Getting to Kauai can be expensive, because of its remote location, but once you are on the island, there are plenty of things to do that is worth every cent. In fact, some activities do not cost a lot of money. Make your vacation one that will last for a lifetime. Most activities allow (or require) you to make reservations beforehand, which is a good way to plan for your trip and ensure that you will be able to do the activities you want to do on Kauai. So call your Kauai vacation concierge to reserve your spot now.
Tubing is a great way to cool off from the hot Kauai sun and get an up-close tour of Kauai’s dense rain forest. You will float along canals and through several tunnels as you take in the scenic ride. It is family-friendly, though kids must be at least 5 to participate. Kauai Backcountry Adventures takes reservations in advance for your tubing experience online or over the phone. Lunch is provided during the activity, and you will have a chance to jump off the tube and swim. Because of its popularity, you should reserve your tubing excursion at least four weeks in advance. Expect to pay about $100 per person.
Bike Through Waimea Canyon
Book a trip to bike through Waimea Canyon. The scenic canyon views are second only to the Grand Canyon, and the ride is almost all downhill, so you do not have to be in tip-top shape to finish the ride. The tour, given by Outfitters Kauai, is 12 miles long and includes frequent stops for photos and brief talks about the history of the area. Expect to get up early; check in is 6 a.m., but coffee and fresh muffins are served immediately. The colors in the canyon at dawn are the most vibrant of the day. Expect to pay between $80 and $100 for adults and $70 to $80 for children ages 12 through 14. Children younger than 12 are not permitted.
Surfing is a popular activity for visitors to Kauai. Even if you have never stepped on a board, you will have fun learning the basics and getting up on some small, beginner waves. Kayak Kauai offers 90-minute surf lessons with certified instructors in Hanalei, Kauai’s most famous surf town and surfing beach. The company guarantees that you will stand up on a wave in your first lesson. They use different surfboards for appropriate skill levels: foam boards for beginners and fiberglass boards for more experienced surfers. The lessons are offered daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Expect to pay about $50 per person; save a few bucks by booking in advance.
Napali Boat Tours
The spectacular cliffs of the Na Pali coast are off limits to most visitors – unless they dare to hike the wilderness on narrow and slippery trails. Coastal boat tours provide a way to see these amazing cliffs up close, and enjoy a sometimes rough and ready adventure at the same time. Explore sea caves, watch sparkling waterfalls, and marvel at how tenaciously plants can cling to inhospitable rock. You’ll see an enormous change in landscape, from the dark, rich green of Ke‘e Beach, where rainfall measures nearly 125 inches a year, to the reds and browns of Polihale on the west side, where it’s only 20 inches. During winter (November till March), if seas off Na Pali are too rough and currents too strong, tours may cruise Kauai’s south shore to Kipu Kai, where humpback whales frequent Hawaii’s warm waters from December to April, as well as pods of spinner dolphins.
Capture a bird’s eye view of Kauai while soaring above its lush valleys, flowing streams and dense rain forests on an exhilarating zipline tour. These eco-friendly tours will provide you with both a thrilling experience and educational insight into Kauai’s rich history.
Enjoy the ride as you soar above a colorful jungle canopy, while simultaneously learning about Kauai’s diverse ecosystem of rare native plant and animal species. The world’s most beautiful panoramic views abound as you descend effortlessly into the forest below.
Kauai is home to a variety of ziplining opportunities, each offering a unique aerial perspective of the island’s diverse landscape. Princeville Ranch Adventures (See Ground Tours), Kaua‘i Backcountry Adventures (See Ground Tours), Just Live (See Ground Tours) and Outfitters Kaua‘i (See Ocean/River Kayaking) all operate zipline courses.
All zipline companies will have similar requirements and restrictions. For tour-specific information, please contact each zipline company directly.
Hiking on Kauai
Part of Hawaii, Kauai is a spectacular island with amazing scenery. There are numerous major waterfalls on the island, some visible from the road, some from the air, and many that you can hike to. Some of these hikes are short hikes from the road, and others can take all day, or longer. One of my favorite hikes on Kauai starts with a kayak trip up the Wailua River, which is then followed by a hike further inland to Secret Falls. There are many hikes through the Hanalei river valley, and Mount Wai’ale’ale is visible from much of the island. Waimea Canyon is particularly breathtaking and is often called the grand canyon of the pacific. Not to mention, the 11 mile hike along the Napali coast in to Kalalau. You can choose to hike in to the first beach, Hanakapi’ai which takes approximately 45 minutes. This is a popular one for many. Always check with lifeguards and/or local authorities regarding conditions for hiking/swimming.