Insider's Guide to Big Island of Hawaii

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

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  • Location:Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Big Island Waterfall Tour from Kona: Waipio Valley, Hamakua Coast and Akaka Falls

See three of the Big Island’s famous waterfalls — Hiilawe Falls, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls — on this tour to the Waipio Valley and Hamakua Coast. Discover the island’s phenomenal natural beauty as you experience a variety of terrain, from a black-sand beach to lush forest to rugged sea cliffs. Fuel up with a Hawaiian lunch at a local restaurant, and learn about the history and legends of the island from an experienced guide. Snacks and hotel transport are included. This tour is limited to 12 people to provide a small-group experience.


  • Full-day tour of the Waipio Valley and Hamakua Coast
  • Be wowed by three stunning Big Island waterfalls: Hiilawe Falls, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls
  • Hike to a black-sand beach for dramatic coastal views
  • Enjoy a Hawaiian lunch crafted in the gourmet kitchen of the tour operator.
  • Snacks, drinks and hotel transport from Kona and Kohala included
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people ensures you enjoy a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Big Island Waterfall Tour from Kona: Waipio Valley, Hamakua Coast and Akaka Falls

Scenic sights on this Big Island tour include great views of Akaka Falls.

After pickup in the Kona and Kohala areas by van or minivan, head toward Waipio Valley, traveling through Waimea, Parker Ranch and Honokaa. Before entering the valley, hop into a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that can handle the rugged terrain.

Drive along the floor of Waipio Valley, admiring the lush surroundings and learning about the native vegetation and history of the valley from your knowledgeable guide. Stop to take an easy hike to a black-sand beach, and then traverse more of the landscape in your 4WD, crossing rivers and streams and passing by taro fields. Arrive at Hiilawe Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii, and then climb out of the valley to a scenic lookout point for breathtaking views.

Next, head to Waipio Valley Lookout to enjoy spectacular views while enjoying your gourmet lunch which consists of Teriyaki Chicken, Grill Fish, Rice, and seaweed salad (Vegetarian meals are available upon request).

After lunch, visit Akaka Falls, a 442-foot (135-meter) waterfall surrounded by verdant foliage. Continue to Hilo to see Rainbow Falls, and then check out the Hilo Farmers’ Market to stock up on fresh island fruit and other goods, if you wish.

Head back to Kona and Kohala via Saddle Road, aka Highway 200, a drive that takes you between two of the Big Island’s tallest volcanic peaks — Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Your tour ends with hotel drop-off. Snacks and drinks are provided throughout the tour; you’ll spend about 30 to 40 minutes at each stop to take photos and soak in the surroundings.

Customer Reviews

Sam S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

long day. plenty of free time. the waterfalls are gorgeous. definitely do not need a swim suit there is no opportunity to go in the water.

Bill P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour was amazing!

Glen W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour of the Waipio Valley was fantastic. Hili, our guide into the valley, was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. His commentary during the tour brought out many things that would otherwise have been missed. A truly amazing tour that no one should miss!

April M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour guide. My only complaint is car ride time. It's inevitable on Kona, but if you're not one for long periods of time between sites, pick something else. The tour guide was very educated and funny. He had plenty of snacks for everyone. The waterfalls were of course beautiful! I was hoping to get into one of the pools, but you don't actually get that close. The black sand beach we had time to take off our shoes and walk and get wet. If you have time, def. do the tour. You will get a great snapshot of the island in one day.

Janice M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great trip. Highly recommend it. Joseph was an excellent tour guide!

Dallas M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

We loved this tour and Nick, our guide, was terrific. We saw lots of amazing sights and had plenty of time at each stop to enjoy the surroundings and take photos. The black sand beach was amazing and the waterfalls were spectacular. We would highly recommend this tour.

Cheryl M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Our tour guide, Paul, was excellent. He was knowledgeable about Hawaiian history and folklore and made the tour fun and informative


4 star rating: Recommended November 2015

Very interesting and informative.Tour guides were perfect professional.I do recommend this tour

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Tour code: 6651WFALL


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