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Kauai

Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Kauai Outdoor Activities

Kauai: Sightseeing Flight over Napali Coast & Waimea Canyon

1. Kauai: Sightseeing Flight over Napali Coast & Waimea Canyon

Soak in spectacular views of the lovely island of Kauai from the air on a sightseeing flight tour. Let your pilot fly you over places that are completely inaccessible by car and remain untouched by human hands. Experience the untouched beauty of this spectacular island from a unique perspective. Aboard your scenic flight tour, discover the best of Kauai on an incredible flying adventure. Fly over the Garden Isle's most scenic areas to truly get a sense of this majestic place. Soar over the cathedral-like spires of the Napali Coastline and high above Hanalei Bay's white crescent sand beach. Snap some pictures of the azure blue waters below, as well as the monumental red valley walls of Waimea Canyon.

Allerton Garden: Small Group Tour

2. Allerton Garden: Small Group Tour

Embark on a relaxing and informative guided tour of Allerton Garden. Discover a tropical paradise with decades of history dating back to the 1800s.  Allerton Garden extends along the banks of the Lawai Stream where the valley narrows before opening onto the coast past the Spouting Horn. Along the way, you might even encounter koi fish, large bullfrogs, chickens, and ducks. This picturesque setting has been used in a number of films and TV shows including Pirates of the Caribbean, Magnum PI, Starsky and Hutch, and Donovan’s Reef.  Trek through winding pathways and marvel at towering rainforest trees providing you shade from the warm Kauai sunshine. You can’t miss the tall curving roots of the Moreton Bay fig trees made famous in the movie Jurassic Park.  Walk through a grove of swaying golden bamboo, a flower garden, and tropical fruit trees nestled amongst bronze statues and water features. Here the focus is on landscape design but your guide will be sure to point out important species including varieties of palms, flowers, and gingers.

McBryde Garden: Day Pass

3. McBryde Garden: Day Pass

Board a tram into the lush Lawai Valley and see the magnificent coastline of Kauai’s south shore while listening to commentary about your surroundings. Arrive at McBryde garden and walk amongst the world’s largest collection of native Hawaiian plant life, with endangered flora and flora that are extinct in the wild.  See and smell exotic spices ranging from allspice to vanilla on the Spice of Life Trail. Take a journey back in time in the Hawaiian Life Canoe Plant Garden and along the Biodiversity Trail. This garden showcases a multitude of plants that the ancient Polynesians brought to Hawaii that provided materials to make cloth and build canoes and structures and for medicine and food. Explore the agroforestry project with spices, glimmering water features, and a canoe garden reminiscent of the voyages of ancient Polynesians. Delight in the wide variety of palms, flowering trees, ornamental flowers, and unusual plants from the tropical world. You can even visit the living laboratory where scientists are still discovering the secrets of these plants. You might catch sight of various birds living in this pristine location.

Kauai: Private Tortoises, Caves, and Cliffs South Shore Hike

4. Kauai: Private Tortoises, Caves, and Cliffs South Shore Hike

Walk along the edge of lithified limestone cliffs, feel the power of the ocean, and smell the salt-infused air as you climb from the heights of the South Shore cliffs down to the cool caves facing Oahu. The compacting of air within the cliffs creates a special surprise, which you really shouldn't miss on your trip to Hawaii.  Hike with your friends and family to Maha'ulepu, an area rich in natural and cultural history. Learn about the epic land and sea battle that was fought and won by the people of Kaua'i in the 1300s, which has given the area its name of Maha'ulepu, literally meaning "and falling together." After the hike, you will be given the option to snorkel at a beautiful South Shore location. Snorkeling will add approximately two hours to the tour time.  As one of the last remaining stretches of undeveloped coastline on the South Shore, the Maha'ulepu area is still fiercely protected by locals. Your local guide welcomes you to join them in the fight to keep the land pristine. Take a guided tour of the nearby Makauwahi Cave Reserve to see Hawaii's largest limestone cave and richest fossil site. You will also have an opportunity to visit with the giant land tortoises that line the shore. Rest assured knowing you’ll be doing your part, as 10% of every tour will be donated to Makauwahi Cave Reserve and/or Mālama Maha’ulepu. This wonderful journey is suitable for all levels of fitness/experience, from beginner to advanced. This is a private tour — it will just be you and your private group. Because of this, you are free to go at your own pace and hike as much, or as little, as you would like for the duration of the tour you have selected. Your guide will contact you before the start of your tour to help plan a custom itinerary.

Kauai: Private Waterfall Adventure with photos

5. Kauai: Private Waterfall Adventure with photos

Embark on this guided 3-hour sightseeing and photography tour of the most breathtaking waters on the island of Kauai. Capture spectacular memories in a picturesque tropical atmosphere while in a small group setting. Venture to archaeological sites, sample wild fruits, vegetables, and learn about an array of native Hawaiian vegetation and flora.  Your guide will select various destinations on Kauai based on weather conditions and the group’s interests and abilities. Throughout your tour, snap photos with your knowledgeable and friendly guide by your side. While you hike to different locations you might even have the opportunity to take a dip in the waterfall pools.

Kauai: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Private Tour

6. Kauai: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Private Tour

Journey from Hanapēpē to Waimea, along the only road that crosses the entire island. Follow the path that is steadily leading up the rim of Waimea Canyon, and take in the views of the world famous Nā Pali Coast on Kauai's North Shore, at an elevation of over 4,000 ft (1220 m). Along the way, stop at the most beautiful canyon overlooks to marvel at Kauai's treasures including rainbow-colored canyon walls, the 800-foot (244 m) Waipo'o Falls and thick island vegetation. If you’re feeling up for "stretching your legs", your guide will select the best trails to explore, based on the weather and your group’s interests. Hikes may be 0.25 - 0.5 miles (400 - 800 m) round trip on relatively even terrain. This is a private tour — it will just be you and your private group. Because of this, you are free to go at your own pace and hike as much, or as little, as you would like for the duration of the tour you have selected. Your guide will contact you before the start of your tour to help plan a custom itinerary.

Kauai: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

7. Kauai: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Explore Kauai at your own pace with this narrated, self-guided driving tour. Visit some of the island's most popular and memorable attractions, including white sand beaches, waterfalls, and deep canyons. Take breathtaking hikes through the jungle while learning about the history and natural wonders of this beautiful island or go snorkeling and swimming at the local beaches. Make the most of your vacation time with the freedom to stop and go as you please. Drive around Kauai while listening to relaxing Hawaiian music, stories, and fun facts about the area. Your narrated audio guide will lead you safely where you want to go, so don't worry about getting lost or wondering where to go next.

Kauai: Private Jungle and Rainbow Eucalyptus Hike

8. Kauai: Private Jungle and Rainbow Eucalyptus Hike

Join a private guided hike of Kuilau RidgeTrail to get a complete jungle experience while you learn about the history and culture that gave birth to the pristine land on eastern Kauai. Take in all the exotic flora including rainbow eucalyptus, and albizia trees, along with panoramic views jungles, waterfalls, and mountain range. Walk the same path that the ancient Hawaiians used to build their communities. The word kuilau (koo-E-lau) means “to string together leaves or grass.” Plant fibers were used for everything from thatching roofs (pili grass huts) to making large sails for ocean voyaging canoes (from the hala three-leaf).  After a quick stop at the impressive and beloved ‘O’paeka’a Falls, the hike will begin as a gentle climb up a trail that is lined with impressive Sydney blue gum trees (Eucalyptus saligna). Growing over 150 feet tall the eucalyptus in this area can tower over the massive albizia trees. You may feel yourself shrink as you hike through. As you make your way higher, views of several mountain ranges begin to emerge, including the Kahili Mountain to the south, Wai’ale’ale Mountain and Mount Kawi to the west and the Makaleha Mountains to the north. On overcast days, you’ll still be rewarded with dense, green views of the gulches that dominate the area; their abundant native and introduced plant species offer much to discover. These plants include wild orchids, ‘ohi’a lehua blossoms, gala, and the la’i or ti plant (a popular material for making hula skirts, among many other uses). Back at the arboretum, you will take a short stroll through the famous “rainbow eucalyptus” trees (Eucalyptus deglupta). If time permits, you will have the option of taking a quick dip in a cool mountain stream and/or walking up a small hill to once again see the cloud-covered Wai’ale’ale Summit, known as "The wettest place on earth" (averaging over 450 inches of rainfall annually). This is a private tour — it will just be you and your private group. Because of this, you are free to go at your own pace and hike as much, or as little, as you would like for the duration of the tour you have selected. Your guide will contact you before the start of your tour to help plan a custom itinerary.

Kauai: Napali Cliff Tops Private Hike

9. Kauai: Napali Cliff Tops Private Hike

Come hike a cliff-top ridge thousands of feet above the ocean. Accessible only by foot, this tour is designed to give you an in-depth look of the Nā Pali Coast from a unique vantage point few have seen. While these hikes can be muddy, slippery, and strenuous, you will be amply rewarded for your effort with sweeping views of the most dramatic sections of the famous 17-mile-long Nā Pali Coastline. Meet your guide and hop into a comfortable bus. Witness a change in vegetation and climate as you transition into the "rain shadow," characterized by the arid farmland of the island’s leeward side (the opposite side of mountains from typical trade wind direction). Along the way, pass through the agricultural towns of Hanapēpē and Waimea and learn the important role they played in Kauai's history. Your tour continues across the center of the island, winding along the rim of Waimea Canyon and to the North Shore, 4,000 feet above the spectacular Nā Pali Coast. Rainbow-colored canyon walls and cool mountain air create an otherworldly ambiance that's unlike anything you've experienced. Stop at a couple of the top Waimea Canyon overlooks, including one with a view of 800-foot Waipo’o Falls, before beginning a ridge hike above the Nāpali Coast (accessed from Kōkeʻe SP) or along the rim of Waimea Canyon (depending on the group and weather/trail conditions that day). There, you will enjoy jaw-dropping views of the world-famous Nā Pali Coast. This is a private tour — it will just be you and your private group. Because of this, you are free to go at your own pace and hike as much, or as little, as you would like for the duration of the tour you have selected. Your guide will contact you before the start of your tour to help plan a custom itinerary.

Kauai: Private Hike to Sleeping Giant with Waterfall Option

10. Kauai: Private Hike to Sleeping Giant with Waterfall Option

Go on a private hike that combines a workout with rare, picturesque views of Kauaʻi.  Explore Nounou Mountain, aka “Sleeping Giant,” which is located on the East Side of Kaua’i, looming above the winding blue and green waters of the Wailua River.  Join this challenging 2-3 hour experience and learn about the legends surrounding this landmark mountain ridge that resembles a man sleeping on his back. Follow the trails and pass through a striking forest of large cook pine trees and lush vegetation before breaking out into sweeping views as you arrive on "the Giant’s chin," a nearly 1,000-foot climb. Enjoy sweeping views of the cloud-covered Mount Waiʻaleʻale, Wailua Homesteads, and the entire eastern coastline. Choose the Waterfall Option if you would like to reward yourself with a refreshing dip in a cascading waterfall. This option will add approximately 4 hours to the activity, so the tour will stop at one of several local restaurants to buy food before continuing on to this final phase of your adventure. This is a private tour — it will just be you and your private group. Because of this, you are free to go at your own pace and hike as much, or as little, as you would like for the duration of the tour you have selected. Your guide will contact you before the start of your tour to help plan a custom itinerary.

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Frequently asked questions about Kauai Outdoor Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kauai

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What people are saying about Kauai

The sightseeing flight is a great idea and should not be forgotten when visiting the island. The super young and friendly Air Ventures team takes care of all your concerns. The sightseeing flight with info around the island was very informative. I was totally overwhelmed by this whole wonderful natural landscape. We brought a GoPro which they mounted outside for us to film the whole flight. Unfortunately, the camera was forgotten to be turned on. You took the camera with you on the next flight and we picked it up later. It turned out great shots that we would never have gotten with taking pictures.

A wonderful, extremely impressive experience that offers unique insights into the nature of the island. Smooth process, nice pilot, in short perfect. Should I travel to Kaua'i again, I will book such a sightseeing flight again.

Caden was our pilot. He was very knowledgeable and he did an amazing job. We booked it at the beginning of our trip to help us get our bearings straight. It was totally worth it!

Everything was amazing and beautiful! Our bus driver had lots of info about what we were seeing the way to the gardens. Don't miss this tour!

My 3rd time taking this beautiful tour. Highly recommend the sunset/dinner tour. Not to be missed when traveling to Kauai.