I am usually not one for doing touristy things such as tours, the safe and stable way of traveling just isn’t my style but after my experience with Hilo & Beyond Tour, I have rethought the way I travel and will incorporate more hired local touring in my travels. I have been living in Hawaii for 9 years ad our tour guide was able to educate me on tons of legends, plants and history that his family experienced- a priceless experience.
We toured from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and got to see the beauty of Hilo and view Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Big Island Candies, Liliuokalani Park, Hilo Farmer’s Market, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm, and Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. All for $50 per person, and since we were the only ones on the tour we had a special private tour. Sadly, the touring industry has decreased significantly over the years- I’m not sure why.
One of the stories we heard was the legend of Akaka Falls. Chief Akaka was a married man who frequented two other women’s huts. Now this Legend told by our mostly Hawaiian Tour Guide is slightly different then the ones I have read.
As he told it was; Chief Akaka’s wife had caught him being unfaithful and had rumored to kill herself. Akaka was so ridden with guilt that he threw himself over the cliff and his faithful dog companion followed his lead. Chief Akaka become a waterfall and his dog a smaller waterfall nearby. When his lovers passed away they became the two rocks on either side of the waterfall being with him for eternity. His wife was alive and just visiting family nearby, when she heard of the news she wept and wept and become a waterfall herself.
The hike was very simple and took about 20 min in total with stopping to enjoy the views. There is a $1 charge per person for walk-ins to support the park and $5 for parking. If you are Kama’a’ina (Kai-mah-aye-nah), aka you have a local ID you are allowed to enter for free.