The best adventure activities on Kauai
If you’re looking for adventure activities, Kauai will not disappoint. The best adventure activities on Kauai are abundant and you’ll have so much to choose from. As a Hawaii Travel Agent, I’m often asked which island in Hawaii is best. The truth is, there isn’t a “best” island, but there is an island that’s best for you and your family.
For those who love adventure and the outdoors, I always recommend Kauai. Kauai doesn’t have as much in the way of “human-made” attractions, but the natural attractions are breathtaking. From hiking to surfing to kayaking, snorkeling and more, Kauai has something for everyone.
If you’re planning a Hawaii vacation and feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! I’m here to help. As a Hawaii Travel Agent, I love customizing my client’s vacations to be the perfect fit for them. Contact me for more information.
Top 10 adventure activities on Kauai
1. Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour
While it’s not a physical activity, a helicopter tour on Kauai is an absolute must. Did you know that only 10% of Kauai is accessible by land? That means that to truly see Kauai, you’ll need to see it from the air!
I have a full Kauai helicopter tour review blog post, complete with pictures.
2. Forbidden Isle Snorkel Tour
You can’t technically visit Ni’ihau without an invitation, but you can take a snorkeling tour of the Na Pali coast and the Ni’ihau coast. This is as close as you’ll get to the Forbidden Isle without being invited, so it’s definitely a Kauai bucket list item.
3. Koloa Zipline
What list of best adventure activities would be complete without a zipline? Koloa Zipline is Kauai’s longest zipline and explores Kauai’s natural beauty.
4. Kayak the Wailua River
You can rent a kayak or standup paddleboard and journey down the Wailua River by yourself. You can also take a guided tour if you want to see the highlights without risking getting lost.
5. Mountain Tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures
Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers many adventure activities, including mountain tubing. This is the only tubing activity on Kauai, and it’s a lot of fun! Mountain Tubing is available for anyone 5 years and over, so it’s a great activity for the entire family.
6. Hike the Kalalau Trail
For the #1 ultimate Kauai bucket list item, hiking the Kalalau Trail. The trail is recently reopened, but you do need a permit to hike it. This trail isn’t for the faint of heart, and will likely take at least two days to hike in and out. The trail is 11 miles one way, so plan accordingly. Although it will take some planning, hiking the Kalalau Trail is arguably the best adventure activity on Kauai.
You can also hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach (2 miles in, 4 miles roundtrip) or Hankapi’ai Falls (4 miles in, 8 miles roundtrip), but you’ll need a permit for that as well. Check out the website for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for current information.
7. Hike the Awaawapuhi Trail or Nualolo Trail
If the Kalalau Trail seems like a bit much (the logistics of having to camp can be complicated) then try to Awa’awapuhi Trail or another Na Pali view trail. I have a post on the 7 best hikes on Kauai if you need more inspiration.
8. Kauai to Hidden Valley Falls
Another fun kayak adventure that is less talked about is Hidden Valley Falls. This is an amazing adventure that you won’t want to miss.
9. Hike Waimea Canyon to Waipo’o Falls
We made it all the way to #9 on the list of the best adventure activities on Kauai without mentioning Waimea Canyon. It’s okay, this list isn’t in order! It’s only a little over 3 miles round trip (out and back) and it’s a great family activity as it’s one of the less crazy Kauai hikes.
10. Go on a whale watching tour
If you’re visiting Kauai in the winter, going on a whale watching tour is a must. Kauai is one of the best places to spot whales, and the North Shore is generally the first place they are spotted during whale season.
Book your Kauai adventure with a Kauai Travel Agent
If you’re looking for a Kauai vacation personalized just for you, give me a call! I specialize in working with clients to create their dream vacations.
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