Kauai is the only Hawaiian island that has major navigable rivers, and the kayak trips are the best way to enjoy them.
|Kayaking Tours on Kauai|
|Ali'i Kayaks - Kayak Wailua River|
|Dukes Kayak Adventure - Kayaking Tours on the Wailua River|
|Island Adventures - Kayak Tours|
|Kauai Backcountry Tubing - Tube Kauai's Cane Plantation|
|Kayak Hanalei - Double Kayak Tour|
|Kayak Kauai Outbound - Kayak Tours|
|Outfitters Kauai - Kayak Tours|
|Princeville Ranch Adventures - Kayaks and Hiking|
|Wailua Kayak and Canoe - Tours and Rentals|
|Wailua River Kayaks - Hiking and Kayaking|
Kauai Kayaking Tours
Kauai Kayaking is a great way to explore Kauai's interior.
This "Kayaking on Kauai" section of our website is very popular. With a certain degree of astonishment we are always stunned by the amount of interest people have in taking a Kauai kayak adventure. The reason for our amazement here at Tom Barefoot's Tours is that we have nowhere near the amount of curiosity and interest regarding kayaking tours on any other island. The reason of course is obvious: the kayaking tours here on Kauai are so much different. We bring this to your attention now before you begin reading further about this fun and exciting activity because we want you to pay a bit of focused attention to these kayaking tours. Visitors totally enjoy and appreciate these kayak in Kauai adventures primarily, as you will see, because they are unique when compared to any other kayak tours throughout the entire state!
The one great advantage Kauai has that none of the other Hawaiian islands have is that it has an abundance of navigable rivers. With these rivers comes the opportunity to go river kayaking and these river kayaks open up some other opportunities as well. Not only will you be able to paddle a kayak up one of Kauai's gentle and meandering rivers but since these rivers cut right through the dense and luscious jungles your Kauai kayak tour will deliver you on one of its scenic rivers into the very heart of Kauai. This would be unavailable to you with any other form of transportation. Once you've arrived in the interior of the island with your Kauai Kayak tour you'll be able to take a hike further in if you'd like, in many cases to a beautiful waterfall and pool.
As you are probably aware, paddling yourself up a Kauai river on kayak and finding yourself in the midst of a triple-canopy jungle on Kauai is an experience that ,in no uncertain terms, will alert you to the fact that you're "not in Kansas anymore". Kauai's volcano's have been extinct for over 5 million years and since Kauai is considered to be the "wettest spot on Earth" you can assume that all the erosion that has occurred over time with its sculpted cliffs and carved river beds and iconic mountain precipices will provide a landscape that you perhaps might only see in Jurassic Park. Being able to see, and walk and paddle through this scenic jungle paradise is the advantage that you are given when you opt to enjoy one of the wonderful Kauai kayak tours.
Kayaking in Kauai comes in two basic versions: sea kayaking and kayaking on one of Kauai’s many rivers. They are quite different.
- Taking a kayak tour up one of Kauai’s sensational rivers is you're first option. Picture gentle rivers here, not rivers with rapids that you might find in the Great Northwest. These gentle flowing rivers have a mirror like quality that reflects the sunlight shimmering through the jungle valleys leading deep into Kauai’s interior. On many of these Kauai kayak tours you’ll tie your kayak at streams edge and hike a short distance to one of Kauai’s beautiful waterfalls for a dip and some lunch. The trip back may include some cliff jumping and additional swimming.
- Kauai Ocean kayaking is you're second option, generally along Kauai’s spectacular Na Pali Coast, and is recommended for those over the age of 16 and for those in relatively good shape. The reason for this is that once you begin the 11 mile Kauai kayak adventure you’re pretty much committed to completing the voyage. Ocean currents usually flow in only one direction and except for the frequently passed isolated beaches protected by absolutely monster cliffs on each side, there is no place to land. The ocean kayaking tours on the famous Na Pali Coast are particularly spectacular but are generally reserved for the summer months when the northern ocean swells and giant surf have subsided.
Three of the most beautiful rivers available for Kayaking on Kauai are the Wailua River, the Hule'ia River and the Hanalei River:
- The Wailua River is probably the most traveled and winds kayakers deep into the islands interior. Its waters are very calm and beautiful. They are so calm in fact that the first portion of the river is actually used for water skiing as well.
- The Hule'ia River is located in the Lihue area and provides wonderful river kayaking as it winds through the beautiful Kipu Ranch which has been the site of many Hollywood movies including Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Arc.
- The Hanalei River is the least traveled and can be found in the unbelievably beautiful Hanalei Valley emptying into picturesque Hanalei Bay in Kauai's northern sector. You can kayak on this river well up close to the mountain base that funnels the waters to this beautiful river.
Most of Kauai's kayaking tours which feature river kayaking, eco-tours kayaking, and kayaking in rain forests, waterfalls and jungles operate their tours on one of these three rivers beautiful Kauai rivers.
Tom's Tips - Kauai Kayak Tours
- Kauai's river kayak tours are unique to the island of Kauai. Don't expect to find any similar tours on any of the other Hawaiian Islands.
- If you're an adventurous sort, in good shape and arriving on Kauai in the summer months you simply can't beat the excitement and beauty of one of the fabulous Kauai ocean Na Pali Coast kayak tours. You just can't possibly believe how gorgeous these Kauai kayak tours will be.
- Many of the Kauai kayak tours paddle up the rivers perhaps two or three miles and then you can get out and hike through the jungle a distance to some beautiful waterfalls and pools. Don't be scared away by the hike. They are fairly short as a rule and offer you some of the best jungle scenery you will find in your travels on Kauai.
Do you have a desire to paddle up a jungle river that is so beautiful it was once reserved for only royalty? If so, you're in luck because Ali'i Kayaks offers such trips. The Wailua River near Kapaa is certainly one of the most beautiful rivers on which to Kayak on all of Kauai and Alii Kayaks is one of the most reputable companies to guide visitors on this amazing adventure. This area was once the home of the Hawaiian Royalty, or Ali'i, and this is a very sacred area to the Hawaiian people. Traveling the river deep into the heart of the island is an experience you won't soon forget and Alii Kayaks is one of the very best companies to take you there. Their "local guides" are long-time residents of the island and they're considerate and professional assistance will make you're special day a very worthwhile and pleasant one.
(From: $37.90 - To: $37.90)
Dukes Kayak Adventure on the island of Kauai provides a kayak excursion on the Wailua River. Dukes Kayak Adventure has the advantage of beginning all of its tours at the Kamokila Hawaiian Village where you will visit the restored ancient village which will give you a good idea of the way the Hawaiians lived in days prior to discovery of the islands by Captain Cook. The entry fee to the village is waived when you purchase a kayak trip through Dukes Kayak Adventures and you're paddling time to the ultimate destination of the one-hundred and twenty foot "Secret Falls" deep in the Kauai rainforest is shortened, enabling you to enjoy in greater leisure the most interesting part of the river.
(From: $84.90 - To: $84.90)
The Island Adventures "Kauai River Kayak" is a kayak excursion that takes place on the beautiful Hulei'a River in the heart of the two-hundred-and-forty-one acre Hulei'a National Wildlife Refuge and State of Hawaii Conservation District. This Island Adventures tour is a unique one-way paddle downwind with a short, easy jungle hike and a fun swim at a pool with waterfalls. There are four endangered species of birds under the protection of the Wildlife Refuge. The river trip is the only access to
(From: $84.90 - To: $84.90)
Kauai Backcountry Tubing Adventure is a one of a kind experience you won't find anywhere else on Kauai or for that matter anywhere else on the planet. Kauai Backcountry Tubing is "fun in spades" and is also very, very popular. Please make sure you book this one early as it is usually booked well in advance. In the early 1870's a series of flumes, tunnels and bridges was built in the area at the base of Mount Waiale'ale (the wettest spot on the planet) to carry the abundant water supply to the coastal areas of Kauai's alluvial plain for the purpose of irrigating sugar cane. This waterway was a marvel of engineering technology at the time and is still carrying water via its gentle gravity flow system toward the coast today. Kauai Backcountry Tubing allows you to float down this flume system on specially designed rubber inner tubes for what might be your "most fun" experience in Hawaii. This tour is sure to bring out the child in everyone and the breathtaking vistas and spectacular scenery is an extra bonus you're sure to remember.
(From: $91.99 - To: $91.99)
Kayak Hanalei is a kayak company the specifically paddles along the Hanalei River and the ocean areas surrounding Hanalei bay. Hanalei Valley on the North side of Kauai is truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth. If you think of "Bali Hai" from the movie South Pacific you're in the right zone because it was filmed there. In the center of the valley, winding down from the green and lush mountains in the background is the gentle and idyllic Hanalei River. This river is toured daily by Kayak Hanalei. The owners, Dave and Goldie Stewart, enjoy sharing the fun and the spectacle of the river which was much like it was when they were growing up. The tours they offer are spectacular. They paddle up the Hanalei River and then follow the river down to meet the ocean at Hanalei Bay where they enjoy wonderful ocean snorkeling. This is a slice of old Hawaii. The sleepy hamlet of Hanalei is still there to enjoy as it was years ago and as you gently paddle down the river you'll find yourself unwinding and slowing down to a pace that is very much in tune with your natural flow. This is the type of tour you came to Hawaii to enjoy.
(From: $94.90 - To: $94.90)
Kayak Kauai Outbound is one of the original kayak and adventure companies found on Kauai and specializes in kayaking, hiking and surfing. The owners and originators of the company are the Cuban born brothers Micco and Chino Godinez. They actually began their business with kayak tours in the early eighties after having undertaken a three week kayak adventure of their own in which they traveled the entire length of the state of Hawaii from the Big Island to Kauai. That trip sparked their enthusiasm for sharing the world of kayaking with others and Kayak Kauai Outbound was born. Shortly afterwards they expanded their successful operation to include hiking tours and surf lessons. They are now one of the most respected adventure tour operators on Kauai and have received recognition in National Geographic Magazine, the Honolulu Star Bulletin, Men's Journal and many others. Their Kayak tour offerings are many and vary in length and difficulty. The beautiful Hanalei River provides the setting for one of its many tours and this tour includes both a river kayaking experience and a kayak snorkel in the waters off Hanalei Bay. The Wailua River in the Kapaa area is not exempt either from the paddle kayaks of Kayak Kauai Outbound. These tours not only involve kayaking but also hiking to a beautiful waterfall known as Secret Falls. If you're really looking for adventure and are fit enough to handle about six-hours of paddling you simply have to go with them on a magical journey along Kauai's famous Na Pali Coast. This tour covers about seventeen miles of coastline and involves surf launching and landings as well as hiking.
(From: $56.90 - To: $196.90)
Outfitters Kauai is one of the premier companies we have on Kauai that operates kayak tours (they also operate zip-line and bike tours as well). Outfitters Kauai's owner, Rick Haviland, was among the very first to have a governmentally sanctioned kayak adventure on Kauai back in the early eighties and is now famous for his river kayaking experiences as well as his ocean kayaking. In the summer months when the wave conditions are generally permitting he provides the quintessential NaPali Coast paddle which allows you to traverse the entire eleven mile coastline in just one day. Oufitters Kauai also provides a sea kayaking experience that plies the southern coastline from Poipu to Port Allen. You will be treated on the way by a series of segments of the coastline that will take you to some beautiful secluded bays and beaches along the way. Both of these ocean kayak tours are somewhat strenuous however and are not for everyone. For those that are capable of participating however, these tours should be considered a must. The entire year however is suitable for his kayak "river runs" and his clients are always appreciative of the superior service and attention to detail that his tours regularly provide.
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Princeville Ranch Adventures offers a number of varying tours and one of them deals with kayaking on the ranch. Kayaking with the Princeville Ranch Adventures can be found on their Jungle Valley Adventure. This region of the island known as Princeville is steeped in the history of Kauai. The ranch itself was established there in the early eighteen hundreds and this ranchland is some of the most beautiful you will ever find. Sweeping ocean views are everywhere and the ranch backs up to the beautiful Hanalei mountains which are ever-present in the distance. Verdant green and lush would describe the views you see to a tee. The first part of the Jungle Valley Adventure is the portion that deals with kayaking. Here you launch your kayak into the Kalihiwai Stream. Launching itself can be an adventure as your guide gives you a push from a launching platform that has you almost, but not quite, capsizing in the shallow waters. Your kayak tour continues what seems to be a couple miles upstream as you work your way through the jungle stream. From here your tour continues to include some zip lining, hiking, swimming and enjoying a float on some inner tubes.
(From: $132.99 - To: $132.99)
Locally owned and operated, Wailua Kayak and Canoe is one of the orginal kayak companies on the Wailua river.
They offer both 4 Hour guided kayak tours, as well as 5 hour kayak rentals. They are the only kayak company located right on the Wailua river, making it very easy to transport your kayak to the river.
(From: $41.90 - To: $69.90)
Wailua River Guides is a local family owned and operated business that provides kayak tours deep up into the Wailua River with hikes into "Secret Falls" on the island of Kauai. You'll find your kayak guides personable and knowledgeable and even your guide dog "Yoda" will add to the experience of the day. If you're looking for a personalized adventure on the famous Wailua river with local guides who know it well, here's a great opportunity for you.
(From: $90.90 - To: $90.90)
Kauai Kayaking Tours - Kauai is different from the other islands in so many ways. One of the most notable differences however is the fact that it is the only Hawaiian island that has navigable rivers. Keep in mind that these are not “white water rivers” where you “shoot the rapids” but rather tranquil, quiet, and meandering type rivers that wind themselves through the interior in a gentle serpentine fashion. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Raiders of the Lost Arc” and you remember the river that Indian Jones landed on with his bi-plane in the jungle then you know the type of river I am speaking of, because that was filmed on Kauai. The many rivers of Kauai are perfect for a beautiful kayak ride. The rivers are great waterways leading into the interior of the island and provide a gentle way to negotiate your way through the rugged jungle landscape in relative ease. Some of the best kayak tours even provide for you to tie-up your kayaks at rivers end and hike a mile or two further into the forests to beautiful waterfalls through lavish jungles and forests.