Beyond the beach, experience the island’s natural splendor through exhilarating adventures curated by local experts and guides. Traverse coastal, valley and mountain trails on bike or ATV. Soar above the rainforest canopy by zipline. Reel in a prize-winning fish. Explore ancient Hawaiian fishponds and sea caves by kayak or zodiac. The options are endless and they’re all tremendously fun. We’ve put together this list of our favorite island adventures, but if there’s something you want to do that you don’t see here, it’s probably possible, just ask!
One of Hawai‘i’s oldest and most iconic sports, it’s understandable why surfing is at the top of a lot of visitor’s to-do lists. Lucky for you there are several great local surf schools to choose from, both in Poʻipū and on the North Shore. Taught by talented surfers on gentle waves perfect for surfing novices, you’ll be catching waves on your own by the end of your lesson.
(808) 651-6032 | www.kauaisurfschool.com
THE NĀ PALI COAST
Spend a spectacular day on the water exploring the grand Nā Pali coastline on a catamaran or a zodiac. Several boat providers offer half and full-day excursions, many of which include lunch or a sunset dinner and snorkeling in remote, crystal blue bays. If you like a fast-paced adventure, opt for the zodiac tours which can navigate into sea caves (ocean permitting) and move along the water at an exhilarating pace. We highly recommend going in the morning, when the chance of seeing dolphins and sea turtles is best. From November through April you may even have the good fortune of spotting humpback whales that have migrated to Hawai‘i for the winter. Prefer a bird’s eye view? Take a helicopter tour that will have you soaring over the breathtaking Nā Pali Coast and into Waimea Canyon where you’ll get up close to waterfalls and inland vistas only visible from the air. Whichever you choose, don’t forget your camera!
By Air: (808) 245-8588 | www.islandhelicopters.com
By Sea: (808) 335-6833 | www.napali.com
Grab a tube, don a headlamp, and flume the irrigation canals of the Old Līhuʻe Sugar Plantation. Fun for all ages, you’ll float through caves and past lush, tropical forests until you arrive at a waterfall and swimming hole where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. During the winter the water, which comes straight from the mountains, can get chilly, so best to wear a rash guard or wet suit top for the ride.
(808) 245-2506 | www.kauaibackcountry.com
Thrilling is the word that best describes the feeling as you soar above trees and valleys on a zipline. Whether you choose to take it slow or hang upside down, there’s a course for every rider, and the guarantee of a lot of fun. The bonus is getting to see remote areas of the island that aren’t accessible any other way. On the south shore, we recommend Outfitter’s Kaua‘i, Skyline Ecosystems, and Kōloa Zipline.
(808) 742-2734 | www.koloazipline.com
“Do something dirty” aboard an All-Terrain Vehicle and explore waterfalls, tunnels, spectacular valleys, and movie sites, all located on private property. These open-air mud-buggies offer a fast-paced, bumpy, exciting, and often muddy way to experience some of the island’s most beautiful terrain. The tours that end in a swim under a waterfall are always at the top of our list.
(866) 482-9775 | www.kauai-atv.com & (808) 246-9288 | www.kiputours.com
Explore the wonders of the ocean around Kaua‘i, including lava tubes, reefs teeming with tropical ocean life, native Hawaiian monk seals, Hawaiian sea turtles, and, if you’re really lucky, humpback whales. Advanced divers have the opportunity to take a day-long excursion to the private island of Ni‘ihau for a truly exceptional and unique experience. If you’re just learning to dive, or interested in starting, dive shops such as Seasport Divers on the south shore also offer classes, kid’s programs etc.
(808) 742-9303 | www.seasportdivers.com
If you’re an avid fisherman, test your luck out on the ocean with one of the island’s fishing charters. Veteran fishermen from Hunt Fish Kaua‘i will take you out to their favorite spots with the hope of catching a prize-winning fish that you can enjoy for dinner later that evening. If you prefer a more subdued, catch-and-release fishing experience, head out on the Waita Reservoir on a Bass Boa or Suntracker boat with Kōloa Bass Fishing to fish for Big Mouth Bass, Tilapia, Peacock Bass and more in the largest inland body of water in the State of Hawai‘i.
(808) 212-7446 | www.huntfishkauai.com & (808) 742-2734 | www.koloabassfishing.com
Experienced, local hunters will take you on a half-day trophy hog hunt through private trails on the south shore. Top of the line mission archery crossbows
and compound bows are available for use, and Hunt Fish Kaua‘i offers a 100% shot opportunity guarantee. For beginners, archery lessons are also available upon request. (808) 212-7446 | www.huntfishkauai.com
ULUWEHI FALLS / WAILUA RIVER KAYAKING
Travel via kayak or canoe to the trailhead for Uluwehi Falls, better known to many as Secret Falls. The hike up to the falls can be muddy and slippery (water shoes or sport sandals are recommended!) but is well worth the effort it takes to get there. A family-friendly adventure, choose to rent a kayak and head out on your own, or have a tour guide lead the way.
(808) 822-3388 | www.kayakwailua.com