Best Excursions in Kauai, Hawaii

best kauai excursions

So, when you think of Hawaii, chances are you’re thinking about spending your days laying on the beach, sipping piña coladas. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, that’s how I want to spend every day for the rest of my life. But Kauai has so much more to offer.  If you can swing it, I suggest at least doing one of these things. They can really blow your trip out of the water.

1. Catamaran Ride (aka my favorite excursion) 


If you google Kauai, I guarantee you one of the first pictures you will find is of Na Pali Coast. And it’s for a reason. It’s one of the most unreal coast lines you will ever see. The water is incredibly blue and the mountains are incredibly green. There are a lot of companies that take you around in a catamaran and let you see the coast that is only accessible by boat. The last time we were there, we took Capt. Andy’s and I loved it. The crew taught us so much Hawaiian history and made sure that we had an incredible time. On our way to the coast, we saw a pod of at least 200 spinner dolphins and they stopped the boat to get a better look. We also got off the boat to snorkel for awhile to snorkel, go down the waterslide, and jump off the side of the boat. On your way back, they served us lunch which consisted of make your own sandwiches, pasta salad, and dessert. They also offer free wine, beer, and soft drinks throughout your trip. By far, this is my favorite thing to do on the island. So if you get the chance, look this up.

2. Paddle Board

When I was in Kauai last summer, we decided to try paddle boarding for the first time. Since it was our first time, we took lessons and we loved it. This year, we decided we didn’t need the lessons so we rented the boards from Kayak Hanalei and made our way up the river of Hanalei. I’m gonna be honest with you, it was harder than I remember. My arms and feet were on fire. And when you’re heading up the river, you’re fighting the current. It’s definitely a good work out. But that’s probably a good thing with all the lava flows you’re drinking, am I right? You do have the option to go into the bay but we decided against it because you can run into some small waves that make it even more difficult.

3. Kayak Tour to Wailua Waterfall

Okay so this is another one of my favorite excursions that we’ve ever done. Warning: it is another one that’s going to require some arm strength. We went through Outfitters Kauai last summer and we did it again this summer but I don’t remember who we went through. Either way, both were great companies that I would recommend. You kayak up the Wailua River for about an hour or so and once you stop you then hike for about 30 minutes or so until you reach what the Hawaiians call the “secret waterfall.” You can’t get to this waterfall unless you hike to it so the crowds are pretty small. Once you’re at the waterfall, they let you swim around and eat lunch before hiking and kayaking back. I think one reason I liked Outfitters Kauai a bit more was the fact that lunch was included. They offer you sandwiches, chips, and dessert which I found to be a little more convenient. But whether or not this is something you’re interested in is totally up to you.

4. Ziplining

Outfitters Kauai also does a ziplining trip into the jungle where you can see the island from a new perspective. I’ve been ziplining around the world in places like Alaska, Belize, the Caribbean, and Hawaii, and I have to say that Kauai might be one of my favorite spots to do so. With Outfitters, you are given the chance to explore the longest zipline in Kauai, launching at 50 feet up and coasting for over 3/4 of a mile. And for those who are afraid of heights: don’t worry. I am terrified of heights and will zipline any chance I can get!

5. ATV

Ever since the first time I went ATVing, I became hooked so when we got the chance to do it in Hawaii, I was all for it. We went with Kauai ATV and I have nothing but good things to say about my experience. Kauai is the wettest island and it rained almost every single day of our trip, making for an extremely muddy trip on the ATV’s (but don’t worry, they give you shirts and shorts to wear). Much like the ziplining, you will see where they shot multiple movies and they even include a few photo ops. Personally, I don’t know if it’d be as fun if it weren’t so muddy but it’s definitely worth looking into, regardless of the weather.

If you’ve been to Kauai, what did you do that I didn’t mention? I’m always looking for good recommendations1

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