Hawaii Guide

Activities on Kauai Suggested Itineraries Kauai

Tourist Activities on Kauai Suggested Itineraries


There is no chance to get bored on this Island as the choice of activities on Kauai to keep visitors occupied is endless. Kauai is known for its wonderful natural environment rather than its nightlife and is therefore more suited to those who are looking for an outdoor vacation. With so many pristine beaches dotted around its coastline you can expect this Hawaiian Island to host a variety of water sports Hanelei Bay on the north shore in the winter is a surfer's paradise!

Many would agree that the ultimate experience Kauai has to offer is one of the superb helicopter tours which take in Kauai's breathtaking splendor from the air. Whether you are looking for adventure, a chance to experience the great outdoors or the opportunity to unwind in a tropical paradise, there will be a few activities tailored just for you!

Kauai's Guided Tours by Bus, Boat or Helicopter

Guided tours are a great way of seeing the island while learning about your surroundings from knowledgeable and well informed locals. There are guided trips to wildlife sanctuaries including the kayak trip up the River Huleia so remember to take your binoculars. While exploring the island on your own is a great fun, it is more interesting when you know something about the area you are visiting. Kayaking is a good way of exploring Kauai's four rivers and waterfalls. River boat trips up the River Wailua visit Fern Grotto, a lava rock formation covered with ferns. The movie tours take you to visit locations on the island where films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark or Jurassic Park were filmed. Much of Kauai is impenetrable on foot so helicopter tours are an incredible opportunity to see many of the hidden waterfalls and valleys from the air, as well as the impressive Kauai Waimea Canyon.

Explore Kauai's dramatic and untamed Na Pali coast from the sea on one of the ocean boat tours. It is often possible to see Hawaiian humpback whales who stay in Hawaii from December to April to mate before returning to Alaska. Sunset tours are available which include drinks and appetizers. Another boat tour visits Niihau Island, a private island which is not generally available to the public. The island is famous for the leis made of seashells which come from here. Ocean boat tours usually stop to give people an opportunity to snorkel. For ocean boat tours try Na Pali Catamaran, tel: 1 808 826 6853 or Captain Sundown on 1 808 826 5585.

Other Ways of Exploring the Island

Hiking trails are a real draw with miles of beautiful, unspoilt wilderness to be explored. There are campsites for those who want to stay in some of the more remote areas. The most famous of the island's hiking trails, the Kalalau Trail, penetrates the Na Pali region as far as Kalalau Valley which is uninhabited and has many rare wildlife and plant species.

An alternative to using your own feet is to use someone else's there are guided horseback rides along miles of glorious coastlines taking in hills, beaches, and waterfalls. Different companies cater for different abilities. Beginners can go for a straightforward trek where they follow the horse in front and take it slowly. Experienced riders are allowed more freedom and can go on tours where they can canter or gallop. For horse riding contact Espirit de Corps on 1 808 822 4688 or CJM Country Stables 1 808 742 6096.

Some of Kauai's activities require a more extreme approach. ATVs (all terrain vehicles), also known as quads, are vehicles with four huge wheels designed for going off road. These are great fun and are ideal for exploring parts of Kauai which are inaccessible by road. Kipu Ranch Adventures, tel: 1 808 246 9288, have ATV trips. Mountain biking is another option. Outfitters Kauai, tel: 1 808 742 7421, rent out mountain bikes and also do a downhill bike trip from Waimea Canyon down Waimea Canyon Drive.

Water Sport Activities

An increasingly popular Kauai activity is boogie boarding which involves riding the wave lying down on a short, blunt nosed surfboard. Hotels and resorts usually have boards to rent out or try the dive or surf shops. Surfing is a national pastime on Kauai and there are some great surfing spots such as Cannons, Hanalei Bay or Infinities (Pakala Beach). Windsurfing on Kauai tends to be for experienced windsurfers only try Tunnels Beach or Hanalei Bay. Your best bet for learning how to windsurf is Anini Beach on the north shore. Contact Windsurf Kauai, tel: 1 808 828 6838 for more information. Kitesurfing is similar to windsurfing except that you are dragged along by a kite. It is harder to learn than windsurfing but great fun.

If you are looking to go parasailing or jet skiing on Kauai then you will be disappointed as both those sports are forbidden. However water skiing on Wailua River is available including equipment rental and lessons from Kauai Water Ski Surf Company, tel: 1 808 822 3574. Scuba diving and snorkeling are excellent ways of observing Kauai's marine life and underwater topography.