Hawaii is constantly at the top of travelers’ wish lists, and in the eyes of many potential tourists, the islands have almost a mythological quality. Undoubtedly, Hawaii waterfalls are a must-visit and a big component of why most travelers are lured to this breathtaking destination. Once you have zoned and picked it as your next travel destination the second most important decision is where to go in Hawaii. There are eight major islands in the Hawaiian island chain in the North Pacific, however, visitors are not allowed on Niihau and Kahoolawe.
Niihau is privately owned, therefore only those allowed may visit. Kaho’olawe was utilized as a military bombing range for decades and has a large number of undiscovered ordnance, making it extremely dangerous. The US military deemed it unsuitable owing to a lack of water sources and no permanent population, although it would make an excellent bombing range. They were mistaken, as is often the case with colonial governments. The Hawaiians who visited Kaho’olawe found it useful. At this time, a small portion of Kaho’olawe has been cleared of undiscovered ordnance, and Hawaiian cultural practitioners, along with other allowed tourists, are welcome to visit the island.
All six of the remaining islands—Hawaii Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu—are ideal travel choices because each island is distinct in its atmosphere and attractions.
Although Hawaii is well known for its natural beauty, the island’s culture and heritage are also fascinating and just waiting to be discovered. Each island has been divided into interest groups, so whether you’re interested in an alluring adventure, seclusion, luxury, or cultural immersion.
- Hawaii had only 154,000 people living there in 1900, but that number increased quickly. Hawaii’s population increased to over 500,000 people by 1950.
- Pineapple and sugar plantations dominated Hawaii’s economy in the early 20th century.
- The Japanese then launched a devastating attack on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
- Martial law was imposed in Hawaii and lasted until the end of World War II.
- Hawaiian longshoremen went on strike in 1949 for 177 days. Then, in 1954, the Democrats swept to victory.
- Hawaii became the 50th state to join the union in 1959.
- Air travel started to make Hawaii a well-liked vacation spot in the late 1950s.
- The final sugar plantation, though, shut down in 1992.
- Hawaii’s waterfalls and beaches are amongst the best in the world.
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Some Of The Best Hawaii Waterfalls To Visit
Waterfalls in Oʻahu
1. Lulumahu Falls
Lulumahu Falls is one of the best and most memorable walks on the island if you’re searching for one to add to your Oahu itinerary that allows you to stroll right up to a waterfall. Although it is not marked, the trailhead is just off Pali Highway, making it challenging to locate.
The hike starts quite simply and passes through a lovely bamboo forest. The further you go into the forest, the moderately harder it gets. You should prepare to get muddy and wear sturdy hiking shoes. The two-hour journey crosses back and forth the Lulumahu Stream on a zigzag path to the waterfall. The trail itself is poorly defined, making it simple to become lost along the way, similar to how it is at the trailhead. To help you stay on track, make sure to download a trail map app to your phone.
2. Manoa Falls
One of the trails that are frequently recommended to tourists searching for a quick and simple hike on Oahu is Manoa Falls. You have plenty of flexibility to enjoy the breathtaking surroundings because the trail is marked for the entire distance.
Along the hike, several of the scenes from the first “Jurassic Park” were filmed. More recently, the TV show “Lost” used the beautiful rainforest setting to film several of its scenes.
A beautiful waterfall that cascades 150 feet down the mountainside is reached by a short stroll. Even if the water isn’t as warm as the Pacific Ocean, standing in the natural shower is nonetheless nice.
3. Waimea Falls
The picturesque Waimea Canyon, often known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, serves as a backdrop for this waterfall, which is said to be 700 feet high. Even though this waterfall usually only runs during the Wet Season and is located in a drier part of Kauai, it’s rare to see a waterfall surrounded by strikingly different hues in such picturesque surroundings. Additionally, both the falls and canyon weren’t too far from the Kalalau Lookout. No matter which way we looked at it, the waterfall did indeed seem to be in a good location. This waterfall had to be on number one of our list because of the uncommonly distinctive scenery, location, and size that it possesses.
4. Maunawili Falls
The Maunawili Falls Trail is located on Oahu’s windward side, hidden within a verdant valley. The modern concrete of Waikiki might as well be on another planet from here. Hikers are dropped off at the base of Maunawili Falls’ serene waterfall-fed lagoon via a rust-red, root-covered route that snakes into a vast area of wild jungle above Kailua.
Despite the seclusion of the falls, Maunawili is far from a secret trail; in fact, it is one of Oahu’s busiest paths. The location still emanates peacefulness despite the constant influx of hikers, so it’s easy to understand why Maunawili Falls is so popular.
Waterfalls in Maui
1. Twin Falls
Beautiful Twin Falls, one of the popular falls on this list, will be your first stop on the Road to Hana.
A fruit shop at Wailele Farm serves as the beginning point for a one-mile Maui waterfall climb leading to the stunning falls. It is a few kilometers from Paia Town. To reach there, you must park at and traverse Wailele Farm. Twin Falls flow into a tranquil pool, so you should take a dip there and look around the region behind the falls for amazing views.
Twin Falls is open all year round and fed by the Ko’olau Rainforest in the Ho’olawa Valley, but to fully appreciate the falls, visit after a significant downpour.
2. Pua’a ka’a Falls
Although it is not the biggest or most impressive waterfall on the Hana Highway, the Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park turnout at mile marker #23 provides quick access to the waterfall. It’s a fantastic location for a picnic or to get some exercise. Additionally, the falls are much more beautiful than what their moniker, which translates to “rolling pig,” suggests.
3. Honokohau Falls
As it appears to plunge in two tiers for a total of 1100 feet, Honokohau Falls is the tallest waterfall on Maui. The largest waterfall in Maui, Honokohau Falls, drops in two tiers at a combined height of 1,119 feet (see more pictures) (341 m). As this magnificent cascade is situated in an isolated valley in the West Maui Mountains, the best method to view it is by helicopter.
4. Waimoku Falls
On the Road to Hana, Waimoku Falls can be located above Seven Sacred Pools at the Pipiwai Trail’s terminus. At approximately half a mile into the trail, the 185-foot Makahiku Falls, which are also stunning, are passed by hikers heading to Waimoku Falls.
One of the best walks on Maui, the trail follows the Pipiwai Stream. 4 kilometers round-trip with an elevation gain of 650 feet. Depending on how much you enjoy the outdoors, hiking can take anywhere from 2 1/2 to 5 hours. The magnificent Waimoku Falls are the final stop. One of the tallest falls in Maui, this enormous waterfall plunges 400 feet into a boulder-filled pool from a vertical lava rock wall. Proceed with utmost caution when crossing any streams. The journey to get to this location is more than worthwhile because it is so stunning. The bamboo forest is roughly halfway through the journey, and trust me, you’ll know when you’ve arrived because it will seem almost as though you’ve left the island for Thailand. A unique aspect of the wind’s sound is the sound it generates as it passes through the bamboo cane.
Waterfalls in Hawaiʻi
1. Waipo’o Falls
These falls are below the parking lot and are not visible from the air. From Waipio beach, take a short, half-mile walk east along the coastal stones to find them. It is too risky to attempt a hike here when the tide is high and burying the stones or when the surf is strong. Unless there has been a significant amount of recent rain, these falls are frequently dry. Follow your original route back to the black sand beach.
2. Rainbow Falls
The Wailuku Falls are magnificent to visit during the rainy season when views of the falls in full power are quite spectacular, cascading down the Wailuku river bed region around 80 feet. Numerous local cultural traditions about Rainbow Falls mention the moon goddess Hina, who resides there together with the Mo’o Kuna (a big, strong lizard god), who is aggressively seeking her.
In Hawaii, rainbow falls are referred to as Wainuenue for rainbows seen in the water. The waterfalls can vary in size depending on the season, from roaring down the cavern in the winter to trickling down during the summer.
Rainbow Falls is a year-round destination and one of the most well-liked tourist attractions in Hilo. It is a must-see site. Before the majority of the visitors arrive and the parking lot fills up, early morning or late afternoon is often the best time to see Rainbow Falls. When it is raining heavily and the waterfall is roaring with unending water that flows down the falls and fills the entire cliff area, it is also a very popular time to visit.
3. Hanakapi’ai Falls
You might be tempted to turn around and return to Kee Beach after making the two miles over difficult terrain to Hanakapiai Beach over the Kalalau Trail. To visit Hanakapi’ai Falls, however, you should think about going on a two-mile (four-mile round-trip) journey inland if you aren’t too exhausted and have some time. Just getting to the falls might take up to two hours and include many stream crossings.
4. Akaka Falls
You may see two breathtaking waterfalls in one short trip at Akaka Falls State Park, which is situated along the northern Hilo Coast. You can enjoy a leisurely 0.4-mile trek uphill that passes through a verdant rainforest dotted with groves of bamboo, wild orchids, and hanging ferns.
The 100-foot Kahuna Falls will be your first sight as you proceed along the concrete trail. Around the turn, if you keep going in the same direction as the loop, you’ll find the towering Akaka Falls, which plunges 442 feet into a stream-eroded valley. Perhaps the most well-known waterfall on the Hawaiian island is the lovely Akaka Falls. This short hike is accessible and lasts less than an hour.
Waterfalls in Kauaʻi
1. Wailua Falls
Get ready to experience your fantasy at the stunning Wailua Falls if you’ve ever wanted to see a two-tiered waterfall. Speaking of imagination, Wailua Falls is so stunning that the long-running television program Fantasy Island used it as the backdrop for its opening sequence.
Several factors make Wailua Falls such a fantastic (and well-liked) tourist destination. First, the well-known television series in the 1970s propelled it into the global spotlight. It has also been frequently used as a representation of Kauai’s lush beauty in literature and other media for decades. Second, unlike many other waterfalls on Kauai, Wailua Falls is simple to visit and does not require any hike to appreciate its magnificence. In actuality, the parking lot essentially looks out over the falls. The falls’ beauty, however, is what makes them so unique; it has undoubtedly earned their status as a symbol of Kauai’s allure on a global scale.
A stunning rainbow that extends out from the foot of the falls in the mist may also be seen when the sun shines at the perfect angle, which is nothing short of amazing.
2. Opaeka’a Falls
One of the most easily accessible large waterfalls on the island, this 151-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide waterfall cascades into a secret pool. Marked signs direct drivers to the roadside viewpoint on the right, which is situated on the East Side about two miles along Kuamoo Road (Route 58) from Highway 56. This convenient stop provides access to picnic tables and facilities as well as a magnificent view from a picturesque outlook. “Paekaa” is Hawaiian for “rolling shrimp,” which used to be common in the stream. A wonderful view of the Wailua River valley and inner plains can be had by ascending the hill from the Paekaa lookout and crossing the road.
Waterfalls in Molokaʻi
1. Kahiwa Falls
Hawaii’s Kahiwa Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall situated between the Wailau and Papalaua valleys on the island of Molokai’s northern coast. Although the waterfall has a height of roughly 2165 feet (660 meters), just 1749 feet of its cascade are typically considered to be a significant fall.
The six-tiered falls have a 183-meter drop at their tallest point. Only from the air or the sea can one see Kahiwa Falls. The waterfall may become trapped in high winds and ascend.
Frequently, Kahiwa Falls and the adjoining Papalaua Falls are confused. Papalaua Falls and Kahiwa Falls are distinguishable from one another since the latter lies at the further end of a valley that is 0.9 km long while Kahiwa Falls plunge into the ocean.
2. Pu’uka’oku Falls
Pu’uka’oku On Hawaii’s Molokai island’s northern coast stands the eighth-highest waterfall in the world, called Falls. There are some of the world’s tallest sea cliffs in this region of Molokai. The sea will be reached by any stream that crosses these cliffs by a distance of thousands of feet. The waterfall’s height is 2,756 feet (840 meters), and it cascades down into a valley of verdant flora. It is best to reach the falls by boat or pay for a fly above them.
In contrast to the rainy season (November to March), when there will be plenty of waterfalls, there won’t be much water during the dry season. Pu’uka’oku is an impenetrable, sharply eroded cliff. This fall is rarely captured on camera due to its accessibility issues.
These falls can only really be seen from a helicopter, which often takes off from Maui.
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Hawaii is the sole state in the union that is made up completely of islands and was created by volcanoes. Hawaii’s waterfalls and beaches are some of the world’s cleanest, clearest, and most pure, which is another thing that makes it special. Some of those beaches include a wide variety of odd features, including black sand, sea glass, shells, and more. It is advised to at least visit breathtaking Hawaiian beaches once in your life. Folklore, culture, and, of course, the incredibleness of Hawaiian cuisine are further characteristics that make Hawaii special. We assure you that you won’t be able to find Hawaiian food anywhere, even in the United States.
Its culture is among the most exquisite and enthralling in the entire globe, with countless folktales, Gods and Goddesses, legends, and stories. There is so much more to Hawaii than just leis and luaus that one cannot just visit the state and NOT immerse themselves in its culture and stories. Hawaii’s culture and history play a significant role in its uniqueness, along with its amazing terrain and geology. There are no other states that even come close to Hawaii in terms of uniqueness inside the United States.
6 Great Hotels
1. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
“Every great beach deserves a great hotel”
Laurance S. Rockefeller, who established the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in 1965, made this statement. He was aware that the luxurious and expensive resort of the time at Kaunaoa also needed fantastic golf and outstanding dining to go along with its great beach. The Mauna Kea is now again a beacon of grandeur on the golden Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island, four decades after a $150 million repair and makeover.
On Hawaii Island, Mauna Kea Resort and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel have served as the ideal for more than 50 years. The everlasting romance of Mauna Kea is created by the opulent lodging, superb golf, and outstanding service.
Exciting sights, sounds, smells and tastes enhance the dining experience in restaurants. The elegant guest rooms exhibit Mr. Rockefeller’s trademark “understated elegance” in a delicate combination of modern elements and magnificent style, artistically enhanced by John Hara Associates Inc. and Barry Design Associates. And in the middle of it all sits breathtaking Kauna’oa Bay, one of the world’s most magnificent beaches.
Contact: +1 808-882-7222
2. Shell Vacations Club Holua Resort at the Mauna Loa Village
Wyndham Mauna Loa Village offers a haven of peace on the Big Island. The Kona Country Club, which has a championship golf course, is immediately across the street. Despite being tucked away from town traffic and crowds, this alluring Kailua-Kona resort is only two blocks from restaurants, shops, and movie theaters. It is a tranquil retreat. In addition, there are numerous golf courses, beaches, and paths for hiking, biking, and equestrian riding nearby.
Large one- and two-bedroom villas with private lanais and breathtaking views are available at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village. Take advantage of the eight dazzling pools, hot tubs, 11 top-notch tennis courts, fitness center, on-site events, and more.
Staying here will undoubtedly make you spend some time each day to express your thankfulness by saying “mahalo,” which is the Hawaiian term for “many alternatives.” Visit Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation to see how Kona coffee is made up close. Visit the two active volcanoes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Discover the Kaloko-Honokohau National Park, home to green sea turtles and other unique animals. Explore Rainbow Falls, a nearby 80-foot waterfall that gets its name from the rainbow that emerges in the morning mist.
Address: 78-7190 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, United States
Contact: +1 808-324-1550
3. Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
Mauna Lani, a holy refuge where generations of families and friends have created lifelong memories on soulful grounds previously loved by the best of the Hawaiian monarchy, is nestled along the spectacular Kohala Coast and in the Piko, or center, of five magnificent mountains. Sit on an outrigger canoe and welcome the morning sun as it rises above the summits of the mountains. While enjoying the sounds of the ocean waves and laughing, share stories with friends, both old and new, on the Great Lawn. Dine with friends and family at CanoeHouse, where locals have enjoyed the island’s abundance for years.
Contact: +1 855-201-3179
4. Kohala Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
In the tropical sanctuary of Waikoloa on Hawaii’s Big Island, the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort is tucked away among immaculate fairways and lava rock fields. In addition to several dining and shopping options in the surrounding Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace, guests benefit from resort access and other privileges at the nearby Hilton Waikoloa Village. Two-bedroom suites with full kitchens, separate living and dining rooms, a master bedroom with a spacious soaking tub, and a free wireless Internet connection are available.
Contact: +1 808-886-8700
5. SCP Hilo Hotel
SCP Hilo is integrating the idea of holistic hospitality into the adventurous aesthetic and way of life of The Big Island. Visitors to SCP Hilo, which is renowned for providing genuine and authentic experiences, will depart with a deeper respect and admiration of the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian Islands.
SCP Hilo’s perfect position on the eastern side of The Big Island gives visitors quick access to places like the Hilo Farmers Market, Rainbow Falls, Nani Mau Gardens, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Mount Mauna Kea. Visitors looking for a truly regenerative tourist experience will enjoy all that SCP Hilo has to offer, including local programs like coconut tastings as well as tours of sustainable farms.
Contact: +1 808-935-0821
6. Four Season Resort Hualalai
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, which is located on the scenic Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island, combines the welcoming aloha of the Islands with the flawless hallmark service that Four Seasons guests throughout the world have come to expect. The only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Rated Resort in Hawaii have 243 guest rooms, an award-winning golf course, and seven swimming pools. The Resort provides five great restaurants, including ‘ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge on the Island. Each restaurant’s chefs use products from more than 160 nearby farms, and 75% of the food they serve comes from Hawaii Island.
Contact: +1 808-325-8000
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Restaurants and Cafes
Since 1988, Roy’s in Waikiki has served as the focal point of Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion empire. It is situated close to Fort DeRussy, a block from the ocean. Chef Roy Yamaguchi, a successful businessman, operates 31 restaurants around the globe, including Roy’s Kaanapali on Maui, Roy’s Waikoloa on the Big Island, and four on Oahu. Chef Yamaguchi is renowned for his humanitarian activities on behalf of disabled children and for sharing his dishes in three publications.
Address: 226 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Contact: +1 808-923-7697
2. Nami Kaze Hawaii
Even though NamiKaze is just open for brunch, for now, the menu can seem more overwhelming due to its scope. The menu includes items like honey walnut shrimp waffles, toast with mushrooms and labneh, and the Japanese breakfast dish teishoku. As he assisted other chefs in opening their restaurants, it appears as though owner and chef Jason Peel had been concocting menu items for more than ten years. Opt for omelets, which are silky chawanmushi topped with mentaiko or shrimp and chile oil, for a brunch-like experience. Alternatively, try innovative sushi rolls like lobster yuzu or burned hamachi. Or simply combine different elements; it’s all fun.
Address: 1135 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States
Contact: +1 808-888-6264
3. Kyung’s Seafood
Kyung is popular among cooks and savvy residents due to its convenient location and laid-back atmosphere. It’s finest in the evenings for a night of fun conversation, seafood, and especially prepared Korean food that calls for alcohol. Order a pitcher of strawberry soju slush, a few hot appetizers, and a large sashimi platter to share before calling it a night. The salmon-‘ahi combo at Kyung’s is very delicious.
Address: 1269 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States
Contact: +1 808-589-1144
4. Restaurant Suntory
Make it Suntory time at the Restaurant Suntory in Waikiki for a nice time. The eatery is known for its exquisitely prepared teppanyaki, sushi, and washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine). Consider single-serving shabu and tableside steaming kamameshi in an iron kettle. There are a lot of whisky highballs created with Hibiki, Yamazaki, or Hakushu because this is a Suntory restaurant (also available and served neat, of course).
Address: Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Bldg B, Third, 2233 Kalākaua Ave Level, B307, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Contact: +1 808-922-5511
5. Coffee Shack
Go to Mamalahoa Highway and proceed south while keeping a lookout for a small structure referred to as The Coffee Shack (83-5799 Mamalahoa Highway). Although its appearance might appear a little uninteresting, the panoramic view of Kealakekua Bay you enjoy from the seating area inside is anything but. Keep your mouth open so you can enjoy the breakfast bistro’s handcrafted pastries, such as its just-baked muffins and scones.
Address: 83-5799 Mamalahoa Hwy Box 510, Captain Cook, HI 96704, United States
Contact: +1 808-328-9555
6. Kai Coffee
The best pick for the greatest coffee in Waikiki is the family-run business Kai Coffee. There are two Waikiki stores: one outside Alohilani Resort and one within the Hyatt Regency atrium (near the waterfall). They serve mac nut milk as an alternate milk option and sell Hawaiian-style artisan roasted beans.
Address: 2424 Kalākaua Ave #129, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Contact: +1 808-923-1700
7. Hawaiian Aroma Cafe
A regional chain of cafe bars with a tropical theme is called Hawaiian Aroma Caffe. They provide customized waffles, top-notch acai bowls, and creamy coffee. The OHANA Waikiki East, Waikiki Beachcomber, and Ilikai hotels are where you may find them. They locally roast their Guatemalan, Mexican, and Sumatran coffee beans.
Address: Beachcomber Waikiki Hotel, 2300 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Contact: +1 808-256-2602
8. Coffee Works
Look for the large, black coffee cup-shaped sign to find Coffee Works. Coffee Works, which first opened its doors in Honolulu way back in 1975, relocated to Lanai City in 2000 and continues to provide a fantastic cup of coffee utilizing native Hawaiian beans. The coffee shop’s specialty beverages, such as its blended Kona mocha, and spiced chai latte are also well-known. Coffee Works is a small outside dining area where you can locate the ideal spot to sip the day away despite its cramped inside.
Address: 604 Ilima Ave, Lanai City, HI 96763, United States
Contact: +1 808-565-6962
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Hawaii is a stunning tropical vacation destination unmatched anywhere else in the globe. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy, from its stunning white sand beaches to its gorgeous mountains and steep valleys to its metropolitan life! Hawaii is the most ethnically and culturally diverse state. Of course, Hawaiian culture has influenced other cultures as well, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Portuguese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Micronesian, and Spanish, to name a few. The Hawaiian people are a living example of how vibrant the culture is in Hawaii. The islands depend on Hawaiian culture and its survival, as evidenced by the names of their cities and beaches, hula performances at luaus, and individuals speaking Hawaiian at the grocery store.