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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
Fantastic tour guide,...
Fantastic tour guide, extremely knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone. Great job
Matt_M, Jun 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
Kelvin was a rockstar!! Great time.
Mark_C, Jun 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Amazing trip with a fantastic driver Kelvin. He was very attentive to my elderly mother and aunt. Not easy to do with a full van. Thanks!
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
Great day trip to see Hawaii Island
Stacy_L, Jun 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Really great tour of the island! Had a local guide that shared so much knowledge of the volcanos and island history. Enjoyed it!
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
Our guide Bill was...
Bobby_B, May 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Our guide Bill was excellent. Personable and knowledgeable he brought many of the stops to life with the history and Hawaiian story or each. Ample time allowed at each stop for exploration. Highly recommend this tour.
star-4
Guide/driver was...
Ronald_W, May 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
Guide/driver was informative but rambling. Weather wasn’t the greatest All in all it was a good tour.
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
Dreamy day trip!
Marissa_L, May 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights
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.
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
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-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!
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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?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?