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The Best Waterfalls in Hawaii

1. Pu’uka’oku Falls

1. Pu’uka’oku Falls

At 2,756 feet, Pu’uka’oku is the 8th largest waterfall in the world. Located on the “friendly island” of Molokai, the falls themselves aren’t particularly easy to get to. The massive seaside cliffs are only visible by boat or helicopter, and really, taking a helicopter is the best way to get a good view. (You may also try nearby Olo’upena, similarly inaccessible, with an unofficially-recorded height of 2,953 feet.)

(image via Instagram)

2. Waihilau Falls

2. Waihilau Falls

Looming at 2,600 feet, Waihilau Falls is a horsetail waterfall located on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s one of the tallest waterfalls in the state, and in the top 20 for height in the world. It’s a long trek out here, but along the way, you’ll pass Wai’ilikahi, Kakaauki, and Lahomene Falls, all of which are over 1,000 feet.

(image via Instagram)

3. Hi’ilawe Waterfall

3. Hi’ilawe Waterfall

Hi’ilawe Waterfall is a 1,450-foot, 2-drop horsetail—one of the largest and most powerful falls on Big Island. The stream that feeds the fall has been diverted for irrigation, so even during the wet season, the falls can be dry. But when it’s running, that big drop into Waipio Valley is something to see.

(image via Instagram)

4. Manoa Falls

4. Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls sits in the Manoa Valley, at the foot of the Ko’olau mountain range. It’s a 1.6-mile hike out to a 200-foot fall surrounded by lush forest. The path out is a veritable tour of the woodlands, and the falls at the end are just the cherry on top of a gorgeous hike.

(image via Instagram)

5. Waialeale Waterfalls

5. Waialeale Waterfalls

The “rippling waters” of Waialeale make it one of the wettest places in the world. The mountain catches the wet ocean air and sends it upwards to cool—basically the water cycle in miniature. All these rains plummet down a “wall of tears” that, contrary to the name, is gorgeous to behold.

(image via Instagram)

6. Papalaua Falls

6. Papalaua Falls

Papalau Falls is a 1,250-foot waterfall in the Papalaua Valley, on the northern part of Molokai Island. This valley is covered in a rich carpet of green foliage. While the waterfall technically has five drops, the biggest one, at 1,115 feet, massively dominates the falls and can be seen from the sea. Kahiwa Falls is also nearby, which plummets directly into the ocean instead of the valley.

(image via Instagram)

7. Honokohau Falls

7. Honokohau Falls

Honokohau Falls is another one that’s incredibly tall and powerful, but only really accessible by helicopter. It’s located in the heart of a massive valley, and its two drops add up to a total of 1,119 feet, making it the tallest waterfall on the island of Maui.

(image via Instagram)

8. Akaka Falls

8. Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls is a 422-foot waterfall in Kolekole Stream on Hawai’i Island. The trail out here is under half a mile, and you can also get a look at Kahuna Falls on the same trail. Whether due to its beauty or its accessibility, Akaka Falls is one of the state's most widely-recognizable waterfalls.

(image via Instagram)

9. Wailua Falls

9. Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is simply gorgeous. This picturesque 80-foot waterfall was featured in the opening credits of Fantasy Island, an entire TV show about wish fulfillment. It’s also fairly easy to get to. You can drive right up to an overlook near the top of the falls by going up Highway 56 and turning onto Maalo Road.

(image via Instagram)

10. Manawaiopuna Falls

10. Manawaiopuna Falls

Manawaiopuna Falls is famous. In fact, you’ve probably seen it. It’s the waterfall that Hammond and his guests fly by as they’re coming into Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park. You can drive right up, hike for several hours through Kauai to get here, or make like Doctor Grant and company and opt for the flyby.

(image via Instagram)