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Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Free admission
Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii

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.

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Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
star-4.5
$153.34 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Dreamy day trip!
I wish I could give this tour 10 stars. It was so well paced and the tour guide was such a great story-teller and communicator. Each stop was very special and the ride in the bus was comfortable. This was hands down the best way to see these island hi-lights.
Marissa_L, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii

star-4
Worth it
Susie_M, May 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Great guide (Edmond). Excellent knowledge of the volcanos! Clean car and smooth ride. Happy we were able to get on this excursion.
star-5
Wonderful small group tour
Gabrielle_O, Apr 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group
Our tour guide, Ellen, took us to the lava flow (still steaming!), the Japanese Garden, the waterfalls and much more. She was informative, engaging, fun and kept us interested. Wonderful small group tour
star-5
Relaxing Scenic Tour
carolynw62014, Mar 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Edmond our guided host was great! He is even tempered, polite, thoughtful, and very knowledgeable about the sites we visited. There was no rush, rush. It was a very peaceful and enjoyable day. We are seniors so not being rushed and having a kind soft-spoken guide who could answer our questions was important.
star-5
All of it - our guide...
John_H, Feb 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group
All of it - our guide Ellen was very friendly, helpful, full of information and obviously loved telling visitors about the island she calls home. Comfortable vehicle, snacks and water provided, a very pleasant few hours.
star-5
Like it a lot.
Silvestre_S, Feb 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group
Love the Lava tube/cave and craters. Our tour guide was very good. Nice scenic views all the way to the sites.
star-5
Very informative tour....
GREGORY_R, Feb 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Very informative tour. Edwin did an excellent job. I would highly recommend him. He was on time and got us back to the ship on time
star-4
Hilo
Lilian_C, Feb 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable of his surroundings in each stop we have a bit of education Tour crew was very accommodating
star-5
More than we expected!
Lisa_W, May 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group
Wow! Ellen provided great commentary. Flashlights and walking sticks to go into the lava tube were much appreciated. We also were her "guinea pigs" for an awesome 1st side trip to see fissure 8 (and others) with 2 of the property owners. We saw the actual devastation the 2018 eruption caused and experienced the geothermal power thru the exposed volcanic vents. Definitely a highlight and highly recommended she continue to offer the extra experience. Her local snacks were yummy. Even the rain didn't stop us as she also provided umbrellas. Wow!
star-4
7 hour tour day
Ryan_C, Feb 2020
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
5 hour tour turned into a 7 hour tour. Our guide Giovanni was very friendly and welcoming. We saw the Volcano Park, Rainbow Falls, Mauna Loa factory, black Sand Beach and an Orchid nursery. We could of went without the Orchid stop as it was like visiting a Home Depot nursery. It was a long day but worth our while.
star-5
Great Island Experience!!
David_N, Feb 2020
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
This excursion was so much more than we expected. We had just the right amount of time at each location. Our tour guide was knowledgeable about the locations and history of the islands. I would highly recommend this tour!
star-5
Volcano tour, upfront and personal
Ckc, Feb 2020
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group
The tour guides made us feel like Ohana. Very informative. Locals reminded us to respect the aina. We enjoyed this tour immensely!
star-5
Hilo 6 hrs
donsandyloughry, Feb 2020
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
We were very pleased with the tour our driver was a gem bus “me” with Edmund He was sure a good driver/tour guide

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Rainbow Falls?
A:
Attractions near Rainbow Falls:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?