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With this scenic Waipio waterfall tour, you'll spend the day scouring the Hamakua Coast for the Big Island’s famous waterfalls, including Akaka Falls and the Hi’ilawe Falls. At Rainbow Falls, on the outskirts of Hilo, watch as a rainbow forms in the mist of this cascading beauty, and you’ll also experience a black sand beach at the Waipio Valley shoreline. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant as you explore the Hamakua Coast, before driving back to Kona between Hawaii’s tallest mountains.  

Highlights

  • 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.

There are few more images iconic to Hawaii than a waterfall spilling through the rainforest, and on this scenic Waipio waterfall tour, you’ll have the chance to view some of the best, most famous waterfalls in Hawaii. 

The tour begins when you’re picked up directly from your Kona or Waikoloa hotel, where you’ll drive towards historic Waipio Valley through the pasture lands of Parker Ranch. Upon arrival in Honoka’a, admire the small, old school atmosphere before boarding a 4-wheel drive vehicle, where you’ll explore a part of the Hawaiian Islands that’s known as the Valley of Kings. Once you’re down on the valley floor, hike through the forest to emerge at the shore of a beautiful black-sand beach, and hear the stories, legends, and history of stunning Waipio Valley.

Climbing back into the 4-wheel drive vehicle, you’ll navigate the rugged valley terrain towards the base of Hi’ilawe Falls, where you’ll stand amidst taro falls with an unforgettable view of the island’s tallest waterfall. 

Having craned your neck to take in the falls, journey back up towards the top of the valley to the Waipio Valley Lookout, where you’ll soon enjoy a lunch of teriyaki chicken, grilled fish, seaweed salad and rice (vegetarian meals available upon request).

Relax on the serpentine drive to Hilo along the Hamakua Coast, before emerging at thundering Akaka Falls and its staggering drop. You’ll next move over to Rainbow Falls, where the angle of light can often create a colorful rainbow in the mist, and also make a stop at the Hilo Farmers Markets for shopping or snacks for the car.

The drive back to Kona is an adventure in itself, as you travel the infamous Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, climbing to high on the frigid, windswept moonscape. In winter, it’s common for both mountains to be covered with snow, and eventually you’ll drop back down towards Kona for a drop off back at your hotel. 

Customer Reviews

Judi P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Dominic made this a wonderful and informative trip!

Karen R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was not just a sightseeing tour, it was a journey into the heart of the Hawaiian people. Our guide, Kolaa, please forgive if I misspelled was young and at first impression far too practiced. But as we traversed the primal Hawaiian landscape, he unveiled with unexpected wisdom, and a depth of passion only found when one is connected to the land as he is, secrets of the Hawaiian culture and heritage. We truly had no expectations other than to see a few island landscapes not ventured on previous trips, but this was an adventure extraordinaire with this interesting savant as our interpreter. Do not expect to be taken on drive-bys of purged and plumaged tourista attractions. Instead, try to empathize with a history of cultural and ecological interference and dominance, all related without malice but rather as historical fact. Not only were we enlightened to these waves of ways in which the Islands have changed, but we were treated to the stories, the myths, and the rich heritage of the Hawaiian culture. He also treated us to demonstrations of useful and medicinal plants and explained how, with careful planning, one could live completely self-sufficiently on this beautiful, mysterious and volatile rock. I could see how our young guide lived the Hawaiian way his reference to his family was always so tender and sincere. I would especially recommend our guide and this adventure to those who have an interest in anything ecologically related to the Islands. He has a depth of knowledge that you will find challenging and insightful.

Anne Katharina B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour was just great.Our tour guide Marcus was one of the best tour guides I ever had.He gives lots of information about the Island and everything else you want to know.Lunch was very good as well.The hotel pick up and drop off worked without any problems.Although it and #39;s a long day its worth it!

Stephen P United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour and great guide. Well paced tour with enough time at each stop. Marcus was very knowledgeable and kept everyone engaged during the tour. The bento box lunch was tasty, we really enjoyed the tour. Highly recommended.

Gail V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Guide was very knowledgeable able the island and took great cate of us. The small group size made for a quality experience.

cielle92

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Both tour guides were very knowledgeable and very entertaining. The views were incredible!

Thomas S United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Tour was amazing . Our guide Chris was fantastic. Would do this again .

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!

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