Home to several large rivers including Hawai‘i’s only large navigable water way, Kaua‘i is a kayakers dream. From the protected confines of the reef-lined Anini Beach to the lush waterways of the Wailua River to the bays of southern Kaua‘i, there is plenty to see and explore here. You don’t want to miss your chance to kayak in Kauai!
Na Pali Kauai Kayak Tour
For the adventure of a lifetime, look no further than the thrilling full-day adventure from Na Pali Kayak Tours. This 17-mile guided paddle traverses the length of Kaua‘i’s famed North Shore (one-way, you shuttle back), taking you up close and personal to enchanted sea caves, razor sharp mountain ridges and 4,000’ cliffs, and lush tropical valleys lined with countless waterfalls (some of which you can paddle through). Stop for photo ops with inquisitive sea life like Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and pods of dolphins, then explore the isolated paradise of some of the Na Pali Coast’s most remote beaches and state parks, some only accessible by sea. Throughout the day your guides will regale you with tales and legends of the island during your Kauai kayak tours.
Flowing from the slopes of Mt. Waialeale down to the Pacific Ocean, the Wailua River is a lush waterway that is Hawai‘i’s largest – and only – navigable river. From Kapaa and Wailua you can safely and easily explore the calm waters, hidden coves, and mysterious grottos that line the river with your own kayak rental or guided tour (there are several vendors at the Wailua Marina and Kapaa town that offer Kauai kayak tours). For an authentic experience, visit the Kamokila Hawaiian Village, a restored community representative of life along the river banks centuries ago. Guided and self-guided tours from this point on the river allow you to explore the secret waterfalls and enchanted fern grotto just upstream.
One of the safest and most protected beaches on Kaua‘i’s north shore, Anini Beach is home to the state’s largest coral reef. Spanning two miles, the reef provides protection from the offshore waves, leaving a calm lagoon on the inside of the bay that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and of course kayaking. Bring your own kayak and skim over the picture perfect and clear waters, keeping an eye out for fish and stingrays on the sandy bottom. Out at the reef, you can hop in for a quick snorkel or frolic with the colorful reef fish teeming inside the natural breakwater.
There are plenty of incredible spots to kayak in Kaua‘i, and numerous tour operators and rental outfits for daily or weekly kayak rentals. Be sure to check the local conditions before you go, and above all, enjoy yourself!