Rainbow over Waimea Canyon and Waipo'o Falls, Kauai, Hawaii
© Beverley Van Praagh/Getty Image
Under the rainbow. Waimea Canyon and Waipo'o Falls, Kauai, Hawaii
The water pictured crashing down the side of Waimea Canyon, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, has come from one of the rainiest places on Earth. Waipo'o Falls is fed by water from Mount Wai'ale'ale, a shield volcano whose name means 'overflowing water.' The mountain is often shrouded in clouds and experiences a huge amount of rainfall each year—which helps explains those spectacular rainbows.
Waimea Canyon is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and while it is considerably smaller than its more famous cousin, it has no shortage of stunning views of crested buttes, deep gorges, and flowing falls. So, if you want to see the true variety of Kauai, leave the beach behind and take the winding Route 550 into the mountains for stunning views of the shore and canyon, before arriving at the lookout to enjoy the best view of Waipo'o Falls. Ideally under a spectacular rainbow.