Book Now

Travel Blog #107 - Kayak Kauai Outbound, Napali Coast Kayak

If you are in decent shape and want to do something worth telling your friends about once you get home you should consider doing a Kayaking trip down the Napali Coast on Kauai. While it is a long trip (17 miles), the majority of it is normally with the current, which makes the paddle quite a bit easier then it sounds.

To get the best conditions possible this tip departs very early in the morning. Let me give you a tip on something I learned when going on this trip. When you're driving up to Hanalei in the morning remember to eat before you go. I made the mistake of thinking something would be open on the way which turned out to be a near catastrophe if it had not been for a powerboat I had in my truck. We checked in at the store in Hanalei Town, and then as soon as our guides and the rest of the passengers showed up we loaded into the van began to make our way towards tunnels beach.

Tunnels Beach is the closest and safest place where you can launch to paddle the Napali Coast. There was a little bit of shore break and we had to time it just right to make it through and get into the deeper water. We all met up in the middle of the bay before we began to make our way south towards the Napali Cliffs.

kayak to kalalau beach

As soon as we passed Ke'e Beach the cliffs started. It wasn't long before we reached the first beach at Hanakapiai. We paused for a few minutes and drank some water before we continued down the coast. We rounded the next point and found ourselves at the mouth of a large cave. We all grouped up before we made our way inside.

Once we were in the cave I jumped into the water to take a float break in the shade. I closed my eyes and allowed the life jacket I was wearing to float me and just enjoyed the stillness of the cave. After we rested and swam around in the cave for a while we got back on our boats and began making our way down the coast. We passed some amazingly scenic areas as we got closer to the infamous Kalalau Beach.

Kalalau is easy to spot because of the huge rock formation on the cliffs above it that is known as Cathedrals. Cathedrals is one of the most beautiful sights on Kauai. This is the place where the hiking trail ends. All the things that we saw past Kalalau are only viewable from the vantage point of a boat, or an aerial tour.

kayak in the open ceiling cave

Soon after Kalalau we reached the Honopu Arch, and soon after we stopped for a swim inside the "open ceiling cave". This was one of my favorite parts of the day. I have driven in zodiacs as well as other vessels through this cave, but I have never gotten to swim inside of it. That was an experience that I will not soon forget. Soon after the "open ceiling cave" we were at our lunch spot.

I though that the adventure would calm down as soon as we hit the sand. I was wrong. We set up lunch in the shade under a tree and as our guide passed out our sandwiches he explained that we were going to be on the shore for a while and we were free to explore the beach, or the short trail up to the waterfall in the valley above the beach. I eagerly ate my sandwich, and then began to explore the area.

Breaking away from the group to explore the trail up to the waterfall was great. With no one else around it was so quiet. I saw some pilings of rocks that were most likely the footing of an ancient Hawaiian home. I took some pictures and spent a couple of minutes observing the scene and thinking about what might have been here many years ago. Eventually I made my way back down to the beach and soon after we were back in the boats making our way down the home stretch towards Polihale Beach.

As I pulled my boat up onto Polihale Beach I felt a sense of accomplishment from the days activities. 17 miles later I had burned thousands of calories and explored some of the most beautiful places on earth I have been to thus far. This is a trip that can only be done on very flat days during the summertime and if you are lucky enough to be there during this time and capable of doing the trip, it is something I would recommend making it a point to experience.

Jake Barefoot on Kayak Kauai Napali

Travel Blog - Articles #100 to #109

I think it is safe to say that if there is any single activity that an equestrian would enjoy on their trip to the Hawaiian islands, it is CJM Country Stables.


Today we did one of the premiere tours that is offered on the island of Kauai. We paddled sea kayaks down the entire Napali Coastline. We started at "Tunnels Beach" and made our way underneath the cliffs all the way to the immense Polihale Beach on the far west side of Kauai.


When we checked in at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu the clouds were close to the ground, covering the ground with a light mist. It seemed like it would probably burn off in the next few hours, but for the time being it provided a much cooler climate then is normally found on the sunny south side of Kauai.


The first of all of the Hawaiian Islands to have helicopter tours on it was the island of Kauai. Once you go to Kauai, you will understand that this was no coincidence.


Rarely will you find a boat that is so well suited to the excursion that it goes it as the boat that is operated by Liko Kauai Cruises. Their 49 foot catamaran is powered with twin 260hp inboards and the overall design is fairly narrow.


We met up with Captain Zodiac office at their office, located on edge of the Honokohau Harbor about ten minutes north of Kona. When I showed up the people at the office greeted me and then directed me where to meet up with the boat.


Island Adventures is the only kayaking company that goes up the river through the Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge. This river eventually goes up towards the Kipu Ranch.


Since "Cruiser Bob" first pioneered the original Haleakala bike ride decades ago the format of the rides has changed, but the industry has remained the same in many ways.


Umauma Ziplines is located on the northern coast of the Hilo side of the Big Island. The location requires participants from Hilo to take a short drive up the Hamakua coastline to the ranch.


Related Information

If you're physically capable of doing a kayaking tour while you're here in Hawaii then you defiantly should. We have different kayaking excursions that are suited for all levels so no matter what kind of kayaking experience you have we should be able to pair you with some kind of an excursion that suites you.


Related Activites


This seasonal Summer tour is a strenuous journey and about a 13-14 hour day. Approximately 5 to 6 hours (17 miles) of intermittent paddling, surf launching and landings are often the norm on this tour.

More Info / Buy Now

View Comments

Mike Turner

I wish we had as good of weather as you did on your trip, it was drizzling on us the whole time :(

That's terrible, we got lucky on our trip back in '09. It was a perfect blue bird day.

I'm planning a vacation to Kauai next summer that is based around doing this trip.... I can't wait!!!