You do realize TLC was being metaphorical in the song Waterfalls, right? Left Eye, T-Boz, and Chilli were simply suggesting you not live a completely reckless lifestyle, and probably had no problem with you traveling the world in search of falling water. Now that we’ve cleared that up, you’ll need some waterfall-travel inspiration, and where better to find it than Instagram? Its virtual pages are filled with loads of waterfall pictures, and the folks at Showerstoyou.co.uk (purveyors of a different kind of waterfall) found the 20 most hashtagged in the world.
20. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Height: 3,211 feet
Popularity: 22,440 hashtags
Should tourism ever become practical in Venezuela again, the first place most Americans are going is Angel Falls. If you do end up in Canaima National Park, you’ll be treated to the largest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, a sheer drop down the side of a jungle cliff into the Rio Kerepakupai Meru.
19. Gocta Waterfall, Peru
Height: 2,529 feet
Popularity: 23,312 hashtags
Hard to believe a waterfall that drops for nearly a mile would go undiscovered until 2002. But such are the mysteries of the Amazon, where the Gotca waterfall was unnoticed until German explorer Stefan Ziemendorff happened upon it during a trip through the Utcubamba Valley. Now, you can take a six-hour trek through the rainforest to see it, where you’ll pass 22 other waterfalls along the way.
18. Jog Falls, India
Height: 830 feet
Popularity: 29,330 hashtags
Set against the lush green mountains of the southern state of Karnataka, these falls are the second-largest in India, dropping a staggering 830 feet into the Sharavathi River. The best time to go is during monsoon season, when the rains are high enough that the water flowing through the falls doesn’t need to be diverted for electricity. Otherwise, you may get all the way here and not get pictures of much more than a trickle.
17. Shoshone Falls, Idaho
Height: 213 feet
Popularity: 30,176 hashtags
Like much of Idaho’s wilderness, Shoshone Falls still sits largely underappreciated by most of the country. This 213-foot drop in the Snake River is inside a striking basalt canyon creating a backdrop that’s topped only by the falls in the Grand Canyon. It’s been a popular attraction for well over 150 years, when folks along the Oregon trail would make a short diversion to see it.
16. Rhine Falls, Switzerland
Height: 75 feet
Popularity: 37,133 hashtags
At its peak, Rhine Falls is the most powerful in Europe, dropping 600 cubic meters of water per second from the Alps out to the North Sea. It’s been able to maintain its force because the Swiss never used it for electricity, and instead have made it one of the most popular attractions in the country with over a million visitors per year. The best time to go is during late spring and summer, when snow melting off the mountains rushes through the falls, creating the greatest show of water-born energy on the continent.
15. Cascata delle Marmore, Italy
Height: 541 feet
Popularity: 39,140 hashtags
Continental Europe’s most Instagrammed falls is also the only artificial waterfall on the list, constructed by ancient Romans in 271 BC to divert stagnant water from the city of Rieti over a cliff and into the Nera River. It’s undergone centuries of new engineering, trenches, and canals, and it still stands as the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. In modern times, its flow has been restricted as water gets diverted to a hydroelectric plant. But, twice a day, the plant releases water and the falls come to life.
14. Dettifoss, Iceland
Height: 144 feet
Popularity: 44,195 hashtags
Some fun bar trivia for you: Though the most powerful waterfall in Europe is generally thought to be Rhine Falls in Switzerland, during some times of the year it is eclipsed by this one in Vatnajökull National Park. At 500 cubic meters of water per second, it sits just behind Rhine’s peak power of 600, but well above its low-range of about 250. It also has a nice, 21-mile trail around the canyon, so you can take a couple of days to camp and fully appreciate its power.
13. Godafoss, Iceland
Height: 49 feet
Godafoss, if you’re good at cognates, means “Falls of the gods.” The name comes from a legend about a man throwing Norse god statues into the falls when the country converted to Christianity. But spend an hour or so there and you’ll understand it can just as easily be described as divine.
12. Horseshoe Falls, Ontario
Height: 167 feet
Popularity: 76,784 hashtags
A pretty big asterisk here: Horseshoe Falls are actually one of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls. This one is located entirely in Canada, and while the name is sometimes used interchangeably with Niagara, technically it’s its own entity. Most notably, it’s the falls you are behind during the Journey Behind The Falls, which yields a good chunk of Niagara’s total pictures.
11. Snoqualmie Falls, Washington
Height: 269 feet
Popularity: 116,083 hashtags
About half an hour east of Seattle’s business brother Bellevue, you’ll find the state’s most iconic waterfalls: a 269-foot cascade just down the highway from the Cascade Mountains. After enjoying the thundering falls, head up to the Salish Lodge and Spa for a relaxing lunch with a view. Or treat yourself to a night there and sleep to the sound of rushing water.
10. Bridalveil Falls, California
Height: 616 feet
Popularity: 127,020 hashtags
Not to be confused with the 25-or-so other waterfalls with the same name in the United States, this Yosemite falls is in a league of its own. The mist blowing off Bridalveil during peak season can literally go for a mile, and hiking the 1.2-mile, half hour trail to the viewpoint will often require a lot of Gore-Tex.
9. Havasu Falls, Arizona
Height: 98 feet
Unless your name is Beyoncé and you have unlimited funds to film a video here whenever you danged well feel like it, don’t think you’ll just stroll up to the Havasupai reservation near the Grand Canyon and snap all the pics you like. The tribe limits the number of visitors here to prevent it from getting over touristed, and when permits go on sale (at about $125 per person) on February 1, they typically sell out in a few hours.
8. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Height: 197 feet
Popularity: 139,668 hashtags
Picking the best waterfall to photograph in Iceland is kinda like trying to pick the best season of The Sopranos, but Seljalandsfoss is a pretty strong contender for the top honor. Not only can you walk to the base or hike to the top via a bright green hillside, during drier months you can take a trail behind the falls for one of the most unique vantage points in the country.
7. Yosemite Falls, California
Height: 2,424 feet
Popularity: 170,215 hashtags
Visit Yosemite Falls on a summer weekend and you can see all 170,000 of these pictures being taken at once! Ok, not really, though the falls’ booming Instagram popularity is a huge part of why the park saw over 4 million visitors last year. They are the highest falls in the U.S. mainland, and not by a small margin. The next one even close is Ribbon Fall (also in Yosemite) at 1,612 feet.
6. Skogafoss, Iceland
Height: 197 feet
Popularity: 218,094 hashtags
Perhaps Iceland’s most impressive waterfall – at least by sheer size – is this one, which stands nearly 200 feet tall by 85 feet wide. The flat trail to the falls makes for phenomenal –and very wet – photo ops. If you want to stay dry, the staircase to the top isn’t too tough a trek and offers equally-envy-inducing pictures.
5. Gullfoss, Iceland
Height: 104 feet
Popularity: 234,512 hashtags
A decade ago, you’d be shocked to see anything in Iceland with a quarter-million hashtags. That’s mostly because Instagram didn’t exist 10 years ago, but also because Airbuses full of American tourists weren’t showing up daily. Now Iceland has more waterfalls on this list than any country other than the US, headed by this multi-step cascade about an hour and 40 minutes from Reykjavik.
4. Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Height: 354 feet
Popularity: 236,117 hashtags
Known as “the greatest curtain of falling water in the world,” these sprawling falls sit on the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you’re traveling all that way you probably want more than just an Instagram picture, so make a few days out of it and raft the river, bungee jump over the falls, or swim right up to the edge at Devil’s Pool.
3. Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Height: 620 feet
Popularity: 261,020 hashtags
The most Instagrammed waterfall entirely in the United States sits a short half hour drive from Portland, where you can take the brisk, 2.2-mile hike to the top, enjoy your photos, then spend the rest of the afternoon wine tasting around the Columbia River Gorge.
2. Iguazu Falls, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay
Height: 269 feet
Popularity: 343,037 hashtags
With over 200 different individual falls, the number of photo angles here are nearly endless. Typically, the best panoramas are on the Brazilian side, but if you want shots without throngs of people in them, Argentina is probably a better option. Paraguay’s side of Iguazu is an especially interesting trip, if you’re into discovering creative ways to take goods over the border.
1. Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario
Height: 167 feet
Popularity: 3,008,732 hashtags
No huge surprise that the world’s most famous falls are also the most Instagrammed. But visitors to Niagara Falls tagged it nearly 10 times more than the next-most-popular waterfall on the list. This might be because of the abundance of photo ops from both the American and Canadian sides. Or because of all the other cool stuff to do in the region that might also be tagged. But if you also consider the amount of overachievers specifically hashtagging Horseshoe Falls, Niagara really doesn’t have any other falls even close to knocking them out of their top spot.