Measuring the tallest waterfalls in the world is not an easy task. There is a great deal of debate regarding how height is judged. For example, do you measure the longest single drop or add together cumulative drops? Plus, where does the waterfall begin and end? These questions mean that a definitive list of the world’s tallest waterfalls is impossible to create. But, on this list, readers can find 10 of the tallest waterfalls in the world. 

Catarata Gocta 

Location: Cocachimba / San Pablo, Peru

Height: 2,530 ft (771m)

Catarata Gocta
The Catarata Gocta contains two impressive drops

Credit: Elemaki

Catarata Gocta flows into the Cocahuayco River in Peru. It has two impressive drops that have a total height, by some estimates of around 2,530 feet or 771 meters. But, this number fluctuates depending on who has done the measuring. On some lists, this waterfall is the fifth tallest in the world, while on other lists, like The World Waterfall Database, ranks it as the 16th tallest.

Legend suggests that the falls remained unknown to outsiders for so long due to a curse of a mermaid who lived in the waters. The falls are said to be protected by this spirit. Today, tourists can visit and hike around the falls. 

Ramnefjellsfossen 

Height: 2,685ft (818m)

Location: Sogn og Fjordane, Norway

Ramnefjellsfossen

The long Ramnefjellsfossen  waterfalls falls to Lake Lovatnet

Credit: Sindre 

This waterfall often features towards the top of various lists of the world’s tallest waterfalls. It is unofficially listed as the third tallest waterfall by different publications. Some other lists have it as far down as 11th. It falls from glacial waters into Lake Lovatnet. The waterfall has four drops, fed from the Jostedalsbreen glacier. The waterfall is located in a dangerous area that has killed more than 100 people in landslides. 

Pu’uka’oku Falls

Height: 2,756 feet (840 m)

Location: Hawaii, United States Pu’uka’oku Falls

The Pu’uka’oku Falls are over 2,700 feet tall

Credit: Listamaze

Pu’uka’oku Falls is one of the two waterfalls on this list located on Molokai island, Hawaii. It is usually listed around eighth on the list of the tallest waterfalls in the world. It is on the northern coast of the island and is not the easiest waterfall to access on this list. 

Balåifossen

Height: 2,788ft (850m)

Location: Norway 

The tall Balåifossen waterfall is located in Norway

Credit: European Waterfalls

Balåifossen falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway and in the world. It is tall and thin, with a few tiers. It’s located south of Osa in the municipality Ulvik. This waterfall is not as striking as some of the others on this list but it is commonly cited within the top ten tallest.  

Vinnufossen

Height: 2,838 ft (865m)

Location: Norway 

Vinnufossen
The high Vinnufossen waterfall runs down the side of a cliff

Credit: Carl S Bj (cropped)

Vinnufossen is one of Norway’s most beautiful waterfalls, it is also one of the tallest. It is commonly cited as the tallest waterfall in the world, breaking four times into tiers throughout its height. The falls are fed by the Vinnufonna glacier. 

Yumbilla Falls

Height: 2,939ft (896m)

Location: Peru

Yumbilla Falls

The tall Yumbilla Falls is surrounded by forests

Credit: Fregopie (cropped)

This waterfall is located near Cuispes in the region of Amazonas. It is sometimes ranked as the fifth tallest waterfall in the world. There are a total of four drops throughout its height. The waterfall is ruled by a stream emerging from Caverna San Francisco, a cave. The area around the waterfall is extremely forested, featured many interesting flora and fauna, such as the Andean cock-of-the-rock. 

Olo’upena Falls

Height: 2,952ft (900m)

Location: Hawaii, United States

Olo’upena Falls

The Olo’upena waterfall is the highest in the United States

Credit: Jay

This waterfall is located in Molokai in Hawaii. It is the highest waterfall in the United States and is commonly listed as the fourth tallest waterfall in the world. The falls are located in a split between two cliffs in the Pelekunu and Wailau valleys and can only be seen from the ocean or the air. 

Cataratas las Tres Hermanas

Height: 2,998 ft (914m)

Location: Peru

The Cataratas las Tres Hermanas has three tiers to it

This waterfall is sometimes listed as the second or third tallest in the world. It is located near the fork in the Cutivireni River. It has three drops, inspiring its name, “Three Sisters.” The waterfall is in Otishi National Park. 

Tugela Falls

Height 3,110 ft (948 m) 

Location: South Africa

Tugela Falls

The Tugela Falls has the longest single drop in the world

Credit: Andynct 

Tugela Falls is a seasonal waterfall in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Its longest single drop is 1,348 ft or 411m. Depending on the list, this waterfall ranks at different levels as its single tallest drop does not put it towards the top of some rankings. Some even place this waterfall above Angel Falls in Venezuela. It has a total of five drops. It’s easy to visit this waterfall as it is visible from the side of the road. 

Angel Falls 

Height: 3,212ft (979m)

Location: Canaima, Venezuela 

Angel falls

The Angel Falls is the worlds tallest uninterrupted waterfall (with tiered drops)

Credit: Heribert Dezeo

Angel Falls is generally considered to be the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall. It is a beautiful sight to behold, measuring an incredibly 3,212ft. The water rushes over the top of Auyán-tepui mountain in Canada National Park. It has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The waterfall is located in a fork of the Río Kerepacupai Merú, flowing into the Churún River. The common name, Angel Falls, comes from Jimmie Angel, the first person to fly over the cascade. Of interest in regard to the falls’ naming is the fact that Angel attempted to land his monoplane on top of the mountain but it sank into the marshy ground. He descended, along with his wife and three companions, taking eleven days to get back to a town. 

The Spanish and Pemon names for the falls are Salto Ángel and Kerepakupai Merú. The latter means “waterfall of the deepest place.” It’s also sometimes called Parakupá Vená meaning “the fall from the highest point,” according to Wikipedia.