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Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park: 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. 

Ultimate Waterfall Experience Private Day Trip

2. 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.

Big Island: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

3. 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 Circle Island Explorer From Kona with Lunch

4. Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona with Lunch

Start your action-packed day of discovery on the Big Island by visiting some of its most popular and spectacular landmarks. During your guided tour of the Island you will visit landmarks such as the Kona coffee farm, including a private tasting and tour, a Black Sand beach for turtle viewing, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Candies, Akaka Falls, and the Waipio Valley Overlook. Next, travel to the crown jewel of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, and Steaming Bluffs. Take a walk through the famous Volcano House to view the smoking and steaming Kilauea Caldera. Dropping down into the lush eastern side of Kilauea Volcano your next stop is Big Island Candies. Founded in 1977, Big Island Candies are famous for their quality. Big Island Candies welcomes everyone with samples of their amazing confections, still handmade using only the highest quality ingredients. Peek through the windows into the factory or browse the selection of gorgeous jewel-box gifts. Waipio Valley is still home to taro farmers as it has been for a thousand years. Look closely from the overlook where glimpses of the wild horses that roam the valley floor might be possible. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel.

Big Island: Full Day Circle Island Tour From Kona

5. Big Island: Full Day Circle Island Tour From Kona

Travel south into Kona coffee country for the first stop at Bay View Farm, a working 24-acre coffee farm nestled on the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano just above beautiful Kealakekua Bay and known for the best Kona coffee since 1984. Here you will see coffee growing on the trees and learn about the various steps and processes in making coffee, all of which happen right here on the farm. Sample 100% Kona Coffee at a gorgeous overlook with stunning views of Kealakekua Bay and the monument to Captain Cook standing on the only sliver of British land in the United States. The adventure continues as you head through the South Kona and Ka’u Districts. Stunning views, alternating between stark lava flows and Hawaiian dry forest, are visible through the huge picture windows of your tour vehicle. Stop briefly at picturesque Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Lined with swaying coconut palm trees, this is one of the best black sand beaches on the island. Look for honu or green Hawaiian sea turtles feeding just offshore or sun-worshipping on the sand. Next travel to the crown jewel of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, and Steaming Bluffs. Walkthrough the famous Volcano House to view the smoking and steaming Kilauea Caldera. Dropping down into the lush eastern side of Kilauea Volcano, your next stop is Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm. In operation for more than 30 years, Mauna Loa has more than a dozen mac nut flavors to choose from, and visitors can watch the factory floor through glass windows. Big Island Candies is the next stop in Hilo-town. Founded in 1977, Big Island Candies is synonymous with quality. Big Island Candies welcomes everyone with samples of their amazing confections, still handmade using only the highest quality ingredients. Peek through the windows into the factory or browse the selection of gorgeous jewel-box gifts. Travel through quaint Hilo town where you drive along the historic waterfront and along the Onomea Scenic Route, a  four-mile section of the original old highway punctuated with historic wooden bridges, waterfalls, and lush tropical foliage. Waipio Valley, known as the Valley of Kings, is a place of impossibly steep cliffs carved by plunging waterfalls cascading more than a thousand feet to the valley floor below. Waipio Valley is still home to taro farmers as it has been for a thousand years. Look closely from the overlook and glimpses of the wild horses that roam the valley floor might be possible.

Big Island: Private Full Circle Adventure Tour

6. Big Island: Private 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 Akaka Falls State Park

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

What people are saying about Akaka Falls State Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 114 reviews

This is an excellent tour, so many amazing stops giving you an excellent oversight of the island. Our tour guide Robbie shared so much about her heritage with us, stories and general knowledge keeping us entertained all day. The coffee farm was a great way to start the day, the waterfalls were beautiful and the Volcano National Park was spectacular. We would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to see a bit of everything.

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.

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