Explore the famed Hamakua Coast, home to the magnificent country reminiscent of old Hawaii.
Hamakua: Sparsely populated and studded with breathtaking waterfalls, stunning valleys, and eccentric towns. Traveling north, first stop at Tex Drive-In, famous for made-to-order malasadas. These fried Portuguese sweet treats were originally brought to Hawaii by immigrants who worked in the cattle industry and have been a local favorite ever since. Watch the treats being made through the window and have the option to purchase a fresh one with a cup of coffee.
The Valley of the Kings, Waipio Valley: This is a place with impossibly steep cliffs carved by plunging waterfalls cascading more than a thousand feet to the valley floor below. Waipio Valley is still home to taro farmers as it has been for a thousand years. Look closely from the overlook and you may get a glimpse of the wild horses that roam the valley floor. Turning off the highway, you’ll descend into Laupahoehoe Point.
Laupahoehoe Village: In 1946, a tsunami forced the town to move to higher ground. Look for the monument erected in the names of those who lost their lives here.
Akaka Falls State Park: This is the site of the largest, easily accessible waterfall on the island. You’ll traverse a paved walking path right through the center of a lush rainforest to Akaka Falls, a stunning 442-foot waterfall that plunges down a sheer cliff and into the water below. Continue your adventure with stops at two icons of Hilo, Rainbow Falls and the King Kamehameha statue.
Rainbow Falls: This is an iconic waterfall right off a postcard, featuring an 80-foot tall twin waterfall system. Look for the rainbow effect that gives the waterfall its name! Leaving the Hamakua coast behind, you will travel to historic Hilo Bay to enjoy a deli-style picnic lunch. Snorkel, swim or rent a kayak to explore Hilo Bay. Complete the day with a shopping stop with Hawaiian macadamia nut samples, Hawaii Island crafts, local products, Kona coffee and more.
Requirements & Restrictions: Minimum age – 5 years. Guests must be able to climb in and out of a lifted 15-passenger van unaided. Must wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
What to Bring: Beach towel and cash or credit/debit card for purchases.