Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mauna Kea: Stellar Explorer Tour from Hilo

1. 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.

Big Island: Hilo Doors-Off Lava and Rainforest Adventure

2. 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. 

Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

3. Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

The morning is filled with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. The views stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs drops into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window before visiting Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view and plenty of photo opportunities. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Halema’uma’u, and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail.  From here, relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, a great place to spot marine life from the black-sand shore. On the leisurely drive back around sunset, you’ll see views of South Point, the southernmost point of the United States, and Kealakekua Bay.  Finally, enjoy a visit to Kona Coffee Farm. Stroll through the orchards with your guide and learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee.

Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

4. Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

Start your day with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. Stop at the Waipio Valley lookout, where you can admire a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs that drop into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view of Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Explore steam vents and the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail. Then relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, where you can spot marine life from the black-sand shore.

Big Island Volcano Adventure: Full-Day from Hilo

5. Big Island Volcano Adventure: Full-Day from Hilo

The highlight of our Hilo adventure is a visit to the world-famous Kilauea Volcano, which has been erupting continuously since the 1980s. Your guide will tell you about the history of the volcano on your visit to the park and the Kilauea lava flow. On our Big Island Volcano Adventure enjoy the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Visitor Center, an ancient lava tube, Kilauea Iki Crater and more. We’ll take you on a drive along the famed Banyan Tree Drive. The trees you’ll see on the this road were planted by various local Hawaiians, political and religious leaders, famous authors, movie stars and world adventurers beginning back in 1933. At Akaka Falls we’ll stop so you can take photos. This waterfall is 80 feet tall and nearly 100 feet wide, and flows over a natural lava cave into a large freshwater pool surrounded by thick tropical vegetation.

Ultimate Waterfall Experience Private Day Trip

6. 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.

Hilo Bay: Myths & Legends Waterfall & Lagoon Raft Adventure

7. 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

8. 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.

Big Island: Volcanoes & Winery Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

9. Big Island: Volcanoes & Winery Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

See the best of Big Island, Hawai’i, on this guided tour. Visit active volcanoes at the National Park, watch sea turtles on Punalu’u beach, and stop at a coffee farm and winery for breakfast and lunch. Admire the 80 ft tall Rainbow Falls, and the beauty of the coastline at Hamakua, Kona, and Ka'u. Start your adventure with a pickup by van. Head into the Kona district, the heart of coffee country, to visit a mountain coffee farm. Sample a wide selection of Kona coffees and enjoy a continental breakfast while you look over the coast. Next stop is Punalu’u. Drop into the local bake shop to pick up some treats and continue to the black sand beach. The area is home to many turtles, including the endangered Hawksbill, and is where many of the first Polynesian explorers landed. Head inland to a winery and tea farm situated between two volcanoes. Sample unique wines grown at 4,000 feet of elevation and stop for a scenic lunch. Then, continue to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to admire the active volcanoes Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Your final visit will be to Rainbow Falls, an 80 foot waterfall that plunges over the entrance to a natural lava cave. The Hawaiian goddess Hina, mother of Maui, is said to dwell in the cave, and on a sunny day, rainbows appear in the mist around it. Cruise back along the beautiful, lush coast of Hamakua and get dropped back at your starting point to end the day.

Private Big Island Full Circle Adventure Tour

10. 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 for a tour and coffee sampling. 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. 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. Continue your tour to one of the prettiest black sand beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. Relax with black sand between your toes while listening to the wind move through the palms. Keep a look out for green and hawksbill sea turtles that frequent the beach. Next, make your way to the the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. 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. 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. 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. Then, drive along the 50-mile stretch of the 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 sprawling views as your guide explains the rich history of the area. Continue your ride to marvel at the bright sunset views of Waimea. To get there, 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, before returning to your hotel.

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 140 reviews

It was an amazing experience. I was grateful for the help and advice from the front desk - advising me to wear my hair up (if it was long). They were very professional and fun. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and the front desk shared that information with the pilot. Wade was amazing. Would do it again and highly recommend it for anyone even remotely considering it as an option - very well worth the $$$$$.

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.

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.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable regarding formation of volcanic activity, astronomy, the history of the island and the beliefs of the Indigenous population. The Rainbow Falls, caverns and stargazing were all beautiful and particularly interesting given the information provided prior. Highly recommend!

Travel guide with a lot of additional information makes the car journeys more varied.