Discover the Tallest Waterfall in Mexico

Written by Rebecca Mathews
Updated: December 6, 2023
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Waterfalls are a popular tourist destination, and that’s hardly surprising given that an epically tall waterfall’s cascading and often loud, raw beauty is so mesmerizing. Let’s discover the tallest waterfall in Mexico, where it is exactly, and why there’s no simple answer.

Highest or Tallest?

First up is the terminology.

The tallest waterfall means the length of its cascading waters, whereas the highest waterfall means the highest elevation a waterfall sits at. These terms are used interchangeably across the internet, but we’ll use the tallest. To be clear, we mean the longest falling stream of water.

The Tallest Waterfall in Mexico

This is a controversial question because two contenders have a claim to the tallest waterfall in Mexico’s crown.

The tallest permanent waterfall in Mexico is the Basaseachic waterfall (Cascada de Basaseachi in Spanish), with a crystal clear plummeting cascade of 807 feet. Its cascade flows all year, which is important because nearby Cascada Piedra Bolada actually has a cascade that is 1,500 feet tall.

However, Cascada Piedra Bolada doesn’t flow all year round. It is ephemeral and dries up from June to October. It’s considered the tallest temporary waterfall in Mexico.

Aerial view of the Basaseachi Waterfall in Chihuahua. Second-highest waterfall in Mexico.

Basaseachic waterfall cascades 807 feet down a canyon cliffside.

©Andrea De la Parra/

Basaseachi Waterfall: 807 Feet

Basaseachic waterfall tumbles 807 feet down a canyon wall 12 months of the year. It’s most spectacular in the rainy season.

This epic waterfall is situated in the Basaseachic Falls National Park of Copper Canyon, and the Duraznos and Basaseachic Rivers feed it. Surrounding this natural beauty lies lush green pine and oak forests. Mountain lions, white-tailed deer, and parrots live in the vicinity.

Piedra Bolada Waterfall: 1,500 Feet

Taller, but only flowing in the rainy season, 1,500 feet Cascada de Piedra Bolada lies three kilometers downstream in the Barranca de Candameña.

This glorious waterfall is also called Piedra Volada, which means Flying Rock or Flying Stone in English. It’s best viewed from neighboring canyon cliffs, and plenty of hiking trails wind their way up to the best viewing point.

How Were Mexico’s Tallest Waterfalls Created?

The whole Copper Canyon area was formed 20-40 million years ago when a powerful river carved six immense canyons from volcanic rock. The river created towering peaks, deep gorges, and cascading waterfalls in this epic area.

copper canyon mexico barrancas del cobre

Copper Canyon formed 20-40 million years ago.

©Fernando Gutierrez Ortega/

Tallest Waterfall in the World

How do these tall Mexican waterfalls compare to the world’s tallest?

Well, the world’s tallest waterfall is 3,212 foot Angel Falls in Venezuela, South America. It totally dwarfs Mexico’s tallest waterfalls.

Angel Falls is located in a remote jungle with no accessible roads in Canaima National Park. It drops from the top of the Auyantepui (Ayan) cliff and lands in Devil’s Canyon.

Largest Waterfall - Angel Falls

Venezuela’s tallest terrestrial waterfall is the world’s 3,212-foot tall Angel Falls.

©Claudio Soldi/

But hold on, because although Angel Falls is the world’s tallest terrestrial waterfall, the Denmark Strait is the tallest in the world by far.

The Denmark Strait is all underwater and falls 11,500 feet, over two miles down. It’s located between Iceland and Greenland and only falls downwards because freezing cold water plummets over a drop in the ocean floor into warmer water.

Where Is Mexico’s Tallest Waterfall?

Both waterfalls are located in Basaseachic Falls National Park in Barranca de Candameña, one of the Copper Canyon area’s deep canyons. The park sits in the Sierra Tarahumara of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Chihuahua.

Basaseachic Falls National Park was designated in 1981. It’s protected and includes both of Mexico’s tallest waterfalls plus large areas of forest.

It’s possible to park in Basaseachic Falls National Park and take the well-marked and fairly busy trails out to both waterfalls. Be sure to pack a lot of water, first aid kits, and sun protection. Trails range from two hours to a full-day hike, depending on your ability.

Landscapes from the chepe train, sierra tarahumara, Chihuahua, Mexico

El Chepe train runs through Copper Canyon, close to the waterfalls.

©David Colin/

Animals Living Near Mexico’s Tallest Waterfall

Basaseachic Falls National Park and the Copper Canyon area are home to an abundance of epic wildlife. However, it’s still remote enough to play host to elusive animals (plus plenty of more common creatures).

Here’s what you might spot on your hike:

Lizard Gila Monster( Heloderma suspectum)

Gila monsters live in Basaseachic Falls National Park, alongside pumas, bluebirds, and chameleons.

©Vaclav Sebek/

Other Waterfalls in Mexico

Mexico is home to spectacular waterfalls. Here are a few of its other cascading beauties.

Agua Azul

Possibly the most famous Mexican waterfall is Agua Azul, which means blue water due to its aquamarine dazzling blue waters. This astonishing color is created by its mineral content. However, beware if you plan a trip because, in the rainy season (June to September), it turns brown with mud!

A series of cascades, some of which are 20 feet tall, form these pretty falls. Find this natural wonder close to the town of Palenque, Chiapas.

Cola de Caballo

The Horse Tail, so called because it resembles a horse’s hind quarters, is a popular spot for picnickers and photo opportunities. This 82-foot drop is located in Villa de Santiago, Nuevo Leon.

Hierve el Agua

Hierve de Agua is a set of travertine rock formations that resemble a flowing waterfall! This natural wonder formed from natural spring calcification over thousands of years.

This petrified waterfall is located about an hour from Oaxaca City, and it’s a popular tourist spot.

Recap: Mexico’s Tallest Waterfall

So, there’s disagreement over which is the tallest waterfall in Mexico.

Permanent 807 feet Basaseachic waterfall, or rainy season only 1,500 feet Cascada de Piedra Bolada? Either way, they sit only a few kilometers from one another in Copper Canyon, and both are worth the hike.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andrea De la Parra/

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About the Author

Rebecca is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on plants and geography. Rebecca has been writing and researching the environment for over 10 years and holds a Master’s Degree from Reading University in Archaeology, which she earned in 2005. A resident of England’s south coast, Rebecca enjoys rehabilitating injured wildlife and visiting Greek islands to support the stray cat population.

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