Best 5 Hawaii Waterfalls and How to See Them

Best 5 Hawaii Waterfalls and How to See Them

best waterfalls

While adventuring throughout one of the most beautiful island chains on Earth, it’s difficult not to stumble upon jaw-dropping natural Hawaii waterfalls. When traveling around each island you will find waterfalls of all heights and sizes some of which are deep in the mountains and rain forests while others are along seaside cliffs.

Some of these waterfalls are accessible only by difficult hiking trails and some are just outside major cities like Hilo, Kauai, Oahu, and Honolulu. Other waterfalls are so remote that they can only be appreciated by air. However, no matter the location, seeing a waterfall in Hawaii is a breathtaking experience.

Continue reading to find the waterfall you would like to adventure to during your next trip to Hawaii or visit them all. Don’t limit yourself!

Hawaii Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away

Kaliuwae Falls (Sacred Falls)

Where: Hauula, Oahu

Access: Only accessible by air

hawaii waterfalls sacred falls

Closed to the public for 11 years, Kaliuwae Falls, better known as Sacred Falls, is an 80-foot waterfall that flows between two steep mountain peaks nestled in-between a lush canyon. Surrounding the falls are the dense, green walls of Kaluanui valley, making the view of the water cascading down even more remarkable.

Since you cannot hike to the falls the only way to appreciate its beauty is to view the falls from a helicopter. This unique vantage point allows you to see just how beautiful this waterfall is in content to the greenery surrounding it.

If you would like to see just how breathtaking this waterfall is, schedule a helicopter tour with Tropical Helicopters today. Their Oahu circle island experience will not only take you to the Sacred Falls, but you are also treated to bird’s eye views of Pearl Harbor, downtown Honolulu, world-famous Waikiki, and the iconic Diamond Head.

Akaka Falls

Where: Hawaiian Island

Access: Hike

hawaii waterfalls akaka falls

Known as one of the most recognizable Hawaiian Island waterfalls, Akaka Falls is located in Akaka Falls State Park along the northeastern Hilo Coast. Accessible from several lookout points along the state park’s loop trail, this crown jewel is a 443-foot beauty that can be easily viewed on foot. The waterfall plummets into a stream-eroded gorge surrounded by lush greenery and giant cliff faces. You can expect the hike to take you an half an hour and is family friendly.

Hi’ilawe Falls

Where: Waipio Valley

Access: Only accessible by air

hawaii waterfalls hi'ilawe falls

Holding the title for the most famous waterfall in the Waipio Valley, Hi’ilawe Falls is between 1,200 and 1,600 feet tall making it the tallest waterfall in the state of Hawaii. The Waipio Valley is the biggest and southernmost of the seven valleys on the windward side of the Kohala Mountains. The waterfall was created from a lava flow from Mauna Kea, which formed the massive cliffs on the side of the falls.

Since you can only access this waterfall by air, Tropical Helicopters offers a doors-off valley and waterfall tour exclusively for the Kohala Valley. While you are on this jaw-dropping tour you will see numerous waterfalls, sheer cliff faces, and 2,000 foot deep valleys.

Honokohau Falls

Where: Maui

Access: Only accessible by air

honokohau falls
Photo by When On Earth

Falling in two tiers near Puu Kukui the tallest peak of West Maui, Honokohau Falls was famously used as an establishing shot in the movie “Jurassic Park”. This waterfall claims the title for the tallest waterfall on Maui with a height of 1,119 feet. A car or a hike will not get yo to this location, so the only way for you to see it’s sheer size is by helicopter.

Tropical Helicopters does not offer a tour to this waterfall but there are other companies who do. If you are flying with another company you need to make sure this waterfall will be apart of your tour. You might need to do a little bit of negotiating, but you should not listen to any street vendor who is trying to sell you on a “Jurassic Park” pitch. You can only see this waterfall if the conditions are right and your tour operator is down for the trip.

Wailua Falls

Where: Lihue, Kauai

Access: Drive

wailua falls

What makes Wailua Falls so great is you can literally drive right up to the falls. When you arrive you will be at the top of the waterfall, but you can walk to a nearby lookout which offers a stunning view of the 80-foot plunge waterfall. When heavy rains fill the Wailua River water is sent over the entire span of the fall’s lip making it an amazing sight to see. Although the water might look inviting to swim in, officials ask that you do not go in the water. Also, you will see makeshift trails to get to the bottom of the waterfalls. We do not recommend you follow those trials due to safety hazards.


For more information on each helicopter tour, contact Tropical Helicopters today.


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