When visiting Kauai, you can choose to enjoy the beauty leisurely, or you can engage in activities that take advantage of the diverse environment. We like to do both! Tom and I both enjoy being out on the water, so we researched different kayaking tour companies and looked into information posted on the Hawaii/Kauai Tourism Authority’s site and decided upon Kayak Kauai.
Kayak Kauai has a great background story that we found intriguing. The inspiration for Kayak Kauai came from two brothers setting out on a 5-month long kayaking trip from Seattle to Skagway in 1980. During this trip, the brothers realized they wanted to share their passion for kayaking, camping, hiking, and water sports with others. Kayak Kauai opened four years later.
Kayak Kauai’s day-long sea kayaking tour of the Napali Coast is National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s second place winner for best trip worldwide. This tour is only offered in the summer as the ocean can be too rough the rest of the year. I was a little sad that we couldn’t participate in this tour. Tom was openly happy…I think he’s still slightly traumatized by our two full days of sea kayaking in Maine last year! Instead, we chose to participate in a half-day kayaking and hiking tour of the Wailua River and Sacred Falls that is suitable for the entire family.
We checked in at Kayak Kauai’s office at the Wailua River Marina and met Kelly, our guide for the 5-hour tour. After slathering on sunscreen and insect repellent, we packed towels, camera, and some water into our dry bags and set off in our kayaks. We were heading out on our tour while the morning groups were returning. We noticed so many more kayaks were returning and only a few were leaving. Kelly said that most of the tourists prefer morning excursions because it is more similar to the time zones of the mainland. Tom and I don’t like crowds, so we now know to always go on afternoon tours. Thanks for the tip, Kelly!
During the 45 minute kayak up the Wailua River, we noticed the waterway was full of others enjoying the outdoors. We shared the water with other kayakers, standup paddleboards, boat tours, and even a powerboat with people waterskiing. Once we reached our destination, we pulled our kayak ashore and set off on a 45-minute hike.
Kelly, a native of Kauai, is full of information about the island and plant life. Along the hike, he found fresh passion fruit for us to sample. Yummy! Kelly also pointed out many different plants and trees and told us how they can be used to make various items or can be prepared for food or medicinal purposes.
The hike wasn’t strenuous, but the trail can get very muddy. At one point, we crossed a flowing “stream” of water that went above my knees. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear!
The Sacred Falls is a beautiful waterfall with a pool of water where you can swim to cool off. It is also the perfect setting for a picnic lunch. Many tour outfitters pick up lunches from a usual place such as the Safeway deli. Not Kayak Kauai! Our lunch was catered from a local bakery. Kelly said that the company wants to support as many local businesses as possible. It consisted of your choice of sandwich (Tom had roast beef, and I selected turkey) on fresh baked sweet Hawaiian rolls, fresh pineapple, cookies, chips, and a soda. The lunch was delicious and filling!
After lunch and taking photos, we hiked back to our kayaks and headed onto the river. During our return paddle, we got the low-down on Kauai: where to eat, what things to do. We wanted to know about the places where locals go. We’ll share our favorite local food finds in another future post!
Our 5 hour Sacred Falls paddle and hike tour was a fantastic excursion. We took this tour on our first day on the island, and we cannot think of a better introduction to Kauai. We highly recommend Kayak Kauai. We enjoyed our tour so much that we decided to take another excursion the very next day. We’ll share our Blue Lagoon Paddle and Snorkel tour in another post.
It’s just an Adventure! Contact us for your next travel need!