Kauai’s most popular kayaking destination is the Wailua River, on Kauai’s eastern shore.
Ever dream of paddling up a tranquil jungle stream to fern fringed pools and misty waterfalls? This is just one of many romantic island fantasies that can become a reality on Kauai.
Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with navigable rivers, and exploring her tropical rivers and streams does not require kayaking expertise. After some initial instructions and precautions, even the most novice paddlers quickly master the nuances of kayak maneuvering.
Though the lower Wailua River is the most traveled on Kauai, quiet solitude can be found only slightly further upstream in the river’s twisty bends and lesser-traveled forks.
After paddling in a double kayak for about 45 minutes, you will tie up and take a half hour hike on an uneven but relatively flat trail through the jungle to the waterfall pictured at left.
This is an adventure you will long remember with Kauai’s tropical flowers and lush vegetation, including guavas and mangos when in season, and the song of exotic birds drifting through the trees.
Both guided and self tours are available for this river. Most paddling is done in double open kayaks on smooth waters. There are tri-kayaks for those with small children to sit in between two adults.
There is a north shore kayak adventure that is up more of a stream then a river. You feel the hush of the jungle as you paddle individual kayaks upstream, take an up and down hike over two ridge lines, and finally, make two stream crossings. Finish up with lunch and 2 ziplines. Ask Guest Services for more details.
Closer to Poipu Beach, the less traveled Huleia River offers leisurely paddling past Kauai’s Menehune Fish Pond and excellent birding through the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge. The Kalihiwai and Hanalei rivers on Kauai’s northern shore also offer easy paddling and beautiful vistas.
Ocean kayaking is the ultimate Kauai adventure. The paddle can take 5-8 hours depending on ocean conditions. In summer season, you travel Na Pali, stopping at secluded beaches, explore caves (including the one with the open ceiling), and soak in the amazing cliffs. In winter, you follow the south shore, gliding alongside dolphins and possibly a whale or two. This is a physically challenging activity so please call Guest Services for more details.