Take a memorable journey through charming old sugar plantation towns on one of Hawaii Island’s most scenic drives known as the Hamakua-Hilo Heritage Corridor. You’ll discover the breathtaking natural diversity of the Big Island on your full-day narrated adventure. Learn the history and legends of Hawaiian culture as you gaze into the best expansive views featuring rugged sea cliffs, deep ravines, lush rainforests, thundering waterfalls and beautiful botanical gardens.
Your first stop is the Waipio Valley Overlook. This amazing valley is one of the most incredible places on Hawaii’s Big Island. Located near the northern tip of the island, Waipio Valley was once home to Hawaiian royalty who oversaw the cultivation of taro in the valley’s fertile earth. Your guide will share the historical and legendary stories of Waipio, known as the “Valley of the Kings.”
You then head south along the beautiful Hamakua-Hilo Heritage Corridor to Akaka Falls. Here you’ll find the most incredible 442-foot waterfall on our island and learn about the legend of King Akaka by your tour guide. This waterfall is a must see attraction and another garden paradise of tropical plants.
Next you'll travel the Onomea Bay scenic drive which is the most famous scenic route on the Big Island. It is a 4-mile stretch of the old Mamalahoa Highway that snakes from scenic spot to scenic spot through lush tropical forest and gives some stunning views of Onomea Bay. You'll have a No-Host lunch stop at What's Shakin' that will serve you up healthy eats, blended treats, and plenty of local charm.
After Akaka Falls, you will visit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Photographers, gardeners, botanists, scientists, and nature lovers from around the world consider this garden museum to be one of the best. There are over 2,000 species of tropical plants, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera found in this one-of-a-kind garden. Throughout this garden valley, nature trails meander through a true tropical rainforest, crossing bubbling streams, passing several beautiful waterfalls and the exciting ocean vistas along the rugged Pacific coast.
Your next stop will be the Hilo Farmers Market, a must-see experience when you are on the Big Island. Local farmers and crafters sell their produce, crafts, gift items and tropical flowers in a festive outdoor atmosphere that recalls back to the old “plantation” days of early Hilo.
Your final waterfall is north of downtown Hilo in Wailuku River State Park will be the 80-foot Waianuenue, also known as Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls derives its name from the fact that, on sunny days with the right angle of the sun, rainbows can be seen in the mist thrown up by the waterfall.
End your journey as you travel across Highway 200 through the center of the island. This road is known as “Saddle Road” as it sits between the tallest volcanoes on the Big Island, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. You’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest featuring cinder cones, lava flows and kipuka.