If you know that the summit of Kauaʻi’s Mount Waiʻaleʻale is one of the rainiest places on Earth, then you might have good reason to expect Kaua’i waterfalls to be abundant. You wouldn’t be wrong, though they’re not all easily accessible by visitors. But rest assured, no matter whether you’re traveling by foot, kayak, helicopter, or car, you’ll have no problem visiting some breathtaking waterfalls in Kaua’i during your stay here. Get your (waterproof?) camera ready!
The easiest Kaua’i waterfall to access on the island is Wailua Falls. It’s great if you have small children, as there is no hiking involved and you can see the great view right from the parking lot. You may recognize these falls from the opening credits of the 80s TV show, Fantasy Island. Another falls that’s easily accessible by car is ʻOpaekaʻa Falls; it’s close to Wailua Falls on a tributary of the Wailua River.
For a spectacular day hike, check out the trail to Hanakapiʻai Falls from the north end of the highway at Keʻe Beach. It’s two miles to Hanakapiʻai Beach (hazardous: swimming not recommended here), and another two miles up the valley to the Kaua’i waterfalls. This is a full day hike with steep gains in elevation. Start early in the morning, and make sure to be well prepared with food, water, sun protection, and proper footwear.
Uluwehi Falls, popularly known as Secret Falls, is located off the Wailua River and requires water transport to access the trailhead. This is a popular local spot. Rent canoes, kayaks, or book a guided adventure. After landing at the entrance to the trailhead, it’s a wet, slippery hike to the falls. This is a really special and unique adventure for families with older children, who don’t mind getting wet and dirty!
When you think “Kauaʻi” and “waterfall,” chances are that Jurassic Park comes to mind. Manawaiopuna Falls, made famous in the movie, are located in the remote interior of the island, and are only accessible by helicopter tour. Taking off from the Lihue airport, this tour also includes circling the island. This is a super-special experience you and your family won’t soon forget!
From easy drive-bys to long, challenging hikes, we’ve got waterfalls in Kaua’i for every type of traveler. Splash into some family fun!