My guest post from Jake Garrett at The Villas at Poipu Kai will give you great ideas for hiking and kayaking on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. After you’ve enjoyed the swimming, snorkeling and diving in the clear waters of Kauai, try something different with an outdoor adventure to experience the interior of the island. Here are three of the best hiking and kayaking adventures to try on Kauai;
Kayak the Wialua River
The Wailua River is on the east side of Kauai and is one of the largest rivers in Hawaii. It has a slow current and the rowing is very comfortable, which allows you to soak in the beautiful Wailua River valley. Lush greenery accompanies you on the entire trek up the river. Whether on an organized tour or flying solo, the Wailua River is a great way to take an intimate look at the island.
You can rent kayaks at a local shop in Kapaa or take an organized tour. Kayak Kauai is a reputable company that will take care of you start to finish, they charge $85 per person for a full 5 hour tour. On the organized tour, you will check in at Coco Nut Marketplace, just off of Kuhio Hwy on the north side of Kapaa. Then you will put in by the ocean on the south side of the river.
Hike to Secret Falls
The hike to the Secret Falls is a perfect activity to combine with the kayak trip up the Wailua. The trailhead is accessed directly from the river and requires a little bit of kayaking. You can put in up the river near the trailhead or kayak up the river a couple of miles. Either way, once you reach a fork in the Wailua, coming from the east, you will proceed to the right and shortly arrive at the trailhead. The trail is well traveled and not difficult to navigate but be sure to have some shoes or sandals to cover your heels in order to get through the sometimes-muddy areas. After a quick and easy river crossing you will have a mile hike to the falls. There are many picturesque locations along the hike, which are only bettered by the falls themselves.
The falls are safe to enter, but do so with caution. At most the depth of the pool around the falls is six feet and there is room for swimming. You will likely find a group of kayak tours (maybe you’re in one) at the falls but these come in waves so it is never too crowded.
Experience Waimea Canyon
Getting to the canyon is easy to do from Highway 50 in the town of Waimea. Beyond mile marker 13 you will find most of the hiking trails in the canyon. The hikes are of varying length and difficulty and all provide unique and stunning views.
At the end of the Waimea Canyon Drive is the Pu’u o Kila lookout. The panoramic experience gives a fantastic view of the Kalalau Valley, which descends into the ocean. Looking inland from the lookout you can see several canyons and ridges decked out in green. The layers of lava are revealed throughout the canyon from the constant wearing of the river.
Kayaking, hiking, and beautiful vistas are the essence of a true Kauaian experience. These three adventures are must-do’s next time you travel to Kauai.
My thanks for this article to Jake Garrett from The Villas at Poipu Kai. The poolside villas, on the sunny south shore of the island, are prime Poipu vacation rentals , built in plantation style and close to the beach, and providing a great base for a holiday that can be as relaxing or adventurous as you wish.
Photo Credits: Photos provided by Jake Garrett, Wailua River Map by KayakKauai.com