One of the best hikes on Kauai, the Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trek located on the famous NaPali Coast on the northwest coast of the Kauai. The Kalalau Trail is the best way to explore this coastline up close. This is a hike recommended only for advanced hikers and you should come ready for a grueling trek. But the reward at the end is worth every ounce of pain and struggle to get there. The trail offers a gorgeous blend of Hawaiian scenery, from bright blue waters to high mountain peaks and forested valleys with waterfalls and streams. There's plenty of wildlife to see here too, which regularly draws photographers and others with an appreciation for untouched wilderness. Thanks to this rugged and varied terrain, you'll see some of the most incredible coastline views imaginable as you hike. If you prefer a more relaxed setting, Ke’e Beach at the beginning of the trailhead is one of the best places in all of Kauai for snorkeling and swimming as it is protected by reef making it a very safe place. Note: Visitors must have advanced reservations to enter Hā’ena State Park and they are often taken within minutes of being made available 30 days in advance at GoHaena.com so plan accordingly.
Get up close and personal with the spectacular scenery of Hanalei Bay. Slip back in time while enjoying an active way to explore the beautiful Hanalei River (no commercial boats allowed) and Hanalei Bay, the largest natural bay on Kaua’i. You will begin with a leisurely kayaking trip along the Hanalei River before heading onto the Bay for the snorkeling portion of the tour. Most tours are narrated so you will learn about Kauai’s rich history, legends, folklore, and natural beauty. At the bay you will get to visit the home of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (Honu), snorkel amongst the beautiful reefs exploring the abundant marine life. After the tour you can end your day at the beach, enjoy the warm golden sands and take some great sunset pictures.
Makua Beach, also known as Tunnels Beach, located on the north coast of Kauai, is one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. It includes shallow areas protected by a coral quarry and reefs open onto the ocean, and you can explore a range of environments and varied underwater life: a whole medley of fish, green turtles and, if you’re lucky, an encounter with a Hawaiian monk seal, all of which pay regular visits to the site.
One of the best ways to see and experience the beauty of the Kauai mountains is by going on a river tubing adventure. You will enjoy breathtaking vistas while your guide shares information about our island. The gently flowing waters, beautiful scenery, flumes, and tunnels create a relaxing, fun, and fascinating experience. You will witness Kauai’s spectacular, historic engineering feats as you float down the open canals and through several amazing tunnels and flumes engineered and hand-dug circa 1870. Enjoy the wonder and magic of each tunnel illuminated by your headlamp. At the end of your adventure, you will enjoy a delicious lunch and a cool dip in a natural swimming hole.
The Na ‘Āina Kai Botanical Gardens are a must-see site for all visitors in Kauai. Not only is the beauty of nature astounding on its own, but it is an even more enhanced experience when explained by the knowledgeable and friendly guides. Garden founders Joyce and Ed Doty retired to Kaua‘i from their ranch in Northern California in 1982. What was begun as a landscape project in their front yard has grown to 240 acres that have been developed into a myriad of diverse gardens, complete with one of the largest collections of bronze sculpture in the United States. In 1999 the Dotys created a not-for-profit foundation, to which they donated the entire gardens. At that time Na ‘Āina Kai was opened to the public for tours and events. The Foundation’s mission supports and promotes tropical horticulture, agriculture and forestry, in addition to a constantly evolving garden and art experience for Kauai’s residents and visitors.
Lu‘au Kalamaku is a theatrical luau that gives guests an intimate look into the heart of our Hawaiian heritage. Gather for an authentic Hawaiian experience under an open-air pavilion and enjoy a breathtaking performance chronicling an epic sea voyage from Tahiti to Hawaii with graceful hula dancers, fire poi balls and stunning fire knife dancing. The epic tale of “Kalamaku” is brought to life by talented local performers, live music and stunning costumery. Relax to live music while sipping a Mai Tai from the open bar under the canopy of a mango tree and witness the traditional Imu cremony where a roasted pig is unearthed from an underground oven. You can visit the Kōloa rum factory as well at the same time as they both share the same premises.
With steep emerald cliffs, lush valleys, and remote cascading waterfalls, the Na Pali Coast is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful regions, and... no visit to Kauai is complete without a visit to this magical coastline. There are only three ways to explore the Na Pali Coast—by air, by sea, and on foot—and each offers its own unique perspective.
Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon, approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep Located on the south shore of Kauaʻi, Waimea Canyon is a spectacular destination for its scenic beauty. It offers multiple drive-up lookouts, vantage points, hikes, and waterfalls. Waimea Canyon is one of Hawaiʻi’s most remarkable geological formations and a must-do for your Kauaʻi itinerary. Waimea Canyon provides a wilderness area with numerous hiking trails. Kōkeʻe State Park is adjacent to Waimea Canyon State Park, the two running together to essentially form one big park. Kōkeʻe is blessed with a myriad of hiking trails to explore as well as a natural history museum, a restaurant/lodge, and a campground. Entrance and parking fees are included in the Waimea Canyon fees – no additional payment is needed.