“I can't imagine, how it could be possible for such a small island to support enough artists and stonecutters to build all these wonders.” — Arthur Denison
Waterfall City was set halfway down the Polongo River. The city was Dinotopia's western center of culture and learning, and has fallen a little from its glory since the trade routes to Chandara were closed. Waterfall City was always a mecca for the island's artists and craftsmen who came to take advantage of the library, the Musician's Inn, the Concert Hall, and the city's many museums and galleries. The noise and the mist generated by the falls are so powerful that they were a constant presence in the city's atmosphere.
Excluding the waterfalls, and other than the three large towers, the most prominent feature of the city was the library. This colossal building, in the north of the city, held thousands of scrolls in honeycomb shelves, and there were scroll reading machines for the dinosaurs; who didn't like turning pages.
Another prominent structure was a great dome; a massive representation of Earth. Located in the south-east corner of the city, above a large spillway of the canal network, this dome housed the water powered helicoid geochronograph — the primary time-piece for Dinotopia.
Due to the city's setting, water was a big part of daily life in Waterfall City. Canals, that resembled those of Venice, Italy, weaved through the elaborately carved stone buildings. Many fountains were placed around the city, there were gardens, theaters and observatories. In the north-east tower of the city, stood a stone monument with the Code of Dinotopia carved upon it.
In the north-east corner of the city stood the Aqua Stadium. Below this gigantic structure, were dolphin caverns which could be viewed through windows in the Aqua Stadium's lower levels.
To the east of the city was another island, connected via a stone bridge. This island, along with having a large circular tower, had a one-way drawbridge to the riverbank. This bridge was made out of wood and it was built like the vertebrae of a skeleton; allowing it to spring back up again after use. This stopped carnivores from the Rainy Basin passing over the deep, fast flowing Polongo River into Waterfall City.
As had been the custom for new arrivals, Arthur Denison and his son Will registered in Waterfall City on August 6, 1863, after they survived the wreck of the Venturer. The Denisons stayed in the city for nearly three-years, while they learned about Dinotopian culture, language and society. Arthur spent much of this time researching Dinotopia's history, or exploring new parts of the city. Some time after spring 1866, Nallab gave Arthur a studio overlooking the falls; close to the library.
For example, compared to the books the city has many, many more waterfalls around it and, in contrast to the books, inside it too. The spherical dome did exist, but was not shown to have a helicoid geochronograph inside, and was placed on an arch above a bridge to the riverbank — this bridge, unlike in the books, was made out of stone and did not posses the same properties as the Vertebral drawbridge did. The architecture is also very different, since the city did not have the Maya-style pyramids that it did in the books, nor the general elaborateness of stonework to such an extent.