Nature's Cliff Divers
All credit to its volcanoes, but the Big Island wouldn’t be nearly as magnificent if Mother Nature had remembered to turn off the tap. Luckily, she left the water running, leaving some of the world’s most beautiful falls in her wake. Perhaps most famous is the namesake attraction at Akaka Falls State Park, diving more than 400 feet off a cliff blanketed with tropical foliage. While neighboring Kahuna Falls makes a visit to this bamboo-laden refuge even more worthwhile, it’s but one of many aquatic spectacles on this island. Rivaling Akaka in fame and beauty is Rainbow Falls, whose graceful descent over a cave is a point-and-click dream, especially when arcs of color tint its morning mists. It’s here at Wailuku River State Park that you’ll also find Pe’e Pe’e Falls filling the rolling cascade of the Boiling Pots pools. Easy-access falls like these and Hiilawe, Umauma, and Onomea are ideal, but many of the island’s treasures are tucked within its interior valleys. Once you take to the sky, these hidden falls unfold in all their reclusive splendor. Witnessed from outlook or from helicopter, nature’s bounty flows here.
These falls were resplendent, and very convenient to downtown Hilo. You'll hear the water before you see it; it's an exhilarating sound. We went on a grey morning so no rainbow, but it was still worthwhile to see this natural wonder (especially as this park has no entrance fee, unlike Akaka Falls further away). The greenery surrounding it is also so verdant.
Waterfalls and More Nearby
Big Island, Hawaii