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Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls In Hawaii

A picturesque view of waterfalls between the tress and under the dreamy cloudy sky
Source : pexels

Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls includes Akaka Falls which is nestled in the Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is 442 feet tall. 

Subjectifying the word beautiful when it comes to mother nature is a tedious task as it depends on the eyes of the beholder. Although most of the waterfalls stand out from afar there are some in Hawaii, that are out of this world.

Generally, visiting a waterfall is amongst the most spectacular experiences ever. When you look a gallons of water almost falling from the sky, you can't help but wonder, how mother nature works in mysterious ways.

It is one of those ordeals that literally drops your jaw and keeps you thrilled for the course of your visit. So without further ado, we present our list of Hawaii’s top 10 Best series of cascades.

1. Wailua Falls

One of the best waterfalls in Kauai, Wailua Falls is situated north of Lihue at the end of the Wailua River. This spectacular two-tiered waterfall is 80 feet tall and famous for being a filming location for the 1970s TV series, Fantasy Island.

 Wailua Falls- A magnificient waterfall located in Kauai, Hawaii
Source : facebook

This picturesque fall in Kauai is easily accessible and can be viewed from the nearby car park. If you want an impressive view of the fall, it is recommended to visit the site after rainfalls or in the early morning to catch a glimpse of a rainbow when the light is just right.

As the base of the fall is steep, wet and slippery, it is wise not to hike down to the base of the Wailua Falls.

Side Note: Indoor & Outdoor Things To Do in Kauai When it Rains

2. Olo'upena Falls

located in the northeastern part of Molokai, Olo'upena Falls is the highest in the United States & the fourth-highest waterfall in the world.

Measuring a vertical drop of 2953 feet, Oloupena is the tallest waterfall Hawaii Island of Molokai. This awe-inspiring spectacle of nature cascades down the steep slopes and boasts its natural beauty.

Olo'upena Falls- the tallest waterfall Hawaii
Source : facebook

This magnificent fall is arranged between the Pelekunu and Wailau valleys that can be observed only from a boat or aeroplane, Although this location is not accessible to people on foot because of its remote location, it still remains one of Hawaii's prodigies of nature.

Not everyone has paid attendance but the falls in this mountain occur only when a short stream cascades over the edge of this dramatic cliff that leads into a deep crevice below.

Over the course of time, this incredible fall has eroded a groove in its rocky face, creating an incredible display when viewed from a great distance.

Side Note: Top 10 Things To Do In Molokai With Family

3. Manoa Falls

This scenic 150-foot-tall fall is only accessible via a hike through the rainforest. It's a 1.5-mile round trip, which takes about an hour or two from the trailhead.

Wear good shoes as the path can get muddy and slippery, and bring bug repellent and plenty of water.

Manoa Falls is a great photography spot, and the location has been featured in movies and television shows like Jurassic Park and Lost. Cool off in the pool at the base of the falls and grab a snack and a refreshing pineapple smoothie for your walk back to civilization.

Manoa Falls is a spectacular waterfall nestled in the mountains of Koolau
Source : instagram

Parking: Free if you park in the residential neighbourhood and walk 1/4 mile to the trailhead; OR paid parking if you park in the Paradise Park parking lot at the trailhead.

What to wear: Mosquito repellent (otherwise those suckers will definitely sniff you out here!), and shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy.

What to bring: Water to drink, a camera, a towel (for the car/bus ride home, since you may be wet and muddy), and a change of shoes and clothes if you plan to go somewhere else afterwards and want to be dry and clean.

If you tend to be unsteady on your feet, you may want to bring a walking stick or find a branch that you can use when you get to the trail.  

4. Waipuhia Falls (The Upside Down Waterfall Of Hawaii)

There are several falls in Hawaii, each bearing a unique feature. But this, Waipuhia Falls, steals the show as it is the rarest upside-down fall that defies gravity sometimes of the year.

Waipuhia Falls (The Upside Down Waterfall Of Hawaii)
Source : skymetweather

Waipuhia, the waterfall that goes up in Hawaii may sound like a made-up thing but yes, they are rare but they do exist. The best way to watch the miracle is by the comfort of your vehicle as there is no trail to the area.

The only path leading up to the falls passes through a private property where trespassers are not welcome.

If you are wondering about the fall's location, you have to be cautious while driving back from the north shore of Oahu to Waikiki. Make sure you keep an eye towards Central Oahu as you drive along the Pali Highway.

Might seem impossible but you might be lucky enough to locate the reverse falls in the distance.

Side Note: Top 10 Unconventional Things To Do On North Shore Oahu

5. Makapipi Falls

Make sure to stop your vehicle as you cross the bridge over Makapipi stream on mile marker 25 on the Hana Highway to check out the falls situated under the bridge.

A photo of Makapipi Falls by Mickey Shannon
Source : mickeyshannon

One of the most interesting waterfalls in Maui on the Hana Highway, Makapipi Fall mixes with the Makapipi River that flows within the lava streambed into a pristine blue pool.

The highway crosses directly over the river making it easier for people to take a view of the fall from over the bridge railing. Although the flow of the fall depends on the rainfall, it is intriguing to witness the site even if the fall doesn't have enough body.

To reach the perfect spot, you have to park your vehicle beyond the bridge near a small pull-off & walk back to the bridge to witness nature's wonder on the Makai side of the road.

Side Note: Best Stops On The Road To Hana Every Traveler Must Visit

6. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Hawaii
Source : instagram

If you’re looking for the best waterfall on the big island near downtown Hilo, you have to take a short drive to Wailuku River State Park to discover an 80-foot waterfall, Waiānuenue (Rainbow Falls).

The fall is given the nickname Rainbow Falls after waiānuenue because of the visibility of rainbows on sunny mornings in the mist thrown up by the waterfall.

If you are travelling to Hilo for this particular waterfall, make sure to drive a little further along the Wailuku River to check out Pe‘epe‘e Falls which feeds the famous pools known as Boiling Pots.

Most importantly, neither Waiānuenue nor Boiling Pots are safe for water activities, hence, it is advised to enjoy the idyllic vistas on land, rather than swimming in the waterfalls.

Side Note: Are you wondering what to do in Hilo? Click on the given link to learn about things to do in Hilo.

7. Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon, also known as the grand canyon of the Pacific has one of the best waterfalls in Kauai. This scenic state park overlooks the colourful Waimea Canyon that stretched over 14 miles and is 3600 feet deep

Waterfall at the Grand Canyon of the Pacific (Waimea Canyon)
Source : hawaiiactivities

Not only for the waterfall, this state park is also famous for its scenic drive, panoramic lookouts, and difficult hikes. The best part about this park is the appearance of the canyon which seem to change throughout the day.

Though it's great no matter which time you reach the area per locals, it’s best to visit earlier in the morning for fewer crowds and better visibility.

If you are lucky enough, you might even spot a rainbow during the hot summer months. Not to forget, this park is a haven for fitness enthusiasts as there are endless ways to tour the canyon.

You can hire a bike, go on foot, or book a helicopter ride to watch the mesmerizing scenarios.

Side Note: Most Popular National Historical Park In Hawaii You Should Definitely Visit

8. Opaekaa Fall

Cascading down into a hidden pool, Opaekaa Fall in Kauai is easily one of the most accessible waterfalls in Hawaii. This 151-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide waterfall is located on the east side of Kuamoʻo Road (Route 580) from Hwy. 

As you cross the Kuamo'o road, do look out for sign, 56, which clearly points to the roadside lookout on the right to check out the spectacular view of the Opaekaa Falls.

This stop offers visitors a great view from a scenic lookout and access to picnic tables and restrooms. 

One of the most accessible major waterfalls, this waterfall was named Ōpaekaʻa after rolling shrimps that were abundant in the stream.

The 151-foot tall Opaekaa Fall is situated in Kauai
Source : tripadvisor

While you are on the lookout, do not forget to walk uphill from the ʻŌpaekaʻa lookout across the road in order to get a glimpse of the Wailua River valley and interior plains beyond.

Even the parking lot of this lookout offers an excellent overview of the double ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls, the top of Makeleha Mountains & the famous Wailua River can be viewed by crossing the road following the pedestrian crossing sign.

9. Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu Falls's trail is Oahu's one of the most unsanctioned hiking trails in Honolulu
Source : best-of-oahu

Lulumahu is one of the spectacular waterfalls in Oahu. Unlike others, viewing this waterfall is like solving a riddle. Like the locals say "The trick to seeing this beautiful fall is actually finding it!"

The hiking trails leading up to the waterfall is peaceful and you get to walk through the bamboo rainforest and witness the mysterious ways of nature. 

Though the hiking trails have a beautiful sight to behold, the area rains frequently making the path muddy and slippery. Therefore, make sure you wear a pair of sturdy shoes in order to pass the trail without a hassle.

If the timing is perfect, you will meet people who have done this track before and can help you remain on track even if you miss the signage.

Or you can follow the map and educate yourself about the area before you embark on the journey. If you are a hiking junkie this 1.5-hour (2-way) hike is a piece of cake!!

If not, there's always room to learn!

Side Note: Best 5-Star Hotels In Oahu Hawaii On The Beach

10. Akaka Falls

Located in Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island, Akaka Falls is a treat to the eye. Surging 422 ft (135 m) from a cliff in the misty rainforest, Akaka boasts twice the height of Niagra Falls.

Considering its huge popularity, it is not a wonder that Akaka Falls has a strong flow of water and tourists all year round.

Big Island is the best Hawaii island for hiking and waterfalls
Source : instagram

If you are confused about when to visit Hawaii or which season will be the best time to visit Hawaii, then September is your choice. The weather in September is perfect making it the best time to visit the waterfalls in the Aloha State.

As both of the falls are seated on a wetland, make sure you grab a pair of raincoats and rain shoes before you leave your hotel. Then, follow the 6.5 m loop trail paved path to navigate the way.

Meanwhile, you will get a glimpse of Kahuna Falls and the Kolekole Stream mixed into the falls before the grand amalgamation with the ocean.

  • Location: 875 Akaka Falls Road, Honomu, Hawaii 96728, USA
  • Phone: +1 808 974 6200

Side Note: Best Places To Go in Hawaii in September At least Once In Your Lifetime