way of life. One of the physical traits that South America is blessed with is its wealth of incredible waterfalls.
Waterfalls are popular points of interest and vacation destinations for those that are impressed with natural scenic wonders. Many are located very near cities or otherwise easily accessible areas. Many others are located in far off remote areas that take some work to get to. South America has a great supply of all types of waterfalls found all throughout the continent.
Here are ten waterfalls in South America that should not be missed.
Located in Peru, Yumbilla Falls is the fifth tallest waterfall in the entire world. In terms of history, it is a more recent discovery and is located in a very remote part of the country. The volume of water passing over the falls is not that large, making this tiered waterfall sometimes hard to find from a great distance away. The total height of Yumbilla Falls is 2,938 feet tall.
One of the most amazing waterfalls to see in South America is Iguazu Falls which is located on the Argentina-Brazil border. The falls are found on the Iguazu River and are actually a long series of waterfalls. There are more than 250 different drops included in Iguazu Falls which stretches more than a mile and a half in length. Most of the falls measure in the 200 foot tall range, although some reach up to 280 feet high. There are a number of viewpoints that are great for taking in views of Iguazu Falls. From the Argentina side, a small train takes visitors through the rain forest right up to a number of different walkways that lead to very close up views of the falls.
Located in Venezuela, Cuquenan Falls is the country’s second tallest waterfall measuring in at just over 2,000 feet tall. One of the more impressive parts of Cuquenan Falls is that it drops in one single drop from high above into the valley below. Tours that take visitors through the wild back country and up to the falls are popular, but it is a long trek to make.
Llovizna Falls is found on the River Caroni in Venezuela and is very impressive to see in person. The falls are somewhat easily accessible and very near to developed areas of the country. There is a nearby hydroelectric power station that has reduced the water flow, although when the floodgates are opened, Llovizna Falls is something to truly be seen.
Known locally as Cachoeira da Fumaca, Smoke Falls is generally acknowledged as the nation of Brazil’s highest waterfall. Smoke Falls is popular with adventurers due to the fact that there are a great many other things to see and do during the trip into visit them. There are a number of caves to explore and smaller waterfalls to see when traveling to Smoke Falls from below. The falls can also be reached from above and doing so provides an amazing view of the surrounding area.
The second highest waterfall in Venezuela is Yutaje Falls. This waterfall measures in at more than 2,200 feet in height. This is one of the more remote waterfalls in Venezuela, but it is still accessible to the general public if they hire locals to lead them there. A glimpse of Yutaje Falls is very impressive and something that the adventurous traveler won’t soon forget.
Kaieteur Falls can be found in Kaieteur National Park in Guyana. It has a maximum height of 741 feet and falls as one drop from high above to the valley below. One of the most amazing parts of Kaieteur Falls is the incredible volume of water that pours over the side of the cliff. Very few waterfalls can match the combined height and volume that make Kaieteur Falls an amazing things to see. The falls are one of the most famous tourist attractions in all of Guyana and can reached by trail from both above and below. The best way to see Kaieteur Falls though is from the air as part of an aerial tour of the area.
Located in southern Chile, Huilo-Huilo Falls draws its water flow from Lacar Lake in neighboring Argentina. The falls are a favorite destination for extreme travelers touring the continent of South America. Huilo-Huilo Falls is located in the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve and there are times during the drier times of the year that the flow actually stops and there are no falls to see. The area surrounding the falls is incredibly beautiful and many of those that venture there are drawn by more than the falls themselves.
Located in the southern area of central Chile, and sitting right next to the old Pan-American Highway that many travelers still to this day explore, is Laja Falls. The falls are not incredibly tall, but they are very wide and there is a good amount of water flowing over them during most times of the year. There are a number of great viewpoints that provide nice photographic opportunities in the area. It is even possible to get close enough to feel the spray coming right off the falls themselves. In recent years, the area downriver from Laja Falls has had a great deal of development and it truly caters to travelers visiting Chile and all of South America.
One of the most spectacular sights to see in all of South America is Angel Falls and is found in Venezuela. With a one plunge flow of water coming over a 3,212 foot tall cliff, Angel Falls are regarded as the highest waterfall in the entire world. The mist coming off the waterfall can be felt by people in the area up to a mile away. For the most part, the water flowing over Angel Falls never hits the ground. The falls are so hight that most, if not all, of the water turns into mist before it reaches the canyon floor below. This is by far one of the top attractions in all of Venezuela. The falls can be seen as part of an aerial tour, though during cloudy days they cannot be seen, but the best way to experience them is from the river below. Viewing Angel Falls close up is an unforgettable experience.
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There are a number of great reasons to go to South America for a vacation, and while many of those reasons are more popular than for the waterfalls, the waterfalls that are located there certainly add to the experience. Many of these falls play a large role in the lives of the locals. Many also have a fascinating history behind them too that will help the traveler come away with a look at a different aspect of this intriguing land. A visit to South America just isn’t complete without a visit to some of the amazing waterfalls that are found there.