Rainbow Falls: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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.

From Kona and Waikoloa: Kilauea Volcano Discovery Tour

2. From Kona and Waikoloa: Kilauea Volcano Discovery Tour

Begin your adventure with a scenic drive over the stark and beautiful Saddle Road to set the stage for the day. or. Your first stop will be an exclusive lava tube on private property. Venture beneath the Earth's surface and discover how lava travels around the islands underground. Explore a unique cave with ceilings as high as 35 feet, expansive rooms, bright golden walls, and an “upside-down” forest of roots. Enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch on this private property's natural surroundings in the middle of a Hawaiian rainforest. Following lunch, continue to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Discover the park's must-see spots including the dramatic Halemaumau Crater. Learn about the history and culture of the world's most active volcano, Kilauea, as your guide leads you through the park's diverse terrain. After a full afternoon of exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, enjoy a warm picnic dinner with your fellow travelers. As your full-day experience comes to an end, sit back and relax as your guide returns to your meeting location while reflecting on your volcano experience. If the twilight option is available and selected, stay in the Park past sunset to view the eruption's glow. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime view of the glowing lava at one of the last remaining active volcanoes in Hawaii. Have your camera ready to capture the orange glow of lava against the night sky

Big Island Tour Bundle: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

3. Big Island Tour Bundle: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Welcome to Shaka Guide's audio tour app, your gateway to the remarkable wonders of the Big Island of Hawaii. Get ready to embark on a captivating adventure through diverse landscapes, active volcanoes, lush rainforests, and stunning coastlines. As you begin your tour of the Big Island with the Shaka Guide app, prepare to be amazed by the island's natural beauty, unique geological formations, and rich cultural heritage. The app will provide informative and engaging audio commentary, sharing insights into the island's volcanic activity, endemic wildlife, ancient legends, and local traditions. Your journey starts along the Kona Coast, known for its pristine beaches and vibrant marine life. The app will guide you to scenic overlooks, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the turquoise waters and explore picturesque beach towns such as Kailua-Kona and Kealakekua Bay. Continue your exploration of the island as you venture to the majestic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The app will lead you through the park's scenic drives and trails, providing information about the island's volcanic history, geological wonders, and the awe-inspiring Kilauea volcano. Discover the lush beauty of the Hamakua Coast, where the app will guide you through scenic drives and waterfalls. Marvel at the towering Akaka Falls, stroll through the tropical gardens of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, and learn about the island's agricultural history in the charming town of Hilo. Explore the mystical Waipio Valley, known for its dramatic cliffs, black sand beach, and rich cultural significance. The app will share stories and legends associated with this sacred place as you navigate the steep road into the valley or opt for a scenic lookout. Visit the stunning beaches of the Big Island, from the golden sands of Hapuna Beach to the green sea turtle haven of Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. The app will guide you to the best spots for relaxation, snorkeling, and witnessing the island's diverse marine life. As you venture to the Kohala Coast, the app will lead you to historic sites such as Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, where you can learn about the island's ancient Hawaiian history and visit sacred temples. Throughout your journey, the Shaka Guide app will recommend local eateries, hidden gems, and cultural experiences that will enrich your visit to the Big Island. Whether it's sampling local Hawaiian cuisine, attending a traditional hula performance, or visiting a coffee plantation, the app will provide valuable insights to enhance your trip. With the Shaka Guide app as your knowledgeable companion, your tour of the Big Island will be enriched with fascinating stories, natural insights, and practical information. So, grab your phone, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through the captivating landscapes and rich culture of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Mauna Kea: Stellar Explorer Tour from Hilo

4. 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: Volcanoes & Winery Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

5. 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.

Big Island: Hilo Doors-Off Lava and Rainforest Adventure

6. 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: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

7. Big Island: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you across Big Island to not-to-be-missed viewpoints, with fascinating stories, tips and directions along the way. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. The Island of Hawaii, often simply referred to as the Big Island due to its size, is famous for its incredible natural attractions, including massive volcanoes, black-sand beaches and lush valleys. Major Highlights: Volcanoes National Park Chain of Craters Road Halema'uma'u Thurston Lava Tube Petroglyphs Devastation Trail Holei Sea Arch Waimea Hamakua Coast Hilo Coffee Coast Place of Refuge Akaka Falls Kona Waipio Valley Pololu Valley Kealakekua Bay Liliuokalani Gardens Hawi Kamehameha Statue Rainbow Falls Kohala Coast Includes: Volcanoes National Park The Big Island's most famous and popular place to visit. In the park there are many amazing formations created by eruptions spread over hundreds and thousands of years. There are two driving routes in the park and expect to spend minimum 2-3 hours exploring. Add the driving time to get there and back, means this is a full day outing. The drive to the park is scenic and it's strongly recommended to drive by going south from Kona using Hwy 11 to pass around the bottom of the island and then up the eastern side. The commentary provides an entertaining and informative description of volcanology and Hawaiian mythology along the way. From Hilo, its's just a 45 minute drive to the entrance. Island Circle Navigating around the entire island includes the tropical and green Hamakua Coast, dotted with sugar plantations towns and amazing rocky coast scenery. A long but manageable day, and make sure to allocate some time for exploring around Hilo. Kohala North Loop Driving from Kona to Hawi is an amazing journey with beaches, a surprisingly arid coast at times, views to Maui, black sand beaches from cliff viewpoints and driving over an old volcanic mountain makes for an excellent half day or longer of sightseeing. Follow the tour as it drives a loop itinerary that gives you a fantastic sample of old Hawaii, modern Hawaii, awesome beaches and huge ranches. Kona Coffee Coast Kailua-Kona is the active hub of the western side of Hawaii and features energetic shopping and dining choices, mixed with historic landmarks and fun beaches. Follow the road that heads south along the coast to tour through this vibrant area. But then, you'll quickly transition to areas of incredible Hawaiian cultural importance and sites that have been preserved for prosperity. Bring your snorkel gear as the audio tour points out places to see fish and turtles.

Big Island: Small Group Waterfalls Adventure

8. Big Island: Small Group Waterfalls Adventure

Explore Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, swim at Kulanipia private waterfalls, visit majestic Waipio Valley Lookout, and the stunning Akaka Falls on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii on this full day of fun and exciting adventure. Discover the island’s diverse natural beauty, including multiple waterfalls, lush rain forests, and rugged sea cliffs as your guide shares history and legends. The morning begins with a visit to the majestic Waipio Valley Lookout after passing through the famous Parker Ranch. Marvel at the stunning views of the rugged sea cliffs drop into the sparkling blue ocean and mile-long black sand beach. A drive along the scenic Hamakua Coast will greet you with a burst of energy as the splendid waterfalls await – capture the famous Akaka Falls while you hear the unrivaled power of water coursing down hundreds of feet. Continue to a garden nestled in the scenic Onomea Bay – Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Throughout this garden valley, nature trails meander through a true tropical rainforest, crossing bubbling streams, passing several beautiful waterfalls, and the exciting ocean vistas along the rugged Pacific Coast. This highly acclaimed garden allows you to take up-close shots of rare and exotic flora-over 2000 species of exotic tropical plants and orchids in a tranquil setting. In the afternoon, you will escape the crowd and get to swim under the 120 feet tall Kulaniapia private waterfall, Hawaii’s largest privately accessible waterfall, to cool down and relax when river conditions permit. The adventure ends with the return to Kona or Kohala Coast via a spectacular drive on Saddle Road, a highway nestled between the world’s tallest sea mountain Mauna Kea and the world’s most massive mountain Mauna Loa.

Waikiki: Big Island Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour

9. Waikiki: Big Island Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour

On our Big Island Volcano Adventure enjoy the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Visitor Center, an ancient lava tube, Kilauea Iki Crater and more. Tour Highlights Richardson Black sand Beach – is the only beach in the Hilo area with black sand Historic Banyan Drive – Banyan trees bear the names of famous people who planted them. Famous names include President Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Richard Nixon to name a few. Still thrive along Banyan Drive, having grown into a thick canopy, makes it popular for walking and driving. Liliuokalani Gardens: The park’s site was given by Queen Liliʻuokalani, and lies southeast of downtown Hilo, on the Waiakea Peninsula in Hilo Bay Rainbow Falls – most beautiful waterfall with never ending rainbow. Hilo Bay : Hilo Bay is a large bay located on the eastern coast of the island of Hawaiʻi. Wailuku River State Park : Tale of Hina comes to alive Rainbow Falls State Park. Waterfall known for it’s never ending rainbows. Volcanoes National Park – Admission included. Established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa. Volcanic Steam Vents : Ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. While standing at the Steam Vents, take a good look around. The area between the caldera’s edge and outer cliffs of Kīlauea Caldera is a treeless plain. Visitor Center Sulfur Banks Kilauea Iki Crater : The most active volcano crater in the world. Chain of Craters Road Mount Kilauea : is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five

Private - All Inclusive Volcanoes and Waterfalls Tour

10. Private - All Inclusive Volcanoes and Waterfalls Tour

Following pick up at your place of lodging, we travel over Saddle Road between two of the largest volcanoes on Earth, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, to the lush east coast of the Big Island. Our first stop is at the iconic Wailuku River State Park and we will take in the majestic beauty of Rainbow Falls. From there, we will continue to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an 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. It’s home to critically endangered wildlife and some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes on earth. Upon entering the park, enjoy a walk along the rim of Halema‘uma‘u Crater for unique views of the current eruption. Also, we will stop and see the natural steam vents at Wahinekapu. From there we will travel down the Chain of Craters road to the Thurston lava tube. Experience this massive lava tube which is 600 feet long and over 20 feet tall in some places. Depending on what your group would like to do and see, additional stops in the Park can include Ha'akulamanu (Sulfur Banks), Mauanulu lava fields, Pauahi Crater, Holei Sea Arch, and Pu'uloa petroglyph field. At sunset, hike out to the best lava viewing location along the rim of Halema’uma’u crater to witness the active eruption as the sun goes down and gets dark. Following our night lava viewing, sit and relax for dinner in the town of Volcano before departing back to your place of lodging feeling happy, full, and filled with exciting new memories.

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What people are saying about Rainbow Falls

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 209 reviews

This was an amazing experience. I would have enjoyed more hiking. But the stops were all incredible and I loved everything we viewed. The steaming crater was amazing. The private lava tube was absolutely spectacular and a truly unique experience. I really enjoyed the fissures and the cinder cone. And the view from the cliffs at dinner was awe inspiring! Maddie was a great guide and took care of everything you could want on a full day tour. The food and snacks were delicious and dinner hot and a wonderful. I highly recommend this excursion!

It was fantastic, from start to finish. Our guide Maddie was excellent - clear, easy to understand and extremely interesting. She knew exactly how to get everywhere, took us to the least crowded places with great views, pointed out a lot of the wildlife along the way and told us all about it.... The van was comfortable, the food [lunch, dinner and snacks] very good and plentiful, great walks... I really can't say enough about the whole experience.

This was the best tour I did on my Hawaii trip. Jaclyn was an excellent guide. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about Hawaii. It was great circling around the island on this tour.

It’s a great trip and really worth it! We visited many unique sightseeing points that really showed the beauty of Mother Nature.

Our guide Maddie was terrific. She made it interesting and fun.