Gorgeous Waterfalls In Hawaii Every Traveler Needs On Their List

Everybody’s been to Hawaii, but you may not have been to these spectacular spots. In between all the luaus and cookouts, sometimes we just don’t have the time.

Whether you’re trying to get a little adventure in during your family vacation, you want to see a sight that’s not just a beach and resort, or you’re trying to break in your new hiking shoes—these waterfalls are must-sees. They also provide some pretty incredible Instagram pictures, and nobody has to know you got the idea to go there from an internet list.

See Waimoku Waterfalls, Maui’s Tallest Waterfall

water and trees
Photo Credit: @road2hana / Instagram
Photo Credit: @road2hana / Instagram

This waterfall doesn’t have to worry about not meeting height requirements since it’s the tallest waterfall in Maui—400 feet to be exact! You can get to this incredible spot via a hike through the gorgeous Haleakala National Park.

Get Jurassic At Manoa Falls, Oahu

christmas at falls
Photo Credit: @maleneroennest / Instagram
Photo Credit: @maleneroennest / Instagram

Life finds a way at Manoa Falls in Oahu—and that’s because this waterfall is the setting for Jurassic Park and the TV series Lost. Setting aside its star power, the actual waterfall is nothing short of beautiful since it runs down a 150-foot mountainside.

Say Hi To Hiilawe Falls, Hawaii Island

hawaii time
Photo Credit: @davidgatzka / Instagram
Photo Credit: @davidgatzka / Instagram

The Hiilawe Falls will be your favorite hello and hardest goodbye when you come to Hawaii. This incredible sight almost looks like it scooped the land right out to put in the falls—it’s a must-see if you’re in Hawaii.

Your Spirits (And Body) Will Climb At Waimano Falls, Oahu

dude on rope
Photo Credit: @dylanferr / Instagram
Photo Credit: @dylanferr / Instagram

I’m not joking when I say that Hawaii’s lush vegetation and mountains are good for adventurers. Waimano Falls is a perfect example of that. You can climb the faces of the 15–20-foot waterfalls and jump right into the pools at their bases. Obviously, do this at your own risk, but it’s one heck of an experience.

Lace Your Hiking Shoes For The Trek To Waiilikahi Falls, Hawaii Island

volcano greenery
Photo Credit: @volcano_hideaways / Instagram
Photo Credit: @volcano_hideaways / Instagram

This waterfall is for the more adventurous vacationer, since to reach it you have to trek a nine-mile trail. But is it worth it? Absolutely, the waterfall and the surrounding Waimanue valley are some of the most lush and beautiful spots on the island.

Wet Your Willy At Maunawili Falls, Kailua

waterfall swim
Photo Credit: @cristinxnton / Instagram
Photo Credit: @cristinxnton / Instagram

As promised, this 20-foot waterfall trail ends with a swimming hole at the base of the waterfall. All you have to do is follow the stream through muddy trails and you’ll get there.

It’s An Experience In Itself Trying To Get To Lulumahu Falls, Oahu

dude staring
Photo Credit: @alexreddy98 / Instagram
Photo Credit: @alexreddy98 / Instagram

Not every Hawaiian waterfall is easily accessed—that’s what makes them so special to get to. Lulumahu is found only by wandering through unmarked trails deep into the heart of a forest. Look into getting a permit to make sure you’re not trespassing, but it’s an incredible sight to see.

I’m Not Miffed About This Cliff On The Honokohau Falls, Maui

cliffs and water
Photo Credit: @hawaiimagazine / Instagram
Photo Credit: @hawaiimagazine / Instagram

Even though these spectacular falls are only accessible by helicopter, it’s truly worth it if you’re in Maui. This beast is the tallest waterfall in Maui, so how could you pass up a chance at seeing it?

Thank The Lord For Helicopters At Sacred Falls, Oahu

waterfall pose
Photo Credit: @emilyhollern / Instagram
Photo Credit: @emilyhollern / Instagram

Sacred Falls is as beautiful as it is dangerous, so much so that its dangerous 4.5-mile trail through rocky cliffs leading to it is closed to the public. Rightfully so, since I have no doubt many overly confident sunburned tourists have stumbled on them. You can luckily catch a glimpse of Sacred Falls by helicopter.

You Can See But Definitely Not Say Olo’upena Falls, Molokai

several waterfalls
Photo Credit: @_ycm_geology / Instagram
Photo Credit: @_ycm_geology / Instagram

Olo’upena may sound like a lot of vowels, but that’s only because there’s a lot of waterfall to match it. This gorgeous natural feature is the 4th tallest waterfall in the world and a complete must-see if you’re in the Molokai area. Since it’s nestled right in the heart of mountains, you’d have to look into water or aerial excursions if you wanted to witness its beauty.

Bird Is The Word At Kapena Falls, Oahu

jumping off waterfall
Photo Credit: @such.a_crybaby / Instagram
Photo Credit: @such.a_crybaby / Instagram

Well, technically, “birding” is the word ay Kapena, since the surrounding easy-to-hike area of the waterfall is a popular spot for anyone looking to make a day trip out of exploration. Maybe you’ll even see a gorgeous bird fly across the waterfall.

Sing The Wicked Song “Defying Gravity” At Waipuhia Falls, Oahu

man in front of waterfall standing
Photo Credit: @zeck_kamehameha / Instagram
Photo Credit: @zeck_kamehameha / Instagram

There’s a rumor that when the wind blows a certain way, the water looks like it’s flowing upwards—hence, the nickname “Upside-Down Falls.” Whether that’s true or a clever marketing ploy, you should definitely at least check out this waterfall and jump off of it.

Waipoo Falls, Kauai, Is Way Less Crappy Than Its Name

water and rainbow
Photo Credit: @rochelleballard / Instagram
Photo Credit: @rochelleballard / Instagram

Waipoo Falls doesn’t have the right to be this beautiful, but is it ever. I don’t know if the rainbow will be there when you go, but the gorgeous 800-foot drop certainly will be.

You’re Not Seeing Double At Wailua Falls, Kauai

waterfall double
Photo Credit: @travelhunter2020 / Instagram
Photo Credit: @travelhunter2020 / Instagram

What’s better than one waterfall? TWO. You can get two for the price of one drive at Wailua, or “two waters mingling” waterfall. This beauty is super easy to get to, too, since it’s best viewed from Maalo Road.

It Would Be A Wasted Trip If You Don’t Check Out Jack@$# Ginger Pool, Oahu

waterfall pool
Photo Credit: @danrevesz / Instagram
Photo Credit: @danrevesz / Instagram

You can go ahead and fill in the blanks of what Jack@$# Ginger Pool is actually called, I trust you, but seriously, this waterfall is nothing short of incredible. It’s almost offensively beautiful. Get there early in the day to avoid crowds.

It’s Got The Nickname “Weeping Wall,” But There Are No Tears At Waialeale Waterfalls, Kauai

water down a mountain
Photo Credit: @elleandish / Instagram
Photo Credit: @elleandish / Instagram

You’ll see why Waialeale’s got the nickname “weeping wall” when you go. It’s incredible to see how waterfalls seem to pop out of nowhere from the mountain. I also love that since it’s so rainy on the mountain there are rainbows pretty much every day. How freaking magical is that??

Look Out For Likeke Falls, Oahu

waterfall pose person
Photo Credit: @christa.j.chorogotis / Instagram
Photo Credit: @christa.j.chorogotis / Instagram

No literally, look out for Likeke Falls because it’s situated below the Pali Lookout. Whether you’re contented with enjoying the view from afar or you want to get closer, Likeke is the happy and breathtaking middle-ground for you.

Bring Your Swimsuit To Waimea Falls, Oahu

water and rocks
Photo Credit: @hawaiimagazine / Instagram
Photo Credit: @hawaiimagazine / Instagram

What’s good after a hike? Well, a dip in some beautiful water, of course. The treat at the little walk down to Waimea Falls is that you can take a swim in the shallow water pool at the bottom, and then head over to Bay Beach Park that’s located right beside the waterfall.

Onomea Falls On The Big Island Is As Fun To Visit As It Is To Say

fast water
Photo Credit: @anika.sr / Instagram
Photo Credit: @anika.sr / Instagram

Nestled right in the heart of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Onomea Falls is the trip you have to take. Not only are these falls fun to visit, but you may learn about wild species of plants while you’re in the garden.

Moa’ula Falls And Hipuapua Falls, Molokai, Look Like They’re Out Of A Fairy Tale

waterfall running
Photo Credit: @michaelguido_ / Instagram
Photo Credit: @michaelguido_ / Instagram

I mean, it’s pretty much standard for Hawaii, but everything there looks like it was ripped from the pages of a fantasy story book. You can view these by helicopter or you can take the adventurous route and try and get to them by stream.