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Rainbow Falls Tours

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2 Reviews
Rainbow Falls
One of the most popular waterfalls on the Big Island of Hawaii, Rainbow Falls is loved for its easy access and the rainbows that frequent the falls on misty mornings. The Wailuku River varies dramatically based on rain, but this 80-foot (24.4-meter) cascade wows viewers whether it is a thundering torrent or delicate trickle. 

The Basics
Located in Wailuku River State Park, Rainbow Falls—surrounded by lush greenery and basalt lava rock—draws in visitors staying on the island, stopping by on a cruise, or hopping over from another Hawaiian island. You can visit the falls on a tour that also includes nearby Akaka Falls and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Waterfall chasers can take a guided tour of the Big Island’s top waterfalls, including Rainbow, while thrill-seekers can book an adventure tour that combines helicopter flights and ziplining.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Rainbow Falls is a great stop for nature lovers, photographers, and first-time visitors to the Big Island.
  • Rainbows are visible at the falls only on sunny days after a rain, and then the river is at certain water levels.
  • The main viewing platform is wheelchair accessible via a short paved path; the upper overlook is accessible only by steep stairs. 
  • Legend has it that the basalt cave behind Rainbow Falls is the home of ancient goddess Hina. 

How to Get There
Rainbow Falls is 2 miles (3 kilometers) from downtown Hilo. From Hilo, head west on Waianuenue Avenue and turn right onto Rainbow Drive. From the parking lot, it is a .2-mile (.3-kilometer) walk to the first (and most popular) viewing platform. A steep set of stairs leads to the viewing platform atop the falls. 

When to Get There
The state park is open during daylight hours. The best time to visit the falls is in the morning on a sunny day, when chances are good for catching rainbows. Early mornings are also best for beating the crowds, which frequently arrive on tour buses between 10am and 2pm. 

How to Photograph the Rainbows at Rainbow Falls
The first viewing platform at Rainbow Falls is a popular spot for nature photographers to capture rainbows against the lush greenery and turquoise water. If you want to catch the magical colors on camera, time your visit before 10am on a sunny day after a recent rain. If the river is too low there will not be enough water to generate the mist needed to create rainbows; if it is too high, the water will be muddy and the sky rainbowless.
Address: Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii, USA
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42 Tours and Activities to Experience Rainbow Falls

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Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights

star-4.5
Sample a cross-section of outdoor sights on the Big Island during this shore excursion exploring Volcanoes National Park, waterfalls, orchids and more. Discover the postcard-perfect Rainbow Falls before visiting the amazing volcanic steam vents and unique geology around Kilauea Volcano. Before your day is done, check out a botanical garden filled with rare orchids, snack on macadamia nut treats at a local farm, and visit a gorgeous black sand beach. A guide, park entrance fees, snacks, and round-trip port transport are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$153.34
From
$153.34

Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History

Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History

star-5
The Big Island of Hawaii has a diverse ecosystem unlike anywhere else on the planet, and on this day-long nature tour, experience the beauty of its black-sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you’re lucky, find Hawaiian green sea turtles basking on the coast. Since the tour only requires a moderate amount of walking, it's an educational adventure for travelers of all ages, with snacks and refreshments included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$193.21
From
$193.21
Taking safety measures

Big Island Tour : Hilo Tour with Waterfall and Volcano National Park

Big Island Tour : Hilo Tour with Waterfall and Volcano National Park

star-4.5
Discover the gardens, scenic wonders, and tasty treats of Hilo on a half-day group shore excursion. This tour is perfect for travelers who want to see it all, but are short on time. Comfortable transportation takes you from port to the city's most noteworthy natural attractions, including Rainbow Falls, Kilauea Crater and the Steam Vents. Amateur botanists are sure to enjoy visits to the Japanese style Liliuokalani and Atasuka Orchid Gardens.
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  • 7 hours
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls

Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls

star-5
Step off the beaten path on an exploration of the back roads, local farms and hidden waterfalls near Hilo on this half-day excursion. Savor fresh tropical fruit and just-picked macadamia nuts during a visit to a family-owned farm overlooking a lush waterfall. Continue your exploration with a stop at Wainaku Center to learn about Hawaii’s longstanding sugar industry before finishing your day at a towering 120-foot (36-meter) waterfall, where you can cool off with a dip in the refreshing waters. A guide, lunch and round-trip hotel transport are also covered.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$156.02
From
$156.02
Taking safety measures

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo

star-4.5
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is famous for its ever-flowing lava and the planet’s most massive active volcano. This tour journeys to top natural landmarks in and around the park. Visit Rainbow Falls, Richardson black sand beach, Historic Banyan Drive, Liliuokalani Gardens, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, Akatsuka Orchid Nursery, and the active volcano of Kilauea. You also get the opportunity to walk through a lava tube.
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  • 6 hours
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

Majestic WATERFALLS

Majestic WATERFALLS

star-5
Experience the Big Island’s lush Hamakua Coast on this half-day excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, visit top destinations like Akaka Falls State Park, Rainbow Falls, and Richardson Beach Park. Capture memorable photos, watch for Hawiian Green Sea Turtles, and stop by Big Island Candies to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$108.97
From
$108.97

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

star-4.5
Hawaii’s natural wonders aren’t only on land and in the sea—the Big Island is also a prime spot from which to admire the wonders of the solar system. This tour is the only one that includes both afternoon solar viewing and nighttime stargazing, accompanied by astronomy experts. Visit Rainbow Falls and the Kaumana lava caves, then explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and use a state-of-the-art solar telescope and Dobsonian telescope to spot solar flares, galaxies, star clusters, and planets.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$184.34
From
$184.34

Big Island Photo Tour: Waterfalls and Tropical Botanical Garden

Big Island Photo Tour: Waterfalls and Tropical Botanical Garden

star-5
Explore the Big Island through the eyes of a photographer on this full-day tour. Traveling with a photographer guide means you and your small group of just eight people will have the best possible chance of getting frame-worthy vacation photos. Highlights include the scenic Saddle Road, the black lava fields, Hawaiian snow, Rainbow and Akaka Falls, and the Waipio Valley Lookout, among others.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$197.39
From
$197.39
Taking safety measures

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Full-Day Tour from Kona

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Full-Day Tour from Kona

star-4.5
Discover Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and other attractions on the Big Island on a full-day tour from Waikoloa, Hapuna, Kailua-Kona, or Keauhou. Your guide shares highlights including Rainbow Falls, Saddle Road, and Punaluu Black Sand Beach. You'll get great views of the two active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, and experience the natural beauty of Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. It'll be a stress-free trip as it includes a guide, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off from select hotels.
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  • 10 hours
From
$179.00
From
$179.00

Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo

Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo

star-4
Embark on an epic adventure on this Volcanoes National Park tour from Hilo. Journey into the largest and most active volcano on earth with your friendly, professional guide, and pay a visit to the Richardson Blacksand Beach. Learn about the incredible landscapes that roll out before you and gain insight into the geological and ecological implications of Mother Nature on this stunning park. See the Akatsuka Orchid Nursery, Rainbow Falls, the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and so much more on this memorable tour that hits so many of Hawaii's hot spots.
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  • 6 hours
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach

Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach

star-5
Circle the Big Island of Hawaii along the Mamalahoa Highway on this guided, full-day, small-group adventure. Travel almost 250 miles and visit the two biggest cities on the island, Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Climb through several climate zones and native rainforest to the summit of the world’s most active volcano inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All while learning about Hawaii’s history, culture, religion, geology and fragile ecosystem. All entrance fees plus a hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.77
From
$173.77
Taking safety measures

Discover Legends of Rainbow Falls and Hike Volcanoes National Park

Discover Legends of Rainbow Falls and Hike Volcanoes National Park

star-5
Immerse yourself in the local culture and history of Hawai'i! With the help of your local guide, some of the most intriguing places on the Big Island come to life with stories of their creation and ancient legends.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$151.00
From
$151.00
Taking safety measures

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & Waterfall - Shore Excursion from Hilo Harbor

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & Waterfall - Shore Excursion from Hilo Harbor

star-4
Sample the best that the Big Island of Hawaii has to offer during this 8-hour sightseeing trip covering some of the region’s top attractions. Watch your mind ‘burn’ with curiosity during a visit to the famous Volcanoes National Park, enjoying park landmarks like the Thurston Lava Tube and Kilauea Iki Crater. You’ll also stop by the scenic black-sand Richardson Beach, admire the postcard-worthy Rainbow Falls and experience the lush grounds of Liliuokalani Gardens, plus much more. Round-trip transport, park entrance fees and bottled water are also included.
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  • 6 hours
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group

star-4
When your ship docks in Hilo, use your time in port to get acquainted with Kilauea, the most active volcano on earth. Embark on a tour through the Nanawale Rainforest, a lush, tropical landscape in the Eastern Rift Zone. Explore lava caves; stroll along the most recently formed black-sand beaches; feel the warmth from volcanic hot pools, and discover Rainbow Falls. Travel trough Hawaiian back roads and discover the destructive path of the volcano's most recent eruption. Round-trip transport from the port or hotel is included.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$133.34
From
$133.34

Big Island Tour Bundle: Get 5 Big Island Audio Tours

Big Island Tour Bundle: Get 5 Big Island Audio Tours

star-4.5
Our Big Island mobile app features five audio tours and you'll get all of them when you purchase the Big Island Tour Bundle. Here’s what’s included in the Big Island Tour Bundle: - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour - Kona Big Kahuna Loop - North Island Jungle Adventure Loop - South Island Epic Coastal Journey - Kohala Coast and Backcountry Tour Each tour uses GPS to give you turn-by-turn directions to popular sites and local gems with stories and music along the way. The audio tours play automatically using your location to give you on-the-spot information. WHY SHAKA GUIDE? ✅ Tours never expire. ✅ Tour work offline. No data needed. ✅ Reliable GPS directions. ✅ A guided tour for a fraction of the price. ✅ Save time planning! We’ve done the work for you. ✅ Your vacation, your terms — freedom to stop and go as you please. ✅ The #1-rated travel app for Big Island. ✅ Listen to interesting stories and Hawaiian music!
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.99
per group
From
$24.99
per group

Hawaii Big Island Customized Private Tour

Hawaii Big Island Customized Private Tour

star-5
Explore the Big Island of Hawaii on a private, guided, full-day adventure. Customize the itinerary to fit into any preferred interests or schedule. Climb aboard a spacious, air-conditioned, 15-passenger van to see the sites from Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa or Kohala. Check out everything from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to waterfalls, botanical gardens or a Kona gourmet coffee tasting. Not sure where to go or what to see? Ask the guide for expert recommendations. A hotel or airport pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 2 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,214.12
per group
From
$1,214.12
per group
Taking safety measures

Hilo Private Tour : Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour

Hilo Private Tour : Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour

Private tour. Go when you want and come back when you want. Perfect for guests who want to have a day of their own.
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  • 7 hours
From
$1,495.00
per group
From
$1,495.00
per group

Big Island - North Island Jungle Driving Tour App

Big Island - North Island Jungle Driving Tour App

star-5
Explore the Big Island on your own terms, and at your own pace, with this self-guided app tour. You'll get over six hours of audio content, a map of the island that can be used offline, and even turn-by-turn navigation. Audio commentary is available for a variety of popular spots around the island, and you can use the app as much as you want, even on future trips.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$11.99
per group
From
$11.99
per group

Legends of the Waterfalls & Volcano Full-Day Tour (Hilo, Hawaii)

Legends of the Waterfalls & Volcano Full-Day Tour (Hilo, Hawaii)

star-5
Experience Hilo and learn why Hilo was one of the favorite places for Kamehameha the Great. Take a dip in the ocean, explore a tidepool, and check out beautiful rainbow falls. See for your own eyes how powerful yet beautiful Lava truly is. This tour is approximately 10 hours.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$250.00
From
$250.00
Taking safety measures

Big Island's Hawaii Grand Circle Island Tour

Big Island's Hawaii Grand Circle Island Tour

star-4.5
This Big Island circle tour hits all the highlights of the stunning Big Island of Hawaii.  While riding in a comfortable minibus, watch out the window as the landscape changes with every bend in the road, from tropical, misty valleys full of ferns to a barren, black lava coast. This Grand Circle island tour includes round-trip transport from Kona, with pickup and drop-off at your hotel.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$189.29
From
$189.29
Taking safety measures

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour

star-5
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is unlike anywhere else on the planet, where one of the world’s most active volcanoes sends lava dripping towards the sea, and a towering mountain lies dormant and ready to pop. On this tour of the National Park, hear the legends of Madame Pele, the mythical Hawaiian fire goddess, a tour from Hilo to the eastern coastline and climb to the rim of Kilauea volcano. On this small group tour, your guide will customize the pace and number of sights. When you book, note your lunch requirements in the checkout field.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.54
From
$167.54

Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano Waterfall Black Sand Beach

Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano Waterfall Black Sand Beach

star-5
Experience some of the Big Island’s top attractions during this day trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the sights around Hilo. Learn all about volcanoes as you marvel at Halema'uma'u crater and explore the massive Kilauea Volcano. After an included picnic lunch, you’ll see Rainbow Falls and visit a black sand beach known for its green sea turtles.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.54
From
$167.54

Hilo Culture, Legends, & More Day Tour (Hawaii)

Hilo Culture, Legends, & More Day Tour (Hawaii)

Enjoy a guided one of a kind tour through some of Hilo’s most iconic areas. Learn about Bayfront, Rainbow Falls, Wailoa State Park, and finally discover Coconut Island. This is a historical and cultural viewpoint. Learn lots of fun facts about Kamehameha the Great and the area itself. Fun Hawaiian Legends are told that tie Hawaii to other South Pacific Islands.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$185.00
From
$185.00
Taking safety measures

Private Kona Coast to Hilo & Volcanoes National Park Mercedes Sprinter Van

Private Kona Coast to Hilo & Volcanoes National Park Mercedes Sprinter Van

star-5
This private 9-hour adventure from the Kona Coast to Volcanoes National Park is just the way to spend your time on the Big Island of Hawaii. With transportation taken care of for you, you can stop and see spots that strike an interest with you. See Rainbow Falls, Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, Richardson Ocean Park, Onomea Bay, Thurston Lava Tube, and the Volcanoes National Park. When booking, it’s easy to switch up this tour’s itinerary with a quick note to the tour operator, so you can have a day trip you’ve always dreamed of.
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  • 9 hours 30 minutes
From
$1,544.98
per group
From
$1,544.98
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Rainbow Falls?