The Island of Hawaii also known as the Big Island has the most diverse ecosystem of all the Hawaiian Islands (8 out of 13 to be specific). You will find waterfalls, lush rain forests, and many flowers all in one spot.
On our travels on the Big Island we made the trip to Hilo. We stayed in the town of Volcano which was only a 40 minute drive to the ocean in downtown Hilo. I am extremely happy we stayed up there because Hilo is a college town, and one day there was enough for us.
Rainbow Falls Lookout
I promise this is real and unfiltered. Looking back at my photographs it is crazy to see how fake this waterfall looks.Inside the town of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii you can park and walk directly up to Rainbow Falls. This waterfall shines a rainbow when the sun strikes it.
Since we have done many strenuous hikes that lead to waterfalls it was great to see people of all physical abilities be able to see this beauty.
At rainbow falls you can also hike the stairs up to the top to see the river flow over the edge. Nearby you can also see a Banyan tree forest.
Mangrove forest at Rainbow Falls
Roots everywhere is the best way to describe the Banyan tree. Pro tip: when climbing through Banyan tree forests make sure you wear bugs spray. These trees are magnificent, but also is the home to many tiny critters.
While leaving the forest I didn’t realize how many bugs I had on me until it was too late and I had a rash of bug bites.
Don’t let that deter you from exploring. At rainbow fall they have mulyiple Banyan trees to walk through with aerial roots galore. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a waterfall that shines into a rainbow when the sun hits it. If your afraid of bug bites just don’t climb or touch the trees.
Akaka Falls State Park
Hawaii is a perfect place to satisfy a waterfall obsession.
Akaka falls is a short drive from Hilo and the state park is full of greenery, wild flowers, and of course waterfalls!
This was a very mild hike through the rainforest on a paved looped trail with hand railings. You get to see two waterfalls, and read a love story about the Hawaiian God (Akaka) and his mistresses.
Hilo Farmers Market
As we explored the city of Hilo after eating lunch we came across this functional farmers market. We have been to many in other cities and this was the least fancy, but the produce looked amazing. Unfortunately, there was not any local craft makers to buy from.
Mr Eds Bakery was a few miles outside of Akaka Falls in the city of Honumu. The shaved ice was great, but they also had an assortment of homemade local fruit preserves and pastries. The owner was sweet and took genuine interest in talking to us about our lives.
Pineapples Restaurant is a cute island restaurant in Hilo not far from the water. The wall to the outside retracts for the perfect indoor outdoor feel. We did not get to experience the live music, but they do host a variety of artists.