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Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls: Our most recommended tours and activities

Big Island: Hilo Doors-Off Lava and Rainforest Adventure

1. Big Island: Hilo Doors-Off Lava and Rainforest Adventure

On this helicopter doors-off experience, you will see the best of the Big Island, with views only accessible by air. See giant waterfalls flowing down gorgeous cliffs and active glowing lava. For those wanting to see Hawaii from a bird's eye view, this tour will take you there. Jump aboard the Hughes 500 Helicopter doors-off and fly over one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Find out for yourself why this is the ”hottest helicopter ride on Earth.” After over 35 years of activity, Kīlauea Volcano has made its mark on the geological structure of the island. Witness otherworldly landscapes like the incredible 8-mile river of frozen lava from Fissure 8 to the Pacific Ocean, the newest black sand beaches, and enormous craters created by recent events. Along the way, view Mauna Loa’s vistas, the beauty of lush Puna rainforests, and mesmerizing Hilo waterfalls. With no windows to shoot through, there is no better way for you to share crystal clear photographs and videos of your experience. Many of these Hawaii waterfalls are accessible by air only so you will gain exclusive access to some of the largest waterfalls on the island. 

Mauna Kea: Stellar Explorer Tour from Hilo

2. Mauna Kea: Stellar Explorer Tour from Hilo

Visit Rainbow Falls and the Kaumana Caves before heading to your stargazing location. Travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, 2 of the tallest and biggest volcanoes on Earth. To complete your tour, your guide will take you to one of the preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. Observe the deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture telescope, under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth. Enjoy narration from expert astronomers, who have written articles for well-known magazines and worked at world-class observatories for decades. The telescopes are a true purist way to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide-field views of objects that are simply not possible with other telescopes.  Weather permitting and depending on what is visible in the current sky, you can observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more.

Hilo Bay: Myths & Legends Waterfall & Lagoon Raft Adventure

3. Hilo Bay: Myths & Legends Waterfall & Lagoon Raft Adventure

Step aboard a 6-passenger inflatable boat and explore Hilo's culturally rich coast within the calm of the protected Hilo Bay. Take a peek at the mysterious jungle waterfall and traverse upstream on Hawai'i's longest river.   Travel back in time to when Polynesian explorers discovered this volcanic island and gave meaning and stories to the land. Pass by Coconut Island, a small isle that was a refuge for warriors in ancient times. Visit popular sites on the bay including the ice ponds and bayfront black sand beach.  Have the chance to swing from the banyan trees over the lagoon. Enjoy views of historic Hilo Town and learn about its history of thriving sugar plantations and a large sampan fishing fleet before 2 major tsunamis in 1946 and 1960 changed the nature of the town. Keep an eye out for sea turtles swimming in the lagoon as you pass under the Singing Bridge on your way to the falls on Wailuku River.

Big Island: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

4. Big Island: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Explore Hawaii’s youngest and largest island and change the way you see the Big Island with this narrated, self-drive road trip. Visit historic sites, popular attractions, world-class beaches, and scenic hikes. Hear local stories, legends, and fun facts about the places you’re visiting and listen to unique Hawaiian music to entertain and relax you along the way. Drive across barren lava fields that are wedged between two active volcanoes. Visit a black sand beach and taste Hawaiian coffee and macadamia nuts on local farms. Be adventurous and go cliff diving or take advantage of the beautiful nature and take a scenic hike. See the tallest mountain in Hawaii at night for the ultimate stargazing experience. This adventure is great for families and solo travelers alike.

Ultimate Waterfall Experience Private Day Trip

5. Ultimate Waterfall Experience Private Day Trip

Experience the best waterfalls of the Big Island on this private waterfall tour. Visit a private waterfall location and relax in the beauty and tranquility of this 42-acre property which boasts 4 waterfalls, bamboo gardens and miles of trails. The largest waterfall on the property cascades 120 feet into a protected pool, perfect for swimming activities. Experience the majestic waterfalls and the lush tropical landscape of this private property and, if conditions permit, take dip or enjoy the provided extras such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Then, head to the iconic Wailuku River State Park and take in the magnificent beauty of Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots (bubbling basalt-lava rock pools). After working up an appetite, enjoy a fresh farm-to-table picnic lunch at a local farm. From here, cruise along Onomea’s scenic route passing through the lush rainforest and rugged coastline of the Hamakua coastline. Stop for photos and views of beautiful waterfalls along the way. Next, take a guided walk through Akaka Falls State Park. Hear about the rich botanical life found throughout the park from your naturalist and have the opportunity to view 2 spectacular waterfalls. Gaze at Akaka falls, which cascades 442 feet down a vertical bright green cliff face. Before returning home, drive through the historic downtown Hilo and learn about the area's rich culture, volcanic activity, and city history.

Private Big Island Full Circle Adventure Tour

6. Private Big Island Full Circle Adventure Tour

Discover the beauty and grace of the Big Island of Hawaii on a private tour. Explore some of the island's most unique and idyllic locations, including the Kona coast, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Hilo's iconic waterfalls, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sit back and relax as all meals and drinks (excluding alcoholic ones) are included throughout your day. Make your way to your first stop: the South Kona Coffee Farm. Travel south along the striking Kona coast and absorb the breathtaking views of lush vegetation and coastline. Listen to your guide describe the cultural history of the area as well as the local flora and fauna. Arrive at an authentic Kona coffee farm where you tour the farm and sample flavorful Kona coffee. Then, visit the southernmost bakery in the United States, Punalu‘u Bakery. World renown for their sweet bread, malasadas, and other delicious treats. Enjoy a malasada and a coffee or tea before heading on to explore the most beautiful black sand beach on the island. Continue your tour to one of the prettiest black sand beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. The jet-black volcanic glass sand here was formed from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava hitting the ocean water and then shattering into tiny fragments. Relax with black sand between your toes while listening to the wind move through the palms. Keep a look out for green sea turtles and endangered hawksbill sea turtles that frequent the beach. Next, make your way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve which is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This iconic park encompasses the summit of two of the world’s most active volcanoes and extends from sea level up to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. It’s home to critically endangered wildlife and some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes on earth. Explore the main attractions in the park including the Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, and a nature walk along the Halema‘uma‘u Crater for unique views of the current eruption and the natural steam vents in the area. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beauty of the park before embarking on the next leg of your adventure. From the park, venture up to Hilo to visit the picturesque Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls State Park. Both waterfalls are a sight to behold. Beautiful falls combined with lush vegetation make these stops photo-worthy and truly breathtaking. Travel the 50-mile stretch of the breathtaking Hamakua Coast with its hidden waterfalls, tropical rainforest, and lush green valleys. Described as one of the most beautiful locations in the state, it’s well worth the scenic drive. Arrive at Waipio Valley in the late afternoon. Enjoy the incredible views as your guide explains the rich history of the area. Marvel at the bright sunset views of Waimea as you travel through Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country and take in this historic area with its rolling, green pastures, the home to cattle, cowboys, and one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States; Parker Ranch. Enjoy a local and authentic dinner in Waimea where surf and turf is a definite menu staple. Return to your lodging full, happy, and filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rainbow Falls

Want to discover all there is to do in Rainbow Falls? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rainbow Falls

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 113 reviews

The sightseeing flight was great and was definitely worth it. You get the exact time about 2 days before the booked date. During the flight you will be told some information by the pilot about what you are flying over. A sweater or jacket for the flight (without doors) is definitely important. Long pants would be good as well as it was really cold at times. I was wearing short shorts and was a little chilly.

Way more options than you can possibly do in one week! I loved the Volcanoes National Park tour. It steered us to the best sites and which scenic pullouts were not needed after already seeing craters and lava. The arch is worth the drive. Also used a portion of the Southern island audio for the other National Park. Hope to come back and do other sights that we missed the first time.

Very informative and enjoyed that you can pick up at any point of a tour. We could stay at each location as long as wanted and skip things not of interest or short on time. Note a few places may no longer be open due to Covid shut down. Also missed a few turns where gps was off tour slightly. Tour guide was fun and a bit silly at times which lightened the trip.

This audio tour gives a lot of information and was entertaining as well, great directions and very timely but, be sure to DOWNLOAD ALL the tours you never know and many areas have no WiFi to download later, happy travels

Loved thw app. And is worth the price. It helped to see Kona in my own pace