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5 Must-See Waterfalls on the Big Island

Nature lovers will definitely want to learn about these 5 must-see waterfalls on the Big Island.

Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, is the biggest island in Hawaii … hence the name. And it’s also the youngest, so its natural landscape includes some of the most impressive features you’ll find in Hawaii.

The island’s waterfalls are a great example of that. Home to some of the best natural scenery in the islands, The Big Island is especially famous for having some of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii.

There are a number of ways to explore the falls on the island, although some can only be viewed via helicopter. Each of the waterfalls are unique and have Hawaiian legends and myths associated with them, information you can get when you take a tour with HawaiiDiscount.com.

If you want to experience Hawaii’s beautiful natural sites, then visit some of these must-see waterfalls on the Big Island:

1. Akaka State Falls Park

This extremely accessible park is the location of two waterfalls in a beautiful rainforest-style setting.

Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls are both located in the park and are two of the most breathtaking waterfalls on the island. The park requires a small entry fee and you can enter as a pedestrian or in a vehicle.

Follow the self-guided trails to the waterfalls, and view the 442-foot-high Akaka Falls and the 100-foot-high Kahuna Falls by yourself.

Alternatively, you can see the falls from an alternative perspective and zipline over the waterfall with Skyline Eco Adventures.

2. Rainbow Falls

One of the most picturesque waterfalls on the Big Island, Rainbow Falls is an 80-foot-high cascade that gets its name from the rainbows that often appear in the waterfall in the mornings.

This waterfall has driving access and can be viewed from both the bottom and the top, although the steps can be a little slippery so be cautious when climbing up them. The stunning waterfall gushes over a cave and into a pool at the bottom.

3. Pe’epe’e Falls

There are a number of ways to view Pe’epe’e Falls and its 60-foot-high water flow.

You can hike to the designated viewing area, it’s a great spot to see the Boiling Pots, bowl-shaped pools that the water rushes through. Alternatively, you can take a trail down to the side of the lookout point and to the river, and swim in the waterfall’s pool. However, be aware that the steps can be a little slippery and the water can be dangerous if the river is high.

Make sure you have the right shoes and are a confident swimmer before getting up close and personal, since the currents can be quite strong.

4. Wai’ale Falls

Wai’ale Falls may not have the height of some of the other waterfalls on the island, but it certainly does have the water.

It is, in fact, the start of the waterflow to the famous Rainbow Falls. However, Wai’ale Falls is not as touristy and you may be the only people visiting the site, but maybe that’s a good thing.

The waterfalls are accessible by driving close to the park and walking to the pedestrian bridge.

5. Hi’ilawe Falls

Located inside Waipio Valley, Hi’ilawe Falls is only visible if you are in the valley or by air.

It is the tallest waterfall in the whole of Hawaii, measuring around 1,600 feet tall, and is also one of the most powerful waterfalls in Hawaii. Difficult to access, the land beyond the falls are private property so it is important to know the area before undertaking a hike.

It’s also important to know that the hike involves taking one of the world’s steepest roads, which descends 900 feett in a single mile. Cars cannot be taken into the valley and the hike is extremely difficult – especially on the way up – so be prepared.

Book a Fire & Falls Adventure Tour with Paradise Helicopters to see all of the greatest waterfalls and rainforest landscape in the Big Island’s Hilo region, as well as the volcanoes in Kilauea.


To visit one of these must-see waterfalls on the Big Island, stop by HawaiiDiscount.com. Hawaii Discount offers the best deals on Big Island tours, Big Island activities, and Big Island vacation packages.

Please remember that popular activities sell out frequently. We recommend making reservations well in advance of your trip.

To book an affordable Hawaii tour or activity, call 1-866-482-9775 today.