Welcome to Hamakua Coast

On the slopes of Mauna Kea, farmers grow vanilla, tea, mushrooms and other boutique crops, modernizing and diversifying island agriculture. Visit these small-scale farms for a close-up look at island life (and to sample its delicious bounty). Sugarcane once ruled the Hamakua Coast, with acres of plantations and massive trains chugging along the coast and across towering bridges spanning the tremendous gulches. Stop at old-time museums and delve into the rich history here. Pause to imagine the 'old plantation days.' Go slow, explore the back roads and step back in time.

Top experiences in Hamakua Coast

Hamakua Coast activities

$186.46 Day Trips & Excursions

Big Island of Hawaii Tour: Akaka Falls

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Royal Kona Coffee Center, Captain Cook, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiWalk through a lava tube, and take a tour of a Kona Coffee Farm to learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling Kona CoffeeDuration: 30 minutesStop At: Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Pahala, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiDip your toes in the sand at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach and scan the horizon for green sea turtles on the shoreDuration: 30 minutesStop At: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiExplore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, past lava flow sites, and take a short hike along crater rim trail.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Volcano, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiEnjoy a free tour of the orchid garden and picnic style lunchDuration: 1 hourStop At: Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiNext is a waterfall that’s small by comparison, but not by beauty: Rainbow Falls, a beautiful 80-foot (24-meter) waterfall with a giant banyan tree beside it.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Waipi'o Valley, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiThe views stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs drops into the sparkling blue oceanDuration: 20 minutesStop At: Akaka Falls State Park, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiThis towering 442-foot (135-meter) waterfall plummets into a lush ravine at the center of a state park. You’ll enjoy a short walk through the vegetation for an up close view and plenty of photo ops. Duration: 40 minutes

$187.50 Day Trips & Excursions

Big Island BIG Volcano Adventure from Kona: Small Group

Immerse yourself in the waterfalls and rainforests along the famous Hamakua Coast before exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This tour is an awesome way to experience the Big Island's diverse scenery while expanding your knowledge of Hawaii in a small-group setting.After pickup from your hotel, embark on your journey to the lush rainforests that populate the east side of the island. Cruise along Highway 19 and pass though the town of Waimea, admiring vast cattle ranches that hold major significance in this part of the island's history. From Waimea, travel along the eastern flank of Mauna Kea volcano, commonly known as the famous Hamakua Coast. Thousands of years of erosion have carved deep valleys and steep cliffs into the side of the mountain, producing some of the island's most striking imagery. Stop at Laupahoehoe for an outstanding visual example of the Pacific Ocean's powerful ability to carve rugged pinnacles into the coastline.Continue along jungle roads to Akaka Falls, a stunning waterfall that plunges 442 feet (134 meters) into the Kolekole gulch below. Heading back from the falls, stop at Hilo Sharks in Honomu for some fresh local wraps. After lunch, head toward Hilo along some of the island's most scenic backroads. These roads wind along the Hamakua coast, through lush jungle gorges and past epic ocean vistas. Cap your tour with a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the summit of the Kilauea volcano. Gaze into Kilauea's vast summit caldera, relatively young at 500 years in age. Travel the east rift zone of Kilauea along Chain of Craters road, passing pit craters, scorched earth, steaming ground, and lava flows old and new. Enjoy plenty of time to look around and learn about what's happening both above and below the ground.Buy dinner at Lava Rock Cafe in Volcano and reflect on the day while preparing for one of the tour's most memorable highlights. Head back to Kilauea's summit after the sun has set and witness the stunning glow from Kilauea's very active lava lake before a hassle-free ride back to your hotel.

$449.99 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Big Island Sunset Flight from Kona

Make your way to Kona International Airport in the early evening to meet your pilot and hop aboard a sate-of-the-art Cessna 208 Jet-Prop Caravan plane. Savor the excitement as you take to the skies above the Big Island. View cascading waterfalls, lush green valleys and towering mountains along the Hamakua coast. Fly over fiery Kilauea Volcano, where, at dusk, the red-hot lava flows can best be viewed. Look west to Mauna Loa, considered the largest volcano on Earth, to enjoy a beautiful Hawaiian sunset.Your pilot offers narration about the sights, history and topography of Hawaii as you fly. Every seat is a window seat, so you’ll be treated to great views throughout your whole flight, which lasts 2 hours, before arriving back in Kona.

$145 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Ultimate Hawaii Waterfalls combo Dolphin Boat Tour

Waterfall tours by boat are one of the best things to do in Hilo. Big Island Volcanoes are nurtured with 200+ inches a year of rain, supplying the spectacular 420-ft. Akaka Falls, the three-tiered Umauma Falls & the popular Rainbow Falls. Downstream, Big Island waterfalls cascade cool waters over towering seacliffs into the Pacific Ocean. Few Hawaiian tours on the Big Island offer you the chance to take photography of whales, waterfalls & an array of wildlife from a luxurious, high-speed 49-passenger aluminum catamaran. Tours depart from Hilo's Wailoa harbor near the Suisan fish market. Unique Big Island tour to see Hawaii Waterfalls begins cruising the protected waters of Hilo Hawaii. Coconut Island, Hilo Bayfront black sand beach, and views of historical Hilo Town paint you a picture of what Hilo once looked like before the devastation of 2 major tsunamis in 1946 & 1960. The Hamakua coast was best known in the 1900’s for its sugar companies, two of which you can see from the boat including the Papaikou sugar mill that resides on a beautiful black sand beach, now a secret surf spot. Views of Mauna Kea set the backdrop for dozens of waterfalls cascading over large spectacular sea-cliffs into the ocean. Mauna Kea becomes snow-capped in the winter, adding an element of beauty to this giant mountain. To the south, view the 30-year eruption of the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. In this region, bottle-nosed and spinner dolphins are always a crowd favorite, especially when you see large pods displaying their acrobatic spins close to the boat The scenic Onomea Bay is botanical garden masterpiece with over 5000 plant species growing in the valley. Rich in beauty and culture, Onomea Bay offers a look into past of what Hawaii once was. From old legends to present day story, Onomea Bay continues to be a favorite place to visit for travelers and locals.Humpback Whales are often seen swimming along the Hamakua coast, with sightings on almost every whale watch tour. Whale season in Hawaii is December 1 – April 1. You will see many types of behavior during this important mating time including breaching, fluking, tail slaps, baby Humpbacks (Calves), and competition pods.

$579 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Big Island Volcanoes Deluxe Helicopter Tour

Visit: Sunshine Helicopters Big Island, Waimea, Island of Hawaii, HawaiiThe Island of Hawaii is the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and is also by far the biggest, providing a vast canvas of environments to discover a variety of unrivaled natural wonders. This is the home of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes; Mauna Kea, the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet; Mauna Loa, the most massive mountain in the world, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the largest park in the state.All but two of the world’s climate zones generate everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts and snow-capped mountaintops to beautiful black sand beachesExperience the fiery lava vents of one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea. Let our Black Beauties whisk you through the hidden tropical valleys of the Kohala mountains, alive with dozens of roaring waterfalls, and lift you above the beautiful rainforest of the Hamakua coast

$234.37 Cultural & Theme Tours

Hawaii Island Experience

Tours depart daily from the Kona/Waikoloa areas at 6:00 AM. We then make our way South through Kona and along highway 11 to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. Home to some of the Hawaii’s most significant traditional Hawaiian sites on the islands. Our first stop is here for a continental breakfast and to learn more about this ancient site. After exploring this sacred site our journey continues South to Punulu’u Black Sand Beach for views of the endangered green sea turtles (Honu) sunning themselves on the warm black beach. Less than an hour away is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Upon arriving at the park the group will get a front row view of the current eruption of Kilauea volcano. We then take time to explore the park with short hike to learn more about Hawaii’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and geologic wonder. Before leaving we break for lunch and a chance for souvenir shopping.Continuing on highway 11 takes us to Hawaii’s second largest city, Hilo. Guests will be treated to quick tour of this historic area along with a stop at beautiful Rainbow Falls. The next part of our journey along the Hamakua coast (hwy 19), is one of the most beautiful drives on the island. Sites to look forward to along the way can include Onomea Bay, Laupahoehoe State Park, The Hawaiian Vanilla Company, and the Waipio Valley Lookout. As our circle island journey comes to a close we make our way through Waimea and down to Kawaihae and the Kohala coast. A final stop at Pu’ukohola Heiau is where we bring our day to a close before the short drive back to the hotel.Tour length is 12 hours.